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Old Aug 24, 2003, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default Getting first digital camera, want opinions

Hi all,

My fiance and I are getting a digital camera shortly, and we are having a hard time deciding. I would like to solicit some recommendations. I have looked at the Canon Powershot G5, and some of the Nikon Coolpix models that have the twistable-style body. I have looked at a couple of other models, too, but nothing as seriously.

I think that I could probably get by with a 4 MP, rather than a 5 MP, but all things being equal, I would still lean toward a 5 MP.

I like the grip on the Canon Gx line. I like the intersting possibilities of the twisting body as well, but it is not necessarily necessary.

My fiance has much smaller hands than I do, so I am not sure that she really wants something as big as the G5. She will let me get whatever I want, but I want to make sure that she is able to use it easily and not get frustrated with it, since it is not just for me.

We are honeymooning in Hawaii later in the year, so that will be our first tryout, but, of course, we plan to use it more than that. I don't have any particular purposes in mind, but she takes a lot of pictures at functions with families and friends. I would like the ability to take some neat pictures at sporting events, particularly baseball games.

I definitely know that I want something with a good optical zoom, but since I am not a photographic maven, so I don't really have a good sense for what level of zoom means what. I know from reading what one wants at least a 3x, but it seems that a 4x or higher would be nice. I've seen some models with 8x and more. I assume that would be wasted on me, but who knows.

So, I would like some input, and as quickly as possible. Her parents are actually getting it for us as a gift, but we need to pick it out, and the clock is ticking to get it by the honeymoon. I am definitely willing to consider an option which I have not listed, but I'd also like feedback on the G5 and the Nikons. Thanks.

Nathan
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 4:16 AM   #2
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Hi there,

Firstly - good luck for your wedding and your future together.

Summarising your post I get that you like the features of the G5 but would like them without the size...

Take a look at the Powershot S50 from Canon - it's 5 mp and it's got most of the creative features of the G5 but in a much smaller, pocket size. Besides being a pretty well featured cam - it can also be used as a point-and-shoot.

I chose it primarily for it's size - I used to use a Canon 35mm camera but it was just too big for me to carry around - it would often get left at home to save room. Obviously I missed out on some good shots. The smaller size of it would probably also suit your fiancees smaller hands.

It has a 3x zoom - sometimes more would be handy but then it is only a small camera.

The indoor shots are not the best from the S50 when the flash is used but are perfectly usuable.

Probably the best advice to you is to read as many reviews on digicams as you can (although this often confuses you more :? ) not only on this site but also http://www.dpreview.com, http://www.dcresource.com and any others you can find.

Best of luck with your search. Let us know what you choose in the end...

Matt
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 4:44 AM   #3
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How about Sony DSC-V1. It has 5 megapixels, 4x optical zoom, excellent image quality, it's smaller than G5, and has some extra features that many of the other cameras dont.
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 10:02 AM   #4
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Get the Olympus C5050. Smaller than the G5 and you don't have to look at the barrel in the viewfinder. Plus, it takes AA batteries and every type of memory you can throw at it, except Sony's memory stick.
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 9:54 PM   #5
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I had given the DSC-V1 a thought. The review on this site, though, said something that put me off, about the built-in flash being in a very inconvenient position, so there is nowhere to grip the camera when it is open. Does anyone here have anything to say on that matter? It sure seems that it is a possible problem from the picture. I seem to vaguely remember the review saying even with an external flash that it would be a problem.

On the Olympus, I hadn't given that one a thought yet. When you say "you don't have to look at the barrel in the viewfinder", I need some explanation. Sorry, I am not really a camera buff just yet. I do think that is rather cool that it takes multiple memory formats, though I have no idea whether that would actually be an issue. I presently have a 64 MB CF card, but I don't consider that important enough to make my decision for me. Still, it would be nice to be able to use it.

I think that I am leaning away from the Canon S50, which I had considered. I really like the feel of the G5 (or the G3 that I've actually handled, but I assume that they feel the same). I think she was ok with it, too, but I am just slightly hesitant about her not being able to grip it well... I am probably worrying too much.

I will check out the reviews on the other review sites. I look forward to more input. Thanks.

Nathan
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Old Aug 25, 2003, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncfoster
On the Olympus, I hadn't given that one a thought yet. When you say "you don't have to look at the barrel in the viewfinder", I need some explanation. Sorry, I am not really a camera buff just yet. I do think that is rather cool that it takes multiple memory formats, though I have no idea whether that would actually be an issue. I presently have a 64 MB CF card, but I don't consider that important enough to make my decision for me. Still, it would be nice to be able to use it.
When looking through the viewfinder of the G3/G5 with the lens extended, you can see the barrel of the lens in the viewfinder. IMO, this is a serious design flaw. It doesn't have any effect on the photos, but it does block the lower left corner of the viewfinder.

If you search and read a lot of independent reviews, the C5050 is rated above the G3/G5 in most of them. I went to a retailer that carried both cameras and checked them both out. The decision to choose the C5050 over the G was a no brainer for me. The comfort of the Olympus over the Canon plus that stupid viewfinder problem made the decision easy.

BTW, I'm not a Canon basher as I also own an Elan IIe SLR camera.
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Old Aug 26, 2003, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassino
How about Sony DSC-V1.
An absolute, hands down no brainer IMHO. And i am NOT a fan of Sony at all ... but that thing is too hard to ignore.
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Old Aug 26, 2003, 1:12 AM   #8
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So, if you like that Sony so much, do you have an opinion on the flash placement issue? It also appears to have pretty short battery life. I also like the idea of the USB 2.0 connection for extra speed, but a flash card reader of some sort could likely do the same thing for a minimal price. I am very open to this model, I just want all of the facts.

So far, I feel more like I am balancing negatives than positives, though I think that I want something with hot shoe capabilities additional lens possibilities, which is a main reason I am somewhat anti-M50, but...

So, we have the barrel in the viewfinder of the G5 and some issues with the flash not getting full coverage of the subject area (lower right, it seems, is a problem) vs. the Sony which has more purple fringing, poor battery life. I am sure that I am missing something. Well, the price advantage for the Sony... <sigh> INPUT. NEED MORE INPUT! Or maybe less would be better.

Nathan
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Old Aug 26, 2003, 1:16 AM   #9
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Don't forget with the Sony you're tied to that proprietary memory stick. That is a big turnoff for me. Go and look at the C5050, you'll love it. Have you noticed nobody has posted negatives about that?
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Old Aug 26, 2003, 1:47 AM   #10
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I do agree to some extent on the memory stick thing being a turnoff. Just about anything else would be fine, and the 5050 has nice flexibility there (can you have more than one card in at once?).

I am looking at a review now for a C5050Z. Is the Z of any significance?
The review complains of higher noise and purple fringing than other models, too.

I'll have to see how the price compares, too, but it is late. Time for bed. Thanks for the input. Keep it coming.

Nathan
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