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Old Aug 3, 2004, 5:52 AM   #1
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i´m searching for a new digital camera. i want to take some macro shots, night-shots, water and standard-outdoor scenes. maybe some indoor shots of people, but not much.
i did some search on the internet and found these cameras always to be rated pretty good, but with minor disadvantages.
The G5 seems to be slow in focusing and has this purple fringing problem, but delivers good and balanced pictures ( from what i have seen)
The F717 seems to be a bit inferior in macro shots and the sony acessories are a bir pricey (memory-sticks etc. ) but the overall picture quality is good, too.
Which one of these would you choose ? Or something else ?
I´m leaning somehow towars the G5 because i´ve already seen much accessories for it - like a macro lens, tele converter and stuff. is this also available for the sony ?

thanks for reading!
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Old Aug 3, 2004, 7:56 AM   #2
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I would opt for the G5 forfive reasons:

1. Canon has a good, long established rep with cams.

2. I like its "feel" better.

3. Steve's conclusion very positive.

4. You may be able to add Canon lenses to it?

5. Compact Flash media. If you advance to a DSLR dig cam, you are set. You already have your media.

Good luck
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Old Aug 3, 2004, 8:44 AM   #3
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I own the canon G5 and it is an excellent camera. Additional lenses can also be purchased. It can take excellent outdoor shots, night shots and macro shots. A little laggy on the focus but not much. Purple fringing sometimes comes up but this can be easily corrected in photoshop. Takes compact flash and can take microdrives as well over 2gb because has fat32 compliancy or something like that.
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Old Aug 3, 2004, 8:59 AM   #4
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I would go with the Sony DSC-F717:

1. Much fasterstartupand autofocus times.

2. Fly by wire zoom ring

3. Larger 5MP 2/3" CCD, with much lower noise at higher ISO speeds (lowest in it's class). In comparison,the G5has some of the highest noise levels in it's class at higher ISO speeds (as compared to other models using this same 5MP 1/1.8" CCD, like the Sony DSC-V1 and Nikon Coolpix 5400).

The Sony DSC-F717 also has an available ISO 800 that you could use in a pinch with noise reduction software. The G5 maxes out at ISO 400.

4. Better focal range. The Sony DSC-F717 has a 35mm Equivalent Focal Range of 38-190mm versus the Canon G5's 38-140mm Focal Range.

5. Brighter lens at longer focal lengths. The Canon's lens stops down to f/3.0 at a 140mm equivalent focal length, whereas the Sony's lens only stops down to f/2.4 at a full 190mm focal length.

6. Much Smaller Macro Area with the Sony. The Sony DSC-F717 will capture a minimum macro area of about 1.7 x 1.3 inches (43 x 32 millimeters). The G5's minimum macro area is around 2.74 x 2.05 inches (69 x 52 millimeters).

7. Lower Purple Fringing with the Sony. The Canon G5 has been heavily criticized for this, especially at wider apertures. Although the G3 uses the same lens at the G5 (and has also been criticized for Purple Fringing at wider apertures), the G5 is worse, requiring even smaller apertures to reduce it. Some reviewers have speculated that the smaller pixel pitch of the densor 5MP 1/1.8" CCD is to blame.

Now, depending on shooting conditions, it may not be too much of a problem. You'll usually see Purple Fringing in high contrast, slightly overexposed areas of a photo (like tree limbs against a white sky, reflections from chrome, etc.).

8. Sony's InfoLithium Battery System is IMO, the "best in the business". Sony appears to incoporate a microprocessor into their batteries, so you have an extremely accurate representation of battery life remaining.

9. The Sony uses a USB 2.0 interface to the camera for transferring images. The Canon use a slower USB 1.1 interface. Although, if you buy a card reader, you'd get much faster transfer times anyway, with either model, and card readers are cheap.


Some other considerations:

As digcamfan mentioned, the Canon will use CompactFlash media, which is commonly used in DSLR models, with larger capacities avialable. So, take this into consideration. However, thanks to competition from Lexar and Sandisk, Memory Stick Media is now getting more competitive, with sizes in up to 1GB available.

As digicamfan also mentioned, some people may prefer the ergonomics of the Canon.

The Canon uses a zoom coupled Optical Viewfinder. The Sony uses an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). Although the Electronic Viewfinder provides more accurate frame coverage, without the parallax errors you get with Optical Viewfinders in non-DSLR Models; some people may prefer the Optical Viewfinder instead (since EVF's tend to have a slight delay).

So, I'd "test drive" them in a store, to see which one you are more comfortable with.

The Canon can shoot in RAW, the Sony cannot.

Canon offers a wider range of flash options (external speedlights).

Canon offers remote control software for the G5, Sony doesn't have this for the DSC-F717.

BTW, unless you *really* need the 5MP resolution, I'd consider the G3 instead of the G5 in the Canon models. It's less dense 4MP 1/1.8" CCD will have lower noise. Reviewers have also found that the G3 hasless Purple Fringing (even though both models use the same lens).

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