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Old Feb 22, 2005, 11:05 AM   #1
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What cameras come closest to offering the types of features available on a dSLR - but in a P&S form factor? Obviously interchangable lenses and the larger sensor are out the window - but as far as speed, controlability, etc... are there cameras out there that offer things similar?

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Old Feb 22, 2005, 1:38 PM   #2
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high-end prosumers... like Olympus 8080, Nikon 8800, Konica Minolta A2/A200, etc...

next on the list are the mid-end prosumers like Canon G6, Sony V3, Panasonic FZ20, etc...
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 8:40 PM   #3
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The 8MP prosumer models use a 2/3" chip, much larger than the 1/2.5 (2.7) size chip used in most consumer models. Some models, such as the Fuji S7000, S20 and the Canon A80, A95 use a 1/1.7 (1.8) chip which fits neatly between the first two. All of these chips are much smaller than the APS sized chips in most DSLRs. Improvements in these smaller chips have improved image quality, but physics determines certain limits and high ISO with low noise is still only possible in the larger sensor sizes.

I own a Fuji S7000, and despite some negative comments about noise levels and compression artifacts, it is capable of excellent 11" X 14" prints and produces 3MP images at ISO 800 that are better than most small digicams at ISO 400 (no match for a DSLR unless it is set on 3200, well, not even then.)

I think the Sony F-828 comes closest in handling and speed, the real manual zoom and rapid start up are particularly impressive. My S7000 is very responsive but no match for even the cheapest DSLR in terms of speed (although its burst rate and burst depth in jpeg mode beats the Digital Rebel).

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Old Feb 22, 2005, 10:05 PM   #4
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Monza76 wrote:
The 8MP prosumer models use a 2/3" chip, much larger than the 1/2.5 (2.7) size chip used in most consumer models. Ira
The Minolta Dimage A1 also uses the 2/3 sized sensor with 5mp vs the 8mp on the same sized sensor of the A2. I had a choice & I chose the A1...I haven't been disappointed either. Look in the People Photos Forum. I've been shooting great images using the 2/3, 5mp sensor for years...since the Minolta 7i. I wouldn't be willing to switch from a proven performer to one that is questionable.

As an added benefit, this is probably the one Prosumer digicam that offers more configuration options than a lot of DSLR's.
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 11:46 PM   #5
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I would say the A2 probably comes closest because of the high quality EVF. Not up to DSLR standards by any means, but it is better than any other prosumer viewfinder. It also has more physical controls than many DSLRs and has a nice manual zoom ring.

Viewed at the same size as an A1 image I don't see that much noise difference. I have a wide format printer and 5Mp is marginal for a 13 X 19 print. There is good noise reduction software if you want to really blow something up.

I haven't really been able to justify the upgrade from my D7i, but the A2 is the camera I would get right now if I were upgrading.

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