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Old Nov 8, 2004, 9:37 AM   #1
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Has anyone gotten and used one of these? I put together my own lilttle spreadsheet comparing Steve's reviews of the FX7 with other ultracompacts such as:
  • Casio EXZ50 and EXZ55 [/*]
  • Minotla DiMage x50 [/*]
  • Olympus Stylus 410 [/*]
  • Pentax Optio S5i [/*]
  • Sony P100 and P150.[/*]
The criteria were things like MP, zoom, price, video capabilities, speed of use, ergonomics, AF features, and the ever-ambiguous "image quality." The FX7 looks pretty dang good! The only drawback (at least that I can glean from Steve's review) is the ergonomics aren't the best, and there is no optical viewfinder. Not only that, the FX7 was featured in the Fetishes section of Wired magazine!

So what am I waiting for? Well, first of all, I haven't had a chance to go handle cameras in the flesh. I live in Puerto Rico, and they have the cameras bolted down, then tied with plastic cables so you can't even turn them around to see the back. I need to hunt around for a more shoplifter friendly store that will let me at least hold a camera in my hand. But secondly, I've gotten burned on a Canon S400 breaking 15 months after purchase (memory card error, not through physical damage but internal camera software).:evil:

I want to know if anyone has an opinion on Panasonic's products -- I've seen the FZ10 complaints and there seem to be a lot of disatisfied customers out there. Are there more mad Panasonic users than there are Canon or other users? Because frankly, I'm never buying another Canon -- this is the 3rd Canon product that has had problems customer service wouldn't take care of for me.

I'm a mom who wants an ultracompact point-n-shoot to pop out of the diaper bag and take indoor snapshots of my kids. That's why I'm impressed with the AF lamp and OIS - there is no perfect ultracompact for low light shots, but that's one of my biggest needs. I am also partial to a good video feature - I didn't think I'd use it but I surprised myself at how often I find myself taking short videos because the camera is always at hand, as opposed to the video cam. And since kids move so quick, I was very interested ina quick startup and shot-to-shot time.

If you or someone you know has one of these little cameras, please post your experience. I'd really appreciate it! Thanks for all the great posts I've been reading -- keep it up!
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 12:44 AM   #2
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Curious....did you ever make a decision and purchase a camera?
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 2:02 AM   #3
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Been lurking here for awhile, here are my thoughts on the FX7

My silver FX7 came 4 days ago. The biggest complaints I have read about it are that the battery life is short, lots of red-eye, and there is no optical viewfinder. ALL are correct, although battery life is longer than I expected.

I bought 2 extra batteries off of ebay for about $8 each. The camer uses NB-40 batteries, which are also used for Fuji and Pentax models. FYI, the NB-40B will NOT work, it is too thick, so don't be tempted by its 1300mah!

The OIS is what makes this camera worth the price! I would have gotten the FZ20, maybe even the FZ3, but ultimately I wanted a camera to be there when I need it, not when I plan ahead for it; and the FX7 fits EVERYWHERE!

Screen is bright enough to read in broad daylight, just don't wear polarized sunglasses and try to read it.

It takes great pictures, much more clear than my old S100, even at lower resolution

I also got a nice leather case on ebay for $17...

Great camera!
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 10:51 AM   #4
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Glad you like your FX7......but I've got a couple questions for you.

Regarding the battery life - and perhaps at only 4 days you don't have a good feel yet - I've read comments that it's "not really that bad" to "I get 30 pictures per battery!". I've never had a battery concern with my existing cameras (Canon S30, Kodak DX6490, Pannasonic FZ1). I buy a spare, not a big deal, but having to go through two batteries during, let's say, an evening of Christmas Eve pics seems a little extreme!

I just received my Canon SD300 yesterday (the other camera I was considering), and redeye is a problem with it too. Funny, I got the occasional redeye with my existing cameras, but I think every shot I took last night with the family in it had red pupils! Think this is just the nature of these little beasts.

Ultimately, I need a camera the wife can just turn on and shoot, and perhaps allow me to play around a little bit with - that's why I shied away from the FX7 - I was worried about noise on "auto" for her shots - and of course my battery concerns too. I'll play with the Canon for the weekend and decide whether it's a keeper or not. I did saveabout $85over the black FX7, but do like the idea of OIS (like my FZ1), and of course the black one is "sexy"! I'll probably either keep the Canon or return it and continue to "think about it". Maybe the Panny will come down in price as more models come out.


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Old Jan 22, 2005, 2:11 PM   #5
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LOL, I intentionally bought the silver one instead of the black one to downplay the nuisance factor ("that looks cool, can I see it for a minute?") and the theft temptation, since I take it everywhere.

I had the camera on for about 1/2 hour the other day, using the flash, reviewing shots, playing with the setup menu on the screen, and it still showed battery life at 1/3 remaining. You don't need to leave the camera on a lot to get a good picture as it goes from start-up to able-to-shoot in about 2 seconds.

Another note: if you are over 40 years old and have the
"my arm isn't long enough to read the menu" eyes, you will love the BIG text on the screen menus. WAY easier to see than the SD100 I had with the small screen

The batteries are small (easy to carry a 2nd one) and cheap to get on Ebay...

I have large hands and so have to be cautious not to hit the funtion keys with my thumb when taking a shot. I have had to re-think the way I hold the camera compared to the SD100, which had a very natural hold to it.

But oh, the OIS is awesome! Very few blurred shots even on cropping substantially.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 3:34 PM   #6
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I appreciate your personal experiences with the FX7. One question though.....

If my wife uses this camera as her main point and shoot, do I need to educate her on using some of the manual controls depending on the situation (i.e. lower light indoor shots, force ISO to 100-200)? She's never done anything other than press the button in auto mode. I certainly don't have a problem forcing a lower ISO and making better use of the OIS for indoor shots, just not sure she'll want to have to think that hard. I've noted the "rants" of Lukester here and at DPReview, complaining how bad the FX7 was in Auto compared to his Canon S400.

I've been snapping pics with the Canon SD300 I got on Friday, and although I still lust for the Panasonic, I'm afraid the SD300 might be the better camera for straight auto mode. It'll be $80 more for the FX7 from B&H, which isn't really a big issue for me, except black is backorderd! (unless she's not able to adapt). I've even contemplated exchanging for the SD200 just because I'm undecided, so I might as well get the cheaper one.

Then there's the upcoming Sony P200 - I'd never consider a Sony due to the stupid memory stick, but the P150 is rated so high in regards to image quality, shutter lag, cycle time, less red eye, battery life, etc, that I'd certainly consider the P200 with it's 2" lcd and slightly smaller size. But I certainly don't need 7MPixel images! I'll need to buy some new hard drives!.

Sigh....the internet makes information and opinions to accessible. I remember going into photo stores in the past with no information and buying a camera, and being happy with it!
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