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Old Dec 11, 2003, 6:49 PM   #1
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Default Recommendation based on these criteria

I'm looking for a digital camera that will have these features or behaviors, and am looking for the groups recommendation.
1) I'd prefer small over large. Large being an SLR. The smaller it is, the more I'd take it. I have an SLR and an older Sony Hi8 video cam. Smaller than both of those. Not spy cam small though.
2) I'd prefer either an exceptional autofocus or an easy to access manual focus. I find myself manually focusing my SLR all the time, due to impatience with it's focusing attempts. I know they vary based on lighting and light positions, and things like spots behind the source can throw them off, but I'd like to be able to QUICKLY set it to manual and shoot. I've been manually focusing since my Canon AE1 days.
3) I'd like to be able to shoot quickly when needed. My boy often is too active for a long posing session. Not sure how long it taks to write the files, but faster would be better.
4) I'd like to have some simple charging system. The camera will probably stay unused most of the time, and then I'll grab it on a weekend to take a few pics. Having it ready to go, even as a charding option is an advantage.
5) I've used a Fuji 3800 and sort of liked it, several minoltas with the hard to open sliding lenses covers and didn't like them, a cannon elph and liked it and another non elph cannon and didn't like it.
I'd like to keep it under $500 if possible. But not a strict requirement if its really great.
These are generalizations. Anything stand out as a good target?
Thanks
Bob
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 7:05 PM   #2
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have you looked at the gateway t50??? it's 5megapixels, has iso 100, 200, 400, and auto iso. 3x optical zoom, a bunch of other settings and will fit in a shirt pocket. i think pricewise it's in the $300 - $350 range. i saw an article in a laptop magazine and it was rated quite high amongst point and shoot 5 megapixel cameras. oh, i think it has a manual mode but i'm not sure.

dennis
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 10:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb
i saw an article in a laptop magazine and it was rated quite high amongst point and shoot 5 megapixel cameras. oh, i think it has a manual mode but i'm not sure.
dennis
Come 'on Dennis.. Laptop Magazine? Did you notice any Gateway Advertisements?

The Gateway T50 appears to be a rebadged Vivitar 3930 (a.k.a. Toshiba PDR-5300).

Cnet said this about it:

"Even this camera's low price doesn't offset its poor image quality and its middling performance."

http://reviews.cnet.com/Gateway_DC_T...0.html?tag=dir

Steve said this about the Toshiba Version (PDR-5300):

"As they say, size isn't everything and, in the case of the PDR-5300, the 5-megapixel imager is not able to overcome the color balance and shooting performance issues we experienced; we honestly can't recommend this camera. If you're looking for an under-$400 family digicam capable of producing consistently good results, we suggest that you consider the recently-reviewed Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC43, the KODAK EasyShare DX6440, or the Minolta DiMAGE G500. "

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_...r5300_pg5.html

Steve's one of the least critical reviews around. He rarely says that he can't recommend a camera. This one must be pretty bad.
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 10:29 PM   #4
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hey Jim, i didn't know. i just read an article about it in stall 2 of officemax.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

but, i will pass this info on to a coworker who is thinking of buying one for his Christmas present. thanx!!!

dennis
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 11:40 PM   #5
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Tell him that whatever he does, don't get the cheaper 5MP model they have. It's even worse (made by Skanhex).
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 11:43 PM   #6
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he's set on the t50 and he has never seen one other than in advertisement. he really doesn't want to spend more than $300 and he really wants a small camera. thanx!!!

dennis
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Old Dec 12, 2003, 12:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb
he's set on the t50 and he has never seen one other than in advertisement. he really doesn't want to spend more than $300 and he really wants a small camera. thanx!!!

dennis
Dennis:

I'd have him read Steves review here of the Toshiba PDR-5300 (same cam according to cnet). Point out the time it takes for autofocus, saving images, etc. Maybe he'll change his mind.
You may also want to point out that Gateway has a restocking fee.


Bob:

One of the best focusing smaller cameras around now is the Sony DSC-V1. It's using a laser based "hologram" focus system, and it's autofocus and shutter lag are quite fast. It's a little more than you wanted to spend, but it's a decent cam. It's not as small as some.

You may also want to look at the Minolta DiMAGE G500. It's also very reasonably priced (a bit over $300.00 discounted now). When you say you tried several Minoltas, are you sure you didn't mean Olympus?

The new Minolta G500 is actually the Konica Revio KD-510z. I bought a Japanese Model of this camera in mid July -- two weeks after it started shipping in Japan. This one is a 5 Megapixel Pocketable camera. It's not as small and light as some of the others, but it will still fit in a pocket. I carry mine in my left front pants pocket everywhere I go.

Konica and Minolta merged, so they decided to start marketing it in the U.S. recently as the Minolta DiMAGE G500. It's a nice little camera that will fit in your pocket. It also gives you the ability to customize the 4-way controller, so that you have fixed focus points by simply pressing the right controller key.

Using it this way virtually eliminates all shutter lag.

The salesperson is going to have no idea how to set it up this way (the manual is cryptic). So, if you want to take a closer look at it, copy this post and bring it with you:

Customizing the Controller Keys:

Press the Menu Button, and go to Setup, Custom.

You'll see a list of icons. Select each one, and turn all choices ON.

This should take all of about 30 seconds, and it will stay that way, even when turning the camera off, or recharging batteries.

This turns on the Continuous Mode feature (and you can leave it that way all the time) -- allowing faster repeat photos, by holding down the shutter button.

Then, frequently used features are under the Controller Keys. Once you set it up (about 30 seconds), and use these features, they become "second nature".

Then, you'll have this:

Left: switches between landscape, macro, self timer modes, including fixed focus choices (1m, 2m, etc.).

Right: switches between different flash modes

Up: allows you to set Exposure Compensation using left and right keys

Down: allows you to change White Balance Settings.

This gives you very fast access to exposure compensation, white balance, focus distances, white balance, and flash modes, without using the menus.

Turn it all on. Then, use it for a while, then go back into the Custom Menu, and turn off choices you don't use.

You can allow or deny specific flash modes from appearing as a choice when using the right arrow key to toggle between them.

You can allow or deny specific self timer/focus combinations from appearing -- even including (or excluding) macro, landscape, 1m, 2m, 4m from appearing as a toggle choice when the left controller key is pressed.

With everything turned on, you also get Autoexposure Lock with a half press of the shutter, and a press of the up arrow, or Autofocus lock, with a half press of the shutter and a press of the left arrow.

These virtually eliminate shutter lag when enabled (AF lock, AE lock).

It's a very nice design, while keeping the control layout simple

Also, make sure to turn Quick View off (Setup, QuickView). This reduces lag time some, since it won't display the last photo taken for as long.

You can see some photos from mine at http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z
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Old Dec 12, 2003, 6:57 AM   #8
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JimC Thanks for the great info! The sony looks like something I'd like. I'll head out this weekend to take a phsical look at these 2 you recommended. The minolta looks good to, but knowing myself, I'd more opt to spend the money on the sony. $500 was only a guidline, but I'd certaily go 6 or 7 for something better.
Thanks.
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Old Dec 12, 2003, 3:37 PM   #9
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thanx Jim. my coworker decided against the gateway camera.

dennis
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