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Old Nov 20, 2004, 11:35 AM   #11
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According to a camera shop in London: Pentax make the optics and housing for Casio. The difference is in the electronics.

This was confirmed bya Pentax Tech support guy.

So in theory, they should both take pretty similar pictures?
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 12:35 PM   #12
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-Ever- wrote:
What I'd love to see is an overall comparison of all the current compact cameras (anything smaller than say a Canon S500) instead of just reading one review after another. I figure I won't come by that review anytime soon though so it'd be nice to hear if theres maybe a camera or two that are considered the 'best' of the ultra-compacts (thus the title of the thread! )
No one camera is going to bebest in all shooting conditions to all users. One may be better in lower light, another at macros, another when using more zoom, another may be better with flash range, another with autofocus speed,etc.

You'll need to decide what features are most important to you in a camera, and try to find a good match for the conditions you'll use one in most often. For example, some users may like a Sony T1 (because they only take photos outdoors). For other users, it wouldn't be acceptable (because of it's very limited flash range).

As a general rule, the smaller the camera, the more compromises you'll need to make (flash range, ergonomics, optical quality/focal range, ability to use external lens accessories, manual control of aperture/shutter speed, etc.).

I'd read the reviews, and pay close attention to the review conclusion section (that's where you'll see comments on image quality, autofocus speed and reliability, cycle times between photos, flash usability, etc.

Steve hasa "Best Cameras" list that is broken down by camera category here:


Ever wrote:
Yeah so I'm currently torn between a few cameras still. The SD20 and it's small size is amazing, but having no zoom might be a little problem?
No kidding. ;-) Yes, I'd strongly recommend a model with optical zoom. You can't make up for lack of optical zoom by cropping or using digital zoom (digital zoom is only cropping, then interpolating). To crop a photo so that it looks like you used twice as much optical zoom, you need 4 times the resolution to maintain the same amount of subject detail in pixels per inch (because resolution is computed by multipying width x height, so it's similar to calculating area).

Also, make sure to read the specs on things like flash range for models you consider, if you plan on using a camera indoors.

Ever wrote:
Can anyone give me a solid answer on this? Will the SD300 image always be better than the SD20 image? It's just odd cause the SD20 has one megapixel on the SD300 but the SD300 is bigger and I think has more potential for a better pic even though it's one less MP.
Never assume that more megapixels = higher quality. Inmany cases, the opposite is true (especially when you compare models that are packing more photosites into a small sensor, so that the size of the photosites is smaller with the higher resolution model). You have to evaluate each camera on a case by case basis (optical quality, noise levels, image processing algorithms, etc.).

IMO, at 8x10" or smaller print sizes, even 3 Megapixels is fine (and you probably won't be able to see any increase in detail going to a higher resolution model at this print size (given equivalent optical quality, etc. between the models being compared), on most printers, unless you plan on viewing the photo at very close distances or under magnification). ;-)

After cropping for the correct ratio of width to height for an 8x10" print, a typical3 Megapixel Model would have around 192 pixels per inch of detail. A 4 megapixel model would have around 213 pixels per inch of detail, and a 5 Megapixel model would have around 243 pixels per inch of detail.

Personally, I can't tell see any furtherimprovement in image qualityafter you get to around 180 pixels per inch at normal viewing distances. Heck, even a 2 Megapixel Model canproduce a good quality 8x10" print (this works out to around 150 pixels per inch of detail). But, I can see a marked improvement going to 3 Megapixels at this print size.

You can test this yourself. Try to find full resolutionphotos from two different cameras taken of the same subject under the same conditions (which can behard to do, and a small change in light levels can make a big difference in image quality). Then, download and print them yourself at thesizes you'll use most often.
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 10:39 AM   #13
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If price is no concern, I am guessing the best ultra-compact is the Sony T1 (or T3 where available)...
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Old Nov 22, 2004, 10:35 AM   #14
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You may also want to look at the Contax U4r which should be available soon. My biggest complaint with my current digital is the lag time between pressing the shutter button and when the camera actually takes the picture. The U4R seems to all but eliminate this problem. I copied the following excerpt. It also only weighs 140g.

The Contax U4R provides high speed continuous shooting up to a maximum 3.3 frames per second up to the full capacity of memory card ( *1) at the highest resolution, thanks to Kyocera's RTUNE image processing system. Even during continuous shooting, the LCD monitor displays in real time. The Contax U4R starts up in less than 0.9 seconds and features a shutter lag time of approx. 0.07 seconds ( *2), giving the camera the title of being one of the fastest performing cameras available. The performance of the Contax U4R also eliminates the stress that photographers endured in the past caused by waiting for the camera to start up or being able to capture an image at any moment due to long shutter lag time. The U4R is ready when you are to seize the exact moment and capture images at anytime without fail.
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 2:05 AM   #15
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Looking forward to the Olympus AZ-2!
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 9:55 AM   #16
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Some nice features on the AZ-2, notably the size and LCD display. Overall I still prefer the U4R from the specifications. It is similar in size although the LCD panel is not as large and maybe not as bright. I think the advantage of the Contax is how fast you can take pictures. I really hate the delay of digitals. It will be interesting to see the reviews when these cameras actually start selling.
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