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Old Dec 25, 2006, 10:28 PM   #1
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I would like to get several recommendations on a compact camera that has fast shooting performace that are under $500.00 . I would like to be able to take pictures on the ski slope or of the kids etc.
It seems that 75% of the picture I take with COOLPIX4300 I miss because its so slow.
My wife pick out a Casio EX-S770, is this one of the fastest cameras under $500.00

Any help would be appreciated.

Big foot
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 12:14 AM   #2
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Casios, Sonys, and some Fujitsus are very quick, this being from personal experience.

Sony and Fuji require proprietary (expensive) memory.

I have used a couple of Sonys, and they focus very quickly. Exposure is said to be excellent. I didn't like the sluggish response of the controls. But i'm not sure if it was the controls or if the lcd was just slow to update. In practice they were pretty good.

The Fuji Z2 I had for a while was god-awful indoors and in low-light because of the processing/noise reduction. Menus were pretty bad too.... to the point that they were hard to learn and i found myself in the wrong menu too often because they all look the same. Every other part of the camera was very nice, including the ergonomics, shooting and focusing speed (lightning-fast!). Exposure was PERFECT, too. Color saturation and vividness was off though.

I now have a Canon SD600. The pictures are fairly OK. Not the best (exposure is generally pretty bad). Focuses decently quick though. But it is fairly fragile. The z2 was built like a tank

My friend's Casio exilim is a pretty good camera but takes very bad dark/low-light pics. Noisy as hell. It took a bad hit and he was able to snap the lens back in place, so not too bad, and the body is definitely beefier than the Sd600, which feels paper-thin.


we need more details if we are to recommend one for you
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 5:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for your help.
I only have two requirments :
Fits in pocket
And it will shoot fast.
I would like to be able to take a picture of a soccer player, a skier, and possibly a mountain biker.

I would like to be able to take pictures of somthing moving and the coolpix 4300 will not do this.

hopefully that enough info
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 9:30 PM   #4
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I would like to be able to take a picture of a soccer player, a skier, and possibly a mountain biker.
These are EXTREMELY demanding specifications. I believe a DSLR would suit you best, and a pocket camera that can do this is almost unheard of. I would look into the Fuji F30, it has great high ISO performance, and high ISO lets you use fast shutter speeds. It doesn't have very great zoom (3x) so you may be in trouble if you want close up shots, but as far as compacts go, it's probably the only thing that can fill your needs (as far as I know)
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 11:11 AM   #5
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The camera you already have is better for the motion photos you listed than either of the cameras mentioned in the thread IMO.

Take a look at the photo in this thread: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=90 The photographer purposely slowed the shutter speed to get motion blur. The photo was taken at 1/40 second, which is slower than your camera would generate under the circumstances. If you read the thread the photographer was on foot and not skiing beside the person in the photo. He was panning with the action or following it with the camera.

Your camera is very good for that. For one thing it has a continuous focus mode. That lets you half depress the shutter and have the focus update as the subject moves past. From a half pressed shutter your delay is only 0.15 seconds. Not fast by current standards but fast enough to get the photo with just a tad of anticipation.

Your camera is also better for that kind of photography because you have an optical viewfinder. That gives you several advantages over a LCD-only camera. Action is easier to follow with an optical viewfinder, especially when zoomed. There is a slight delay in the LCD display and you won't end up with the subject exactly where you want them for a panning shot. And it is hard to see those LCDs in bright sunlight. The Casio is a little better than the Fuji for that, but it is still hard to be accurate.

Put your camera in continuous focus mode and practice panning with action using the optical viewfinder with the shutter release half depressed. I have cameras both with and without continuous focus and get a lot more shots in focus in dynamic situations with continuous focus.

Most continuous focus modes have a limitation of about 7 MPH relative motion. But even a car driving past at 30 MPH isn't going to have over 7 MPH of motion relative to you unless it is coming pretty much toward or away from you. The skier in the linked photo has a very low relative motion toward or away from the camera. And since the photographer is panning there is no forward motion relative to the lens.

I would do much better with your camera for most action photography than with a point and shoot without continuous focus or an optical viewfinder. The full shutter press autofocus lag is not very good, but you should avoid using that. With continuous focus you can pre-focus most shots and get an acceptable delay.

The F30 at high ISO would avoid some motion blur from extremities, but there are a lot of compromises. A LCD that isn't very good in bright light with no optical viewfinder. And it clips highlights because the contrast is set too high and you have no contrast control. The F30 does have a continuous focus mode and a fast shutter mode that gives about 0.33 seconds delay with a full press. You aren't going to find anything faster in a pocket camera. You would have to learn to lead the action a little because of the LCD delay, but I have to do that with my EVF cameras and it isn't hard to get a feel for pretty quickly. The Fuji isn't as small as the Casio and is a tight fit in jeans pockets. But it is the better camera for action shots IMO.

I don't think you would be happy with the Casio S770 for what you want to do. My pocket camera is a Casio Z750, so I'm not anti-Casio. The S770 does have good wide screen MPEG4 movies with the really nifty Casio past movie mode. It is slim and has a much improved LCD. I think it would be a great little camera except for trying to get action shots with a full shutter press. You will have to wait around a half second for the shot, by which time many action shots will be out of focus. And without a continuous focus mode you will also get a lot of out of focus action shots with a pre-focus. My Z750 has an optical viewfinder but I really miss not having continuous focus like my large cameras have. It is hard to nail a rugrat without continuous focus.

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Old Dec 29, 2006, 7:38 AM   #6
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Thanks this is very helpful info!
I never thought about not haveing a veiw finder?

Can you recommend the smallest camera that is as good or beter than the F30, that has a veiw finder, I understand that it will have to be bigger, and may not fit in my pocket.

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