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Old Dec 11, 2005, 2:24 AM   #1
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We will probably NEVER use manual controls...I just don't see it happening. I ride horses, he's into sports cars, so we would like a camera that can do good moving shots (i.e. one that I can get a picture jumping and in the RIGHT LOCATION OVER THE JUMP).

My old cameras (I have 2) have 2 issues (or it could be me, lol) - 1 has a VERY long shot to shot time, the other allows about 5 pics before batteries die (although I do now know I should use good batteries, but 5 seems a bit extreme regardless). So, we want to make sure that those two factors are at least decent.

We spent a while in Best Buy today handling cameras. He tends to like slightly larger ones w/ good hand grips and no "thumb over buttons" issues. I tend to like about the size of the Kodak easyshares (though I would love a tiny one, he doesn't like those).

SO...at Best Buy the cameras he liked most were:
Canon A610 - I like the review, but I worry it has too much going on for us. Plus I think it is a bit big (although HE likes that). He LOVES the rotating screen.

Easy Share c340 and c360 - My stepmom and sis have these and like them. Haven't had issues with them, and we both like the way they feel in our hands. BUT, since I am compulsive research girl (history major and lawschool makes you that way)I feel like it is not as good as the Canon, lol.

So...thoughts? Other suggestions? Our budgets about $300 with memory card. Obviously, lower's better, but...we'll do what we need. We don't want to wait forever b/w pics, we want reasonably nice, clear pics and he doesn't want anything too too tiny. I think we like the Canon, but on the other hand, the easy share is just so...easy. LOL.


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Old Dec 11, 2005, 2:52 AM   #2
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For pictures of cars driving around or horses riding around, wouldn't you want some more zoom? The Canon has 4X, and I think those Kodaks have 3X. You can do better than that for under $300, especially if you don't care about getting a camera with manual exposure controls. The Panasonic LZ2 and FZ1, and the Fuji S3000 and S3100 and S5000, plus a few Olympus models like the C740 and C765, all have a lot of zoom for under $300, and take good pictures. So that's something to keep in mind. The S5000 and the Olympus ones also have manual controls, but you can just set them to auto and the camera can figure everything out just like any other point-and-shoot.

As for the ones you mention, the Kodaks and the Canons do take good pictures. It probably comes down to how they feel in your hand, and whether you think the Canon's extra features are worth the money.

The two other things you mention - shot-to-shot time in burst mode, and the ability to trigger the shutter quickly enough to get a shot of the right TIME on a jump - can't be easily solved unless you get an SLR, which of course you can't with your budget. Most non-SLR cameras show you nothing at all once you start taking a burst of shots (or show you your shots with a significant delay, like several shots "behind" the ones being taken), so while you can get a couple a second, you don't know where you're aiming or how good the focus is. Also, all non-SLR digital cameras will have some delay when you press the button, but this can be greatly minimized if you point the camera at the target area ahead of time and half-press the shutter button, so that the camera can fogure out the focus and exposure ahead of time and lock them, and so when you press the button the rest of the way, the camera will take a picture very quickly. There will still be some delay, on any camera, but you can get to know that delay and compensate for it, taking the picture just a tad earlier and nailing the shot right where you want it at least most times. For example, I took the following pictures with my Panasonic FZ1:



In both cases, I set the focus and exposure several seconds in advance (by pointing the camera at a point near the horizon and half-pressing the shutter button when I thought the exposure looked good). With the button half-pressed, I followed one of the jets and pressed the button all the way just before the other jet passed through the frame. At a combined speed of about 2000 feet per second, the other jet would not have been in the frame at all if I had taken the shots a tenth of a second too early or too late. So, as you can see, it can be done without a very fast burst mode. In fact, even now that I have an SLR with a very fast and very useable burst mode (useable because you can see where the camera is pointing between shots), I still take shots of opposing passes like this by half-pressing the button and then taking ONE picture, rather than rapid-firing and hoping one of them was well-timed.

And if you like to do plenty of research before choosing, may I too my own horn and point you to


I hope that helps.

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