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Old Mar 30, 2004, 9:30 PM   #1
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Default First DC Buy. Need help! [sony, nikon, fuji?]

You must be tired of reading posts like this, but... >_<

Hello, I'm an argentinian student and in the past few months I've been interested in buying a Digicam.
Please, excuse my english and my lack of photographic knowledge, since I have a Nikon [from 1978] which belonged to my father, but I only use it as a point-n-shoot camera.

My country isn't at its best econnomical period, dollars are way too expensive and my salary, which used to be 700 USD, thanks to nowaday crisis, suddenly changed to 200, or so.
My budget goes around US$350 and the best options I could find were these [The diff between US prices and ours is huge, it goes from $70 up to $500]:

- Sony DSC P72
- Nikon Coolpix 3100
- Fuji FinePix S3000

I really need to know which one should I buy. Most of the pictures I'll take will be just for fun or hobbie [mostly indoors, bars, discos, randomly landscapes, etc], but since, I sometimes have to do some design projects I need a good 3MPx camera [for my full-time work and freelance webdesign], without mentioning I'm a weird perfectionist with everything I do. I would love to have some manual mode options so I could take those lovely light effects' long exposure shots.
Video recording is also very important for me.

I've been gathering all the pros and cons for each camera and I would like you to take a look at them and tell me which one would be the best buy.

Sony DSC P72 (I've set my mind on this camera for the last 4 or 5 months)

It's the cheapest of them [you can buy P72s online for $270, while in my country, they cost $330]. It also includes rechargeable bateries. Its size, shape and looks [I just love them]. They say it's pretty easy to use. It has a Movie recording mode with a mic. The video max length depends only on the memory stick size. Nice 1.5" anti reflex LCD screen. It takes only 4 secs to activate it and be ready to shoot. I've read it has a great auto focus.

I've been reading comments about P72 in this forum and I noticed that indoor shoots with poor light conditions usually look blurry and that it has some firmware glitches plus VGA images recording problems. Batteries die quickly. Colour proccessing: [one of my biggest fears] Oversaturated pics and "ugly" reds. Memory Sticks are pretty expensive in my country.

[Note: I really don't know if P72 has one, but I think it doesn't have one]

Nikon Coolpix 3100

Pros: Everybody knows Nikon cameras' lenses because of their very good quality. It uses CompactFlash cards wich are cheaper than Memory Sticks. It has a Movie Mode wich lets you use Zoom. Acceptable batteries' life. It uses 2AA batteries. 14 [or so] auto shooting modes: great for begginers [me], with visual guides for framing. It has a manual mode.

It doesn't have a mic. I've read that the Manual mode doesn't have too many options. Its shape [I really don't like it] which makes it uncomfortable. No auto-autofocus flash assist. Video max length is 20 secs [640*480]. Not rechargeable batteries included.

Fuji FinePix S3000 [I don't know very much about it]

Pros: 6x Optical Zoom. 1.8" LCD + EVF.

Cons: XCards [or whatever] media are pretty difficult to find here. No LCD+EVF in motion pictures [it freezes]. It looks huge and its start up is kind of slow. 4AA batteries. Not rechargeable batteries included.

Please help me >_<
Note: I won't get a 128 mb or 256 mb card for a while.

Hmm, I think that's all. I really need your help because most of the reviews I've read, are not very accurate.
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 9:38 PM   #2
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In my honest opinion there is nothing like a fuji shot. They have proven themselves time and time again with clear and punchy images right through their range of digital cameras.

I have just purchased a Nikon D70 as fuji were taking too long over the S3. Having used it now... the S2 is far better in image quality and it is almost 2 years older.

Fuji know light like no other company... I used to own a fuji 2800, very like the 3000. Great optical zoom, control of white balance is spot on, movies aren't to bad for web purposes, TTL viewing as well... and the macro is unbelievable with the fantastically placed flash.

Go with the Fuji sir!
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 11:16 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.... Now I'm more interested in the S3000. Finepix 3800 and 2800 are not very popular here, while the S3000 is a lil' bit more popular...
I haven't payed too much attention to that... If it breaks or anything, the guarantee depends only the sales shop, and getting a new one for a broken one might take some time.

What I really don't like about its movie mode is that it only records 320*240 [or so] videos, while P72 has a max res of 640*480...

I've already mentioned the battery cost+quantity [4AA vs 2AA], but on the bright side, it comes with a Lens adapter so you can use another lens or zoom, while P72 doesn't have it.


I really don't know what to buy.
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 11:21 AM   #4
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You can get a Fuji FinePix S5000 for about $299 USD now. I would higly look into that over the 3 different ones you have listed above.

S5000 has 10x optical zoom 3.1mp 6.0 effective.

Check out steve's reviews on that one
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Old Mar 31, 2004, 11:32 AM   #5
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Here, it's 200 USD more expensive than S3000 and the other cameras...

Oh, btw, today I went to a photography shop and tested the Finepix S3000.
I didn't feel very comfortable as it was too cubical. I tried the auto focus with low light conditions and I didn't like the pictures, and as it doesn't have a manual focus, that's something bad...
And the lenght for 320*240 vids goes up to 60 seconds, another bad thing...

Once, I tested a previus Sony P72 model, using a tripod, the pictures were very good. What I remember I disliked about it was its flash. I shot some bookshelves in a large rooms at dawn or evening [can't remember] and they didn't look good. However, I couldn't get the chance to explore its options.
The only con I remember about it was it's weight... It was too light for someone who is not very used to handle small cameras so I was always afraid of breaking it.

Hmmmmmm, I guess I'll go for the Sony P72. It's very popular in here [guaranty issue].
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