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Old May 23, 2004, 6:05 AM   #1
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As mentioned in a previous thread, I had decided to buy ahead of reviews - plainly because I couldn't wait any longer.

I'm limited to internal 12MB memory at present so I haven't done a great deal but theres some interesting points I want to share (the 256MB SD card is in the post!).

My first concern is the audio quality - if a picture memo is recorded the playback quality is poor. Likewise the audio for movie recording is equally poor (I will be calling my dealer today to try and get a replacement).

My second concern, which I haven't had the opportunity to fully test yet, is the image noise. The swedish (?) review linked to by another member in a previous thread did demonstrate higher than expected noise in one of the images - and I think this may be apparent on my camera too.

Other than that the feel and build quality seems very high, with a very impressive profile and the turn-on/off time is astonishingly fast. (the battery cover doesn't feel like it will pass the test of time however).

Was I right to buy this instead of the canon S500 or sony DSC-W1 - I hope so!
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Old May 23, 2004, 8:09 PM   #2
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LT, I'm also very interested in this camera, but haven't been able to find it in any of the shops here Down Under as yet (we tend to be a bit behind the times!). I would love to hear some more feedback as to how the 5200 is performing, and would really appreciate it if you could post some shots.

Have all your photos come out 'softish' - or is this something you can compensate for using the manual settings?

Is the in-built red-eye reduction software any good?

What's the movie mode like apart from the sound? What is the exact problem with the sound?

Look forward to hear more soon!


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Old May 24, 2004, 4:35 PM   #3
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As I said I haven't received my SD card yet and with the 12MB internal memory, you have only 8 seconds of video in VGA mode. That said I've still played with it and to be honest I'm very impressed. Playing the video back through the TV has given good results (even the audio is good - still quiet but not at all like that observed on the camera playback or the PC - I would have investigated this further had the battery not died). It seems that movie capture drains the battery fast - but then with only 1100mAh its never going to last very long.

Another feature I have encountered is the need for a 'special' SD card. The manual suggests the SD card should have a write speed of 10MB/sec (which is fast !) to prevent movie mode failing. The only card that acheives this and is tested by Nikon is the Panasonic which happens to be pretty expensive. The popular Sandisk ultra II (the fast one!) even falls short of this performance merit.

My old camera is a 2MP fuji finepix 2600, which I expected to be blown out the water with the new one - and put simply it hasn't. Nikons S/W - picture project isn't as user friendly as the finepix S/W for a start - and this is the root of my problems. I've been taking more pictures and I'm still undecided - should I be using noise reduction?, should I add more sharpening?, should I use be using the scene modes? I've lost myself in sea of perfect pictures offered by the review websites I think - and really this camera might be as good as it gets. Don't forgetit has as good a profile as I've seen - it fits nicely into a shirt pocket!! - perfect for the instant snaps I'm after.

As for posting images, I'm not sure how to on a forum - I guess I would just use up all of Steve's space and I don't have my own area. This could be a blessing in disguise becuase I think he will be putting some pictures up from his review in the next few days which will be taken correctly and in a controlled environment.

LT
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Old May 27, 2004, 4:26 AM   #4
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LT, have you done anymore testing yet? have you got your sd card?

Matt
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Old May 27, 2004, 7:11 PM   #5
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Hi,

The SD card was cancelled - luckily - I'm not sure whether I'm keeping the camera is the first reason and secondly it wasn't the high speed type required. As mentioned in my previous thread to write VGA @ 30fps to memory a 10MB/sec transfer rate is required which only the Panasonic card appears to meet.

As for my testing - well I think I was a little harsh initially. The images do appear soft (which seems to be the current trend), and in my opinion underexposed. The manual suggests sharpening be used if you intend to print directly, and since using this with the noise reduction I've been much happier with the pictures. This does lengthen the time before another shot can be taken (a possible reason for not including it in AUTO mode - helps acheive an amazing 2.5fps) but the images look good - as opposed to some sharpened images I've seen.

The automatic red-eye removal is a hard one to quantify - I've taken some shots which demonstrate pretty average red eye. But I've taken alot more where there isn't any trace - perhaps it does work. What I can't understand is if you're expected to sharpen the pictures in post processing then surely you can manage red-eye removal....

I'm still bemused as to why the audio seems to be better all of a sudden (see my previous thread). Its still poor mono, but adequate. Actual video footage seems superb,very fluid(all 8 secs thatI get on the internal 12MB).

As for the camera, you can't help but be impressed by the shape and its speed.

My advice is see what the pros say in their reviews - before you go and see it. Once you have it in your hands you'll buy it.

LT
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Old May 27, 2004, 8:47 PM   #6
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I got my coolpix today. I ordered off of ebay yesterday from an Aminty NY company called www.cameta.com The price was good and they shipped the same day. I'm not sure about the incamera redeye reduction. But the software that comes with the camera has a redeyereduction button that is the easiest I've ever used and I've tried them all from photoshop to microsoft's picture it. I'm still waiting to see what the pros say about the pic quality. But you can't go wrong with a NIKON I'm happy.
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Old May 27, 2004, 11:12 PM   #7
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Just been in the shop today evaluating both the Nikon 5200 and the Sony DSC-P100, did some shots under flash with both models and I must say the Sony was much faster to boot up and cycle for the next shot, the colour rendering on the Sony also looked superior, just a brief comparison but it tended to push me more in the direction of the Sony.
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Old May 28, 2004, 3:27 AM   #8
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I'm considering two cameras - the Nikon 5200 and the Sony W1 (pretty much the same camera as the P100, but in a different body). Since I can get either of these cameras at pretty much the same price, they have a similar video mode, and both offer some degree of flexibility in terms of manual settings, it really comes down to picture quality.

Does anyone have any comments about the difference in picture quality between the W1 (or P100) and the Nikon 5200?

Cheers
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Old May 29, 2004, 4:19 AM   #9
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Lt is the reason you are not keeping the camera anything to do with its quaility.

Matt
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Old May 29, 2004, 3:51 PM   #10
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Matt I returned the camera and took a replacement just to make sure the first wasn't a dud.

The camera is the same and with a few pictures under my belt I'm beginning to warm to it. I've read around the topic and think I was just expecting too much - not suggesting the camera is sub par - just that it isn't DSLR quality. I now use high sharpening with the images and noise reduction and they seem to be really good. I've just taken a few more today and transferred them to PC - I think I'm a convert.

In standard mode the images do appear soft, but this is the trend... why ? I think the only way the high frame rate can be achieved is with very little post-processing. Interesting the 4200 has good comments, some suggesting it is sharper than the 5200, but look at the frame rate - half that of the 5200 and for less pixels. And yes using the extra sharpening does slow the camera down - so is it all marketing??? The manual even suggests that if you intend to print direct from card, extra sharpening should be used - I 'almost' rest my case.

My alternative is/was the forthcoming Sony DSCW1 due out next week, but I think Ive got the right camera at the moment. I also bet its streets ahead of the canon s500, especially after reading some recent reviews.

Hope I haven't dampened your enthusiam - just tried to report things as I observed them....

LT


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