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Old Apr 26, 2003, 3:25 PM   #1
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Default Please recommend an ultracompact lightweight cam

Hi,

At the moment I have a monolithic Olympus C100 which has been a cheap and cheerful introduction to the world of digital photography, but I really want something smaller and lighter that i can take everywhere with me as the C100 weighs at least 300g and I hate having heavy stuff in my pockets - hence me having a 55g MD player, a 79g mobile, and i dont carry a wallet!

The camera mainly gets used on nights out where I take hundreds of drunken (literally, average is probably about 300) of photos of drunken friends. So I guess I am looking for something that works well in low light (mainly pubs and clubs) and decent battery life is very important if I am to continue to taking this amount of photos.
Image quality isn't hugely important as the pics get viewed on the PC not printed, and to be honest I was pretty happy with the quality of my Olympus, and I presume anything in this price range would be a fiar bit better. So we're not looking for megamegapixels. Video with sound would be nice to.

Oh, and I want it to look dead sexy!

I don't really want to spend more than 300.

Having done a bit of research on the internet, i've found the main candidates to be:

The Pentax Optio S
The Dimage X, Xi or Xt
The Casio Exlim EX-Z3

although I'm happy to hear any other recommendations. These seem to be the smallest available, but I dont know what they're like for battery life and low light photos. I would be willing to look at slightly larger cams if they are better in these respects.

So does anyone have any experience of the above cameras and would be able to advise which would be best given my criteria which in summary are: (in order of priority)

Small size
Lightweight
Decent battery life
Good in low light
Video w/ sound
Looks perty!

Thanks a LOT for reading this! any help would be greatly received!

Cheers

Pete
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 8:45 PM   #2
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Can't speak for the others, but I really like my Optio S. Takes good images, uses a pulsed flash for autofocus, so will autofocus in complete darkness. Takes excellent 3 megapixel images. Not as good a considerably larger 3 megapixel camera like the Canon S30, but good enough. The camera is tiny - fits nicely into an Altoid can. Will do excellent super macros - has enough battery life on a charge to take 150-180 photos. Uses SecureDigital or MultiMedia card (suggest SecureDigital). I use 256 meg SecureDigital in mine and carry an extra card and battery in my shirt pocket with the camera in an Altoid can.

Lin
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 8:53 PM   #3
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Hi Lin,

When looking at the Optio S, did you have a chance to compare it to the Casio EX-Z3? If so, why did you choose the Pentax over the Casio?
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Old Apr 27, 2003, 12:06 AM   #4
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Hi Lauren,
I did not compare it, simply was happy with the features and performance of the Optio S and purchased it.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old Apr 27, 2003, 10:55 AM   #5
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cheers Lin. The Optio S is my favourite so far, but I'd like to hear from any one else who has used these cams if possible
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Old Apr 28, 2003, 1:05 AM   #6
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On the Pentax Optio S.

A friend at work just bought this on Thursday during lunch. I'll ask him how he likes it so far and let you know. He was skeptical at first, so he may provide some good insight. This is also his 3rd high dollar digital camera in the past 2 years.

I'll also check out a few of the images, and play around with it Monday. I took a few images with it on Thursday, but did not get a chance to see the images on PC.


One small thing that I did not like... the power button is right next to the shutter release. Both are buttons, and I hit the power button a couple times instead of the shutter release. They should have used a different design for power-on/off if they wanted to put it there... not a button. Not only is it right next to, but the power button is also the furthest to the right when taking a picture... a spot normally used for the shutter release.

Once you got used to which is which, this probably wouldn't be a problem.
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Old Apr 28, 2003, 1:34 AM   #7
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How about the canon elphs? I'm not sure how much the s400/ ixus (i think its called in europe) 400 is in pounds, but the s/ ixus 230 should definitely suit your needs.
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Old Apr 28, 2003, 11:21 AM   #8
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I have had a chance to view the images taken by the Optio S, and get the opinion of the person who shelled out the $400.


He is very pleased with the camera, and will keep it. The images were very good IMO. He did say he had to turn up the sharpness and the color saturation from the default to get a better image though.

The feature that allows you to shift the focus point is nice, and he had already used it on more than one occasion.

The camera is built well too.

I don't think you would be dissapointed in it, but I can't compare it to the others you asked about.

Oh, and there is one type of Altoid can with rounder edges that it won't fit into, but the standard Altoid can works well. The case has enough room to fully close.
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Old Apr 28, 2003, 7:41 PM   #9
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Just a couple shots - my Optio S in it's Altoid can, a landscape shot and a link to a full sized untouched original worth looking at if you are interested in the camera - about 2 megabytes.

Lin



http://www.lin-evans.com/optio/bird.jpg
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Old Apr 30, 2003, 5:57 AM   #10
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What about the Casio QV -R4? I'm toying with the idea and got it down to either the Fuji 401, Pentax430, 430rs, optios or Casio QV -R4.

Why didn't any of you guys mention any of the others?
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