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Old Jan 4, 2005, 4:49 AM   #1
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I've been heavily researching for weeks now, talking my fiances ear off about pros/cons of many different models. I had nearly given up on finding the camera that does the things I want, when I finally decided to give the S60 a good look. I avoided it throughout most of my research because of its average response coupled with its relatively high price.

I've virtually given up on the many others I thought would might be the one (sony w1/p100/p150, panasonic fz15, canon a95/s500/sd300, casio zXx) due to reported problems by users, lack of growing room, or just overall mediocrity. So I finally decided to study up on these sX0 models, and I think I've found the buried treasure. However, there seems to be a distinct lack of buzz about these cameras (maybe you're all just too busy taking photos?), so I would like to hear any opinions from experienced users. I did notice that the s60 photos at pbase were some of the best in class. Then again, more of them seemed like they were taken by experienced photographers than with other models.

To outline my experience and needs:
-I've been an amateur enthusiast since high school photo classes.
-I still use my old fully manual Minolta SLR with telephoto for outdoor scenery & daytime action shots, so that can continue to handle zoom capabilities for a bit longer.
-I like to quickly capture photo opportunities when they are presented (one of the weaknesses here I think), but also like to take my time and frame a great shot.
-I will probably spend most of my time using the Optical Viewfinder, as I'm cheap with battery power.
-My fiance is a 100% point-and-shooter. She'll be using this too.
-Video sounds like a fun gimick, but not really a priority.
-I will be taking action photos, and would like to have it as a viable option for this camera, especially for times when I can't bring the SLR, such as wakeboarding, snowboarding or climbing.
-I intend to use this as my primary camera until I can afford a dSLR.

If you'd like to hear more, I can probably type for pages. However, I'll turn this over to the commentors. Any and all comments would be welcome.

Thanks!
Brian
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 9:54 AM   #2
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You probably dont' hear much buzz for this camera for two reasons:

1. It's expensive. This camera is kind of expensive. Casual users will likely not spend this kind of money on a camera. Conversely, serious users might go for something "better" (like an ultra-zoom, or mid-end prosumer, or high-end prosumer).
2. It's not an ultra-compact yet it can't compete (I'm just guessing here) to the mid-end prosumers. It's not small enough for the portable, carry-it-anywhere, crowd. So things like Canon SD300 are likely to be more popular. At the same thing, I imagine the serious photographers might go for mid-end prosumers or high-end prosumers instead. I am not an expert and I don't know what I'm talking about, but I would imagine that a Canon G6, for example, will beat the Canon S70. So I'm guessing that people will go for Canon G6, Sony V3, and so on, instead of S70...

(Of course, it's also possible that everyone is happy and there are zero problems resulting in no one reporting anything. But I doubt this)

I personally think that this is one of the smallest cameras that offers perhaps the most manual features of all. If you want control, I don't think you'll find too many other cameras with similar size beating this...
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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"I am not an expert and I don't know what I'm talking about"

Lol. Thanks for your thoughts. It's definitely a little pricey, at $350-400, but noticeably less than the V3 or G6. It actually sits right in the p150s price range of ~$400 from a store that I would buy from, while the G6 and V3 are both a solid $200 (50%) more.

I personally don't agree that the Ultra Zooms are better, as they lack many of the features, have a much more noisy combination of weaker chip and slower lens (per sample photos only), and cost as much as or more than this camera.

You definitely have a good point about the ultra compacts having a much bigger fan base, as they're small, gadgety and shoot great video. I was just very surprised at the much superior photo quality of the s60 over all of the ultra compacts in the samples I looked at.

Any other opinions or thoughts out there?
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 2:38 PM   #4
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Quickener wrote:
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It actually sits right in the p150s price range of ~$400 from a store that I would buy from, while the G6 and V3 are both a solid $200 (50%) more.
I think the S70 is supposed to compete against the P150. Both have nearly identical specs...

Quote:
I personally don't agree that the Ultra Zooms are better, as they lack many of the features, have a much more noisy combination of weaker chip and slower lens (per sample photos only), and cost as much as or more than this camera.
The S60 & S70 cost more than the lowest ultra-zooms (eg. Panasonic FZ3, Canon S1 IS, etc).

I wouldn't really say the ultra-zooms are way better but they ARE arguably more complete. Their only weakness IMO is the size and noise (due to smaller sensors). The S70 has high megapixels so I'm not sure how much better it is over the ultra-zooms.

As far as the speed of the lens is concerned, I think ultra-zooms have faster lens. Canon S1 IS, for example, goes from F2.8 (at wide-angle) to F3.1 (at telephoto). The S70 goes from F2.8 to F5.3. This is a huge difference once you zoom. Ultra-zooms like the Panasonic Lumix line can keep their aperature at F2.8 throughout. Clearly, the ultra-zooms have faster lens than the S60/S70 once you zoom.

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Old Jan 4, 2005, 2:56 PM   #5
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As far as the speed of the lens is concerned, I think ultra-zooms have faster lens. Canon S1 IS, for example, goes from F2.8 (at wide-angle) to F3.1 (at telephoto). The S70 goes from F2.8 to F5.3. This is a huge difference once you zoom. Ultra-zooms like the Panasonic Lumix line can keep their aperature at F2.8 throughout. Clearly, the ultra-zooms have faster lens than the S60/S70 once you zoom.
Ah, excellent point. I didn't actually consider that factor. It sounds like in your mind, the UZ cameras are better all-arounders than the s60.

My ultimate and ideal plan would be to get a smaller point and shoot capable camera now that can do well in nearly all situations, with my film SLR as a backup when needed. Then a year or two down the road, add a nice dSLR or digital UZ to complement it.
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 4:15 PM   #6
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Quickener wrote:
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Ah, excellent point. I didn't actually consider that factor. It sounds like in your mind, the UZ cameras are better all-arounders than the s60.
Actually, I wouldn't say the ultra-zooms are better than S60 per se. I just think that if someone was a bit serious about photography AND DIDN'T HAVE ANY OTHER CAMERAS then an ultra-zoom or a mid-end prosumer (like Canon G6) is perhaps the way to go. Do note that you already an SLR that you plan to use once in a while so I think your decision is ok.


Quote:
My ultimate and ideal plan would be to get a smaller point and shoot capable camera now that can do well in nearly all situations, with my film SLR as a backup when needed. Then a year or two down the road, add a nice dSLR or digital UZ to complement it.
That's fine... If you want something small (but not an ultra-compact) then I think something like S60/S70 would be good. I would also consider the compacts like Canon A95 and stuff like that.
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