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Old Nov 27, 2004, 2:32 PM   #1
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Hi, I have been looking into buying a point and shoot camera for some time now, but have not been able to decide. This will be my first digital camera, and most likely the only one for some time to come.

I am a complete novice, and my priority is a fast point and shoot camera for everyday moments. I dont really know if size is important as this is my first one, but of course I dont think any of the ones I have been looking at are too big. I was hoping for AA battery compatibility, but could sacrifice that if necessary. After reading alot, I know I only need 3 mp, but if a cam with better features has more at the same cost then I see no harm in that.

The cameras I have been looking at might be varied across several catagories, but it seems that size is what splits the groups, which again, I dont know will make a difference.

In no order whatsoever, the Canon a95, Sony w1, Canon SD300/200 (whichever doesnt matter).

I know the SD300/200 is in a different class, but I dont really know how much difference that would be than the sony W1 which seems like it is just 'deeper' or whatever measurment it is larger in. Does this extra thickness make a difference? More the question is the a95 not pocketable at all?

In terms of speed, which I have come to the conclusion of being quite important, it seems to be SD300/200, W1 and a95 last. Question being is the a95 much slower in day to day pics? Again I am asking for personal opinions with day to day shots in mind.

In terms of pic quality which of course is important, it seems as if it is a95,w1, sd300/200, but again in day to day viewing 'not under microscope' will it make a difference???

The only extra feature I am looking at the moment is movie mode, which would leave sd300/200, w1 and then a95.

I can assume you've figured that I am planning on using this full auto all the time (complete novice), and they all seem to have random adjustments, yet I lack the know how of whether or not any of these are useful in day to day pics.

In terms of size, it comes down to sd300/200, w1, and then a95. This is where I come to a problem. I know people like small cameras, but I am wondering if the sd300/200 is 'too small'. I have seen the a75, which i assume is the same (approx) as the a95, which fit in my hand(that battery groove sure makes a difference). The w1 seems like it is the same size, except without the battery grove, and the sd300/200 just seems like I would have to hold it with 2 fingers ( something I am not comfortable with). I know the recommendation is to goto a store and try them out, but lets just leave it at that not being an option. I know this is quite risky, but that is the situation and I have to deal with it.

My plans involve mostly computer pics and sometimes the random print on 4x6 or maybe at most the 8x10 but nothing more. I have read pretty much every post, on this board and on dcresource or whatever other board there is, and all the cameras seem to have bad image quality. Theres 'heavy purple fringing' on both canons, theres the 'soft look' to the W1.

The prices are pretty much the same, with mem card/ batteries(if necessary) included. So its really not a price problem.

The LCD seems like it is important, and the W1 has biggest, but it seems like its lower resolution and not very clear compared to the other 2. Swivel is nice, but again, I do not know 'how' important it is as I have never used it. Also, are the LCD's protected by glass or something? I remember on the a75 that it was, but on the sony p73 it wasnt. (That was the other camera that was shown to me)
If you've read this far I am really thankful for your time.

I had orignally decided on the a95 because I couldn't find an a80 which was because I tried the a75 and it was alright, but at the time I was only looking at how it felt in my hand. Then, I read the boards, and the W1 seemed like a rival to the a95, having the carl zeiss(spell?) lens and only requiring 2 batteries (I really doubt I will be taking 300 pics or more as is being described as a big plus to the A series canons) Then someone pointed out that the big/small factor and that the sd300/200 were nice, which I agree would probably be more portable and probably easier to take around than the other two, and the video mode, which I know is really just a gimick is kind of enticing.

I dont know exactly what I am asking for. I would probably be happy with any of them as this will be my first camera, but then again, I would like to make the best decision. One last thing, I do not have the luxuary of buying, returning and buying again.
I hope someone can help me through this choice.

A95-slow(key problem need input) and big(relative), video mode (probably okay seeing as I wont be taking /have memory for huge movies
W1-lowres not clear lcd, takes sony mem sticks, movie mode is probably unusable due to size/cost memory
SD200/300 - worst image quality, might be 'too small'
Again, I am a point and shoot day to day pictures guy. I dont know if the manual options will be useful later on, but I need good pics in full auto at the moment.
Thanks, do not know if anyone will want to read all that, but I thought it would be worth a shot. Thanks.
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