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Old Mar 13, 2005, 2:32 PM   #1
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I'm finally converting to a digital camera, and have sort of narrowed it down to Canon (A95 or A520) and Fuji Finepix E550. I checked out the A95 & Fuji at Best Buy and noticed that the shutter delay on the Canon was much more noticable than on the Fuji. Yet, Steve's reviews shows them as having very comparable shutter delays, with the exception of flash mode when the Fuji is slower.

Without knowing much about the modes the cameras were in, the flash cards in each camera, etc. I'm not sure I was comparing apples to apples. Curious to know what people think of the Canon A95 in this regard; ditto with the Fuji.

Anyone that has owned/tried both have any other thoughts on pros/cons between the two? I'm not very experienced, so ease of use and quality of shots with minimal knowledge are important; shutter delay seems pretty important, too, to get spontaneous shots and not annoy people! I also am about to take some photgraphy courses (both manual & digital)andam majoring inInterior Design,so I imagine I'll be using the more advanced features down the road.

Last thought - has the size of these cameras been a hinderance to anyone - my boyfriend wants something more compact, but I've been leaning towards something a bit larger - no jokes :<. Thanks...any advice/input is greatly appreciated!
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 5:43 PM   #2
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Hi Janet,

I have a Canon G2, and one of the lessons it taught me is that shutter lag IS a problem! That and slow startup, although that seems to be less of a problem these days. I have seriously missed several shots that I thought would have been great. I swear, I'm certain that it was a peacock I saw in Sweden last summer, but it could have been a pheasant. But we'll never know 'cause I couldn't get my camera out, on and shoot fast enough.

For some reason Canon has not seen fit to address the issue of shutter lag in their camerals as much as other makers have. I'm sure it's better than it was for my G2, but not as good as it could be.

As for size, I just picked up a Casio Exilim EX-P700. After handling some of the many subcompacts out there I realized that they were too small. I'm pretty sure their size is a contributing factor to blurry pictures. And I have small hands, by the way. The P700 is a little bit bigger than the subcompacts, but it's much smaller than my G2. I think the Canons your considering and the E550 are all plenty small, even pocketable in a jacket. I would go to some shops and see how the smaller camerals feel in your hands. Then you can make a better decision. You might have your boyfriend pick them up as well. I've always been surprized at how small these cameras really are. Just from the design you can't really tell, except for the digital SLRs.

Good luck! Rafael
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 6:32 PM   #3
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Well, given that the Fuji E550 is pricednear to the A95, I would go with theFuji as it is in a class above the A95 I believe. Between these two I would go with theFuji.Please review this link which will provide yousome quick info on both cameras:


[size=3][color=#ee82ee]When I started looking I was considering the Fuji E510 versus the Canon A-series. I rememberlooking at a review that compared the Fuji E510and one of the Canon A-Series cameras and the Canon seemed to have better quality images. I wish I could find thatreview for you. Note that was the E510 not the E550. >
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 7:08 PM   #4
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Janet, try to getthe camera with the widest angle lens you can find.Out of these two, it would be the Fuji. That way you willbe able to photographrooms that you have decorated. So look for a camera that has a smaller number for the low-end of the focal length.eg. theFuji E550's lens is 32.5mm - 130mm. Soin the example the 32.5mm number is the number you wantto be smaller when comparing cameras. I think the A95 has a 38mm on the low-end.

Hope that helps.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 8:14 PM   #5
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Imaging Resource does a page for those numbers for the Fuji & A95.
Fuji: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E550/E55DATA.HTM
A95: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/A95/A95DATA.HTM

I don't much care for the Super CCD compression system. 1.5Mb as best quality for a 6Mp image is just too much compression IMO. If you want best quality you have to let the camera upsample the image to 12Mp, which gives you a bigger file with no real quality advantage over a 6Mp image at better quality.

The xD card you will have to buy for it is overpriced and dead-end. Nobody but Oly and Fuji is ever likely to use it. It should also have a focus assist lamp.

But it is quick and a bargain for a 6Mp with a 4X zoom.

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Old Mar 15, 2005, 8:21 PM   #6
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I think both image quality and shutter lag are two important buying decisions.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Nobody likes a slow camera or a lousy image.

A 6mp camera is going to deliver a very good image, all told.

I agree with snipe that too much compression is a bad thing. These days, with 1gig storage cards fairly inexpensive, it's too bad the manufacturers don't lay off the compression, and deliver a a nice 3-4mb file from a 6mp sensor.

Anyways, this is all getting technical.

Another nice camera to consider is the Fuji S7000. Maybe not as compact as the E550 but a pretty good camera for the money, and pretty quick too.

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Old Mar 16, 2005, 11:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies & info!

Shutterbug - I checked out the link you referenced, and they rated the Canon slightly higher than the Fuji. I'm curious what makes you think the Fuji is in a class above?

Re: wide angle,that's a great thought. Iwas planning to purchase a wide-angle lens down the road if I end up using my camera to photograph interiors. Since I'm not really sure where this career path will lead me, I like having the option without putting too much emphasis on that now. But, Ido tend to prefera wider angle; my favorite old camera had a 28mm wide angle & I loved that camera. I've been told that the difference btwn 32.5 & 38 is neglible & that I wouldn't really notice it. Do you think that's true?

Regarding compression - I'm a bit lost! I think you guys are saying you don't like the way Fuji handles compression, which would result in less quality photographs? Is that close?

Rafael: I was bummed to hear you say that Canon doesn't seem to handle shutter lag as well as other mfgs! I was leaning toward the Canon until I experienced that, and was hoping someone would say it was operator-ignorance!

Last thing - are there any other cameras in this price range that you think are better than Fuji/Canon? Image quality is definitely the most important; ease of use, shutter delay, ability to add lenses down the road are important. Maybe also the wide angle range?? And, of course something reasonable small as it sounds like all of them are.

Thanks again,

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Old Mar 16, 2005, 2:22 PM   #8
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I have a canon S1 IS and the shutter lag is horrible!!!

Here's the steps I often take:
get camera out of case
turn camera on
zoom to where I want it.
hold manual focus button and focus till I think the subject is going to be in focus.
set aperture to get the depth of field I want.
set shutter speed to what I think will be a proper exposure.
hold shutter halfway. If it would be very underexposed, I open the aperture all the way and boost the ISO to maybe 100 or 200 (although I will sometimes use 400). (note though that I don't always use full manual - I often use aperture priority)
Then, I hold the shutter halfway again and see if it's properly exposed.
Once I have the shutter half pressed though, shutter lag is almost nil.

It's just all the human shutter lag before, getting the settings right, that gets me! Any suggestions on how to make this a LOT faster? The auto modes don't seem to give me the results I want.
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 10:39 PM   #9
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Shutter lag can be an issue. I consider 'true' shutter lag to be the time it takes for the camera to activate the shutter, EXcluding computational times for focusing and light-metering etc. So to get close to true shutter lag, you might have to do something like press the shutter button half-way, so that the camera is ready to take the shot (ie...the camera has already done it's thinking and prepared to just take the snap right away).

But a lot of folks include the computational times. This can be experienced by first keeping your finger away from the shutter button, followed by aiming the camera and then pressing the shutter button all the way in. In this case, the camera has to focus, and process lighting information, and twiddle its thumbs before it takes the shot. Some cameras don't take as much time as others.

Specifications and reviews will really help you to figure out if the camera is fast enough for your needs. Otherwise, I'd probably just hop down to the local camera shop (if there's one near you), and try some out. But you might have to think of some way to test the camera's speed...maybe a laptop computer with a reasonably-fast moving image that repeatedly moves from one side of the screen to the other. Then you can aim the camera at that, and decide that you might want to take the picture when the image gets to the middle of the screen. Or you might come up with some other ideas.
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