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JFW Jul 3, 2005 7:09 AM

Hey there,

I need something quick to supplement a larger purchase farther down the line..(deciding between prosumer and DSLR)

In the meantime, I need a replacement for the P&S we currently have... I need dials and switches and zoom... oh my!

I live overseas, so can't bop on over the Circuit City and Fry's or Best Buy... to check everything out (although, I did get to hold an Oly-C7070 and liked it, and that's what started this business :love:)

What can I get? (US$- pretty much OTD prices)

Canon G5 - $330 (locally)

Oly C-770- $297 (locally)

Oly C-5500 - $220 (online)

Canon S1 IS - $330 (locally)

Fuji F10 - $3?? (locally)

Now, one of the problems I see with all of the research (besides the headaches)is sifting through the minutia.:? "Sure, this camera shutter response is .006 sec faster than the next", but how far do we take these kinds of details... It seems to be very easy to get caught up in the details and eliminate decent 'machines' because of minor flaws...

Given that in mind, and the list I have presented, can someone, or someones, with some experience PRETTY PLEASE give me some insight on which of these is the best bang for the buck..with some explanation.. PLEASE....

What types of pictures I take... right now, mostly ofkids and events (not sporting.. but they do move). I would also like to take shots of the area in which I live.. interesting architectural things, landscapes, natural things... For fun, I like abstract, close-ups of common-place things, and I would like to learn how to do better landscapes. I have 'some' background in photography (mostly B/W)(although it's been several years) I'd guess most of my peopleshots are un-staged 'natural' shots, so a slow camera would be (and is)frustrating.."Ok, everyonedon't movebut continue to look naturalwhile we wait for the shutter". I'm so over it...

What are some considerations?? Picture quality/resolution; manual shooting modes; minimal shutter lag, pretty quick auto focus...'fairly' quick cycle times; at 4+ MP- prefer more; zoom greater than 3x optical (but it's not the most important aspect))(I'd rather make sure I have a quality camera shooting quality pictures);'decent' video mode w/sound; AF assist lamp; the faster the lens, the better I like it... tripod mount, remote would be nice

I realize that compromise is necessary, hence some of my 'vague'/qualitative 'considerations'. I'm sure there is more, but I can't remember it now, and I am tired....:whack:

PLEASE any and all commentary is welcome... polite, of course, or at least humorous...:blah: ifI missed a 'no-brainer', feel free to add it to my list of confusion, please..:?

Thanks loads in advance. j

(sorry for the length)

Somebody please... humor me! efefwe

slipe Jul 3, 2005 10:06 AM

Of the cameras you listed the G5 would come closest to suiting your needs IMO. It is the only one that has better than the standard f2.8 lens with f2 at wide. It seems to have been designed to be what the pros would want to carry where their bag full of lenses and DSLR were inappropriate. Good low light focus, good cycle times, excellent controls etc. Shutter lag is poor, but there are ways around that with a competent camera. Shutter lag is decent with manual focus and almost instant with pre-focus. The continuous focus mode makes pre-focus practical because you don't have to remove your finger and re pre-focus if something moves. I also like an articulated LCD and comes with a remote. The G5 is not a current model and the movie mode isn't too good.

The Oly 5500 is a fairly recent release. Shutter lag is good but cycle times aren't great. Probably the cheapest 5X zoom out there with decent controls. Keep in mind you have to buy batteries and a charger for it. And you won't like the movies.

I would prefer the Oly 770 to the 5500. It isn't as quick but is a more capable camera. For one thing it has 640 X 480 MPEG4 movies at 30fps. The previous two take pretty dinky movies. It has good controls and is quite compact for a long zoom camera. Good low light focus and most of the essentials. Lack of stabilization limits the 10X zoom to fairly bright light or a tripod, but at least it is there. It also comes with a remote.

The S1 has stabilization and good movies, although not MPEG4. It is only 3Mp. It seems to have decent controls, but there were so many niggles it wasn't a highly thought of camera. No AF assist lamp and less than startling quality pictures. The new S2 is a dynamite camera but seems to be out of your price range.

The F10 is a really mixed bag. Fuji finally got the Super CCD right and it probably has the best small sensor made. The lens is also excellent and the movies are good. The higher ISO capabilities give it more versatility in limited light. But it has no eyelevel viewfinder and is purely point and shoot. It doesn't seem to be what you are looking for, but it is excellent for the point and shooter who doesn't live in a sunny climate.

They had transreflective LCDs for a while. They used the sun's light to reflect back through the display and worked fine out in the sun. I don't know why they were discontinued. Maybe they didn't look quite as good in the store and consumers weren't quite believing that they were far superior in everyday use. Or maybe they weren't holding up or were to pricey to make. But nobody seems to be putting them on the newer LCD only cameras. Regardless of coatings or brightness levels, a LCD only camera is difficult to use outdoors in the sun without a transreflective screen. If your secret overseas location is in a place like Ireland where the sun isn't out that much it might be OK.

If you haven't used digital cameras, P&S isn't quite as bad as it was with small film cameras. You can do a lot with a spot meter. I pre-meter different parts of a scene in spot and not only bracket my exposure doing that, I also get a variety of white balance. Most have EV shift instantly available. You can probably do a lot more than you might think you can. I don't own a P&S and probably never will, but you can do OK with the tools provided on a P&S like the F10.

You don't list anything with a wide angle lens and mention you are interested in landscapes. Wide angle improves that considerably as well as allowing you to get more in a shot in constrained situations. You seem to be in a place with decent prices on older cameras. Check what they want for an Olympus 5060 if somebody has one. Panoramas are also good. You can hold the camera vertically and simulate a wide lens with a pano. I think the F10 is the only camera you listed without either a panorama mode to fix the exposure and focus or the manual means to take a decent panorama.

Justinian Jul 3, 2005 11:15 AM

OK, you want to be humored :blah:or hammered :mad:. I wholeheartedly agree with the previous comments, especially about the Fuji F10. I do not have experience with the other cameras you listed, but I own the F10 and I can tell you it is an amazing pocket P&S camera with capabilities that surpass many others in its class. At first I thought that the absence of an optical viewfinder would be a hindrance, but the LCD is 2.5 inches and works great so I have become used to that. Image quality is excellent and it is one fast camera. Of course, in choosing any camera one must learn to accept trade-offs. What one camera has, another will lack and vice versa. You have to decide what is most important to you and then choose accordingly. For me, image quality came first, along with speed and a higher pixel count. The F10 has all three and the reviews have been great too. You may have read them already, but if not, here they are for your reading pleasure. :|I have also included a link where you can take a look at some photos taken with the F10, which gives you some idea of its capabilities. And oh, you can pick one up online at for under $300.00, another positive thing to consider. Please let us know what you decide.:idea:

Fujifilm Finepix F10 Reviews:

F10 Photos:

Steven R Jul 3, 2005 3:36 PM

Hey JFW: Getting back to your original question of most bang for the buck for a small camera, I would vote for the C5500. You get a lot of camera for a cheaper price than the others mentioned.

The Canon G5 is a very good camera, but it is the oldest; it came out in 2003 and has already been discontinued by Canon when they replaced it with the G6.

The C5500 doesn't have all the features found in the more expensive Olympus and Canons, but the owners of the C5500 have all raved about its picture quality and compact size. Since it is a newer design than the Canon, you get better movies with audio, a longer zoom lens (to max 190mm vs the Canon's max 140mm); 7 resolution settings to Canon's 4; and it uses AA batteries. And, it's cheaper than any other camera on your list.

Good luck in your search

JFW Jul 3, 2005 8:21 PM

Hey there Guys,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful input. :cool::cool::cool:

Yes, the G5, C-5500, and C-770arethe front runners on this list...

Yes, I find the Fuji F10 intriguing.. If only I could 'play' with it.. or it was cheaper.. But it is hard to overlook, I tell you what! If I could have buy 3 or 4 different models, It'd be in my pocket now...

Ultimately, I am looking at purchasing a higher end beast, such as an OlyC-8080 or DSLR. I just want to get something now that will do a reasonably good job ... picture quality is always important

As I lay my head down last night.. and the throbbing from the research stopped, a thought passed before me, 'if you're willing to pay $330 for a G5, why not just get the C-7070 for about the same price?' (but, it's an order item). Locally, they run US$750. (I'm in Okinawa) But then that runs into the ... 'but wait, if you're going to do that, you might as well spring the extra $120, and get the C-8080'.. which then leads to a greater headache.... 'what about DSLRs?'....

I stumbled on a few threads on the C-5500, and it looked good and cheap, and figured I'd just go with it...I just have to stop somewhere... BUT...for a few bucks more would I be better getting one of these otherlast year's models for cheap... and, wait, (the cycle starts again...) if I'm willing to go there, why not...aaargh! :shock:

I hope I'm not the only person who's run into this 'creap' dilemma...:(:(:(

I have been looking at the C-770, but I am concerned about the size and holdability... excuse me... ergonomics- and I have small hands... Having grown up with 35mm SLRs, I just feel more comfortable with something that feels like a camera. I'm not overly interested in going ultra-compact. Too small, and I find them difficult to manage (call me goofy...:?). (My last digital was the Oly C-3000.. I really liked it, but I guess someone else decided they needed it more than I did)

I'll take a closer look at the G5-again, and C-770.Are they $70 and $100 better thanthe $220 C-5500 ?... my brain is full and throbbing again.. I'll have to compare my options again, but right now my computer orphans are begging for Mommy to disengage from the search for a while... oh, and then, there is the Oly C-7070..aaaargh!

Oh, while I'm thnking about it... can I use adaptors for different filters and such on the G5 and C-5500? I'll check...
No, really, I'm fine!:whack::?

thanks again for your time and energies... It is wonderful having third party input. (thanks..) j

Steven R Jul 3, 2005 8:45 PM

Hi again JFW: Okay, if your head is throbbing, and you are getting away from low price, I have to say that you can't go wrong with the C8080 Wide Zoom. As the owner too many digital cameras over the past 6 years, I have been thru this process too often.

Before my last purchase, I compared a lot, and it came down to the C7070 and C8080. They are both terrific cameras; it is a hard decision. I went with the C8080 and absolutely love it. (Actually, if I had the spare $, Iwould probably have purchased both of them. I've been an avid photographer for many years, and still own and use several35mm SLRs.)

The only caveat is the very long learning curve with the C8080 to really learn all the many things it can do. And it isBIG and strong, and built like a tank - it is definitely not a pocket camera. I'm running short on time, so I must close for now. Will be glad to answer any questions about the 8080. ( I still own 4 other digicams, but the 8080 is my favorite, and I still use my C740 frequently when I need a long telephoto lens. The C770 is the latest version of that model.)

JFW Jul 4, 2005 4:25 AM

Hey there StevenR (and anyone else with two cents worth of thought on this..or even one cent...ok, or less)

Thanks again for the input and the links...

As I stated, I am looking at the 'higher' end cameras.. Yes, I was looking for a birthday gift (for me) and I ran across an Oly C-7070... and that's what started the indepth searching that I'm doing now.. It felt really good to hold.. and it's not a small thing that I can carry around and lose in the car...

I have yet to get my hands on a C-8080. After reading the threads go on and on about issues,such asfocusing, with the C-8080, I want to do a bit more research. Yes, I realize that I have no clue what experience the people with these problems have (some ovbiously havenone and othershave stated to be quite experienced),but it is difficult to ignore. I guess, if I could touchand smell the beast, I'd feel more comfortable about just ordering it. Your input (as well as thatfrom others like you)doeshelp calm my concerns.

Right now, I am just trying to get something to hold me over until the 'big' decision is made.That's where the dilemma lies.. I have been eye-ing the C-770 for some time now. I just wish it was shaped a little more like the C-5500 - easier to hold (not that I've held one, but it looks like my C-3000,cso I'm assuming.. bad!). I went out and played withthe C-770a little today .. I had to beg for batteries, so I could turn it on. It's probably doable, I just might need to take it off of their little safety bracket to get a truer feel for the camera. I did notice the pictures at the full were fuzzy (indoor lighting)(as stated repeatedly in threads).. I can't remember the shutter speed.. (I'm surereally slow). So, I'd like to play with it some more to see if the extended 10x is worth the extra money... Can I even use itw/o tripod? But as Slipe so kindly mentioned "at least it's there". I wanted to play with the G5, butI was politely ignored - or abandoned - when I asked about a battery... maybeatanother store...

I remember reading someone suggesting two cameras.. one like theC-8080 and thensomething, such as the C-770, for the zoom. Granted, the idea of having two is still quite foreign to me, but I can get over it... I kind of like it, actually..An extra,not quite so'solid' camerafor those 'on the move' days..

ANYONE WANNA RECOMMEND 3? Then I can get the Fuji F10..

Well, I think I've about voiced my concerns at this point. I do appreciate the opportunity...

Thanks again, j:bye:

Steven R Jul 4, 2005 11:26 AM

Hey JFW: It just struck me that you mentioned that you used to have a C3000; in that case, I think you would quickly take to the C7070, and really like it.

The Fuji F10 appears to be a good camera, but The 7070 would be superior (but larger) with 8 resolution settings vs only 4 for the F10, and with both RAW & TIFF uncompressed formats available. The F10 has only compressed JPEG output.

JFW Jul 4, 2005 5:22 PM

Hey there Steven R,

I appreciate the update, again.

I was reading your answer to Justinian's question regarding the C-7070 and C-8080 (in the "C-7070 vs G-6 thread"). I was wondering about what you said about the C-8080 being designed for 'serious / pro' photographers. I'm wondering how the C-7070 would be any easier to use.. other than fewer choices to make??.. Call me naive'... butI ain't been able to sit with both of them and play.

What exactly is meant by 'serious pro' (or whatever term you wish to use that is most often assoc with C-8080 ads)? Yes, I did my own B/W work about 10 years ago. Granted my camera was archaic, but being kinesthetic by nature I preferredthe turns and twists of my Pentax K-1000... I took classes andafter myfirst one was told to leave and find a good art school for proper training...(which was great for my ego.. especially coming from a professional)...

Anyhow.. enough bragging over ancient accomplishments....:blah:

But what is 'pro' enough tobe able to handle a C-8080? Yes, I did ownthe C-3000, but with young children it was pretty much a p&s, I was finally getting to the point of having some time to play when it disappeared...

And, if I can deal with a C-7070, is the C-8080 all the more difficult to play with? Or is it simply having more choices within each decision, itself?

I do want a camera, eventually, that I can grow into. Should I start smaller and work up? I just have no clue because I haven't seen anything... I'm hoping to have a much better clue later this summer... It seems it would be overkill to have both C-7070 and C-8080, hence my original question... but, rats, if I don't keep coming back to the ultimate destination..

I have got to get, so i'll leave with what ? Any and all feedback is cool and appreciated.

thanks again for your time.. enjoy your weekend...j

Justinian Jul 5, 2005 9:25 AM

Well it seems that camera size does not matter to you, right? You original list contains dc's of all sizes and shapes, from the compact F10 to the larger and rather bulky S1. Now we're talking about the Oly C-7070 & 8080, neither of whichare compact. Image quality is essentially the same for both, w/ the 8080 having only one more mxp. - not a big deal. The 8080 is also larger and bulkier. I am very happy w/ the 7070. It has everything I could ever want in a camera and it is something I can grow into, just short of a DSLR. Soooooo.....make uppa you mind already! You-a driving me crazy! :?:grin::whack::?

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