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Old Jan 11, 2005, 12:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Hello everyone.
I have a very good opportunity of buying my first digital camera at a price below market but I have to move fast and decide what item to choose.
I realize I am not really a photographer, I only wish some nice pocket camera which I plan to use only for personal fun.
Quality of pictures must prevail.
I've spent last few days reading different reviews and opinions but unfortunately I'm not at all accustomed to those features.
I simply can't tell which should I prize best between these: (more) pixels, sensor size, shutter speed, aperture range, battery type, LCD size, weight or movie clips quality.
These things only confuse me mates and I am in a biiiig hurry.
I've seen so many different opinions but I guess at the moment I stick to these:
Canon (PowerShot A80, A95, SD300, S500, SD20, S60) and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1.
I would be so gratefull if you underline the quality-features of one that I have mentioned above or recommend me other brands.
Frankly if I was to buy right now I'd consider one with a LCD that swivels for less-contorted body positions when shooting, but I know this isn't the only important factor.
Thus I am asking you desperately to help me decide which features should I prize more.
I don't want to spend more than $400 on it and I guess I'd appreciate if I can get some suplemmentary accesories - mainly extra Memory card (512 Mb or 1G), case, and spare battery. Just point me out please which of those features are most important at a p&s camera.
Please disregard my ignorance and give me some good advice.
Thanks !
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Old Jan 11, 2005, 4:34 PM   #2
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Posts: 248

Pelayo wrote:
Hello everyone.
I simply can't tell which should I prize best between these: (more) pixels, sensor size, shutter speed, aperture range, battery type, LCD size, weight or movie clips quality.

This is ONLY personal opinion :-)

Pixel - for P&S LESS IS BETTER as long as it is 3MP and above (all of them in this range anyway)

Sensor size - more is better; no compromizes here

Shutter speed - for P&S irrelevant; it is unlikely to use manual controls in P&S camera anyway

Apperture range - DITTO, but having brighter lens (with smaller A-number written on thelens) is obviously bif bonus

Battery type - with high portability in mind I would consider only standard (AA) battery

LCD size - irrelevant

Weight - irrelevant; all P&S cameras light anyway :-)

Movie clips - irrelevant; they crap and can not replase movie camera quality anyway; rather then doing such a compromise I would concentrate on photo quality


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Old Jan 11, 2005, 5:50 PM   #3
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The Sony W1 is a nice compromise of the cameras you listed. It is a little big for a pocket camera but not as large and heavy as an A80 or A95 with 4 AAs installed. It also comes with a charger so spares are cheap. It has true manual exposure and even some zone focus points.

You make all of your settings with a small camera using the LCD. Bigger is better, but even more important is being able to see it in bright sunlight. The W1 has an excellent LCD.

If all you have with you is your camera it is nice to be able to take decent movies. 640 X 480 at 30fps movies with sound aren't bad. Several of the cameras you listed take decent movies. View some of Steve's movie clips from these cameras. Alt+Enter gives you full screen in the Windows Media Player. The movies are a lot better than none at all. 320 X 240 movies or movies at 15fps are approaching useless though.

I think the S60 is the best of the lot you listed, but you won't be able to get a decent memory card and stay within your budget. The battery is good enough you probably can get by fine without a spare, and CF is cheaper than Memory Stick Pro. Even so you would go over budget to get a fast 512Mb card with it. I could live with the slight purple fringing to get wide angle and all of the controls it offers.

Digital is a great learning tool if you have a camera that lets you progress. You can take thousands of pictures and get fast feedback of what various things are doing for you. The W1 has full manual exposure, which is a good starting point. The S60, A80 & A95 have aperture and shutter priority in addition. I use manual a lot but don't use shutter or aperture priority much on cameras without a hot shoe. The A95 might be an option but heft one in a store with four NiMH batteries installed. It isn't very small or light. It also doesn't come with a charger.

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