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Old Mar 9, 2004, 8:38 AM   #1
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Default assistance, please

I'm sure you folks get a lot of this kind of question, but I'm shopping for a digicam to do some specific things.

I do ornamental ironwork, and I take pictures of railings inside and out side of my jobs for my portfolio. I use an old Kodak dc120 to take pictures of the building while I do my measurements, print up the pictures on paper, and draw on them.

The problems I encounter when photographing railings are related to being unable to get back from the railing far enough, and depth of field issues with focus. (We have a Teffin wide-angle lens for the Kodak) We have this problem with film also. Shadows from flash can be a problem, too.

I've decided to buy a new digital camera of around 5 mpixels, to take portfolio quality pictures, and have looked at the zooms like the HP 945, the Fuji S5000, and the Minolta 7hi. I'm budgeting about $500. I have gone to stores and handled the Fuji and the hp, and it seems from the viewfinder that the wide angle is better than most cameras even without a lens.

I very open to recommendations about these or other models.

"snap shots" are not important to me, although I do use the camera as a volunteer firefighter to take pictures of scenes, and for training.
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 9:24 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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Out of the 3 models you are considering, the Minolta would have a big advantage on the wide angle end. Here are the 35mm equivalent focal lengths for these models:

Fuji S5000: 37mm - 370mm
BTW, the Fuji S5000 is a 3 Megapixel Camera (the 6 Megapixel Mode is using interpolation to add pixels). Interpolation does not appear to increase detail with this model (no real advantage to shooting in the 6 Megapixel Mode). You can interpolate using software later if you need more pixels for larger prints (but adding pixels will not increase detail captured).

HP 945: 37mm - 300mm

Minolta 7HI: 28mm - 200mm

Note that the 7HI was replaced with the newer DiMAGE A1. A newer DiMAGE A2 is also now available. All of these models (7HI, A1, A2) have a 28mm to 200mm equivalent zoom lens. That's one of the reasons that many people like them (they have a "wider" wide angle than most models).

You may also want to take a look at the Nikon Coolpix 5000 (no longer in production) or the Nikon Coolpix 5400. Both of these models also have a 28mm wide angle setting:

Nikon Coolpix 5000: 28mm to 85mm
Nikon Coolpix 5400: 28mm to 116mm

The newer Olympus C-5060 is yet another camera to look at. It has a 27mm to 110mm equivalent zoom lens.

Unfortunately, most of these models will exceed your desired budget (unless you can find a good deal on a used or refurbished camera).
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Old Mar 10, 2004, 9:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Default a1 vs 7hi

I just checked the reviews and prices on the A1, and it seems that I can get a good deal, maybe better than on the 7hi. Seems like a no-brainer.

I really wanted the zoom and the wide angle, so these seem perfect. You also helped rule out the HP 945, which is mostly zoom, less angle.

Just the advice I needed. I'm going to prowl around the discussions board on A1s now. thanks!
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