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Old Jan 9, 2005, 2:21 PM   #1
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I was just thinking this the other day, as I was shopping for a new "pocketable" camera to augment my D-70 for everyday use -- a Nikon wasn't even in the running.

There was a time, about 2-3 years ago, where someone in my position would only consider a Nikon. I had 2 Coolpix cameras over the years, a 950 and a 990. At their time, they were the pinnacle of digicam design and THE camera to have.

It's fair to say that since then the market has exploded. There are excellent cameras by several manufacturers, Nikon included. SLRs have become affordable for mere mortals. I have been happily using a D70 for the past year. But I also wanted a second camera, up-to-date, pocket-sized, "advanced" camera with manual controls. There are many photo opps in life, and I can't carry the D70 everywhere.

Normally, from my past positive experiences with the CP 9xx series and my long history of loyal Nikon ownership (from a Nikkormat through the D70) they would be the brand I would turn to.

But where is Nikon on the upper-midrange "compact" camera? Their latest high-end p/s cameras are much larger and less portable than the CP 9xx series. Their smaller, more portable cameras don't have the manual controls I need. Especially compared to the numerous offerings from Canon, Olympus, Pentax, et. al.

I hope moving into 2005 Nikon comes out with a camera aimed at "pros", who use one of their SLRs for real work but need a solid camera that's truly take-anywhere. A small, fast camera with manual controls, even if it has a fixed-focal length lens, like a 35mm 2.8.

I know many of you might own 5200s or 8400s, and they are excellent cameras. But they don't fit the bill I'm looking for. So, for now, I bought a Canon S70...
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Old Jan 9, 2005, 8:23 PM   #2
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I'd like a new version 9xx series with updated features, like AF assist lamp, movie modes, faster, with 2 to 2.5 inch LCD.
For some strange reason, the nikon 4500, which was probably their last camera of the swivel lens configuration, had only a 1.5 inch LCD. This was surprising to me...and a no-brainer on nikon's part.
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Old Jan 10, 2005, 7:19 AM   #3
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Kenny,

I'll second that request...a next generation 4500 with swivel body, 2.5" screen, no maddening shutter lag, the fine razor sharp 3X optics fromthe 990 (not the softer 4X optics from the 4500)and some other goodies useful for digiscoping.

If Nikon released such acamera, I'd start saving my money. I would hope that Nikon listens to its customers, but I fear the digital camera market is now a feeding frenzy by manufacturers on the legions of gullible consumers out there and annoyed knowledgeable customers sadly get lost in the noise.

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Old Jan 10, 2005, 6:21 PM   #4
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Steve...it depends how you look at it. Providing simple, cheap digitals to people who couldn't care less about manual controls etc is not a bad thing. I saw several newsclips this Xmas about the exploding popularity of digicams. Most people I know are very happy with their simple cameras and 5MP and 3X zoom at a few hundred bucks is a pretty good deal. Any manufacturer who ignores the meat and spuds market would be foolish. At the other end, there seem to be more cameras with a higher price and much more to offer to those interested. I expect any decision still is made with the economics of how it will sell being the criterion for production.

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Old Jan 10, 2005, 7:11 PM   #5
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Handycam, I couldn't agree more. That's exactly what I'd like to see, a high quality pocketable digicam that can be used by proffs and advanced amateurs as a go anywhere camera. Do you remember Ricoh R1? Many job photographers had one of these as a spare camera. Ricoh has failed to produce a digital counterpart to R1, although their GX was meant to be something like this it falls way short IMO.

For best quality a cam like this, as you say can have fast prime lens 35 mm equivalent or thereabout. It could be made quite compact even at f2 max aperture. Another part is the sensor. Small sensors with a huge number of pixels are simply too noisy to be used at anything above ISO100 without an aggresive noise reduction that, in turn, washes out detail. I'd like to see 4-5MP in a 2/3" size sensor. IMO this is good compromise between size and image quality. Another things that I'll be more than happy with are 2" high resolution screen plus a large optical viewfinder with a paralax frame, fast start-up and operation and AA cells compatibility. Of course all manual and semi-manal modes should also be there. No digital zoom, thanks and I can live without scene modes as well. If Nikon or any other manufacturer releases a camera like this I'll seriously consider it.
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Old Jan 10, 2005, 7:41 PM   #6
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I'm with you, blr. You hit the nail right on the head specs-wise. This would be ideal. And I agree, even 4-5 MP would be enough. It's a sin all the manufacturers are in the megapixel wars, and concentrate on upping the pixels while never developing other useful features.

Perhaps if they could forego the zoom, scene modes etc they could use a larger sensor. A camera like this would really benefit from a usable ISO 400. and small, fast, quiet. And able to stay "on" all day like my D-70 can (albeit with the LCD off). Ready to shoot at a moment's notice.

Interestingly, the only camera that approaches this is that high-end Epson rangefinder camera that uses Leica and Canon rangefinder lenses. Except it's limited-production and over $2000. Absurd. And I would like to retain the option of autofocus and autoexposure. Sometimes this is handy, as long as you can go fully manual when need be.

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Old Jan 10, 2005, 7:52 PM   #7
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I think that all digital camera companies should just scrap the digital zoom in digicameras.
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Old Jan 13, 2005, 9:40 PM   #8
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Kenny_Leong wrote:
Quote:
I think that all digital camera companies should just scrap the digital zoom in digicameras.
You got that right. From the first digicam I bought to my last, I have never found digital zoom worth a hoot. Absolutely useless.
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Old Jan 13, 2005, 10:32 PM   #9
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Not only digital zooms -- I would love a camera with a fixed 35mm (35mm film camera equivalent) f2 lens. Furthermore, if it's a prime lens let's make it so it doesn't need to extend at all -- maybe even flush with the body.

If I could have a small, fast camera with a fast lens and quick startup I don't need a zoom.
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 2:39 AM   #10
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Actually, I change my mind a bit now. I wouldn't mind a digital camera that allows us the option of optically zooming in on a subject, then allow us to use digital zoom to zoom in a bit more....but when we press the shutter button, the camera will capture only the optically zoomed picture. The digital zoom could be just an aid to ensure that everything's sharp before taking the pic at the optical-zoom level.
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