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Old Aug 26, 2002, 6:35 PM   #1
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Default Canon A40 2MP vs Olympus 550 3 MP or ?

Begging your wisdom,

After weeks of comparison shopping (stevesdigicams, cnet, dpreview, etc) and budget balancing, I have determined I have $300 to spend for my first digicam. Now, the issue is with some 2 MP's so close in cost to some 3 MP's, which way to go?

I'll be using it for client and personal web sites, of course, but I'd also like to do prints at least 8x10 occasionally (gotta satisfy the muse). Night shot quality is important for concerts and club gigs, and if it had audio recording (like the Fuji 4800 30 min limit) that would be superb. I'm shying away from the compgeeks.com refurbs because of warranty, but *very* tempted (if I could buy a warranty...). Many photopros are suspicious of Fuji "Super CCD". I have a 10 yr old Canon 35mm Rebel, so I know a *little* about manual controls.

I've narrowed it down to the Canon A40 (2 MP) and the Olympus 550 (3 MP).
A40 is less MP, has limited audio, exc. reviews, CompactFlash, lots of creative control considering.

550 has exc. reviews, more MP, no audio, lots of creative control features, but SmartMedia (heard bad things about SM, too delicate, too small, etc.), questions about Mac compatibility?

Is the 3 MP actually worth it? Battery considerations? Other cameras to consider?

I've got a PowerMac 7500 G3/400, will get USB 1.1 PCI card and card reader. OS 8.6 now, but upgrading OS soon, maybe to X.

Thanks in advance,
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Old Aug 26, 2002, 7:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 385

My preference would be for the Canon but that's because I've had such good luck with the A10. Even though I have a Dimage 7 the other camera gathers no dust.

2mp is adequate for 8x10 injet prints but just. 3mp will give you a small margin to crop but the difference may not be as vast as you think as you should compare linear pixels per inch not total pixels. I suggest going no less than 150 pixels per inch on paper to avoid jaggies.

I'm definately in favor of compact flash but I wouldn't let it be a deal killer if all other things are equal. It's nice to shoot as much as you want in a session without having to fiddle with memory. I'd suggest at least 256mb total memory. Shop carefully for the best deals as it can vary a lot. Both cams take AAs so it's a tossup on batteries. Get at least two sets of NiMH battereies and a fast charger whichever route you go.

The Canon feels more robust but that's subjective. I also have the excellent Canon underwater housing for my A10. It's so much fun it should be illegal. Might be useful at raves so you don't get beer/blood/hurl/*** on your camera I can't imagine you being unhappy with either camera.
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