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Old Apr 9, 2006, 3:56 PM   #1
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I am now a Landscape Designer. I design, plant, and maintain gardens, take classes and teach a bit. However, I am retired from an unrelated profession and I don't work full time and don't want to. So I don't expect to light the world on fire with my work. I just enjoy the outdoors, getting my hands dirty and making things pretty!

I need a camera to take before and after pictures of landscapes, pics of landscapes when on fieldtrips, close-ups of plants and flowers to ID, pics to show examples of plants from a garden centers or gardens, pictures to show garden art idea. I am not a professional photographer and don't want to be. I suspect, being in the sunlight at time could be an issue.

I Want:
1. Small
2. Weather resistant, NOT waterproof (if it begins to rain and I haven't finished taking pics, I don't want to worry about damaging the camera.
3. Versatile

4. Good color and crisp pictures (but I'm sure most cameras today deliver this as well as 5., 6., and 7. below.)

5. Ease of use
6. Ease of recharging
7. Ease of downloading 8. Stabilization feature (when reading about this about sounds like a good new feature).

8. Taking pics in sinlight could be an issue sometimes.

9. Good battery life

10. Cost is not a key issue.

I have been using a JVC GC-QX3U for years and am tired of the battery problem that cameras used to have. I have 3 batteries and get use for about an hour! It's too big too. But I have been just fine with the pics. By the way, I didn't shop for this, it was marked down at Brookstone's where my niece worked one Christmas and she got a big discount. I couldn't resist at such a great price (less than 1/4 of what digital cameras cost those days), so I bought it.

This week I went into a reputable photo store and they suggested the Olympus stylus 710. However when I read thru the threads, no one ever recommends this. Why? The Cannon S80 was recommended but that is a bit big. A garden friend who is a garden photographer suggested one of the Cannon Elph series.

The truth is everyone I ask, has a different camera and they each love what they have. That may be the case here too. Still, there are so many cameras, it's overwhelming and I need to narrow it down some how, decide and buy one, times a wasting! Can you help with suggestions and an explanation of why?

Thank you thank you thank you!
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 2:17 AM   #2
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You defitely need also good wide angle, I guess you want as wide shots from gardens as possible, 28mm would be minimum. (longer focal length means narrower FOV)
Kodak V570 would be very compact and has secondary fixed very wide angle 23mm lens but it lacks stabilization and its battery life is from shorter end.

Those are just very hard requirements, already small and versatile are mostly mutually exclusive.
Then just few cameras are even rainproof.
So those might be ones where you would have to compromise if other features are more important.

For 8 you need camera which doesn't overprocess image and crank contrast out of scale, or there would have to be enough adjustment range so you could manually lessen contrast.
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