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Old Apr 29, 2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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Hi all, I was hoping someone might point me in the direction of a good alternative to the Sony DSC-H1. I bought one recently at a car boot sale and unsurprisingly it was faulty. I didn't mind too much as it was only 15 quid and I'll probably get my money back selling it for spares. I read the review at this site and liked the look of the camera so I bought another through eBay. It worked for about an hour before I had exactly the same problem with this camera - it turns on, sounds like the lens is trying to extend, then turns itself off.

In the short time I was able to use the camera I really liked the look of it. The picture quality was great and it seemed to have a lot of advanced features / manual settings that I was looking forward to playing around with and learning. I'd buy another but this experience has really put me off buying another Sony as it seems to be a fairly common problem from what I've read.

I quite like the compact SLR style cameras, I've been using a Fuji Finepix S3000 for quite a long time now and it still takes a better picture than most of my friends' cameras that have double and even triple the megapixels. I'd love to get a proper SLR but I don't think I'll get one within my budget. I'm wanting to buy second hand or refurbished and spending around £100. I might stretch a little more but I can't really afford to be splashing out at the moment.

I sell quite a bit on eBay so I use my camera a lot for taking close up photos. I sometimes need to take photos of rooms so being able to use a wide angle lens would be great. I'd like it for personal use as well though so I suppose I need a good all-rounder. I probably need a good point and shoot camera, but it'd be nice to be able to play around with a few settings when I learn a bit more. One thing I liked about the H1 is that it takes AA batteries, so if I dont' have the charger and the batteries run out I can just buy some new ones and carry on using the camera.

If anyone has any suggestions I'd really appreciate the help!

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Old Apr 29, 2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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You won't find everything you want in a four year old camera. I don't know of a superzoom with wide angle for instance. I have no idea of used prices, but the H1 had several classmates.

The Canon S2 probably comes closest to your requirements. It uses AA batteries. The movie mode was the best available in 2005. The flip-out articulated LCD is a great feature.

Panasonic made the other two competitors.

The FZ5 is easier to carry around, being much smaller and lighter than the others. It had manual everything except manual focus. I never found manual focus to be that great with a low resolution EVF anyway. It was probably a little quicker at focus time than the others – at least according to reviews.

The FZ20 was one of the best superzooms ever made IMO. Holding f2.8 throughout the zoom range and being the only one with a hot shoe at the time made it stand out. It also had an exceptionally strong built-in flash.

Both Panasonics have lithium batteries. The FZ20 is rated at 240 photos and the FZ5 at 300 with the internal battery. They should come with the charger – don't consider one if it doesn't. I would think the batteries would be getting a little weak after four years and need replacing. Look on Ebay – replacement batteries have gotten pretty cheap and the original would still be good as a backup. I personally prefer lithium, but you can't pop into a convenience store and get an extra hundred shots with alkalines. Alkaline batteries are an expensive alternative to getting NiMH batteries and a charger.

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