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-   -   Best Camera for Producing Excellent Prints? (

Farmgirl Mar 21, 2007 1:01 PM

I am looking at purchasing an extended zoom camera because most of my photos are of animals and kids at a distance. There are a couple of new cameras recently announced. The Sony DSC-H9 and the Olympus SP-550UZ.

I am into scrapbooking and therefore I need to be able to print high quality photos in 3 x 5, 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 (and even smaller actually than 3 x 5). I understand that a beautiful sharp clear picture on the computer screen does not always equal the same when printed.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Also, Sony just announced two new photograph prints but they only print 4 x 6 size unless I'm missing something. Any recommendations on a small printer that can print at under 30 cents per photo in multiple sizes?

Bailey59 Mar 21, 2007 2:18 PM

Any camera at 4 megapixels & up can produce nice prints in those sizes (& somewhat larger) - find the one that suits your needs & you like best. Check the "best camera" link on the main page -> super/mega zooms.....any of those will suit your needs. The two you mention are brand new & not much info gen old won't hurt a bit & save you a couple bucks.

Of the two you mention I like the Sony a bit better due to the lens, but there's nothing wrong with either of them.

Printers? Check the printer section.......but personal preference is Canon Pixma series, the IP4300 is under $100 & produces very nice prints up to 8x10 = about 9 cents per print for 4x6 (according to Canon).

ac.smith Mar 21, 2007 2:27 PM

Those two cameras and every other "superzoom" will, IN GENERAL, make excellent 3 1/2x5, 4x6 and 5x7 prints. Under some conditions one might do better than another but again, IN GENERAL, the strengths and weakness of each will simply be in different areas.

Are you really asking about bundled printers or factory camera/printer sets? You should be able to read its capabilities off the spec. sheet. If the camera and the printer are PictBridge compatible you're not really locked into using the same brand camera and printer. If you're attaching both to a computer there again is no brand lock.

I personally would make the camera and printer judgments separately. Most full size photo capable printers, when attached to a computer can print multiple photos onan 8 1/2 by 11 sheet.

Corpsy Mar 21, 2007 3:41 PM

At those sizes, just about any decent camera will make nice prints. I'd look for something around 6MP which is more than enough for good quality and some cropping, but not overdoing it. Even 3MP would do well at those sizes, but with less room for cropping.

I'd recommend that you prioritize by the specific features you are interested in, like optical zoom, stabilization, shutter lag, etc... For print quality, I'd look for cameras that perform well at higher ISO settings. Something that starts at ISO 100 and still looks good at 400 would do well. The point of that is that you'll be able to shoot in darker conditions, and in better conditions your photos will have no noise, which sometimes can be more of a problem in prints than on screen.

Deadzone1003 Mar 21, 2007 5:30 PM

If you shoot at ISO 100 or less, then virtually any ultra-zoom will do. If you go beyond ISO 200 for low-light pictures, then S6000fd may be your only real choice. The Fuji S6000fd also has a manual zoom. So, if you shoot at a distance, that will come in handy. However, it is the size of a DSLR.

As for printing, just about any printer which have separate containers for each color ink will probablyget you a low-cost print. However, the level of quality is up to you. The best value is probably the Canon IP4x00 series. I have the original IP4000 and its up to IP4300, now.The quality of the printwill depend to a certain degree on the photo paper you use. For example, Canon paper will produce the best prints on my IP4000, but itmay blow your budget. Using Costco or Staples photo papermay be satisfactory to youand come within your budget.

Farmgirl Mar 21, 2007 5:46 PM

The two new cameras I'm considering both say you can shoot up to at least 800 ISO. Since neither has been tested yet, hard to tell the noise that will be present at 200 and above. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

As for the printer, that's going to be a tough call. I need something that will handle the media used by the particular camera and I'd looove to have wireless. I need to review more of the writeups and opinions on these before deciding. It's definitely a separate decision from the camera.

Deadzone1003 Mar 21, 2007 10:12 PM

Both of the cameras that you are interested in uses the Sony's 1/2.5 sensors. I don't know if Sony has a new sensor out or not for their new camera. You can expect an image at iso 800, but just a noisy one. Even the Fuji's are a little noisy at iso 800. If you want to shoot at iso 800 with very little noise, you have to go the DSLR route. Check out the photos in the reviews of the H-2/H-5 and the S6000fd on this site to get an idea, also, check a dslr review.

Farmgirl Mar 21, 2007 10:48 PM

I may just have to wait until the tests are done on the new cameras. I really didn't want to go the DSLR route due to size and the need for multiple lenses. I'm not a sophisticated user - I'm really hoping that Sony solved the noise problem at 800 - that seems to be where most, if not all, of the non-DSLR's fail - noise above 400. I looked at most, if not all, the DSLR reviews and I agree that one of those models would give me more control and high speed/low light shots with no noise. But the trade offs for me are too much. I'll just have to wait a little bit longer. I have high hopes for the new Sony especially. Thanks for all your input. I'll have lots of questions once I get the new beast!!!

Deadzone1003 Mar 21, 2007 11:58 PM

No one really makes a superior ultra-zoom across the board. You probably can build one but it may cost alot more than most people are willing to pay. It seems like every ultra-zoom is a compromise to a certain degree. Itsfinding that camera that has all the features that are important to you. Even going by that premise, you will probably find 0 cameras that fits all of your desires. From your original list of desires, the S6000fd has all the features that are important to you unless you forgot to mention size. Its a bulky, but not heavy camera. The first time you pick it up, you expect it to be alot heavier. I was going to buy the SP-550UZ, but reading the forums and reviews has discouraged me alittle. I'm waiting for or this site's review to give it any more consideration else it's the S6000fd for me.

Farmgirl Mar 22, 2007 8:24 AM

What did you read that discouraged you from the Olympus? Both cameras are now available - how long before you think we'll see a dpreview on them?

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