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Old Aug 3, 2003, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default Looking: Compact Digicam w/ 28mm or less?

I'm looking for a compact.. pocket-sized.. digital camera for traveling. It should be small, lightweight, and have a good wide angle lens built in.

I hate adapters and I usually prefer to shoot 24mm when I'm walking around with an SLR. I haven't found a 'walking' digital camera yet that meets my needs for size and wide field of view.

I see the new Nikons have 28mm which is almost acceptable, but they are larger than what I'm looking for. I'd go for the 5400 but the lack of focus assist turns me off to that as a primary use digicam.

Thanks for any help or pointers---->>
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 1:17 PM   #2
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i would say that your looking at a tall order. most barely make it down to 35mm equivelent.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 2:59 PM   #3
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Default Maybe

Take a look at the Nikon WC-E63 .63X W/A lens it will go on a number of the smaller Nikon cameras with the use of an adapter and also on some Canon cameras. It is a small lens and can easily be carried in a pocket. I use it at times on a Nikon 775. It is a very good to outstanding lens.

Not sure if this is much help?
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 4:15 PM   #4
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I don't find the lack of a focus assist lamp to be any problem.
None of my 35mm or medum format cameras have a focus assist either .

And the 5400 has the option of manual focus if it can't manage it.

The 5400 is one of the few P&S digitals that starts at 28mm without an adapter. With the optional adapters it can go to 22mm, or 6mm fisheye, both with rather good but heavy nikon glass.

What I don't like (but understand the why) is the lack of decenet apature on the P&S cameras, their tiny lenses seem to max out at f8. With normal film cameras I prefer to shoot f32+, with f8 being used for shalow depth of field.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 5:56 PM   #5
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realize that the true focal lengths on this cameras facilitate in fairly massive DOF at such apertures as F9.

you are not going to get the control equivelent control of a true SLR out of any of these cameras. the closest one i have found to date has been the D7 series from minolta. it is still a bit of a handfull so it does not qualify as a pocketable type.

f32+, that must mean you were into view cameras since there are very few SLR lenses that went above F22
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 7:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterP
I don't find the lack of a focus assist lamp to be any problem.
None of my 35mm or medum format cameras have a focus assist either .
But does those cameras have contrast detection autofocus? Just to comment on this, on those SLR cameras that do have autofocus they do have a focus assist beam either built in or available in the external flash.

I'd love to have the split-circle/prism manual focusing I had on my SLR on my digital, but instead I can only use the up-down arrows trying to guess when it is in focus in those instances where there's not enough light for the contrast detect autofocus to work.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 8:40 PM   #7
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RE f32+ :lol: You caught me, yes; weight and cost caused the move to the smaller formats. I also had a hard time moving to the newfangled tiny 35mm. And I am only 29 and have been for the last few decades :P

Not sure how much light the 5400 needs to focus by, I tried taking some handheld(bad idea) pics by campfire, the camera focused and the exposures came out OK, for some reason there was some really horrible motion blur.

I'm going to have to figure out somewhere to put sample images, so I could show what I speak of.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 10:19 PM   #8
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Found a place, I blurred out any recognizable faces,
but the 5400 did manage to achieve focus by firelight.

So here is a handheld firelight shot from the 5400.

I think it was a fish story.
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Old Aug 4, 2003, 9:15 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies.

I went to a store yesterday and held the 5400.. it is much smaller than I imagined. It almost works as a pocketable, but not quite. The grip is nicely done, but makes for a larger package. I also tried some low light focusing and it caught the right focus without much hassle as long as there was a contrast in the focusing area.

I'm certainly not afraid of manual focus, but as it was said above, it really isn't much like an SLR when you're trying to focus pixels on a tiny LCD. Since there seems to be almost no other digi that bothers to go down past 35 equivalent, the 5400 might be the right choice.

>>Take a look at the Nikon WC-E63

Thanks Normc. However with an adapter on the front, I think you lose the slimline pocketability I was looking for. The ideal would be something like the tiny Pentax that just came out, but it has a paltry 35 or 38mm equivalent. Putting an adapter on it would ruin the size advantage of being able to stuff it in the shirt pocket.

PeterP: thanks for the example. So with a lowlight situation like that, does the 5400 automatically adjust the fake-ISO upwards? So the lens/camera isn't wide open enough to shoot by a campfire without a flash? It has a rear-curtain slow sync right?

ps. I hope it's a fish he's talking about.
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Old Aug 4, 2003, 5:15 PM   #10
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Yes the 5400 has an auto ISO setting, one of the first things I turned off. Along with the fale digatal zoom and set internal flash to permanent cancel.

That shot was at ISO 200, I normally keep it at ISO 50.
White Balance was set to auto, camera was in apature priority at widest F stop.

There was no flash used in that pic, just a few second exposure by firelight.

Annoyance I have found.
The 5400 has the same on/off switch as the 5700 and it seems to share the 5700's ability to accidently turn itself on in a bag. Bad if the camera is in a shooting mode and trys to extend the lense in a bag with no room. Best to set it to a control(iso/review/settings etc) mode when putting it away.

Other than this, I have not found anything to complain about.

I carry it in a Lowepro pouch(D-res 20AW on its tag) that has just enough room for the camera, a spare battery and a spare CF card.
It fits on your belt and I find I am carrying it with me everythere now. Something I always wanted to do, but always managed to find reasons for not taking 20 pounds of larger format gear.

Next visit to a dive shop I plan to buy a EWA-marine bag for it so I can use it in foul weather, which seems to be following me around a lot lately.

Oh, :P that wide angle adapter from nikon weighs more than the camera. I think it is 16oz and the camera come in around 14oz.
Plus the adapter ring, it does make the camera become rather huge.
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