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Old Oct 26, 2005, 11:46 AM   #1
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i'm new to this, i've never owned a good digital camera and am shopping for my first. i am looking for something as versatile as possible within the $250-500 range. i do a lot of self portraiture in my art and photography, so i am stuck on the idea of having a flip-out lcd for this reason. i want something that takes longer, higher quality videos. i would like animage stabilizer as well, it seems it would be a big bonus in both the stills and videos. i would like to be able to adjust settings as much as possible, a lot of room to play. (i pick up on those things quickly but am a beginner so need something user friendly and accessable, but with more advanced features i can use as i become more familiar w the camera.)

i tend to take a lot of band pictures and bar pictures in low lighting, but am accustomed to a pretty poor lcd (on the borrowed camera i use for these generally) and tend to frame my pictures half blind anyway, so if the lcd is a bit on the dim side i guess i can deal, as long as the pics still look good.

i have been reading reviews and am looking a lot at the canon powershot s2, and considering the considerably cheaper s1 as well, as i'm not sure the difference in them warrants the price difference...

my hesitations with the s2:i'm concerned about the file size of the avi files vs mpeg4, which seems a much better way to go. it seems a lot bulkier than many of the other cameras i've been seeing. a smaller size would be nice, but i am not seing this with the flipout lcd.i've read several things that say that the s2 is the best quality video in the price range. but i guess i would trade a littlein thatfor a smaller more managable file size, and possibly a smaller more pocketable camera.

i am having problems finding something that has all the things i am looking for in one camera.i am wondering,if i do go with the canon,if there is enough enough of an improvement over the s1 to warrant paying almost double for the s2, andalso if there is a better option for my needs elsewhere that i am overlooking.

this is a major major purchase for me, i've asked for donations from misc friends and family for my birthday to afford this, and i will not have an opportunity to get another camera for several years, so i want to pick the right one. any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.
thanks in advance. i'm kind of lost in information overload out here.


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Old Oct 26, 2005, 12:47 PM   #2
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If you're really thinking Canon, you might want to add the A610 and A620 into your mix. They use the same Digic II pocessor as the S2, but are much more "pocketable," They only have a 4x zoom, so if you want an ultrazoom they won't do. But other than that, they appear to be very nice cameras (BTW, since they don't have a long zoom, they don't need IS, which significantly increases the cost of a camera.) Their video will be comparable to the S2, so there won't be a win in file size with them. They do have a slave flash option (I am not aware of one for the S2, although there may be one) that would help with those dark bar pictures. They have a flip-out lcd like the S2, but the A6x0 lcd is a tad larger. Either one of these cameras will be cheaper than the S2. If you are content with 5 M pixels, the A610 lists for under 300, and the 7 m pixel 620 for under 400. I haven't seen the S2 that inexpensive at street price yet. FWIW.

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