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Old May 3, 2003, 1:49 PM   #1
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Default Aaaargh! In search of the ever-elusive perfect digicam

Ever wonder why just one manufacturer can't get all the features we want in one camera?

I've been using a little Canon A40 for the past year and love it for its ease of use, size, great battery life, etc. In fact, the only things I don't like are the perpetual "soft" focus and lack of real shutter priority, scene modes and close macro ability. But I could live without those things if it would just take sharp pictures, and this it seems incapable of doing, even after the firmware focus patch.

So I decide it's time to move up. I want something with a sharp lens, a little more zoom, a good close macro, AA batteries and/or really good battery life. A CF memory would be nice, too. Unfortunately, such a combination of features does not seem to exist.

The G3 has everything but a good macro. The Nikon 4500 has everything but a decent battery life. The Olympus C4000 has everything but a 4x zoom and a friendly user interface.

Why can't Nikon make a camera with a decent battery system? Why can't Canon make a good macro? Why can't Olympus design a decent user interface?

It's simply amazing to me. If one of these companies could get all these things right in one camera, they would sell a boatload of them. Aaaargh! Heck, I'd be happy if Canon would just put a decent lens on the A70! (Actually, I suspect the lens is not that bad; I think they "detune" the focus on purpose to force more discriminating photographers toward more expensive models.)

Any suggestions for a frustrated shopper? Thanks.
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Old May 3, 2003, 2:33 PM   #2
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Check out the Minolta S414, this is an excellent camera. 4MP, 4x zoom, lots of features including manual control, takes AA batteries. Also uses a CF card.
Steve has a great review on this camera.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/s414.html
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Old May 3, 2003, 3:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSD
Check out the Minolta S414, this is an excellent camera. 4MP, 4x zoom, lots of features including manual control, takes AA batteries. Also uses a CF card.
Steve has a great review on this camera.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/s414.html
I appreciate the suggestion. I've looked at that and the lens isn't quite as sharp or fast as the others, the lcd isn't very bright and the macro is no better than the g3.
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Old May 3, 2003, 7:40 PM   #4
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Problems like this are not confined to consumer digicams, but are found in expensive dSLR's as well. My EOS-1D doesn't have a zoom on the LCD. For the nearly $6000 I paid for it, one would think that such a feature would be a given - but it's unfortunately not.

Of the problems you mention, battery life is much less an evil than soft focus, etc. Buy the CP4500 and get a couple spare batteries. I shoot the 4500 all day with three batteries and that's using the LCD for focus (digiscoping) and running 1 gigabyte microdrives. It's MUCH quicker to change the one battery than to swap four AA's on my 990 or 950. You can do it in the dark without even looking - try that with AA's!

There is no "perfect" camera. Probably there never will, but the CP4500 is a little jewel which has superb macro, the ability to shoot from wide angle (with adapter lens) to 6000mm with a good spotting scope.

Yes, it gives up a little in the way of lens speed, but the trade-off is that you get extreme macro and telephoto, decent images and resolution and a compact and seriously versatile tool.

I have way over 20 digicams, and if I could take only one with me for general purpose photography, it would be one of the my little Nikons. I favor the 4500.

Lin
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Old May 3, 2003, 11:08 PM   #5
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I agree with Lin about the 4500- generic batteries are only $10 each on ebay... that's not too bad... now I wish I hadn't bought the AA charger prematurely assuming my order for an S602 would go through... now for a 4500! :lol:
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Old May 4, 2003, 5:27 PM   #6
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Where did you order the S602 from? I ordered mine through B&H and I arrived within 5 days. This was just last month.
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Old May 4, 2003, 5:45 PM   #7
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I ordered from shopsunshine.com... the problem is, I can't afford the price from places like B&H... I'm cancelling that and buying the 4500 locally... after the rebate, I should get it for around $375.

Jeremy
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Old May 4, 2003, 6:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSD
Check out the Minolta S414, this is an excellent camera. 4MP, 4x zoom, lots of features including manual control, takes AA batteries. Also uses a CF card.
Steve has a great review on this camera.
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/s414.html
Yeah but it's a Minlota.

I agrree with the original post. Look at my thread in"general" on manufacturers losing the pot re. compacts and you'll see i agree. IMHO the lack of a wide angle still stuns me.
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