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Old Dec 3, 2005, 6:39 AM   #1
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Hi, Icurrently own a Canon PowerShot S330. I've been very happy with the image quality in terms of colour and sharpness.... but the shutter lag is killing me. I mainly take photos of my two highly active baby boys - and I'm tired of missing those "great moments". So I want toupgrade to something capable of producing similar image quality, but significantly faster.

I've done someresearch... and yes, I realise the only way to achieve any real speed is to take the leap to DSLR - but I'mquite an amateur,and I suspecta DSLR is a bit too advanced for my needs. Other than the obvious advantage of speed, I doubt I would really make much use of all the manual functions. If I were to go the DSLR route, I would probablyopt for the Canon EOS 350D/Rebel XT,but at this stage, I think I am leaning more towards a point and shoot...

So I guess I'm trying to find out which point and shoot digital cameras have the reputation of being the fastest?

My main criteria(in order of importance):
  • SPEED! need something capable ofstarting up quicklyand taking multiple shots with as little shutter lag as possible[/*]
  • IMAGE QUALITY- needs to producesimilar colour and sharpness of my current Canon (although preferably with less red eye... I read somewhere that a pop up flash might help)
Other info which might prove useful:
  • megapixel - I usually only print to 7x5, so4-5mp should be more than sufficient[/*]
  • optical zoom - 3xis probably adequate for my needs - although more would be great (but not essential)[/*]

  • [/*]budget -not really an issue - except that I don't want to pay for features I won't use... At this stage, I'd quite like to hear which are the fastest point and shoots, regardless of price
Any suggestions for suitable cameras, would be great - thanks!

PS: While doing research, the following names seem to keep coming up:
  • Sony DSC (H1,T7,T1,S90,W5)[/*]
  • Casio Exilim (Z750, Z55, Z57, S500)[/*]
  • Canon PowerShot (A610, S2 IS)
Any feedback on these (and how much of an improvement they would offer on my current Canon PS S330) would be great as well.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 8:00 AM   #2
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My Olympus C-8080 is very fast and the photo quality is excellent.

This camera has been discontinued and getting hard to find, but if you could find one I recommend the C-8080 highly.
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 12:35 PM   #3
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Intrepid - thanks for the feedback, I'll see if I can get my hands on the Olympus and see how it feels...

Any othersuggestions from anyone else?? Could really do with some more help - thanks!

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Old Dec 4, 2005, 12:45 PM   #4
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You can significantly reduce shutter lag in most cameras by anticipating the shot and pressing the shutter button halfway to set focus and exposure settings. Hold it there and when the time is right, press fully and the shot will come with very little lag.
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 12:56 PM   #5
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LuisR - thanks for the suggestion - I'm already doing that.... but with two active kids, there isn't always times to set things up in advance - that's why I need to upgrade to a new camera which can simply take a quicker shot.

I've tried doing as much research as I can - and the Casios and Sonys seem to have a reputation for being faster than the rest.... but I'm just not sure how well they compare to my current Canon in terms of image quality??

Just curious to know whichcamera other "enthusiasts" out there would suggest for similar image quality tothe Canon Powershot S330 - but with much greater speed?

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Old Dec 5, 2005, 4:19 PM   #6
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try the panasonic fz5. i dont know abt the other cams but this one is faast in p&s cams i've seen.
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Old Dec 5, 2005, 7:26 PM   #7
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Tough to find reliable data for all of the cameras you listed...not all cameras were tested by the same reviewer, not all reviews contain timing data, some reviewers use different terminology and testing methodology. When someone says a camera's pre-focus shutter lag is <0.10 is that closer to 0.09 or 0.01? It probably means the reviewer doesn't have equipment to accurately measure this. Is this important? I think so...the difference between 0.09 and 0.01 in lag can make a big difference when shooting a moving target. Another consideration is that some cameras cycle times (shot to shot) vary - they may be fast for the first few shots, but after their buffer is full, the cycle time increases dramatically. Finally, a camera may have a fast shutter lag, but a slow cycle time or startup time. At any rate, it would appear that the fastest cameras I found were not on your list.


S330 3.8 0.1 2.5
FZ5 3.8 0.1 0.9
S90 2.5 0.1 1.1
H1 2.1 0.1 1.35
A610 1.6 0.1 1.4
W7 1.4 0.1 1.4
S2IS 1.3 0.1 1.6
Z750 1.3 0.1 1.2 - 1.8
F10 1.0 <0.05 1.7
S9000 0.9 0.07 1.15

The S5200 is touted to have [<1, 0.01, and ~1], but could not find a professional review to substantiate those claims.

Of course, the data above is meaningless if the camera doesn't produce good quality images, or have the features you want.

Good luck with your search.

the Hun

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Old Dec 5, 2005, 10:50 PM   #8
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I have the Fuji F10, startup time and shot to shot time were a priority for me and it is very quick on both. The image quality is good, there is some purple fringing in high contrast areas- this is mostly noticed at really high zoom and magnification ( on the PC monitor as opposed to in processed photos.) It is certainly something I can live with considering what else the camera offers. It is fast, has awesome battery life, takes great low light and high ISO shots, 6mp. One issue to consider is the XD memory, its not getting much cheaper while SD prices are falling like a lead baloon, another is the lack of an optical viewfinder. The latter has not been an issue for me, the LCD is clear and bright.

Go try the suggested cameras out at the local store, this is the best way for you to determine what camera will suit your needs.

Unfortunately a pop up flash in a p&s camera will probably not reduce red eye much. It just doesn't move the flash far enough from the lens....at least not in my experience. Luckily most cameras come with software that will automatically remove red eye.
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