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Old Feb 24, 2003, 8:42 PM   #1
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Default best zoom camera

doing extensive research via megapixel, dpreview, imaging-resource.com, activebuyersguide, cnet, epinion.
Need zoom for bird shooting, macro for flower close up
So far researching Olympus 700, 720, 730, HP 850 and Casio QV2900UX. Yet to look at Fugi 3800 &602Z, Minolta dimag, Sony FD Mavica
On any one of the same cameras readers reviews go all the way from love it to returned it and hate it. At the same time one professional review down grades for problem while another doesn't mentions.

I Like the HP -except only 2 iso settings, 14 secs write time, no burst and it does not have a manual focus nor does the Olympus 720. How important are these features? I Like the AF focus assist
Readers complain you can't take action shots with auto focus because of the time lag. What good is a camera if you can't take a action shot?
The Casio is a good buy but no view finder
Professional reviews give the C730 down grades for purple fringe in bright light, poor indoor quality(again what good is it?) and noise yet readers hardly mention
C720-no manual focus, blurry pictures, no low light focus, slow focus, noise and aberrations, no manual white, purple fringe
C700-poor in low light, manual focus??, no A F assist,slow zoom

any one care to un-confuse me. maybe too much analysis paralysis

Thanks
Fred from Grand rapids, MI
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Old Feb 24, 2003, 8:45 PM   #2
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One of the best ultrazoom cameras would be the Olympus C2100. It has image stablization, 2mp, 10X optical lens and good optics for low light conditions. Olympus is also releasing two new ultrazoom cameras in May and June. There is not much details on these cameras.
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Old Feb 24, 2003, 9:34 PM   #3
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Different strokes for different folks. It's just like cars, music, computer programs, or anything else in life. Many people like the Buick Century...I drive it for 10 seconds and I immediately hate it. Photoshop is an imaging standard...I can't stand the program and use Photopaint instead, but I can do the same things with it.

To answer some of your comments:

To some manual focus is very important...one reason why I bought the older C-700 instead of the C-720. I know there are times I want to tell the camera what to do instead of it telling me what it thinks it should do.

Regarding purple fringe, when you get longer focal lengths that is going to be more of a problem, with ANY camera brand...if you look at http://www.dpreview.com/learn/Glossa...rations_01.htm you'll see that they have a picture from an Olympus C-3030 and a Canon PowerShot G1, and BOTH have the purple fringe problem!!! Any reviewer who says it's only the Oly C-730 with the problem doesn't know digital photography!

ISO, there are times where you might not be able to use a flash, like a museum, so like film you can change to a higher ISO...and like film it means more noise, or "grain".

Burst mode, I assume that means to be able to take multiple shots in a short time (since that HP has a 14 second write time)...I like to be able to take multiple shots in a short time, say at an unvailing or other action shots...in film or other cameras this is called "drive" because there's a motor that advances (drives) the film ahead so you can keep shooting.

As for other focusing issues, most people don't realize what factors you need to focus a picture, check out http://www.howstuffworks.com/autofocus3.htm

With Olympus since the FL-40 flash has its own focus assist beam, they don't bother putting it in cameras anymore...although the C-5050 does have it, hopefully they smartened up. Olympus is also going to be releasing two new cameras in the coming months, a C-740 in April and a C-750 in May...not much is known about them at this point, you can find skim details at Amazon (although it might have been an accident on their part that this information was released before Olympus made any announcements about them).
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Old Feb 24, 2003, 9:55 PM   #4
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OK guys, the OLY 2100UZ is a good camera if you are satisfied with a 2 MP camera. I had C-700 for a year, good camera, tried a C-720, didn't like it, seemed dumb. Now using a C-730, getting good shots, will throw up some purple fringe and dotting sometimes on a long shot with funky light. I actually had that happen today on a shot of Garden of the Gods in the snow with Pikes peak breaking through the clouds in the background on a thin line of sunlight. I was able to compensate for it with softening filter in PhotoShop E2. I really like the C-730, you have to take time to learn how to use it. You have to be able to go right to the many menu options and use the ones you need without taking a lot of time to think about it. Takes practice. I printed a 11x14 this weekend on a stilll life that was beautiful. I even got a begruding compliment from the clerk at the framing shop who never seems in a good mood. I think I could have taken that print even larger, the image quality was that good. I recommend the C-730 - great camera for the money. Hope this helps. Best - john
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Old Feb 25, 2003, 12:02 AM   #5
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[thanks for getting back

not sure if you will receive this. C2100 nice camera but a bit over my price and a bit too bulky.

With your 730 have you had any problems eith poor indoor pictures and red eye. Both mentioned more than once in readers reviews

Thanks again

fred
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Old Feb 26, 2003, 7:31 AM   #6
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The C-730's weakness is definetely indoor under low light. I think that's why Olympus came up with the C5050. I work around this short coming by using a tripod and working ambient light into my photos (i.e. light from a china cabinet in our dining room, overhead lighting from bucket lamps). I also have found putting a tissue in front of the flash yield nice pics with good skin tones with minimal hot spots on the image. I do get red eye, but that is so easy to fix in most editing programs. I am contemplating getting a C5050 to compliment my C-730 for low light and set-up shots when I want more pixels and using the C-730 for the zoom IF I don't like what I see on the Olydak SLR. I personally think what I'm yearning for is a return to an SLR set-up (as much as I like my C-730). Just depends on the size of the camera and price when Olympus, Kodak and Fuji introduce. Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 26, 2003, 10:44 AM   #7
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The 5050 (and 4040, 3030) are a totally different family. As for why digital cameras have trouble in low light, check the How Stuff Works link above to see why. On top of that the more you zoom in the less light you're letting into the camera, and as the 5050 has less zoom it can let more light in.

Of course Olympus could have been smart and put the auto focus assist beam back into the C-7x0UZ cameras like the has and the C-2100UZ had...here's to hoping the C-740UZ and C-750UZ (both coming out in the next few months) have it.
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