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Old Jun 9, 2008, 10:27 AM   #1
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Long time lurker, time to put this forum's brains to use! I am in need of a new camera that is going to see two different sets of usage; pictures of musical instruments being played (short term use) and "Wow! baby is doing something cute! Quick, grab the camera!" (longer-term use).

. I have to take pictures for a thesis project involving music instruments, so quality macro shots that can differentiate well between skin and wood grain is going to be important. I am having to tote this camera cross-country through several airport hops, so durability & sizeare important as well. And, since baby is on the way and we're getting by on a teacher's salary, inexpensiveness is highly important as well.

The two cameras that have really caught my eye are the Canon A590 IS and the older Fujifilm S700. They're both under $200 (highly important) and have pretty good reviews. I'm used to using an old Canon S1 IS, which my wife purloined for her antique store's web pictures.

I have to have a camera in hand when I get on the plane on June 18th, since I will be doing a lot of my thesis pictures on my trip. I appreciate any recommendations you may have as to which of these cameras will most likely suit my needs, and any others I may not have thought about.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 11:23 AM   #2
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For models deemed to be a good value within a given market niche, you may want to check out Steve's Best Cameras list

Make sure to read the Review Conclusion Sections (last page before the sample images in each review) to see how they stack up in areas like autofocus performance, image quality indoors and outdoors, and more.

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Old Jun 9, 2008, 1:48 PM   #3
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Well, for better baby shots, I'd personally have a hot shoe as a requirement for a camera. I'd much rather have a quality 3 to 5 MP camera that had a decent fast lens and the ability to add a proper flash. Of course, I have a soft spot of the older Canon G series cameras. I have a G1 and G2 and the G2 is an outstanding overall camera. Very fast lens... of course, it's sharper up around 4.0. But the ability to add a basic Canon flash as a bounce is a BIG step forward. That step may not translate much through reviews, but the real world difference is amazing.

On the other hand, it's not the smallest camera. I've had various Canons... A40, A85, A530. Right now though, my main smaller camera is a Panasonic LZ7 mostly because I wanted with something more than 4x and something that was optically stabilized and it was discounted because of the new LZ8. For $130, I think you could do a whole lot worse though I got it before the A580/590 came out.

As of this moment, my first preference at under $200 would be a used G2-G5 (and I'd get a flash for baby pics) or the A580 or 590IS if I wanted something smaller demand something brand new.
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Old Jun 9, 2008, 10:11 PM   #4
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Under $200, I'd say the Canon A590 IS is the best option, It is a 2008 upgrade to an older model, the A570 IS. The face detection system works a little better than the one on its predecessor, and the new model is slightly rounder and easier to grip. I personally like that it has automatic and manual controls, though I haven't seen anyone using the manual set yet. Overall this camera is a fine performer, a great bargain and I think the best buy of the bunch. I bought one for myself, it's a deal price of $150


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