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Old May 14, 2003, 3:07 PM   #1
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Hi...

I've been contemplating moving over to digital for a while now, but i just can't find enough direct comparisons on the internet to help me decide... so i was wondering if someone here could help me!

My main concerns are shutter speed. I borrowed a friends camera and found that it took about a second of holding down the button before it took a picture, and moving target shots were out of the question. Also compatability with Microdrive would be a plus, because i go away for long periods without access to a computer and a gig of space to store would be very handy. Although it's not essential. I'm not sure whether to go that much pricier and get a camera with a changeable lens.

I have a budget of approximately $1000, i was hoping for a camera at 5mp or better, but i'm not sure if that's going to happen.

It's going to be used for semi-professional photography, including some modelling shots mounted on a tripod, so if anyone will actually take the time to reply then by all means give me advice if i need to spend a little more to go a mile better!

Thanks a lot
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Old May 14, 2003, 3:34 PM   #2
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The delay in the picture capture is called Shutter Lag. This is the time it takes the camera to auto adjust all the settings. You can avoid this lag by using manual settings or depressing the shutter halfway, wait for the auto focus, then click the picture.

The Olympus C5050 is a great camera in your price range with the following features:

5mp
3X optical zoom
moveable lcd panel
F1.8 lens and all glass optics
Accepts Compact Flash, Smart Meida, Micro Drive and XD picture card.
Photo assist lamp for those low light pics.
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Old May 14, 2003, 8:32 PM   #3
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The Sony 717 is very fast for a (prosumer) 5Mpx camera. Shutter lag in full auto is of the order of 650 milliseconds as compared to an average of 800 milliseconds for cameras in this class, and if you pre-focus as Mr. Gibson suggests, the shutter lag is around 120 milliseconds as compared with the average ranging between 200 - 300 millisecond. The 717 has a feature set comparable to (if not greater than) the Oly 5050. Well worth checking into.

I don't have first hand experience with the 717. My comments are solely based on literature research.

see http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/F717/F71A7.HTM
for review information that compliments the fine 717 review found at http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/f717.html
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Old May 14, 2003, 8:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Seasoned person's advice required!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturdaywaits
... Also compatability with Microdrive would be a plus, because i go away for long periods without access to a computer and a gig of space to store would be very handy...
I have two microdrives and like them, but I'm not sure I would go that route now. Solid state memory has dropped in price enough now that the microdrive has doesn't have the outstanding advantage it had a year ago.

Watch out for smart media and Sony's memory stick - they max out at 128M which means having a lot of them for substantial storage. Keeping track of a bunch of little things bouncing about in the bottom of a bag while on vacation has little apeal to me. Really a shame Sony did that - lots of folks seem to like the 717.
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Old May 14, 2003, 10:39 PM   #5
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Alas, 'tis true. SM and Sony MS cards are (arguably) acceptable for 2Mpx and 3Mpx cameras, but become quite limiting at capture resolutions above that.

...and while we are on the subject of the Sony 717; I personally would like it much better if it used AA form factor NiMh batteries.
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Old May 15, 2003, 4:59 AM   #6
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You might want to check out the D7Hi (or the D7i for several hundred less). Theses are probably the fastest cameras on this side of a full fledge dSLR, and use both AA's NiMh and microdrives... They also have EVF features that are quite unique and amazing like 'What You See Is What You Get' on full manual, and a real-time histogram to help you fine tune that exposure. Best of all they are priced under 1k and can go as wide as 28mm as well.

BTW for indoor modeling shots theses cameras are one the few rare breeds that will let you reduce the power of the built-in flash to control thoses studio slaves with no pre-flash! 8) 8) 8)
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Old May 17, 2003, 12:22 PM   #7
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Hi guys, thanks a lot for the help.

I've got a question about the sony - does it only take the sony cards? Because if they max out at 128 then it's pretty hopeless, i checked out the specs of it though and it seems like a very very nice camera, the one i was most immediately drawn to.

Other than that i went into a shop today and checked out a 5mp Coolpix, and the Fuji Finepix s602. Do you know anything about either of these? I've heard a mixture of good and bad things about the SuperCCD in the finepix's. Some say good, some say bad. But i personally thought that going for a straight 5mp (coolpix) would be better than going for a 3mp that interpolates to a 6, because surely the interpolation can't double the quality...

And i heard from the man in the shop that XD were looking to move up to 4gig memory cards, so i was thinking maybe one with XD would be good.

All your comments are incredibly appreciated, it's great to be able to post and get help from such seasoned and friendly people
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Old May 17, 2003, 12:37 PM   #8
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Oh one thing i just read, the 717 is compatible with the sony magic gate 1gb memory sticks! I just had a quick look and seem to be able to find them on the net for around $500, maybe they could be a little cheaper though.

that's swaying me a little...
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Old May 17, 2003, 12:50 PM   #9
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1G CF flash could be had for 1/2 that price and even less! Multiple gigabyte CF flashes can be bought now... Also volume drive down price, and the CF is the most popular. One can only hope other formats will go down in price, but if all the higher resolution, and pro-cameras only use the popular CF, I would bet against it... :P

BTW sD and MMc are much more popular than xD or memory stick too in the PDA market. So stick with CF(cheap film) and AA rechargeables(cheap power) enabled cameras and you'll be much better off! 8)
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Old May 17, 2003, 2:47 PM   #10
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I've been evaluating the the DiMAGE 7Hi -v- the Sony DSC-717 as a next step up. Although I dislike the idea of proprietary batteries, I've read that the 717 and its lithium battery get greater than 400 shots on a charge (IMHO this is excellent). This would seem to be about 4X the number of shots with the DiMAGE 7Hi. So maybe not having AA batts is not such a negative factor after all.
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