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Old Jul 8, 2006, 11:11 AM   #1
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Hey all, I'm looking for a cheap ultra compact camera just to carry around with me, I was wondering what your opinion are on the cameras without viewfinders. I never ever use my LCD screen to compose my shots, but I'm beginning to think I won't have any other choice. So what do you all think? Do I keep looking until I get a viewfinder or just give in and compose with the screen?
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 12:48 PM   #2
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Personally I would insist on a viewfinder, and make sure it's practical and usable, not just stuck on there to make the camera look good.

The point is, with a usable viewfinder you can hold the camera against your cheek while taking the shot, and this alone helps to keep the camera steady. Otherwise you are holding the camera out in front of you which makes camera shake almost inevitable, especially since they tend to be so light these days (a heavier camera is easier to hold steady than a lighter one).

If you do decide to dispense with a viewfinder look for a camera with some sort of image-stabilisation, though you may have to up your budget to get that, but it will be money well spent.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 8:27 PM   #3
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Thats kind of what I was thinking, I WON'T have image stablization (unless it has gotten crazy cheap while I wasn't looking), so I will probalby have to insist on a viewfinder. Thanks for the tips.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 8:45 PM   #4
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try the Canon 'PowerShot' models
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 7:59 PM   #5
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The Canon Powershot models are the first on my list once I save up some money, however they mostly use AA's, so I need to factor that into my price.
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 8:13 PM   #6
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I try to stay away from cameras without AA batteries.

Rechargeable NiMh AAs are so much cheaper and easier to find than camera specific batteries, plus I will still be able to buy them 5 years down the line and obviously they fit practically everything at home, including with an adapter, devices needing C and D cells !
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 10:21 PM   #7
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That is true, I've just always been a bit of a fan of Lithium Ion batteries, especially in slim cameras (AA tend to be a bit bulky)
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Old Jul 10, 2006, 3:16 AM   #8
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When I was looking for an ultra-compact to complement my SLR I struggled with thinking I might need the viewfinder.

Then I read someone talking about how it just takes a bit of adjustment, I checked out my wife's Ixus700 (with viewfinder) and realised she always uses the LCD not the viewfinder. The viewfinders on small cameras are very cramped anyway.

After a few days of using the Pana LX01 I now find it's not hard at all to use the LCD. It also has the advantage of giving a real-time histogram, so I can adjust exposure before the shot.

So if they made a compact digital camera with a big bright optical viewfinder that would still be my preference, but they don't. Losing the tiny cramped viewfinders that they do have is not much of a loss IMO, because they can use the room to give a big bright LCD.


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