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Old Feb 10, 2006, 12:33 AM   #1
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I'm in the market for a new camera and the only model that has absolutely everything I'm looking for is the SP-320. CNET's preview was pretty useless, and I haven't seen any other previews on other digicam sites, so I went on the Olympus site, and in addition to cosmetic changes (prettier charcoal color), it's also going to have image stabilization. Hopefully they'll have tweaked the battery issue, too, but I guess we won't know until it's out. For me, the size+resolution+RAW+IS+threaded barrel=near perfection. But I'm still a bit torn between that and the Canon A620, only because the Canon has gotten such good reviews and has a twisty LCD, but it lacks RAW and I love to play on Photoshop.

So I'm wondering a) whether I should go with the one with better specifications but fewer and less positive reviews (Olympus) or the one without some of the features I want, but which is hugely popular (Canon), b) what current users of the SP-310 really think of it (I read the posted reviews, but thought people might have something to add), and c) if y'all think it's worth suffering through another month waiting for the SP-320. Although if it's not available by the 3rd week of March, it won't matter anyway because I need to buy by then.

I posted on the "Which should I buy" forum but am not getting many replies, so please forgive me for posting here, too. But I really am looking for some validation on the Olympus camera...I think I really want it...but it's an expensive decision to make, and I'm a bit wary of buying something brand-new to the market. And choosing a digital camera is so much more difficult now than it was last time I bought one!

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Old Feb 27, 2006, 11:33 PM   #2
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From what I hear the Canon is an awesome camera. I can't comment on the SP-320 obviously but I'd definately hold out if you made up your mind to get an SP model from Olympus. The reviews on the 310 and 350 have been very unkind and while I've seen images taken from them and have thought they were great, I was very disappointed with how slow the camera was. Quite frustrating on occasion. I do realise however that there are many owners who just love them. If the 320 has a better engine (hopefully = faster) then it could be a capable camera indeed. My advice? Wait for Steve's review (they're generally very true to form it seems) on the 320 or go the Canon.

A couple of others you also may want to consider is the LX1 from Panasonic and the S80 from Canon. The latter has no raw support either though. You'll find that many use these as 'backups' for their more expensive DSLR equipment. I know the LX1 has IS. I own a Pana fz30 and am thrilled with it's image quality.

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Old Mar 22, 2006, 10:35 PM   #3
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i'm also very interested in the sp-320 because of it's specs, but just can't click on BUY because of all the 'slow' performance reviews of the sp-310 and sp-350. i tested the sp-350 at best buy and it WAS disappointingly slow when saving an image.

i called Olympus and spoke to their tech rep. He did not have much information regarding the sp-320, but somehow said that it has the same engine as the sp-310.
however, battery problems has been corrected.

if that's the case, the slow performance will carry over. maybe the new H type cards will make it a little faster.

it's a shame that other olympus cameras with the same True Turbo pic processor is fast and this one (at least the sp 310 and sp350) are not.

let's hope the tech was wrong and that the sp-320 is hopefully fast.

in any case, i probably can't wait and will spring for the canon A540. it almost has the same specs, 1 less Mpixel, 85k lcd vs 115k, but also 4x zoom and i tested it at best buy and it was a pleasure to use.

to top it all, i have extra SD cards that i can pop into the A540.

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