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Old Jan 29, 2004, 6:53 AM   #1
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Default hp850=300euro,minoltaf200=349eur,canon A70=250euros.Which1?

This are mi three options:

-minolta f200 (4mpix,"fully manual",compact,3xoptical,¿good quality pict?) -> 349euros

-hp850 (4mpix, some manual controls(aperture,speed,...),(8xoptical fuji, prosumer,¿is the photo quality that bad in this dc??) ->300eur

-Canon A70 (3mpix,almost "fully manual",3xoptical,compact,¿excellent image quality?) -> 250euros

----or wait till new cameras come( I hate waiting if it's not worth it)

The prices of the hp850 and the Canon A70 are special offers that won't stay for more that 4 days.
I am a newby but i really want to learn so what i need is the best image quality and at least some manual controls.
PLEEEEAAASSSEE tell me what you think. I need help asap.

Thanks to everyone for the help
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 3:32 PM   #2
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There is nothing you can buy that there won’t be something better in the next few months. But that will be true a few months from now as well and you will never have a camera.

The HP has some nice features and a 2 inch LCD. An EVF has advantages over an optical finder but having it blank out during focus for over a second would be distracting. You actually get more pixels with an EVF because it shows more of the image so you don’t have to crop as much. It uses SD cards which have come down in price lately. I would personally go for the HP at that price with the nice 8X optical zoom, but its bulk might induce you to carry it less often.

The F200 I think takes SD cards. If you are planning to purchase a palm device the SD cards can usually be used in them also and it is nice to be able to review and sort your photos on a nice screen away from home. People who own the F100 and F300 really like them. They have continuous focus. I think the F200 is basically the same camera with 4Mp. Nice looking camera. It is unique in being a semi-pocket camera with a B&W LCD status window. Makes for much less LCD use and is readable in bright sunlight – unlike a LCD. I wish my pocket camera had a status window.

The A70 is a good value and uses inexpensive CF cards. It is more compact than the HP but not semi-pocketable like the F200. I like owning at least one camera I can carry in my pocket. And the more Mp the better IMO. I would find 3Mp limiting for my purposes.

They all use AAs but you have to buy a charger and rechargeable NiMH AAs for all three cameras.

They are all very nice cameras - go by the features you want.
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Old Jan 30, 2004, 8:44 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your help!!! :P
I really liked the hp850(i bought it) but it was broken. In every picture, when i view them on my PC all of them have a little white area sourrounded by a circle. I will return it to the shop and it was the last one!!
I think that the minolta F200 seems to be really good also. I don't know the picture quality oh it but 4mpx seems to be ok. I also like because it has a lot of manual controls( more than the other two i think) although i don't know if they are usefull. The big disadvantage is that the hp850 had a F2.0 -F3.2 (this is it can get more light, isn't it?)
If some else can suggest something more i would be really gratefull.
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Old Jan 30, 2004, 9:03 AM   #4
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Yes f2.0 to 3.2 would be absolutely phenomenal in an 8X zoom camera of that size. Unfortunately it is f2.8 to 3.1, which isn’t bad on the tele end but standard on the wide.

I happen to like manual controls and it is the sign of a quality camera. One of my frustrations with my FZ10 is that it is completely menu driven. You can’t even switch to spot metering or macro without going to the menu – even my little pocket camera doesn’t make me do that.

You seem to be limited to specials at a specific shop. Tell us what your shop has on sale right now and we can comment on cameras.
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Old Jan 30, 2004, 2:09 PM   #5
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Uuuups,i din't mean what i said. What i wanted to say was that the other two cameras apart from the hp don't have a 2.0 to 3.2 aperture and maybe it would be difficult to get good low light shots with them.
There've been other cameras i was interested in but they were a little more expensive. I don't know if it's worth to expend that extra more.They were:

- Fuji s5000 (really beatifull,small,10xoptical,only 2sec,3mpix,....)
->399euros;
- Olimpus c740(3mpix,10xoptical,loosy lens,...) ->399euros
- Minolta Z1(3mpix,fragile,good specs,...) -> 399euros

I don't know if that minolta f200... is it worth to pay that money more?Don't know,don't know...Are those extra manual controls usefull (more image sizes, manual, sharpness control,...)
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Old Jan 30, 2004, 3:06 PM   #6
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Everything you have listed have sharpness settings and manual controls – although they don’t all have manual focus. They all also have multiple image sizes, but you really want a memory card large enough to take full size. The only time I have taken shots at less than full size and at least best quality JPG was when I was messing with some 360 degree panoramas to reduce the stitch time. You never know when you are going to get a good picture you want to blow up on your wall. Or what use you will have for the images in the future.

I don’t know what to say about the Minolta. You tend to get a lot more pictures with a camera you can carry in your pocket. But pocket cameras are usually limited. Personally if I could have only one camera it would be a good pocket camera. I have two big cameras and a pocket camera. The big cameras are both more capable, but I get more pictures with the little one because it is always with me. I would get a Pentax 555 (5X zoom) if I didn’t already have a decent 5Mp pocket camera (Oly C50). But the 555 is probably pricey over your way. They have a rebate on it going until tomorrow in the US – don’t know about Europe.

Dave at Imaging Resource listed the F300 as one of his picks, but Steve didn’t. Picture quality is good – take a look at Steve’s sample pictures for the F100 and F300 – same lens and the F200 might have less noise than the F300. You don’t see much on the F200 – I think it is a newer model. In the US it comes with Photoshop Elements 2 and Photoshop album – nice software if you don’t have a good photo editor and organization program. The camera is rare in that you can zoom while taking video and there is no length limit. And it comes with a charger and NiMH batteries (I think – the 100 and 300 do).

Both Steve and Dave have both the S5000 and Z1 on their picks and have the Oly 750 since it is the newest. I think all three of those you listed would be fine if you want a long lens. The HP was a good buy but I guess it isn’t an option.
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Old Jan 31, 2004, 8:19 AM   #7
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Well, not all of them have the same amount of manual controls. For example the hp850 doesn't have full manual ( choosing both speed and aperture at the same time), nor sharpness setting, nor manual focus. The other two have that. The F200 also have exposure braketing. Actually i have never had a digicam (i only had the hp for 5 days) so i really don't know if those extra features are really important.

The hp850 is still one main option as the F200 and the a70 are.In the shop they told that they'll bring a new hp850 for me to try it.

The real problem with the other camearas i told you is mainly the extra money i would have to pay...if only they were cheaper...

I agree with you about the mpix in my fotos, i will almost allways use the full mpix count of the camera.

I think that i prefer the F200 or the hp850 over the a70.

The F200 is really smaller,has more manual features, i think it is quicker than the hp 850.

The hp850 has a F2.0-F3.2 (better fotos with less light?), a 8xOptical Fuji zoom, an EVF,...

I can't decide wich one to choose. Does someone know wich one has more quality in the fotos,more quality pictures?

Thanks for your help :P [/quote]
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Old Jan 31, 2004, 10:23 AM   #8
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I don’t know where you are reading that the HP has a f2.0 lens at wide settings but I don’t think it is true . Both the dpreview report and Steve’s say it is 2.8 – 3.1. It seems to be a discontinued model replaced by the 945 so there isn’t anything about it on HP’s site except maybe support.

I know of several cameras with manual but no aperture and shutter priority. The 850 breaks new ground reversing that. I see little use for shutter and aperture priority with manual and program, but there is no substitute for having manual.

And the HP has a dearth of physical controls. My FZ10 is purely menu driven with no physical controls and it is less than desirable. You learn to navigate the menus pretty quickly and don’t have to take your eye from the EVF, but it would still be better to have some controls.

The HP is a little slow. And the low refresh rate which causes longer than average EVF delay would give you fits trying to photograph something in motion laterally to you.

Even so it is a good buy. You basically can’t get night shots. And have to learn to mess with menus for every setting.

The F200 has tracking/continuous focus which lets you pre-focus in many more situations. The F300 is very fast pre-focused and I presume the newer F200 is as well. There is no EVF delay so you get the picture you want.

And the Elements + Album software combo is a good deal if it is included in the Europe package. Those are the latest version and the best price I can find online for the software package is over $100. If you don’t already have an image editor it is a good deal.

I would much prefer the F200 to the A70. The included charger and batteries with the F200 make up for a little of the price difference. I like the internal sensor that keeps track of “down” and orients the pictures so some aren’t laying on their sides when you view them. Also has a state of the art buffer. It also brightens the LCD scene display in dim light – something many don’t do. It has long exposure noise reduction which is a desirable feature. It has manual focus and the monitor zooms to make it more practical. Something to check is whether the focus distance reads out on the LCD.

The F200 is evidently not marketed in the US BTW.

Can you get a price on the Konica Revio 510 AKA Minolta G500? A very nice little camera for the price on this side of the ocean. It doesn’t have continuous focus like all the other Minoltas because Konica designed it, but it has full manual exposure, some pre-set manual distances, a good flash and 5Mp/3X zoom at a bargain price – over here at least.
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Old Feb 3, 2004, 12:14 PM   #9
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I finally got a Minolta F200. It's been 49 euros more than the HP. I really like the manual mode and its quickness(at least it si quicker than the HP850). Inside the packet there was the camera, a quick guide a CD-Rom with the manual, Minolta dimage viewer and some cables. There was no charger or those programs you tell about
After 1day using it i don't know why but I tend to think that its foto quality is worse than the HP850's one,but when i review similar fotos on the PC I find that they are not worse(nor better), they are just different.
I have read something about the colours on the minoltas and something like that it is necessary to post process them. Is that true?? Does it mean that i can't take them to a photo shop to develop from the SD (without postprocessing)?
I'll be testing the camera for some days and then i will stay with it or just return it.
Thanks for the help :P
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Old Feb 3, 2004, 1:21 PM   #10
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If you don’t want to post process the images make sure your sharpening, contrast and saturation are set at medium and your white balance to automatic. If you like contrastier or more saturated images to show onscreen you can increase those, but going to maximum contrast is probably going to give less than ideal prints.

The printing equipment enhances images so I would send a representative batch of images to be printed with everything set at medium to see how they come out.

Some cameras like Sony output images that many people call Disneyfied. Some people really like them that way. I looked at Steve’s sample photos and find the HP pictures to indeed be more saturated than the F300 pictures. But most of the HP skies end up an artificial looking deep blue/turquoise rather than a natural sky blue. I personally like the Minolta rendition better and feel the colors better represent the actual scene.

You can save the originals for printing if they come out well with your test batch and have the Dimage software batch process everything to another folder with increased saturation and whatever other enhancements you would want to make if you like them a little more dramatic onscreen.

Tracking/continuous focus mode uses more battery but has some great advantages. If you are taking pictures of perpetual motion rugrats or people at gatherings they will be sharply focused even if they move toward or away from the camera since it focuses all the way to shutter release. You can also pre-focus in more situations pushing the shutter halfway. The F series has a very low shutter delay when pre-focused. Without the feature you have to release the shutter and pre-focus again if your target moves but the Minolta will just keep focusing.

Use flash for indoor shots and outdoor portraits with the subject within about 8 feet of the camera. I use spot metering often with all of my cameras. You can make sure the main object in the photo is exposed properly. I find that pre-metering with the spot on different parts of a scene gives me a different white balance for the shots as well. When you pre-focus by half depressing the shutter you also pre-meter, which you often have to do with spot metering.

You wouldn’t want to buy extra NiMH batteries until you are sure you will keep the camera, but they are inexpensive and a spare set is good to have if you keep the camera. You will probably have to carry a spare set if you get a large SD card and use a lot of flash, LCD and continuous focus.

The F200 is apparently a newer model and the HP 850 is an older discontinued one. Newer cameras are usually faster and more battery efficient with better buffers. The F200 seems to have a good buffer and an improved control interface over the F300.
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