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Old Sep 13, 2003, 10:18 AM   #1
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Default Buy a good and cheap camera


I would like to buy a digital camera and I need some suggestions.
I need a camera with good zoom (greater than 6x), possibility to set everything in manual way, 100-400 (or more) ISO, unlimited capture of motion video, and remote control as a welcomed optional. Unitl now, I see these cameras: Olympus Camera C-750, Fujifilm FinePix s5000 zoom, Fujifilm FinePix s602 zoom, and Minolta Dimage Z1. Please, could someone help me in my election and perhaps suggest other models? Thank you in advance.

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Old Sep 13, 2003, 6:06 PM   #2
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How will you be using the camera most often? Indoors, outdoors, sporting events outside/inside, wildlife photography?

What print sizes?

Personally, I never use the movie modes on a digital still camera, because the quality isn't as good as on a true video camera (and movies eat up memory card space very quickly).

Some of the cameras on your list do have much better movie modes now (30 frames per second at 640x480), but I suspect that the sound quality will still be lacking compared to a real video camera, and the lack of a stablized zoom lens (as on most real video cameras) will detract from the quality too -- not to mention that most still cameras won't let you use change the zoom settings while recording movies.

These newer high zoom cameras are becoming more and more popular though. If you plan on trying to use one of these cameras for sports, you'll need to look at things like autofocus time, low light focus ability, shot to shot times, light gathering capability of the lens, useability of the EVF in low light, noise levels at higher ISO speeds and more.

Most of the Compact Higher Zoom Cameras are now using very small, very dense sensors (making them more prone to noise) -- that's why they can make the lenses so small.

Let the users know more about how your planning to use the cameras, along with your budget, and perhaps we can offer some suggestions to help you narrow your list down.
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Old Sep 14, 2003, 12:26 PM   #3
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Thanks JimC!

My intention is to use the camera for my job (art history researcher), so mainly indoor photos but also outdoor, high zoom is likely required as well as low noise at high ISO and high quality photo (BTW no more than 4MP). My idea is to spend no more than 500/600 euros. Thanks.

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Old Sep 14, 2003, 12:45 PM   #4
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Hi Martin,

I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but what you are looking for doesn't exist at the price break you need.

My suggestion is to save your money and buy the new Canon EOS-300D. It comes with a decent lens and you can save for a good longer range zoom like the Sigma 50-500mm.

The difficulty is that "none" of the consumer/prosumer cameras with fixed lenses have good high ISO performance. It simply comes with the territory of having a small sensor which is pushing the limits of electronic magnification to get 35mm equivalency in focal length while using a true focal length of from around 7mm to 70mm. It's rare to get "any" of these cameras to work well at above about ISO 400 and even there it's marginal for noise.

The least expensive I can think of which approaches what you want to do in terms of "most" of your requirements is the Fuji S602Z which does most of what you want in one form or another, but has a 6x zoom (which you could extend at the full zoom with a 1.7x TCON-17 tele adapter).

The "best" present candidate for your express purposes would be a digital SLR like the Canon 300D.

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