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-   What Camera Should I Buy? (

joeallister Mar 16, 2005 7:59 AM

I need to order a camera today so any quick advice would be much appreciated.

Need to buy my sister a compact/ultra-compact for her birthday. Basically need good clear outdoor shots and satisfactory indoor/night shots.

Narrowed it down to Coolpix 5200, Pentax Option S5i or Casio EX-Z50

Battery life quite important but the all seem on a par.

She's not likely to use photoshop to edit images, maybe iphoto and will mainly print 8x11.

I have an Olympus C-2100 UZ and she's really impressed by the quality of my pics so surely these cameras can match this??

Anyone there to help out???



slipe Mar 16, 2005 9:40 AM

Your UZI is a tough act to follow. You are comparing a full sized camera with a stabilized 10X lens to a tiny pocket camera. When you shrink them that much you always end up with a little corner softness and even a tiny bit of vignetting at wide angle. That bothers people who approach digital cameras as a purely technical enterprise, but actually a little corner softness and especially some vignetting will improve about 99% of the photos a normal person takes. Your sister would probably never notice it unless she tried to make full screen copies of documents or something like that.

The Z50 has the same Pentax lens as the S5i. The Pentax will literally fit in an Altoids tin. Of the two I would choose the Pentax personally. Your sister might like the Nikon better than the others. It has a focus assist lamp and the LCD gains up well in low light. It won't come near fitting in an Altoids tin, but it is small and light for a purse.

There are other small point and shoots to consider, but I doubt you sister would see the difference. The Canon SD300 adds a little purple fringing to the soft corners and the Sony W1 requires memory that works only in Sony products and is a bit bigger. The Pentax is the smallest, but the Nikon is tiny. With the $50 rebate it looks like a good buy. The focus assist and good gain-up on the LCD will likely make flash shots painless. Outdoors she won't see the difference between the Nikon or any other really tiny pocket camera. It takes very nice pictures.

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