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Old May 13, 2005, 8:27 PM   #1
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I've been doing some reading on ultra compact models, but my first question is: should I get one, or am I better off with a regular compact model? I want something that I can take more or less everywhere with me, but on the other hand, I'm prone to losing things that are too light and small. Does anyone have any experience on whether the difference between compact and ultra-compact is significant? I'm looking for a camera that can go with me everywhere and that I would consider a pleasure to tote around...

As for the rest:

Budget: Preferably <$300, but I'd go up to $400 if necessary

MP: >=3

Need standard optical zoom

Want good image quality, but even more important to me is ergonomics, shutter speed, the overall speed of the camera in things like turning on and viewing pics, an easy to use menu system, etc. I want something that's a PLEASURE to use and will never give me grief...something reliable and speedy, even if that means a little less picture quality.

Battery life matters... I definitely want something that can last several dozen shots on a charge at least. The longer the better.

I don't care about manual controls. I want relatively simple.

The pictures will mostly be smaller in size--4x6s or 5x7s... honestly, most will just end up on the web or on email.

I want something that's durable... I've heard Canon's SD-series LCDs break a lot, and the same is true of Casio? I'm a clutz, so I don't want something that's going to die with a small mistake.

I've heard good things about the Sony DSC-T1 and the DSC-P100, the Olympus Stylus 410, and many others, but I'm very open to new options.

Any ideas? Thanks.
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Old May 14, 2005, 9:07 AM   #2
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Others might disagree with me (especially others who own ultra-compacts), but I've been told over and over that you sacrifice something in choosing the smallest class of digital cameras.

Take a look at the new Olympus C-5500. It's gotten raves for its ergonomics, readiness speed, large LCD screen, etc. It's the one I eventually picked when I set out to get a second digital camera to take everywhere. It uses AA batteries, which is another plus.

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Old May 14, 2005, 9:19 AM   #3
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I personally prefer standard compacts, as they are easier to hold without shaking, and generally have more features for the price. If you are shopping for a ultra compact, check the CCD size. A small CCD in a high MP camera will give you more than average noise. If you are looking for simplicity, an ultra compact maybe the way to go, as they generally plan on people using them purely for Point and Shoot, as where some compacts almost act as mini-mini dSLRs.

Also, the Olympus C-5500 should be a nice camera, but I'd call it a compact, not an ultra compact. If it small enough for you, then go with it. But there are a lot of choices to consider in that size range
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Old May 14, 2005, 8:32 PM   #4
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I like the Sony P100/150 A Lot - its image is top-notch! Also, if you want a FAST camera, check out either the Fuji E550 or F10. You might also want to check out Olympus Stylus 500....Finally, the Casio Z55 sounds perfect for your needs (I haven't heard of too many problems with Casio)-its battery life is legendary and it's very slim. It was my 2nd choice (after the Sony)
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Old May 14, 2005, 11:56 PM   #5
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Yes, I own the Fuji E550, and I love it's speed! One word, reponse. The only slow thing on the camera is flash charging due to the 2 AA system.
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