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Old Oct 28, 2002, 7:27 AM   #1
ES
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Default C-730 or HP850?

I am going to dive for the first time in the Digicam market....currently undecided on 2 these digicams (Olympus C730 vs HP Photosmart 850).

Main requisite for me are:
good resolution (3 or 4 mpix), long zoom (>=300mm equivalent) and price in the range of these cams. Size is also important, but these two are quite similar.

I have read about some fringing issues with the 850.....you are the experts: what do you think?

Thanks for your suggestions!!

Enrico
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 9:20 AM   #2
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I believe the Olympus C730 may be the better of the two cameras.
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Old Oct 29, 2002, 12:26 PM   #3
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Two things put me off the HP.

1, no LCD display
2, no manual focus.

Or so I believe.
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 1:42 PM   #4
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If you look at Steve's reviews, you can see the color fringing probelm with the 850 is fairly noticeable in fairly normal circumstances. Compare the restaurant shots of the two cameras, for example. On the other hand, it does get better resolution than the 730. The 730 also has more noise, but if you're going to view the pics at a reduced size on screen or print mostly at less than 8x10, you'll probably never notice (you won't notice the color fringing from the 850 quite so much either). The 730 also has a problem with fringing, but it doesn't show up as often.

I think I prefer the color of the 730. It's less saturated, which is more realistic. Its color can also be adjusted in more ways than with the 850. The 730 has the best feature set in terms of manual and auto exposure controls.

The 850 has a nice low light focus assist light, which helps make up for the lack of manual focus (though not completely). You can't view all the control menus on the EVF with the 850, but that's not such a useful feature anyway, unless you're good at pushing buttons on your camera while your face is up against it. (It does an LCD on the back, of course.)

The 730 will eventually have the greater memory capacity, with the new xD cards, but that's not such a big deal with size files you get with these cameras--you can just carry extra cards.

HP doesn't have great reputation for its digicams, so you might expect more trouble wirh that brand.

If picture quality at full resolution is more important to you than zoom, you might also have a look at the Fuji S602, which is available online for about $500. It has less zoom but better sharpness. It might be too sharp, really (some of that sharpness comes from in camera sharpening that produces increased "jaggies" and contrastiness), and the color is a little oversaturated, I think, but it's a look that many might prefer overall (maybe even me). A very fine camera with other nice features as well. A little bigger than the other two, though.

Good luck.
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 1:46 PM   #5
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If zoom is not a major requirement, consider the Olympus C4000.
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