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Old Apr 20, 2004, 9:35 PM   #1
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Default Help! I want good baby pictures. Which digicam is FAST?

Hi. I am hoping someone out there can help me choose the best digital point and shoot for my needs. My main question is this: Which camera will take the picture the fastest? Nothing is more frustrating then when your baby does the cutest thing, but the camera won't take the picture quick enough! :x Why do digital camera take so long after you push the button? I also want high resolution (maybe 5mp) and I want it to be simple to print out the picture or upload. I was looking at the Canon Powershot s500. It is on sale at Amazon.com for $449. But, I don't know if it will take the pictures quick....or if there is something better out there. Maybe I should stick with 35mm? I hope someone can give me some advice.
Thanks! Susan
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 9:31 AM   #2
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I feel your pain, I've missed ton's of cute baby/toddler shots waiting for the camera to take the d##m picture.

Unless you go to a digital SLR you'll be disappointed in many cases. I went to a digital rebel so I could take pictures of my child on the swing.

Turning off the LCD preview will help as will prefocusing the shot (pressing the shutter release halfway).

What you need to compare is the 'shutter lag' time, dpreview does testing on this. Point and shoot digicams are slower than film cameras in most cases. For comparison purposes - my Canon G2 was inadequate for swing set pictures, but good for toddler's running and fine while my child was a baby. You can't buy a G2 but look up it's stats and compare them to the A75 for an idea.

By the way - you should also look at how long that camera takes to get turned on - digicams are slower than film cameras.

I started off by getting my negatives scanned and getting a CD - the quality of the jpeg's (under 200 Kbytes) was quite disappointing but they've likely improved. It isn't a bad solution but do some more investigation.

If you're not in the mood to spend a lot of money I'd go with an okay digicam and keep the 35mm camera handy. Some of the movie mode stuff is nice and digital has the advantage of instant reprints and enlargements.

If you do decide to go upmarket - an external flash is a GREAT accessory. Bouncing the flash off the ceiling is easier on their eyes (less crying) and makes for much better pictures. A Canon G5 and 420EX flash is a great combo but it isn't cheap.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 10:08 AM   #3
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I have yet to find a camera faster from startup to first picture then my Casio Exilim S2 (they also make an S3 3mp version). It's a non-zooming fixed focus micro sized camera. Startup time is just a tad over a second (almost 2) and there is zero auto focus lag and shot to shot is about as quick as you can squeeze the trigger. For a take everywhere plain point and shoot it's a great camera. Of course the microscopic size has some tradeoffs (weak flash, hard to hold stable for low light shots, no tripod mount). I've captured some fabulous pictures with my Exilim.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 1:18 PM   #4
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Unless Canon has made significant improvements between the older S400 and the new S500 model, you'll probably be looking at around 1 second autofocus lag time on average.

This may or may not be acceptable to you.

If you prefocus your camera (half press of shutter button), then the lag time is much lower. This is the technique used by many digital camera users (half press shutter button to prefocus, then wait for the right moment to press it the rest of the way down).

I'm using a Konica KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta G500). It's speed is about the same as the Canon (around 1 second autofocus lag time). With my camera, I do have fixed focus choices which can eliminate lag time (but only if your distance to subject is constant). I also use the Autofocus Lock feature on this model for faster repeat shots.

You may want to look at the Sony DSC-V1. It should be able to focus about twice as fast as the Canon, based on tests that I've seen. The Sony also has a unique laser based "hologram" autofocus assist system that works well.

BTW, regardless of which model you choose, one thing that will slow down repeat shots will be flash recycle time indoors. Most cameras will take at least several seconds between photos for the flash to recharge.

Outdoors, this would not be a factor.
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Old Apr 22, 2004, 3:20 PM   #5
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Default Contax SL300RT

Contax SL300RT


A very fast camera, easy to use, small, and takes good pictures. It's a little pricey though. I have a very similar camera, almost identical with a different brand name (Kyocera) and different lens.

Kyocera SL300R


It's cheaper but the pictures aren't quite as good. Get the Contax if you can afford it.
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Old Jun 15, 2004, 3:02 PM   #6
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The Contax SL300RT WAS pricey. It was $499 just about everywhere since it came out, and has recently dropped to $429 (e.g., Adorama.com). I have one, love it, and it was very fast. The Contax has a Zeiss lens, making it far superior to the Kyocera Finecam SL300R. The battery takes too long to charge, there's no lens cap, and there's no video out. But every digital has its quirks.
The styling, the ease of operation, the picture quality - all make this the best buy in its class. It's also compatible with iphoto.
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