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Old Sep 26, 2003, 10:10 AM   #11
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Don,
You'll notice through out this forum people tend to recommend cameras by Camera manufacturers not by, electronics manufacturers. While I'm still on the fence about this issue myself I have a tendancy to lean that way too. Not that I feel the Panasonics or Sony's are bad cameras but, the Canon's and, Nikon's of this world have been dealing in photography a lot longer and have much more expeience. You can that for whatever it's worth! :-)
On another note, it's the CCD (not LCD) on the A80 that's bigger and there fore will give you less noise. The LCD on the A80 will be able to swing away and pivot so, you could be taking shots over your head w/no problem! I too don't know how much bigger it will be over the A70 but, it looks minimally bigger.
One last thing. I pocket my A70 and I'm fine with it. Someone else might find it uncomfortable. An alternative to pocketing it is a small padded case that can be worn on your belt. I have yet to do it with my case but, it does have a belt loop and, it's not much bigger than the camera.
By the way..email me if you'd like to see a movie clip from the A70 in full and lower res albeit, not by a professional. :-)

Mark
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Old Sep 26, 2003, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoso
Don,
You'll notice through out this forum people tend to recommend cameras by Camera manufacturers not by, electronics manufacturers.
The optics of a camera are more important than the electronics...any company can slap together a circuit board, but few have the expertise with optics, and I feel the optics are more important...that's why I chose a larger format digital with a nice large lens rather than one of those pocket cameras with a tiny lens.

Some electronics companies team up with reputable camera manufacturers to make the lens, Panasonic for example uses Leica designed lenses.
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Old Sep 26, 2003, 1:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrow
I have narrowed my preferences to the following:
-- would like it to fit in a pocket even if it is not the smallest cam out there
-- would like it to use conventional AA batts: more economical
-- Good optics, minimal CA effects
-- $250-$350 US price range to leave some bucks (or quid) for extra memory and a reader.
-- Prefer a decent movie mode, one of those things I'm not sure how I'll use as of yet. But I think it sounds neat. There is a lot to see in Southern California, and lots to share.
Batteries:
------------

Conventional AA Batteries are not necessarily more economical. The battery life tests you see are using rechargeable NiMH AA Batteries, not standard AA Alkaline batteries. These have pros and cons.

Pros:
You can find battery chargers and rechargeable AA NiMH batteries at a relatively low cost, but you'll need to purchase these separately (a camera like the A70 doesn't ship with the charger and rechargeable batteries). But, you can find these at pretty low prices at discount stores (around $25.00 for a charger and 4 batteries).

Pros and Cons:

AA's are harder to change (you have to worry about polarity when inserting).

Lithium Ion Batteries usually only fit one way in the camera, so you can't make a mistake.

Shelf Life:

Lithium Ion Rechargeable Batteries hold their charge for much longer than Rechargeable AA NiMH Batteries. So, even if you don't use the camera for a few days, you'll probably need to recharge NiMH batteries again before use

Temperature: Lithium Ion Batteries hold their voltage levels at much lower temperatures compared to NiMH Batteries. This is probably not important to most users though.

Other: Most camera models using a proprietary Lithium Ion Battery include the rechargeable battery and charger with the Camera. Many models using AA's require you to purchase rechargeable AA's and a charger separately (you'll find that Alkaline Batteries won't last long, so you'll spend too much money and time replacing them).

Cons for Proprietary Lithium Ion -- the spare battery(s) will usually cost more, although you can usually find third party replacements on Ebay for very reasonable costs (I found a 850mAH Lithium Ion Replacement Battery for my Konica KD-510z for only $10.50 on Ebay).

BTW, the Canon A70 probably does have the best battery life of any model in it's class (or for that matter, most any model digicam, period), when using high capacity rechargeable NiMH AA batteries.

One more benefit of AA's -- in a pinch, you can usually find AA batteries (Lithium or Alkaline). They may not last long, but at least you an use them for a short time.

Movie Modes:
-----------------
Movie modes on a still camera are vastly inferior to a true movie camera -- lower resolution with slower frame rates (especially on most models), inability to change zoom settings while recording on most models, very poor sound quality, high memory space usage, no stabilized zoom lens on most still cameras (common in true video cameras).

See the sample movie clips in Steve's sample images section for cameras you consider to get a better idea of the movie clip quality.

Good Optics:
----------------
Agreed. This is very important. Dpreview.com measures CA in their reviews. You may want to look at the reviews there of cameras you consider.

Pocketability:
----------------
I wanted a pocketable camera too. That's why my latest camera is the Konica Revio KD-510z. It's fits comfortably in my front pants pocket -- even when wearing tight jeans.

Again, there are tradeoffs with a smaller camera: Flash Range, Light Gathering Capability of the Lens, Ergonomics, Control Placement, Lens Quality, smaller sensors which usually have more noise, etc. Make sure you check the reviews and specifications carefully for cameras you consider.

If you take a lot of photos at family gatherings and parties, you may find the flash range to be the most limiting factor. For example: the Panasonics you are looking at (LC-33/LC-43) have a flash range of only 7.87 feet at full wide angle, and only 4.59 feet at full zoom -- hardly enough to be practical for my photo needs.

Just because an area looks bright to you, it doesn't to a camera (especially a compact camera with a slow, compact lens design). You'll need to use a flash indoors in most lighting conditions. Take the flash ranges seriously in the specs - light "falls off" quickly beyond these stated ranges. Otherwise, you'll find that many of your photos will be drastically undersexposed.


Price:
-------
That's up to you. Check out the cost of accessories (spare batteries, chargers, memory cards, etc.) so that you understand the "real cost" of each camera you consider.
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Old Sep 26, 2003, 7:59 PM   #14
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Default Jim C I looked at your review. . .

To JimC Some really great thoughts just above and also an amazing review you posted at the other site; the Konica KD-510Z (Minolta G500 in the US) is obviously a very good camera, and looks ideal for my needs. At $450US It falls outside my desired price range and there would still be additional accessories like you mentioned so the real price is more like $550-$575 but one question I have for everyone is this:

Each time you go up a level in Mp - say, from 3mp to 4mp or from 4mp to 5mp, what does that do to the memory required for the stored picture? i.e., how much added memory is consumed by cams with higher Mp ratings? Do you still make pics mostly in the highest res setting or do you drop down since you have more Mp to play with? I am wondering if I need 5mp?

Regarding your thoughts concerning optics, I wish DPReview was reviewing all the cams on my list but unfortunately he only has a couple. I do not know where else to get that info. At any rate, we know he likes Canon optics in general. It would be interesting to see his take on Minolta G500, I would love to see it compared with a comparable Canon. And then there's the Panasonic. . .

I am going to look further at this camera (G500). In my case, I like to be creative but really am not sure right now what I'll be doing with it. A little for work, a little for play, probably.

I've done creative things with the throwaway 1mp cam I now have, and have used the editing software included with printers, scanners etc by various companies.

Thanks, Don
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Old Sep 26, 2003, 9:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Jim C I looked at your review. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrow
Each time you go up a level in Mp - say, from 3mp to 4mp or from 4mp to 5mp, what does that do to the memory required for the stored picture? i.e., how much added memory is consumed by cams with higher Mp ratings? Do you still make pics mostly in the highest res setting or do you drop down since you have more Mp to play with? I am wondering if I need 5mp?
Of course it increases, but it depends on the format of the picture and how much compression is applied (a 3mp picture with low or no compression can be larger than a 5mp picture with high compression)...also what you're shooting (when shooting JPEG), as shooting a scene with leaves will require more space than a scene with mostly sky.
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