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Old Apr 6, 2007, 9:26 AM   #11
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I have read Steve's review, and was quite surprised with his relatively-positive reactions and the quality of the pictures he posted. It was like I was using a different camera. I had one of the first to be shipped. Perhaps changes have been made since the first batch of 550s shipped? My pix were nowhere near as sharp as his, and mine were uniformly darkish and oversaturated. And I found that the autofocus needed an object the size of a house to lock-in. I've learned my lesson. Don't be first tobuy overly-ambitious new technology.

As for France, we took more than 5,000 images with the UZ-765 in Paris and the Loire Valley last May, and were extremely impressed with the consistent overall quality. Hardly a poor shot in the entire lot of them. And we never hit the menus once. We wouldn't have that confidence in the 550 we used, asthe images were too soft and dark.
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Old Apr 6, 2007, 10:37 AM   #12
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I read Steve's reviewearlier and agree very much with his opinion of this camera. I'll not be using the high-speed capture modes, and willstick to SHQ and/or RAWimages, shoot mainly static subjects and I think it is a great carry around and/or vacation camera for someone willing to shoot it much like a DSLR. To me, what you can get with it up to ISO 800 is amazing compared to the Powershot G5 I owned three years ago...the last digicam I had owned prior to buying the SP550. It's amazing to me what these new cameras can do when you think about how bad ISO 400 looked from a digicam in 2004.

Here's an ISO 800 image of my cat I shot the other night, using the tungsten white balance preset..



28mm wide angle shot..





Then zoomed in to 504mm to capture the flag on top of the building..



I'll take anything this sharp at 504mm:





or colors like this..









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Old Apr 6, 2007, 2:52 PM   #13
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I'll just wait for Olympus to work the kinks out and buy the next version. They'll probably ratchet back down to 12x zoom, which seems to be about the limit of decent zoom performance in the point and shoot price range.
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I've learned my lesson. Don't be first to buy overly-ambitious new technology.
I think there's definately something in that. I think it's true of any manufacturer that there's always going to be a premium for a recent model with features others don't have yet. This can be even more true at times of the smaller manufacturers. There's a limited supply, for a new model that is in demand, so the initial price will be high. Whether it's worth it is an individual thing.

On the other hand, if you really want a point and shoot, and 10x or 12x zoom is enough, there are good options out there now for less. Olympus makes the SP-510, with a 38-380 zoom, which also offers an advanced set of features (though not quite as full featured), including RAW mode, for about half the price.

An even better choice for point and shoot use might be the Kodak Z-612, a 6.1MP model with a 35-420mm zoom, with IS. It doesn't have RAW mode, or quite as many setting and controls. But it's quite a bit quicker shot to shot, and out of camera default jpegs appear to be at least as good overall, and a bit sharper, judging from the samples.

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Old Apr 6, 2007, 6:02 PM   #14
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Great pictures there greg chappell.....i can't understand why people complain about this camera, they expect to pick up the camera, shoot and get good result all the time.. if they can't do that....then they should go back to basic and understand about aperture, shutter.etc..etc....not just this camera but others too..... i have got my pictures here to show you too.... i hope this will help you

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=22


cheers patrick:-):-):?
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Old Apr 6, 2007, 10:24 PM   #15
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The field of yellow trees is fantastic, as is the first, macro image. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 10:11 AM   #16
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Thanks for your very helpful replies, Greg and Charles. Greg, your pix were especially helpful, and I wish I knew how to post some of my photos so you could see how mine looked. But honestly, mine weren't that different from yours. I've just gotten spoiled by what I consider a more neutral color default on the 765. It just shoots brighter pix than the 550, with less unnatural color added. Also, within its zoom limits, the 765 is sharper than the 550, especially when shooting in SHQ mode. Again, I'm pretty convinced I got an early production run lemon, but I'm not willing to put $500 at risk again to see if I'm right. I'm not ashamed of being a moderately-advanced amateur who'd be willing to pay top-dollar for a no-muss, no-fuss, simple-to-use point-and-shoot with long zoom, well-thought-out default settings and autofocus that lets me concentrate on what I'm looking at instead of the camera. Surely the photo hobby can accomodate many different types of shooters with varying degrees of desire for involvement with the process. I used to love to diddle with SLR controls all the time. As I get older, I'm more willing to compromise and let the camera do the work while I enjoy my travel subjects more. At least I'm honest about that.
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 3:08 AM   #17
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I have had my SP-550 about a month and overall I am disappointed with it. I love the wide angle, I love the ability to use high ISO although they need noise removal.

I am very disappointed with the autofocus. It in unuseable if I want a picture of the moon or a sun setting. The manual focus is so akward to use that it is of no use.

The camera is slow to get ready, slow to focus in some situations and I don't like the white balance it comes up with.

The burst mode is next to unuseable since it is impossible to track an object while it shoots photos. The screen blanks out when the pictures are taken so the screen is black most of the time.

It might be me, but I simply cannot restore the picture preview after I have taken a photo unless I leave it in AUTO. In P, A, S and M I have no preview even if I select it on.

Another thing is that it sometimes refuses to take a picture even if it is focused and Ihold the shutter release button.Sometimes it helps to switch to anothermode. When I try the same subject again in the original mode it takes the picture allright.

The pictures taken at full zoom are way too soft.

Often I find that the pictures I took are out of focus. If I need to take some photos fast I just point it and press the shutter release expecting the camera to focus firstand then take the photos. Even on a portrait shot allowingit to focus first theyturned out unfocused.

I had a Canon S2IS before and it was very fast, had a (quite small) sviwel screenbut lacked the wide angle lens. I am definately looking forward to the Canon S4IS whatever it will turn out to be. Digic 3, better wide angle and lower noise ( keep hoping ) and I am switching back.












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Old Apr 15, 2007, 1:49 AM   #18
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rfmax wrote:
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I used to love to diddle with SLR controls all the time. As I get older, I'm more willing to compromise and let the camera do the work while I enjoy my travel subjects more. At least I'm honest about that.
Thatwas exactly my thought. BTW, i have ownedC765 for 3 years. no kidding.
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Old May 9, 2007, 12:54 AM   #19
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This conversation has cheered me up. I won an SP 550 in a raffle after I'd bought a Canon PowerShot S3 IS and have been alternating between the two to decide which one I'd settle on to use regularly.

I'm no pro but I've been using this sort of camera for years and have found that the SP-550 is a challenge to work with.
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Old Jun 7, 2007, 11:23 AM   #20
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Deckard wrote:
Quote:
I have had my SP-550 about a month and overall I am disappointed with it. I love the wide angle, I love the ability to use high ISO although they need noise removal.

I am very disappointed with the autofocus. It in unuseable if I want a picture of the moon or a sun setting. The manual focus is so akward to use that it is of no use.

The camera is slow to get ready, slow to focus in some situations and I don't like the white balance it comes up with.

The burst mode is next to unuseable since it is impossible to track an object while it shoots photos. The screen blanks out when the pictures are taken so the screen is black most of the time.

It might be me, but I simply cannot restore the picture preview after I have taken a photo unless I leave it in AUTO. In P, A, S and M I have no preview even if I select it on.

Another thing is that it sometimes refuses to take a picture even if it is focused and Ihold the shutter release button.Sometimes it helps to switch to anothermode. When I try the same subject again in the original mode it takes the picture allright.

The pictures taken at full zoom are way too soft.

Often I find that the pictures I took are out of focus. If I need to take some photos fast I just point it and press the shutter release expecting the camera to focus firstand then take the photos. Even on a portrait shot allowingit to focus first theyturned out unfocused.

I had a Canon S2IS before and it was very fast, had a (quite small) sviwel screenbut lacked the wide angle lens. I am definately looking forward to the Canon S4IS whatever it will turn out to be. Digic 3, better wide angle and lower noise ( keep hoping ) and I am switching back.
Dechard, you have got one of the bad cameras.

My wife bought the SP-550 and exchanged it because some types of photos were soft (photos with horizontal lines for example). The replacement has been tested extensively and is very sharp (also at full zoom). I tried the camera and find it excellent.

The autofocus may take a little getting used to for some people because it jumps around. However, it works very well and I didn't personally have any problems.

If you were used to a point and shoot camera and move up to this type of camera, you should expect some problems in the beginning until you learn to master it.

Coming from a Canon S2 you shouldn't have had any problems with this camera. Exchange it!

Jorgen
http://jorgen.photoblog.com

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