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Old Jan 3, 2005, 3:48 PM   #1
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I'm looking for a digital camera, big shock. The camera has to be small -- I'm not a photo hobbyist, so if I can't carry it around easily, it won't get used. I would like a high-megapixel camera (6-8 MP) both for larger prints and to fend off obselesence. The camera will be used for a variety of things, but less likely are spontaneous action shots -- no kids, so shots of people are more likely to be static. Landscapes, tourist shots, etc. are likely.

I've seen two possible models, but both have shortcomings. The Sony DSC-P150 is quick but has few manual controls and a poor flash. The Canon Powershot S70 has lots of features but apparently poor battery life and is slow when taking shots. I'm sure there are others that fit the bill; these are just the two that seem to stand out the most. If it weren't for the battery issue I'd probably be going with the S70.

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Old Jan 3, 2005, 4:55 PM   #2
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I would look at the Pentax Otio 750z. It has all the features you're looking for, greater zoom (5x), and a swing-out LCD screen for viewing shots you're in while taking. It also has a low cost infared remote available to help get yourself in shots w/out using the timer. It's available online as low as $400. If you want a great value camera that is ULTRA compact look at the Pentax Optio S50 and Optio S5i.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 5:05 PM   #3
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Steve didn't mention battery life in his S70 conclusions, and he usually does if the camera has poor battery life.

Dave at Imaging Resource:
"The proprietary battery connection won't let me perform my usual power measurements on the S70, but I did conduct a run-down test with a fully-charged battery, and with the S70 operating in its worst-case power drain mode. (Capture mode, with the LCD turned on.) This produced a very respectable run time of 131 minutes, and the camera would doubtless do much better were the LCD left turned off. I still strongly recommend purchasing a second battery right along with the camera, but overall the S70 showed good battery life for its size."

Jeff at DCRP:
"The S70 uses the same NB-2LH battery as the S60 -- which is quite a bit more powerful than the old NB-2L battery on the S50. The old battery had 4.2 Wh of energy, the new NB-2LH has 5.3 Wh -- a 25% improvement. Canon estimates that you can take about 140 shots using the new CIPA battery life standard, which is about average."

For static shots you can always use pre-focus, and the S70 is quick that way. Cycle times are good and downright exceptional for a small camera in raw mode.

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Old Jan 3, 2005, 11:28 PM   #4
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Steve mentioned that the S70 was rated for 140 shots with the LCD and 370 without. The Pentax 750 is rated for 245 (200 actually achieved in testing by Steve with the LCD on); the Sony P150 is rated for 310 shots (no test rating or LCD/non-LCD status mentioned).

140 claimed with the LCD for the Canon seems like a lot less than 200 actual. If the Sony rating is with LCD (which seems possible, given that it's low power consumption gets a mention), that's an even greater difference. I'm wondering, however, how those numbers translate into the real world. Is 140 so many that I won't even care, or few enough that I'll often have battery issues?

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Old Jan 4, 2005, 3:24 PM   #5
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You ought to check out the reviews of the Fuji E550. PC mag thought it was better for the money than either one.
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