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Old Aug 27, 2003, 9:47 AM   #1
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Default Need small decent digital camera for sports

I have been looking through the multitude of small cameras trying to find one suited for my needs. I was hoping someone had some input on my situation.


I am trying to find a camera that is at least 2MP (would like 3MP or more), small form factor ( I like the sony cybershot style, slender and not square), adjustable exposure time, optical zoom of at least 2x-3x, relatively cheap.

Ultimately I want to be able to clip this onto my camelback shoulder strap so it is quickly accessible when mountain biking.

Is there any small camera like the DSC P72 (sony) that has adjustable exposure time?

Thanks for your assistance
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:03 PM   #2
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You didn't mention budget (other than "relatively cheap"), but I can give you my suggestion in the approx. $400.00 range.

I also wanted a small camera, and recently purchased the Sony DSC-P10 (their newest subcompact 5 Megapixel Camera), but I was unhappy with the metering/color from this camera, so I returned it for a refund.

You can read my user opinion of the Sony DSC-P10 here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read...&opinion=17422

Before "giving up" on the idea of a small, pocketable camera meeting my needs, I went out of my way, finding a Japanese Konica Revio KD-510z (it's not shipping in the U.S. yet). The Konicas with this body style ( KD-500z, KD-510z) have been touted as the "smallest digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens".

It's body style is more square, but I really like it's ergnomics MUCH better than I liked the Sony. For me, the Sony was very awkward to hold and use -- with my left hand often getting in the way of the lens (which is on one side of the camera).

The Konica is much better (for me). I really appreciate the Konicas fast startup time (1.3 seconds) compared to the Sony too. It makes it great for getting a shot "on a moments notice"

Unlike the Sony, my new Konica KD-510z also has the user control I want in a camera. Previous model Konicas (KD-400z, KD-500z) were basically "point and shoot" -- similiar to the subcompact Sonys. Although the Sonys do offer some "scene modes" which allow you more flexiblity, as well as limited "burst" mode capability.

Although the lens, CCD Sensor, body size, control layout, etc., are the identical to the older KD-500z, the new model (Konica KD-510z, a.k.a. Minolta DiMAGE G500) has many new features, including: User Selectable ISO speeds (auto, 50, 100, 200, 400); user adjustable Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, Color (RGB); Noise Reduction on exposures 1/2 second or longer; longer exposures (up to 15 seconds); and Manual Exposure (aperture/shuttter speeds) -- giving me a lot of flexibiity.

Although the new Sony DSC-P10 had some control of contrast, saturation and sharpness -- you had only 3 levels available (versus the Konicas 5 levels) -- with no control of many other features like you get with this new Konica.

Thanks to the Merger between Konica and Minolta, this camera is also being introduced as the Minolta DiMAGE G500.

BTW, I've also found it to be a very responsive camera. In fact, I tested it again yesterda, and was able to take 1 photo every 1.25 seconds continuously without flash (at 1/500 second shutter) -- 24 photos in 30 seconds (it will continue at this rate until your memory cards are full).

You can read my user opinion (more like a "mini review") of the Konica KD-510z (same camera as the new Minolta G500) at this link:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read...&opinion=17947

Ritz Camera, Etronics, and Good Guys all have this camera on their web sites now, and are taking orders. Etronics said that the expected ship date was 08/25 (but I don't think they have it yet). The others are saying Sept. 1 now.

Ritz and Etronics have it for $449.00. Good Guys has it for $449.00 - 10% discount. So, "checkout price" from Good Guys is about $405.00 including shipping.

Link to the camera at Ritz:

http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs...uctId=13097255

Link to the camera at Good Guys:

http://www.goodguys.com/adtemplate.a...666833&catky=#

Link to the camera at Etronics:

http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...=mindimageg500

Link to some photos I took with my Konica (identical camera, only the logo has changed with the new Minolta DiMAGE G500):

http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z

A link to some more Konica KD-510z samples (not from me) -- includes outside photo, outside portrait, longer exposure night photo, and inside photo with incandescent lighting only -- no flash:

http://www.pbase.com/kd510z/konica_kd510z
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:16 PM   #3
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P.S. Steve Sanders reviewed the older model KD-500z here (but it didn't offer all of the features you get with the new Konica KD-510z/Minolta Dimage G500). It does use the same lens/ccd/body size/style:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/kd500z.html

To my knowledge, nobody has reviewed the new model yet (although I tried to be as detailed as possible in my "mini review" of it):

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read...&opinion=17947
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:22 PM   #4
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In lower cost subcompact cameras, with a body style more closely resembling the P72 (with much more in the manual control department too), you may want to take a look at the Minolta F100, F200 and F300.

All have excellent image quality. The only reason I didn't consider one of these, is due to their relatively slow startup times (around 5 seconds). I wanted a camera that I didn't have to wait on when a photo opportunity arises.
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:34 PM   #5
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thanks.
I like the ability to adjust exposure times.
The size looks good for what I need. I was hoping for a sub $300 camera. If I go down hard on my bike, there is always the chance I will crush it....

Forgive the negative critisism:
The picture quality of the photos you posted don't look that good, especially for a 5MP camera.

What kind of process do you go through before posting your pictures. They are obviously saved at a lower resolution (100MB pictures, that were ~ I am guessing ~ 2.5MB right off the camera.)

Do you have any pictures that are before processing?
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:39 PM   #6
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Heh, Heh.... You must mean 100kb (versus 100mb), and you are not looking at the original size photos.

Select the viewing size desired from the menu under each photo (small, medium, large, original).

BTW, other than 3 photos corrected for redeye (and these photos are commented, along with a link to the originals in a separate album), there was no post processing. I wanted users to see what the images looked like directly from the camera.

Read the comments at the top of the album page for more details. Also, many of the photos were taken using Normal vs. Fine JPEG Quality -- again, these photos are marked, and I have included comments about this on the main album page.

Select "Large" (for what they would probably look like at very large print sizes), or "Original Size" photos for comparing to other 5 megapixel cameras under "a magnifyng glass", and then let us know what you think.

http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:42 PM   #7
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I think I see what I feel was the problem with the pics.

Some look a little soft, I am used to playing with the unsharp mask with my photos to make them pop a bit more.

Does your camera have a superfine mode, or raw?
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:46 PM   #8
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The Konica offers a Fine mode, but no Raw mode. I used the Normal mode for most of my photos (which is relatively high compression, but I find it great for most print sizes).

If I take any "special" photos (that I want to print at sizes > 8x10", then I'll probably use the Fine mode instead.

BTW, the Konica's default sharpening is very conservative, and all photos were taken at the default sharpening level.

You have 5 levels of adjustment for this (unlike many cameras that only offer 3 levels). So, you can increase the sharpness in camera if desired.

P.S. -- Ditto for the other adjustments -- you have 5 levels of adjustment for Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, and even Color (separate adjustments for Red, Green and Blue).
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:49 PM   #9
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thanks for the suggestion.

A little more than I want to spend, but informative.

Cause right now my bike camera really sucks....

Kodak DC210
http://www.pbase.com/porc/bavington
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Old Aug 27, 2003, 3:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pghmountainbiker
I am used to playing with the unsharp mask with my photos to make them pop a bit more.
You can always increase sharpness in post processing, but if you put in too much (via in camera settings), you can't get rid of it.

Many users even prefer to set sharpness levels in camera to lower than default settings -- giving them even more control in post processing.

I find the Konica's conservative approach to be perfect for me, so I leave all settings for Sharpness, Saturation, Color, etc. at defaults.

Good Luck with your Search!
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