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who_am_i Jul 27, 2005 8:46 PM

I really just want a somewhat future proof camera... Something that takes decent pictures "all around".

I do want AA battery power though - I don't want to be locked into something proprietary.

I can't seem to find anything in the $200 - $250 range from a quality manufacture (Canon, Nikon, Kodak) that meets these characteristics. (I mention those manufacturers b/c they have so much history in photography)

The Canon Powershot A95 review isn't very flattering in several aspects - and that is the closest one I can find.

I'm sure there are others out there - especially if I widen my field to include some of the other manufacturers.

Any advice?

speaklightly Jul 27, 2005 9:07 PM

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Perhaps I have the proverbial "perfect solution." Please take a look at the Olympus C-5500. It is selling for less than $200 (US). And it is a whole lot of camera for the bucks. No, it is not super fast, but it is dependable as hell. It has a great lens and no less than 5X optical zoom along with 5mp.

Sarah Joyce

pineywoodsman Jul 28, 2005 9:10 PM

What's wrong with the Powershot A95? I have an A75 and am very pleased with it's overall performance and image quality. I was actually thinking of upgrading to an A95 if the price drops a little more.

The reviews on the A95 seem to be pretty good to me.

who_am_i Jul 28, 2005 11:04 PM

I'm sorry - I may be wrong.

I recalled that the A95 was "slow", but that appears incorrect.

I just found a site that has reviews on it though, and there are a lot that comment on its poor construction. Not that I tend to be throwing this around at all - but for that many people to state such comments, perhaps I should listen.

pineywoodsman Jul 29, 2005 6:37 PM

I'd still pick the Canon A95 over the Olympus C-5500. I like the A95's design better, for starters. The Olympus may have a 5X zoom but if you're taking alot of landscape photos like me, you'll find much more noticable barrel distortion on the Olympus because of the 5X zoom.

I'm just getting this from the reviews as I have used neither camera but have an A75 and am extremely happy with it. Also I prefer the use of CF cards which the A95 continues to use as I have invested in more than a few CF cards. The only problem I had with my A75 was when the lens go stuck partially open, which was fixed promptly by Canon under warranty. An extended warranty is also a good idea, which I have, because nothing these days seems to be made to last.

I am also planning on upgrading from my A75 in possibly a few months, esp when Canon comes out with the A95 replacement and the prices goes down. 3MP is very good but I'd like some more MP so I can do a better job with cropping some shots and in general some quality improvement. I also have a Canon A70 which I got on clearance for $90 in Office Max this summer, as a backup. The A70 seems more solid than the 75 but has less features. Image quality is still very good. The images on Canons seem to have much better color and look than other cameras. Canon uses less processing which means it will respond better in image editing. Unsharp mask works VERY well with the images I've gotten from both my A70 and A75, though usually the images are plenty sharp enough.

speaklightly Jul 30, 2005 7:16 PM

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In all honesty, comments not withstanding, the Canon A-95 is not the perfect digital camera. I own both the Canon A-95 and the Olympus C-5500. I have used them both extensively.

I prefer the Olympus C-5500. However, in the final analysis, it is entirely up to you.

Here is another C-5500 sample photo. Did you happen to notice that no A-95 sample photos have been posted? That tells me one thing. Nobody has any photos that they are proud enough to post.

Sarah Joyce

pineywoodsman Jul 30, 2005 10:22 PM

Wow that is very nice. Yeah I've heard some bad stuff about the A95 and some people even say the A75 is a better camera even though it's a 3.2MP. The one major thing that might be a deal killer for the A95 is there seems to be alot of CA (purple fringing) and more noise in sample photos. I never had many problems with noise or CA with my A75. I might be leaning toward the Olympus, going over the sample photos the quality on the 5500 seems to be significantly better than the A95. The Oly is a bit larger, but I don't mind a larger camera actually. I think alot of companies (esp Canon) are sarcificing quality to have a smaller camera. After review I am really leaning foward the Olympus C-5500 instead of the A95. The 5500 has many more adjustments for stuff like contrast and saturation, while the Canon A75 only has "vivid". Plus 5x zoom is nice.

[email protected] Jul 30, 2005 10:54 PM

I prefer lithium batteries to the old AA.

You get way more shots per charge, and the lithium batteries stay topped up longer (they don't lose their charge over time as quickly as nimH).

These days, lithium is the go. If you need a second battery, you can usually buy one not too expensive.

Another cools camera to look at is the Fuji Finepix S5100 which runs $300.

The best future proof camera right now is the digital rebel XT, a digital SLR that will run you about $800. It delivers film like results (who's going to quibble with that photo quality?) while allowing for interchangeable lenses to accomodate all of your future shooting requirements.

It's quite a bit more than the $300 you were hoping to spend.



who_am_i Jul 31, 2005 12:21 AM

Hey guys.

Thanks for the comments.

WRT AA batteries - and future proofing... Well part of me says I should just buy a 3MP camera for $100 or so - as I will very rarely use it. I mean I'm just not a picture guy. But of course sometimes you do "need" a digital camera....

My desire to get something more "significant" is that since I will rarely use the camera, I would probably have it for 10 years. With the growth of storage space, printer quality, bandwdith - to me, if buying a camera for the long term - it just makes sense to buy something of decent resolution.

Plus frankly - when I do want to play photographer on a trip, I think I'd like my pictures to be spectacular (in resolution). I may likely be going to Brazil this year - and for an extra $100-$150, I can go from a medicore camera to something rather impressive.

The likely ownership period is one of the reasons I want AA batteries. I'm not likely to be snapping hundreds of shots at a time - if so, it would be planned and I'd have plenty of rechargable AA's ready to use.

But in 5 years - I know AA batteries will be around... wordlwide. While Lithium - sure - even though they are proprietary.. I'm sure they will be around too - just much more expensive than NiMh AA's. And if in a bind with no charged batteries - any AA's would do.

Looking at Steve's "best cameras", in the 5-7MP category, with AA batteries, I see the following:

Sony DSC-W5 or W7
Kodak C360
Olympus Camedia D-595 Zoom
Fuji FinePix E550
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2
Casio QV-R62

Using a website that allows me to search multiple price search engines rather easily ( I can find some fantastic prices.

But I'm likely to continue researching, and look for some great specials at staples or dell, with coupons - that will save me even more money

Although you folks have now turned me onto the C-5500 which looks promising. (Note I realize some of the above cameras are more than $250, but I may splurge if I really do intend to get to Brazil this year)

Thanks again.

who_am_i Jul 31, 2005 12:34 AM

speaklightly wrote:

Here is another C-5500 sample photo. Did you happen to notice that no A-95 sample photos have been posted? That tells me one thing. Nobody has any photos that they are proud enough to post.

Sarah Joyce
Is that a puffin?

I like it much better than the flower. I can't say why - it just looks more "clear" to me. Maybe it is the nicer (cooler/soothing) colors?

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