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Old Nov 19, 2005, 7:08 PM   #1
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Hi, I'm looking for a new digital camera excellent for outdoor work. My current camera is the Minolta DiMAGE Z1 which has served me very well, but I'm looking for more megapixels than the 3.2 it offers.

I'm looking for a fixed zoom lens camera like the Z1, which has 10X optical zoom or more. Rapid shutter speeds like the two settings the Z1 offers are highly desirable, and the time from turn on to shooting a photo should be assmall as possible. I'd like a camera that is also capable of taking good pics in low light situations such as forest canopy, so maybe an f1.8 reach would be good. A movie feature of the type the Z1 offers would also be great. A camera that can get throgh some jolting and moisture is also necessary. Adequate flash is also desirable. The camera should also be relatively compact, not something that requires its own case. Finally, I would like the camera I'm looking for to have about 6 megapixels. That's the area where I find my current camera falling short, diminished quality with larger photos. Looking for a price range under $600 US.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you. - CapoDeKino
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 8:22 PM   #2
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Please take a CLOSE look at the Olympus C-5500. Selling for less than $(US) 200, it has 5mp and 5X optical zoom.

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Old Nov 20, 2005, 6:44 AM   #3
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You won't find that fast lenses from much any camera. (expect prime/"non zoom" lenses of DSLRs)
Something little under F3 would be more realistic, and in long zooms that drops to around F4-4.5 on tele end.
Also that photographing in forests/shadows means image stabilisation would be very useful feature although for moving targets that won't help which means requirement for higher ISO, but on the other hand higher ISO always increases noise dramatically so for other than animals image stabilisation is better choise.
And unfortunately all "10x zooms" tend to have really small sensors which makes noise bigger problem, even more when crammed with lot of megapixels.

So very important things is do you photograph animals? Or is it more general photographing of nature, forests, trees, plants and such?
In later case you should consider other than "10x zoom cameras".

Considering bumb resistance cameras should be quite equal, and they all get equally broken if directly hit harder to something hard and/or sharp.
Same applies to humidity.
I think there's some more sturdier models (few maybe even water proof) but those are in compact class with small zooms.
Also maybe it might be helpfull to have possiblity to use something in front of lens to protect it from filth and twigs. (protection/Skylight/UV filter is really cheap considering it can save camera's lens from finger prints, dust and filth)

And if camera is stored in more humid environment silica gel should be in equipment list.
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