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Gwen Oct 28, 2003 12:47 PM

Yet another newbie - I'm the last one, I promise!
I'm a pretty good amateur photographer. For years I used a Canon AT-1 and loved it. Then it broke and can't be fixed (they don't stock parts.) I have tried for a number of years to get it fixed or replace via Ebay, but just haven't been able to do it. In the meantime, I have been using the throw-away cameras - cringe - and I simply cannot bring myself to shoot another roll of photos on one of those.

Now I'm going digital. From spending some time on this site and on dpreview, I am getting schooled in this subject a teeny bit.

Here are my requirements and wishes:

Must have a hot shoe. I cannot tolerate red eye and have found red eye reduction is worthless. Also worthless is fixing the red eye in edit as then my photos don't show the true color of the person's eyes. I do a fair amount of close-ups and my kids have different shades of blue and green eyes. I also hate it when the dog's eyes aren't the right color.

I shoot mainly family photos, which run the gamut - vacations, holidays, indoor, outdoor, kids' sports, snow pictures, you name it.

I need a camera that focuses well in low light. It's only twice a year but I take 4th of July photos and Halloween photos, not to mention all those low light indoor pix. This focus in low light feature is a must for me.

I'm used to focusing with the split image viewfinder. Are there any digi cams that do this? (Why do I doubt it.)

Oh, yes, need a camera that will do automatic everything and manual everything. (Not that I don't trust those auto cameras but I like to be in control.)

I had an Olympus fully auto P&S once and it did great with landscapes and far away photos, buildings, etc. Did very lousy with people photos and close-ups. I really only used it when I was going skiing or something and wanted it in my pocket. Altho I did usually just ski with my Canon on me with a cuban hitch. I don't care at all about size in this new digi cam. I'll just buy a bigger purse. <g>

I like to get close in but when I can't, I'm wanting an optical zoom. Ideally in the 150 range.

I kinda like those camera with the twisty screens (rotating lcd's?), but I'm not married to that. But I'm always behind people taller than me and when holding the camera up to shoot, it would be real handy. I do need the lcd to be well lit as I have that over 40 eyesight thing going on and I don't see well in low light at all.

We're getting the family a digi video cam for Xmas this year (which will be a whole nuther search), but I'm intrigued with the movie modes on the digi cams. If it came down to a choice between two cameras and one had a good long movie mode with sound and the other didn't, I'd go for the one with. But my main concern is obviously the features for the still photos.

What else - good battery life.

Price range - $500 - $800.

So, I'm mostly a family picture taker but when I had the Canon, I did take a lot of nature photos, macros and such. It seems there's really not a camera that 'does it all,' even in the $$$ pro range. And I'm not able to go there price-wise at this time anyway.

And you want to know what size I'll print in. 90% will be 4 x 6. If I want to frame a photo, I always go 5x7. I occasionaly will do an 8x10, esp if it's for a gift.

Will there be a camera that will make me happy for most everything? Since I've been using those silly throw-aways for so long, just about anything will knock my socks off, I'm sure.

Having never used one, but having read a bit about them, I'm thinking I will almost always shoot in 'best quality' mode and will also delete like crazy as I shoot. I don't mind getting one of those drives you save photos to in order to free up your card, esp for vacation time.

I've looked at the Canon G3 and G5, the Nikon Coolpix cameras, a couple Olympus, Pentax Optio 555, 550, Minolta, the new Panasonic coming out, ditto Sony. I understand there are a couple new cameras coming out in the next month or so. Is it worth my while to wait for them (there will always be new technology coming out), or should I jump in and buy now? My husband is getting it for me for my birthday, which is next week, but I can be a little patient.


digcamfan Oct 28, 2003 1:53 PM

Hi Gwen__

A refurbished E10 or E20 could meet your needs admirably.

Go here and see what they have!

None there right now...

Gwen Oct 28, 2003 2:09 PM

Do you think I'm not going to be able to find a camera to meet my needs in the prosumer/recreational range? I honestly think a digital slr is beyond me at this time.

Also, it's my understanding the these cameras don't have great low light focusing.

I hadn't thought of buying a used camera. Have people generally had good luck with that? I know my husband would be hesitant. He'd do it if I told him it was the camera I wanted, but I'm also reluctant to buy a used camera unless it's the only way I can get what I want.


slickShooter Oct 28, 2003 3:34 PM

My vote is the Olympus C-750 I own it and love it...check out my pics below.....I'm far from a photographer so imagine how nice your pics will be!

gibsonpd3620 Oct 28, 2003 3:45 PM

I can recommend the Oly C5050, 3X opctical zoom, excellent low light camera, with great optics. You can run auto or manual. Low light assist lamp. The cost of the camera will run $500 on the internet. Moveable lcd and can use CF, SM, XD or microdrive for media.

You can also look at the Nikon 5700, 8X optical, no low light assist lamp, 270 degree moveable lcd panel. Cost at is $737, with 256mb CF card

Gwen Oct 28, 2003 3:51 PM

How is the focus in low light conditions? Also, how about the focus in the manual mode?

As far as your comments about being far from a photographer, I don't know as I'd agree. Almost anyone who bothers to hang around this site must be a photography enthusiast and have picked up some skills along the way. That's all I am. All I meant when I said I was a pretty good amateur photographer is that I'm beyond the P&S leave-it-in-automatic-all-the-time level. I took some photography in college and did darkroom work (not for me, I prefer the camera to the darkroom) and at one time had a good understanding of shutter speeds, f stops, and the like. Switching over to digital, I'm starting over! I'm looking forward to it.

Gwen Oct 28, 2003 3:53 PM

P.S. to Slickshooter - I definitely like that ultra zoom lens. I was thinking I'd have to forgo the nice zoom for other features that are more important at the moment. But I was wondering, does the C750 have that stabilization feature that adjusts for shaky hands on a long zoom? I forget what it's called.

Gwen Oct 28, 2003 4:10 PM

Gibson, I don't know too much about the C5050, so I'll have to go do some research on that one. I did look at the Nikon both online and in a store and had pretty much discounted it due to the low light focus thing. Maybe I'm being too hard on that feature. For all I know, they mean near darkness and not what I'm thinking at all. It also seems pricey to me compared to the Canon G5 and others, but I guess you're paying for that 280 zoom lens.

Another con for the Nikon is that they say it has a limited number of aperture and shutter settings in manual mode. Maybe I won't shoot in manual much once I get an auto camera; I don't know. At the moment, manual is all I know.

Thanks for the recommendations; I'll check out that C5050.

slickShooter Oct 28, 2003 4:14 PM

IS ( image stabilization ) is not a feature on the C-750 but I highly recommend this camera anyways......either use a tripod,lean on something sturdy or maybe just use the zoom will you feel if you buy a 3x optical zoom camera and miss out on tons of great shots because you can't "see" your subject.......none of the pictures I have posted were taken with a tripod except the night shots and as you can tell many of the 80 or so I have posted were taken using the 10x zoom to its fullest and the are clear

gibsonpd3620 Oct 28, 2003 5:09 PM

I would define low light as near total darkness. The problem is that the camera can not focus on the subject matter. Olympus added the focus assist lamp to help the camera focus in these lighting conditions. If your needing a camera to focus in a room with normal light then 5700 can do that.

The C750 will have the same focusing problem as the 5700. It is much cheaper and a very good camera.

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