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Old Nov 28, 2004, 9:37 PM   #11
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
I'm just a newbie but my feeling is that you don't need raw mode unless you are printing some really high-quality pics or something (even then it's questionable if you need it). The best JPEG compression (i.e. least compression) on most of the prosumer cameras are actually pretty decent IMO.

bluesky wrote:
What do you all think about the Minolta DiMAGE Z3?
Best ultra-zoom is the Panasonic DMC-FZ20 (if you don't care about video).... if you care about video then it's debatable (the Konica Minolta Z3 and the Canon S1 IS are both good and have image stabilization; another with good video mode but without IS is the Olympus 550(?)--this has MPEG4 mode)...

dpreview.com generally times the cameras they review... they usually give the startup time, time for ON to half-shutter, ON to full picture, half-shutter to full pic, etc (it's something like the 3rd or 4th page of each review). You might want to read some of the reviews... I would assume (without any research) that the mide to high-end prosumers would have the fastest speed if you ignore the DSLRs... examples of mid to high-end prosumers include Panasonic FZ20, Sony V3, Canon G6, Canon Pro1, Konica Minolta A2, etc.
Siva's is pretty much spot-on on this one.

For extra zoom power, not many can beat the Panasonic FZ20 (though the big size may put some off). In terms of movie mode, the best would be the Canon S1 and Olympus C-770UZ (not 550), for the ultra-zoom category. But for your case, ultra zooms would not be suitable due to the longer startup time(the lens needs to extend during startup).

The newer 3-4x zoom models have pretty fast startup times. The AF times are also faster too, in general. And newer models generally have newer chips that process faster, but not always true as the MPs increase as well.

When you take the pics in the highest quality settings, almost all cameras have a "freeze time" of at least 2-3 secs for the camera to process and write the file to the card. You should treat this like the time it took for a computer to write a file to a disk drive/floppy/etc.

It's very hard actually to move from a film camera and expect the digital ones to perform similarly. We should look at the evolution of the PC and remember that speeds that wow us just 2-3 years ago are now obsolete. Put digital cameras in the same position, and I believe, in the next 5 years we'll be able to see digitals that perform "almost" as quickly as a film camera. However, I also believe the digital cameras will never be able to reach the speed of film cameras due to the nature of the system (mechanical/chemical vs digital), but it can get pretty close. A lot of nifty tricks will be needed to boost the speed, maybe a bigger buffer for the camera to write to the card while the next shot is being taken.

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Old Nov 30, 2004, 3:04 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info all... it seems as though I'll have to drop too much money to get a rig that will do what I want it to do... I'll just wait for the prices to drop which they will almost certainly do.
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