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Old Jun 24, 2008, 1:03 PM   #1
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First I want to say what a great resource. I have been lurking for months.

Now I have a specific question. Thanks in advance.

I have a Nikon D40, a Sony P41, and a Sony S700. The purchase and use of the Nikon really has left me cold on my P&S cameras. Not that I know how to use my Nikon, I almost always just leave it on the automatic settings. Specifically I am unsatisfied with the time it takes to take a picture and the time it takes to recover and take subsequent photos with my P&S cameras (I think this is shutter lag?). I need a good P&S camera that I can carry in my field gear or my pocket or laptop case, just to always have a camera on my person.

What kind of a budget am I looking at? (I don't mind spending a bit, just not DSLR territory)

Is there a P&S that will make me moderately happy?

Is there a ruggedized P&S that will fit the bill? (I am hard on my gear.)

Thanks again,
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 4:08 PM   #2
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Your Sony S700 isn't bad for that type of camera, unless you're using a flash. Is Flash Recycle time the bigger issue with it?

You'll see information on camera performance in the review conclusion here for most models. This is what I see in Steve's Review conclusion for the S700:

Shooting performance was quite good for an entry-level camera, as long as you are not using the flash. Power up to first image captured measured just 2.3 seconds. Shutter lag, the time between depressing the shutter release and capturing an image, was 1/10 second when pre-focused and only 2-3/10 second including autofocus time. The shot to shot delay measured a fast 1.1 seconds between frames without the flash. However, when the flash is enabled, it takes almost 8 seconds between frames, depending on subject distance and battery life. The S700 offers one sequential shooting mode: Burst. In Burst mode, I was able to capture 3 frames in 2.0 seconds before the buffer filled. It then takes less a second for the buffer to clear. Our tests were done using a SanDisk Ultra II 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo card, Large/Fine quality, Program mode, flash off, autoview off, and all other settings at default (unless otherwise noted). Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.


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Old Jun 24, 2008, 4:21 PM   #3
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You may want to check out Steve's Best Cameras List for models deemed to be a good value within a given market niche. To see how performance compares, read the review conclusions for them. Olympus makes some shock and water resistant models that you may want to consider if that's something you're interested in (for example, the Olympus Stylus 850 SW, 1030 SW and others. But, on the surface, I'm not sure they'd any faster that what you've got for things like Autofocus Speed (unless flash recycle time is the main issue).

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