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Old May 24, 2004, 12:15 PM   #1
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Hi everybody,

I'm looking around for my 2nd digital camera. My first was a Canon S20 which died recently.....may it rest in peace....

now comes the problem, I'm looking for a camera to take with me to Japan. I want a very small camerathat I can snap pics with of stuff I encounter during my 1 month stay in Tokyo. I'm going to use it as my main vacation camera and as snap shot camera for a weblog I'll be keeping.

I've been reading reviews, forums, more reviews, more forums, and basically I'm very confused.

until now I've been looking at the Casio EX-Z40, the Pentax Optio S4(i), the Minolta G400, the Sony DSC-T1, and perhaps the Nikon Coolpix 3700

I'm basically looking for a 4 MP to 5 MP camera, it needs to be very small, good picture quality, and not over the top expensive. When I read the forums about these camera's all get torn down, or praised into heaven, but everywhere I look the comments are harsh.

Until now I've concluded that the T1 is at the edge of my budget and the memory stick pro won't help much. The 3700 has 3.2 MP, which is on the low side, especially if I may choose to make a larger print of some pics (mt. Fuji sunset ) and the Minolta G400 is the largest I'd like it to be, preferably smaller. I have my doubts about the Casio since I've heard a lot of stuff about the nifty features but poor picture quality and the failing of the Best Shot system to get the desired picture. Steve gave me lots of doubts about the Optio s4, basically.....I just don't know what to choose.

Any advice would be welcome

Regards,

Skippy
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Old May 24, 2004, 12:33 PM   #2
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I'm not too familiar with the cameras on your list, but wouldn't it be better getting your camera when you get to Japan, as they have all the new stuff first.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old May 24, 2004, 12:39 PM   #3
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I've been thinking about that, but there are a few basic problems with that.

First: they use 110 volt instead of 220v....I live in the Netherlands... and they also use a different plug type, which means using an adapter the rest of its lifetime, or buying a different charger/cradle. Second: Dutch import taxes are gruesome.....19.5%....and trying to sneak it through customs may work but is still risky. Third: I'd prefer a decent shop in my area where I can visit with my complaints or desires, I value old fashioned shopping :-)
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Old May 24, 2004, 9:21 PM   #4
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Out of those cameras, my personal tastes lie with Pentax.

Much more sleek in function, and many more options as far as scene modes and the like. With any of the super compact cameras, battery life isnt going to be the greatest, but its a tradeoff for the body size.

As far as image quality the Pentax, Casio, and Sony are very close. As far as a layman's opinion, they are all pretty darn good! Just don't let yourself compare cams like those to, say a Canon 10D or Nikon D100.

As I probably end up saying to everyone that i answer camera questions for, the best thing to do is go to the store and play with them!! The best way to determine which camera is best for you is a good old fashioned play session. Just make sure that you work all the buttons, and go through the shooting modes.

Hope that helps!
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Old May 24, 2004, 10:06 PM   #5
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The T1 has a pitifully weak flash and no viewfinder other than the LCD, although the LCD is really nice. It takes great movies if you are into that.

Read Steve's report on the S4 and look at the sample pictures.

Also:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/OPTS4/S4A.HTM

It is a competent little camera. Pentax has been putting out the occasional camera with a soft edge since the S(3). People just exchange them and usually get a good one. It doesn't say too much for their quality control, but I am almost certain Steve got a bad one. The only thing on the S4i that is appealing to me compared to the S4 is the larger LCD.

In the US the Minolta G500 is cheaper than the T1 as is the SD memory. The G400 has a weak flash and I have read about focus problems in low light. The G500 is a better camera IMO.
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Old May 24, 2004, 11:10 PM   #6
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How about adding another choice:

Canon Digital Elph S410 4MP or S500 5MP
Both have mostly good reviews for a compact camera. Canon is known to produce one of the best small cameras. They might be worth a good look. I have heard very little complaints accept for some on the Red Eye issue.
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Old May 25, 2004, 3:44 AM   #7
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wow, thanks for all the responses, thanks guys

I'll look into the Canon's you mentioned, for the rest I've decided to remove the T1 from my list because with all the extra costs you have to make it's just too expensive. I've also decided against the Casio EX-Z4 because of the mandatory use of the cradle, it's just not practical for somebody on the move. So now it's down to the Canon's, the Nikon 3700, the Pentax S4(i) and the Minolta G400. The indoor results of the last worry me indeed, but I've done some looking around in the local photo specialists and discovered one that sells the G400, the Pentax S4 (non i) and the Nikon 3700, most of the batteries were dead, the seller said he would recharge the batteries and have the pentax, minolta and nikon ready for me tomorrow to test, I'll keep you all updated on my decision.

Thanks and regards,

Skippy


P.S. about the G500, it's bigger than the G400 and the G400 is already the largest I'd like it to be
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