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Old Nov 24, 2003, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default If you had a choice ..................

I presently own a Canon EOS-300D (Digital Rebel) and my wife would like a "more portable" 4-5MP digicam that will:

- provide accurate colors, detail and skin tones for prints up to 8x10" on my Canon i950 photo printer with little or no post-production work
- excellent performance in low-light indoor pics
- hot-shoe
- good battery life
- easy to use
- most focal length with possibility of add-on lenses

Some models I am considering; Olympus C-5060WZ, Olympus C-5050Z, Nikon CP5700, Sony DSC-F828 (curious about the 8 MP resolution), Canon G5, Canon G3 and maybe the Canon A80 (but no hot-shoe).

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

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Old Nov 24, 2003, 2:00 PM   #2
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When I was shopping around a few months ago, the C5050 was one camera I was looking hard at. I recall that it's low-light performance was one of the biggest positive marks that actual owners of the camera gave it. In fact, the newer model (5060) I believe is poorer in this regard than its predecessor.

I eventually went with the A70. The A80 may meet your needs well if you can compromise on the hot-shoe... from the comments I've read on the canon talk forum at dpreview most people are very pleased with it's indoor performance over previous A-series models.

Here is a sample gallery from an A80 owner who posts very frequently over there... hope she doesn't mind my sharing the link.


This one in particular is a very good sample low light shot:


As the caption says... handheld shot, no noise reduction post-processing done, lit by only a 60 watt overhead bulb. (shot in B&W mode)

Good luck on your decision.
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 2:08 PM   #3
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The larger models like the Sony DSC-F828, Nikon Coolpix 5700 may not satisfy your wife's want for something more compact.

You may want to check out the Sony DSC-V1. It does have the best low light focus capability around (with it's laser assisted "hologram" focus system), and can take add-on lenses and accessories.

It's also got the best noise characteristics compared to the other new 5MP compacts (Nikon Coolpix 5400, Canon G5, Olympus C-5050z).

See the reviews of these models at http://www.dpreview.com for details (noise graphs, resolution chart tests, flash tests with skin tone, etc.).

Here's the Sony review:


Another choice would be the Olympus C-5050z. It's quite simple to use, and has a very fast lens (F1.8/F2.6) -- great for existing light shooting. It is a slower camera than the Sony in the Autofocus Department (but it's still faster than most).

Again, see the tests in the dpreview.com review for how it compares. It can also take CompactFlash media (as well as Xd PictureCard and Smartmedia). BTW, Olympus has updated the firmware during production, and many users report both better performance and lag times with newer firmware (unfortunately no user installable updates ever come from Olympus, though). Noise profiles appear to be reasonably good (in contrast to Phil's findings with his early productin firmware) based on some of the photos I've seen, too. Here's the link:


Another model that can also use your CF media is the 4MP Canon G3 (lower noise and CA, compared to the newer 5MP Canon G5).

It's low light focus speed won't be as fast as the Sony or the Olympus, but it will take nice photos in most conditions (although CA can be a problem at wider apertures in high contrast shots, it's MUCH better than the newer G5 model). This model also has a fast (F2.0/F3.0) lens:

Here's it's review at dpreview.com:

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Old Nov 24, 2003, 2:32 PM   #4
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Olympus C5050 has one the best low light lens for 5mp digital cameras. You can also add telephoto or wide angle lens via an adapter tube. It has a hot shoe for external flash, moveable lcd, photo assist lamp, and can use CF, SM or XD memory.
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