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Old Dec 10, 2003, 12:37 AM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,370


Most non SLR Digital Camera will take around a second to focus in good light (sometimes longer). The Sony is much faster than average, taking round .4 seconds at wide angle, and around .8 seconds at full zoom.

The lenses on a Consumer (non SLR) Digital Camera are permanently attached. You can purchase special purpose lenses for them, though (closeup lens, teleconverter lens, wide angle lens).

However, these do sometimes cause unwanted side effects. For example: Vignetting (darkening of corners) when using a teleconverter lens.

Out of the choices on your list, I personally like the photo quality of the Sony better. However, some people find it "ergonomically challenging".

I'd go with the Nikon 5400 has my next favorite in your list. It also has a very nice 28mm wide angle setting that makes it great for getting a wider view. I like it's ergonomics better than the Sony, too.

On the downside, it does not have a focus assist lamp, so it can take a little more light to achieve focus lock. I have owned two Nikons, and rarely have a problem with this though. It's focus is faster than average for this level of camera -- running around .6 - .8 seconds (depending on the amount of zoom used).

In order to have true interchangeable lenses, you'd need to go with a Digital SLR. These tend to run a lot more money. Good Choices would be the Canon EOS-10D, or the Nikon D100. They are well made cameras.

Canon has recently introduced a lower priced model, the Canon EOS-300D (it's selling at $899.99 for the body only, or $999.99 for a body/lens kit. However, I'm not personally happy with some of it's quirks that have been reported by users, and the build quality does not seem to be as good as the EOS-10D.

Other choices would be the new Minolta DiMAGE A1. It offers a lot of features, and a very good 28-200mm equivalent zoom lens (much more range than most), in a relatively compact package. So, you wouldn't need to worry about extra lenses for most purposes.

The A1 is not a Digital SLR, but it does offer a lot of "bang for the buck" in a compact package. With an SLR (like the Canon EOS-10D), you would need to carry more than one lens to get it's focal range. Steve has a review of the A1 here:


There are pros and cons to all of them.

I'd take a look at some in a store, to get a better idea of their size, ergonomics, and speed of operation. It's often pretty hard to tell if you'll like a camera by reading reviews and looking at user opinions like mine.
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