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Old Oct 13, 2006, 3:36 PM   #1
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I have been considering replacing my trusty Canon SD300 for some time, for a compact which has a bigger zoom and includes an image stabilizer.

The Canon has served me well but I am getting annoyed with so many of my shots getting spoiled by really bad purple fringing. The lack of an image stabilizer is not really such a big issue as it only has a 3x zoom and I can usually manage to hold the camera still enough to get sharp images.

I came across the Stylus 750 a few weeks ago and have been waiting for a full review on Steve's site. I have found some reviews in the UK but they conflict each other in a number of areas, some say the camera is really fast and some say it takes quite a bit of time to power up and is not very responsive. (One thing I like about the SD300 is that it is very responsive). I wonder if some of the early reviews have been done using pre-production versions of the 750.

So far, two cameras have got my attention:

Olympus Stylus 750 (5x optical zoom)

Ricoh R5 (7x optical zoom)

I like the idea of having a compact with large optical zoom, the Ricoh looks really interesting, the zoom is supposed to be really nice and has an excellent macro but the camera has not come off well in some other areas (handling, noise at higher ISO setting, locking up)

Although the Stylus 750 'only' has a 5x optical zoom I still think this would be really useful.

Since there isn't a full review on this site I though I would ask if there are any Stylus 750 owners out there who wouldn't mind sharing there experience of this new camera,

Thanks,

Kevin
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 10:02 PM   #2
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Just got a Stylus 750, upgraded from the 500. (and the 300 before that). So far I've been very impressed with the photo quality for such a tiny cam. I tested the 810 at Best Buy and the results were terrible compared to both the 500 and this new 750. The mechanical image stabilizer really works. I would recommend spending the extra $$ over the 740 with only digital image stabilization since all that does is up the ISO to 2500 and ruin the photos. Only had it for a few days but I like what I see so far.
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Old Oct 23, 2006, 3:46 PM   #3
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MikeM,

thanks for letting me know your initial impressions. It's interesting that you found the 750 so much better than the 810 when you tested it.

After you have used the 750 for a while I would be particularly interested to hear how you rate it in terms of:

1. purple fringing

2. Start-up time, autofocus speed, etc (basically I am interested in the time it takes from pressing the on button to the camera actually capturing the image under well lit outdoor conditions.

3. How blurry are the corners at different zoom settings

4. How sharp are the images

5. Is the continuous shooting mode really fast?

I know there are always trade-offs with these ultra compacts but because the SD300 is so small I tend to carry it with me far more than I ever did with any other camera I owned previously.

I am willing to accept some compromises, I hope the purple fringing is better than on my Canon otherwise there is no point in upgrading. Speed is also a bit concern as using it for taking photos of my sons playing soccer, the camera has to be really fast.

I hope that this camera will get reviewed on one of the digital photography sites soon.

Kevin

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Old Oct 24, 2006, 6:43 PM   #4
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Kevin,
I will try to satisfy your requests as I get a chance to use this new cam more. Jeff Keller will be posting his review for this camera in a few days on the dcresource.com website. I usually wait until he has done his review because I have found that he is dead-nuts on and holds back no punches, but my curiosity was too much this time and I bought before I got his thoughts! So far I think I made a good choice. I agree having a pocketable camera means the difference between taking it or leaving it home. This one only compliments my C5050 and C755UZ, but it still needs to take a good shot when those others are back at home!
The Stylus 810 was only available through Best Buy when it was introduced, so I took my own XD card to the store, shot a bunch of pics at different settings, then took my card home and checked out the results. I was very dissapointed. It looked like a downgrade from my 500. I think the biggest problem was the compression rate was set much too high and is not adjustable like on the higher end cameras I have. A 1280 x 960 picture only made a file size of between 120 and 200k. The 500 makes a 500-600k file. Much more information in the same size. C5050 can make an 800k file in that size. The artifacting was real bad with the 810 due to the lack of info. And the Bright Capture blasted the ISO so high the pictures were useless. So I passed on that model. I think Oly made improvements in the firmware in the next generation 740/750.
The 750 makes about a 600k file at 1600 x 1200 resolution and a 1-1.1M file at 2560 x 1920. More than enough info to render a nice sharp picture on my 15" notebook display. And the new lens set is much more precise than the ones used in the 500, which always seemed to be a bit soft in the focus dept. No more, the 750 really improved on that. As far as power up speed, the lens shoots out in less than a second and its ready to go a second or two after that. It is very quick to power up. There's a new power save feature that allows to monitor to shut off after 10 seconds of inactivity. The new LI-42B battery is half the size on the earlier LI-12B, and so far it's been holding up pretty well.
Ah, purple fringing you say.... as a former C700UZ and C730UZ owner I know all too well what that's all about. Well so far there isn't a trace of it with this camera and it was never an issue with the 500 either. And I took some very contrasting shots with it the past weekend, and not one bit if the purple stuff.
So hope this helps for now, more to come......

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Old Oct 25, 2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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Mikem,

Thanks for the info on your experiences with the Stylus 750. I am pleased to hear that you are finding the camera fast, I think there must have been some problems with the early (possible pre-production?) versions, maybe fixed now with later firmware. Glad the the purple fringing is under control, with my SD300 it could get really bad.

One thing I forgot to ask your opinion on ..

How do you find the LCD display in bright sunlight, I had read that it gets washed out and is difficult to see. It will be hard to get out of the habit of not using an optical viewfinder after using my SD300 this way for so long, mind you at least the LCD won't give me the parallax problems,

I look forward to seeing the review on dcresource,

Kevin
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:41 PM   #6
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Kevin,
I had a chance to use the new Stylus 750 some more today. I took it outside and first tried out the sequential shooting mode(s). Now keep in mind I never used this before on any other cameras, so I can't really compare it to anything. This camera has two sequential modes, fast and really fast! The first mode shoots pitures at a rate of I would say every 1/2 second. The extif info showed the shutter speed, ISO and exposure all remain as if it was a single shot. The high speed mode shoots off pictures like an automatic weapon! But that comes with a price. Extif info shows the ISO is raised to 2500, increasing the shutter speed so it can shoot the pictures that fast. In lower light that will cause alot of noise. I have yet to try it in bright daylight.
As for barrel distortion at different zoom settings, I have seen no evidence of any at any zoom. The review at dcresource will have a good test for that using a grid to show the distortion. I am curious to see if Jeff finds any.
I have found the LCD is not the easiest to see if the sun is right on it, but then again every device I own with a color LCD is hard to see just as well. I can still see what I want to photograph, so it hasn't been a problem. When taking a shot with very strong lighting I noticed some streaking in the display, like it was being overdriven, but it had no effect on the outcome. This happened with the Stylus 500 also. I dont know if an optical viewfinder would even work on this camera, because it is just too small!
As mentioned before I have found the pictures are nice and sharp and the colors are right on. And in low light the mechanical image stabilizer creates incredible results without excessive ISO settings.
But last but not least, all the tests I did outside today was in the middle of a huge Noreaster, with wind and driving rain! The camera got soaked and didn't miss a beat. And that's one of the most important reasons I have always had a Stylus camera as a trusty sidekick. This is the best one I have had yet. Anywhere, any weather.....
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