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Old Feb 18, 2007, 10:43 PM   #1
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Wondering if anyone has used the A550 or has otherwise reviewed it, etc. Thanks!
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 6:55 PM   #2
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It's just been released this month. However, by the specs, it does not look all that impressive. Cramming more megapixels into a small sensor is just not a great idea...
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 9:23 PM   #3
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Hi, Flippedgazelle! Thanks for the response. My in-laws just ordered the A550 for my daughter; I had been looking at the A540. Do you think the quality of the photos will be compromised? This is a first camera for a pre-teen, who has been using my Canon Rebel (film camera) and Kodak Easyshare 740 for years.

Thanks again!




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Old Feb 21, 2007, 9:34 PM   #4
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Hard to say. However, Steve has just posted his review of the A550, and a review has been put up on Cnet.com.

Personally, I would probably go with whichever camera is cheaper between the A540/550.
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 8:26 PM   #5
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whynot8 wrote:
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Wondering if anyone has used the A550 or has otherwise reviewed it, etc. Thanks!
Don't know if whynot8 has already purchased the A550 but if he is still waiting then I think he should check out the A560. Same specs as the A550 but with a 2.5" display

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=15
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 8:35 PM   #6
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flippedgazelle wrote:
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Cramming more megapixels into a small sensor is just not a great idea...
Could you please elaborate on this? I currently have the A550 but am planning on returning it and waiting for the A560. What I really want is a good performing 6+ MP camera that is reliable and easy to use. I know that this is going OT but how do you feel about Panasonic cameras, the DMC-LZ7S, for example?
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 10:24 PM   #7
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Well, we have the A550. It's for my 11-yr-old. She opened the box on Friday and has not put down the camera. So, it is what it is. Good enough for her for now. It was a birthday present from LAST SUMMER from my in-laws, but I was looking for the :right" camera, without going overboard in price, given her age.... Thanks for all the info. This is a great site!
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 12:32 AM   #8
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flippedgazelle wrote:
Quote:
Cramming more megapixels into a small sensor is just not a great idea...
Could you please elaborate on this? I currently have the A550 but am planning on returning it and waiting for the A560. What I really want is a good performing 6+ MP camera that is reliable and easy to use. I know that this is going OT but how do you feel about Panasonic cameras, the DMC-LZ7S, for example?

Well, I'm no electrical engineer nor hard-core digital camera geek, but here is my simplified explanation: when you cram more pixels onto a sensor, the sensitivity of each photosite is diminished, and this, in turn, creates noise.

There seems to be great difficulty in the point-n-shoot universe regarding balancing the need for detail, low noise and marketing. The marketing deptartments want more megapixels, because to "Joe Public" more megapixels = better image quality; this is often referred to as the "Megapixel Myth". In bright, outdoor conditions, there may indeed be a bit more detail captured by a 10mp camera versus a 6mp camera, but this may only be noticeable or usable if you crop away a large portion of the photograph. Finally, some web sites - DCResource.com comes to mind - have pointed out in their reviews that when there are two nearly identical cameras which use the same sensor, and one camera has 5mp and the other 7mp, the 7mp camera often has either noisier images, or photos that are smudgier because more aggressive in-camera noise reduction needs to be used inorder to reduce noise.

This is very generalized info, and specific sensors may have better noise characteristics than others.

I don't have much of an opinion one way or the other regarding Panasonics. If 90% of my shooting were done outdoors, I would probably own a Panny FZ30 rather than my Fuji S6000fd. Panasonics are noted for producing noisey images, particularly at ISO 200 and up. Panasonic superzoom cameras are popular among those who photograph wildlife (and especially birds) because they have sharp, fast lenses. I don't know anything about the LZ7S, though.

Whynot8, I hope you get the chance to post some pics from that A550...


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Old Feb 26, 2007, 6:29 AM   #9
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Flippedgazelle, thank you (again) for that elegantly simplified explanation on sensors. I was already aware of the "more megapixels = better image quality" myth but thanks for touching on that, too.

Whynot8, I'm sure that your daughter will enjoy the A550. May I ask what the price was?
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 7:35 PM   #10
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Alton & Flippedgazelle--

I didn't know about that "noise" vs. mp stuff, or I might have gone with the A540. Problem was...she wanted a view finder...better if there's a glare outdoors. A lot of cameras are doing away with them. Then, she wanted more than a 3X, but we weren't spending the $$ for a 10X for her 1st camera (although I considered giving her my Z740 and getting an SLR). So, I was looking at 6X...but they were either too expensive for a child or no viewfinder. Finally decided on the A540,about a month ago, but saw the A550 was coming out this month, so I thought I'd wait to see how much the A540 went down.... Ended up the A550 and the A540 were THE SAME PRICE ($1 apart) at Circuit City...about $188, I think. Ritz Cameras had the A550 in stock, $200, said it would meet CC's price. It had to order the A540, which was $150. We decided we might as well go with the newer model, although I was disappointed Steve had not reviewed it yet. Have read his review since, which sounded fine, if I read it right!

I'll post photos eventually. My daughter has been playing around with the video and still photo features, just loving it. She took a snow photo last night in the dark, and submitted it to a local news station, and she did the same this morning. Dreary out, as the photo shows. She loved seeing her photos online, in the news station's album!

I'm curious why you don't like the A550, Alton, and want to replace it....

Thanks!
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