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Anei Feb 26, 2006 2:00 PM

Hi, I'm looking to buy a new compact digital camera, but am having a heck of a time finding one/deciding on one that fits my needs or at least comes close. I was wondering if anyone could give me any input.

I'm looking to get a compact digital, small enough that I can carry it anywhere with me in a pocket. I'ld like a minimum of 5 MP, 3x zoom. I love to go out with friends, so a majority of the pictures I take will be at bars and parties, mainly low-light situations. The camera has to be good here, and some way to deal with red-eye sure would be nice. I realize that time to take a picture won't be zero, but I love taking pictures at sports events as well, and would like a minimal delay. Autofocus can also be annoying in some situations, and being able to do something about it would be cool.Other features that are very important to me are a manual adjust for shutter speed, (I like taking pictures of waterfalls with a blurred effect), and a camera that will be good at landscapes and outdoors shots - a veiwfinder includedwould be good for these situations as well, but not a 100% neccesity. The other important quality I'm looking for is something that I can get an underwater case for, as I SCUBA dive and do not want to continue renting underwater cameras. Durability is a must, as I will be taking this camera everywhere from bars, to sporting events,to scuba trips and ski trips. And image quality, as with anyone, is a definate priority.

Battery life is not that important to me as carrying an extra battery is pretty easy. Memory is also not that important as I can get a larger memory card fairly easily. Video and sound are nice, and would be great in some situations, such as having someone record me skiing so I can watch my form, but are not that important to me - I'm looking more to take stillshots.

Right now the Canon SD 400 or SD 450 Digital ELPH's are really grabbing my attention, but even with the underwater case they are only submersible to 10 feet, and 60 ft dives are somewhat common.

Kodak Easyshare V550 has some darn good reviews, but I haven't seen any protective underwater casings. The Easyshare V570 seams really cool with the duel lenses and wide-shot option, but reviews of it make it appear not worth the price.

Olympus Stylus 600 has an underwater casing available for up to 130 ft, and seams like a very durable camera, for times I will probably drop it or sit on it. But reviews also make this camera seam sub-par in all other categories, especially image quality.

The Panasonic Lumix FX8K is pretty stylish, but I've read reviews saying it performs poorly in low light and autofocus will often focus in behind your subject. I have not seen any type of protective casing for this camera.

Thanks for the Help!

slipe Feb 26, 2006 2:28 PM

The Fuji F10 or F11 if you live outside the US would be your best current choice for parties and bars IMO. You can crank up the ISO and still get decent noise. That increases the flash range considerably and also lets you shoot without flash in many situations. It also has an underwater housing available. It doesn't have an optical finder and the LCD isn't great in sunlight.

Fuji has announced the F30. I'm not sure ISO3200 would be very useable, but it has a much needed LCD improvement in both resolution and coating. You might wait for some reviews on that. I assume the F10 underwater housing will work with it or that they will release one for it: It won't be available until May though.

Anei Feb 26, 2006 2:41 PM

I'ld be puchasing in the US. Sorry I should have included that.

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