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Old Apr 24, 2003, 3:55 PM   #2
Lin Evans
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,141

You won't find it in a compact digital camera. There are numerous reasons why, but the bottom line is that even with the best of the fixed lens digicams, there are issues which impact the overall "speed" possible with the compact digicam.

The Olympus E10/E20 has the fastest shutter and autofocus of all the fixed lens digital cameras. The down side is that after you shoot four frames a quickly as you can press the shutter, you will have to wait an extended time for the buffer to clear to take the next frame.

The 1.5 megapixel Olympus E-100RS can shoot 15 frames per second at full resolution. It can also shoot five frames endlessly as long as you hold the shutter half way down. This is called pre-capture. When frame six is captured, frame one is erased. When frame seven is captured, frame two is erased, etc. But this comes at a cost. The white balance, exposure and focus are fixed on the first frame, and used for all subsequent frames. So if the "action" is moving toward or away from the lens, only a few of the frames will be properly focused.

The Fuji S602Z has a somewhat similar "post capture" mode where five frames are captured after the shutter is released. It too fixes focus, white balance and exposure on the first frame and maintains these settings for subsequent frames. The S602Z and E-100RS each has its advantages and limitations for action shots. Depending on the type of action, either of these "may" do the job.

If you want to have both super fast shutter, nearly instant autofocus and have white balance, exposure and focus set for each shot, you need a removable lens digital SLR or a film camera.

The Canon D30, Canon D60, Canon 10D, Canon 1D, Canon 1Ds, Nikon D100, Nikon D1, D1H, D1X, Kodak DCS-720x, DCS-660, DCS-760, Fuji S1, Fuji S2, etc., are all capable of doing what you want. A used Canon D30 (3 megapixel) or a new EOS-10D would be the least expensive solution. But then you must also buy lenses.

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