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Old Jun 16, 2004, 5:05 PM   #1
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I anticipate using my digital camera for a lot of outdoor landscape shots, architecture, and people in front of these on a 3-week trip to Hawaii (don't forget sunsets and night shots). I also anticipate doing indoor and outdoor portrait shots, and indoor and outdoor group shots. I also have two German Shepherds that I like to photograph. There will be action shots with the dogs, but otherwise, action is not a big priority. I won'tbe photographingchildren with any regularity. Macro mode is not particularly important to me, although it seems like a fun thing to start trying. I want as many manual controls as I can afford.

I am now choosing, I hope for the last time, between two cameras that, from my novice point of view, appear to be roughly comparable. I would certainly appreciate hearing if anyone thinks that they are not really as comparable as I now believe.

The most expensive Nikon and Canon that I can afford with some manual controls are the Coolpix 4300and Powershot A80, both at a cost of $500 Canadian. So, I am trying to choose between the two. I estimate the Canon will cost $70 more than the Nikon by the time I buy the extra memory and battery paraphernalia required.

I had been also considering the Olympus C-5000, but by the time I buy an extrabattery and additional memory card, I estimate that this would cost $100 more than the Nikon and $40 more than the Canon. I don't think this would be worth it for this camera. Does anyone think otherwise?

Does anyone have any advice for me as I try to make this decision? All advice willl be very greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 3:45 PM   #2
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I am using Nikon 4300 for two years.

It very good camera and outdoor make wonderful sharp and colorful

pictures. It sitting in hand and easy to use. Only problem is battery.

Two years and its out of time.

Canon A80 pictures are good to, but Nikons are more sharp.

Canon is good, you have manual settings, metal case, faster than Nikon

Canon have problems. Its weight withfour battery inside.

During record movie camera is not changes his settings.

Many movie go bad, when I turn camera and light changes.

LCD in Nikon are better.

You must make desire -heavy camera with manual setting and long

battey lifeor pocket camera easy to use with sharpest picture
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Old Jul 22, 2004, 4:21 PM   #3
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I can't comment on your other camera optiosn as I haven't tried them, but I do own a Coolpix 4300, have had it for about two years. I find it an excellent camera for the price. The pictures it takes are excellent (sometimes even awesome), as long as there's sufficient light. I live in England, and I have been finding that photos taken in low light are sometimes not as sharp as I'd like, and a little noisy. It is small, and very easy to hold in one hand. It has an auto mode, but I never use it because the autofocus works continually, making the camera noisy and reducing the battery life. You can set most of the manual mode options to auto, so I just use manual mode, even when I'm doing point-and-shoot.

One minor annoyance is that the viewfinder only shows about 80% of the actual image, so I find I rarely use it. Fortunately the LCD is more than adequate. I also find that menuing for things can be annoying - it takes a lot of steps, for instance, to tell the camera I've attached, or detached, the telephoto lens.

All in all, and for the price, I would still recommend this camera. It has plenty of options, so you can do point-and-shoot if you want, or actually use the options if you're a more experienced photographer. I rarely use the scene modes, but I did take some excellent pics on the 4th using the fireworks scene mode. Battery life on the camera has been fairly good, though sometimes inconsistent (probably my fault) - generally I can fill a 256MB card on a single battery - something like 170 photos.

I've attached a recent picture I took, it's not a contest winner, but does show off the sharpness of the image - I've printed this one at 8x10 on Ilford Printasia Pearl paper on my Epson 830U, and the image is nearly three-dimensional.

BTW, this may be a little lukewarm because I've been looking at the 8700, and been thinking of all the reasons I need to upgrade :-)
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Old Aug 10, 2004, 8:26 AM   #4
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I am a Canadian but bought my 4300 in Dubai where I live and work. I have always owned Nikon SLR products so the 4300 was a logical choice when deciding to try digital.

The camera feels great in your hand and is comfortable to hang on to when walking around with it. The sharpness of the images cannot be realised until you have them printed.

What does drive me to distraction though is the dissapointingly poor performance in low light conditions. There isn't any kind of autofocus assist to improve the autofocus function in dim conditions and it shows. Rarely have I managed to get sharp, printable images when using in low light conditions. the only time it seems to work is if there is sufficient contrast.

As much as I like it, the low light performance has me seriously considering selling the camera and buying an alternative. My Son has a Sony and it performs significantly better than the 4300.
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Old Aug 19, 2004, 6:34 PM   #5
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I have a 4300 also, and the low light focus can be a problem. You can try to use the spot metering when light is low. This can help sometimes. You could also use a small flashlight and point it at your subject and then focus on that point and the camera will focus. I know it's a pain in the you know where, but it will work in a pinch. The camera does take very good pictures. Sharp and clear.
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