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graham.m Dec 8, 2005 4:26 PM

Hi everyone, new member all the way from New Zealand.

I'm looking at buying my first digital camera, and would appreciate some advice. I'm definitely not a serious photographer, just looking for something that will do good photos that I can print out when required (6x4 size). The one thing I do want is a camera that will do video also, and I'm currently looking at two cameras - the Canon Powershot A520 (or maybe the 510 if it would suit) and the Sony DSC-S40.

Both these cameras seem to come well-recommended, but the Canon A520 looks to be at the top of most lists. Unfortunately, it looks like it will only shoot 30 seconds of video, whereas the Sony will keep going until you fill the memory card. For taking videos of, say, my 9 year old daughter performing an item in a concert at school, it seems to me that 30 seconds is not going to be sufficient.

Does anybody have any other suggestions of cameras I may have missed? Or comments on these two cameras?



toshi43 Dec 8, 2005 5:39 PM

The Fuji E550 is a better choicethan the Canons if video recording is a priority. It'll record in either VGA (640X480) or QVGA (320X240) resolution up to the capacity of the memory card.

Having owned a Canon A75, which was an excellent, very well-built camera, I feel that the A510 and A520's build-quality isn't up to par. They just feel too light and fragile, so I'd be a bit concerned about their durability over time.

I don't know anything about the Sony, so I can't comment on it.

graham.m Dec 8, 2005 7:18 PM

Thanks for that.

The Fuji E550 looks like it may be a little out of my price range, but I'll hunt around and see if I can find a good deal on it.

sbddude Dec 9, 2005 1:56 PM

I don't know how small of a camera you want, but the canon S2 IS is one of the best digital cameras for video. It does stereo sound and length is limited only by the memory available. You can also zoom while shooting video (a rarity on a digital camera).

If the size is too large, also take a look at the A610 and 620. I think the body is metal which will be better than the plasticy 520 you were looking at. It also takes unlimited movies and has the DIGiC II.

Good luck making your choice.

airshowfan Dec 9, 2005 11:04 PM

Indeed, being able to use the zoom on a digital camera while recording video is a rarity. The Minolta Z3/Z5/Z6, the Kodak V550, the Panasonic FZ30, and the Casio P505 also allow it.

The Casio P505, as well as some other cameras, record video in the MPEG4 codec, which makes the files half the size (so you can fit twice as much video into the memory card). So that's another thing to keep in mind.

Caelum Dec 10, 2005 12:09 AM

Hi graham.m, a few of us are excited about the new Sanyo Xacti C6 specifically for it's video capabilities (it does nice photos as well). You can find lots of info on it in the Sanyo forum. Also Steve's Digicams has a very postive review of it's predecessor, the C5, if you are interested.

graham.m Dec 11, 2005 6:40 PM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have looked at some of those cameras, especially the Canons. Unfortunately my budget is limited (due to a wife!) so I am looking for a budget camera. My upper price limit is probably around the Canon A520.

Thanks again!

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