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thkn777 Feb 25, 2006 4:43 AM

Hello all,
I am a Olympus C770 user and I can get nice looking images from this digicam - under certain circumstances or with very high efford.

The C770 has a max ISO 400 and starts at f/2.8 and in general the pictures come out quite good if there is enough light or there's not too much movement.

However - a big number of the pictures I take are to "capture a moment" - I just want to take out the camera, point at my target, and take that photo. I don't want to get slow autofocus or even not working autofocus from my camera which is what the Oly does a lot in that case.

Don't get me wrong, I know it's not made for this, hence this thread.

The whole family agrees with me that the Oly pics are good, but for the quick point&shoot action it's the wrong camera.

I used a Minolta Dynax 500si for many years (traditional SLR) and never or only very seldom got this behaviour.

So I am looking for a companion for the point&shoot photos. My Oly has 4mpix and this resolution is ok for me, for quick shots I'd accept 2mpix or something the like too.

Could be a pocketable small digicam to fit in my wifes bag or my daughters backpack - sturdy, with long life batteries/rechargeables and easy to use, with only little zoom range or even fixed lens - but if I take a photo with it - it should have a good success rate.

Could be a bigger body with exchangeable lens and a SLR like feeling.

I don't need a video mode on it. I don't need thousands of scenery modes. P-A-S-M is enough, maybe for my daughter and my wife something like Auto-Landscape-Portrait-Macro-Nightshot.

No hunting please for autofocus - or as less as possible. Point - press shutter - CLICK. Ok?

Of course some ISO values above 400 will help with that, but I am pretty sure this means the cam would be very expensive.

As for the price: it's an "ADD" to our current equipment, so it shuldn't cost me a fortune. Maybe some good used cameras out there with a good bright lens you can recommend?

Thanks in advance for your help.

rinniethehun Feb 25, 2006 5:24 AM

Have you looked at the Fuji F10, F11 and the new F30? They have higher ISO capabilities than your (and most P&S cams) current cam...ISO 1600, 1600 and 3200, respectively. They are all fast cameras, regarding startup time, shutter lag and cycle time, and the picture quality has been highly rated. They are compact in size and have excellent battery life.

The F10 currently sells for less than US $300. The F11 isn't available in the US, and the F30 won't be released until May, with an estimated retail of $399.

There are several manufacturers announcing new releases of cameras with higher ISO ratings, but make sure you read the fine print...many of them only offer the higher ISO at the minimum resolution settings, like 1.8 MP. The Fuji cams ISO highest ISO is available at all resolutioin settings.

Good luck with your search.

the Hun

sneakyweasel Feb 25, 2006 7:01 PM

The Casio Ex z110 and z120 would probably fit the bill to a tee. It has the option of P&S with additional scenerey & manual modes. Super quick startup, next to no shutter lag, quick and accurate auto focus, up to ISO 1600, AND.. DIRT CHEAP !!! (I got mine for $200 CDN).Read Steve's review of the EX z120 .I have the z110 and really like it. ..Willy.

mtclimber Feb 25, 2006 7:54 PM

At least for me, I agree whole heartedly with Rinnie!

The F-10/11/30 is the way to go. I own a F-10 and it has never let me down. It is one GREAT digital camera.


rinniethehun Feb 25, 2006 8:20 PM

I compared Steve's sample pics between the Z120 and the F10...the Z120 in the 'high sensitivity best shot mode", and the F10 in ISO 1600. Enlarge them both and take a look at a common object, such as the football helmet:

the Hun

sbranch Feb 25, 2006 8:51 PM

Dont waste time or money - Get a Nikon D50 with stock lenses (2 lens kit) and enjoy.

mtclimber Feb 25, 2006 9:56 PM


Just a casual question. Do you own and actively use a Nikon D-50? Can you post some sample photos from the D-50 with kit lens that I can compare. Why do you believe that a Nikon D-50 with kit lens at $(US) 650.00 is aBETTER second camera to another dSLR than the F-10 atLESS than $ (US) 300?

I was just wondering??


sbranch Feb 25, 2006 11:04 PM

I own and constantly use the D50. I have the 18-55 mm stock lens, a Tamron f2.8 28-75 mm (so - so) and a Nikkor 80-200 f 2.8. The stock lens with camera run about $600.00. I have a backpack style case when I want to take everything, and a case that carries just the camera and the stock or Tamron lens. This camera replaced my p&s camera and my FZ20 (and my 35 mm film Pentax). It is extremely easy to use, is ready to go as soon as you turn it on, and performs very well. I have wanted to "upgrade" to a D70s, but can justify it as the photos this camera producesare so great.

As for photos, I will get on my desktop and upload some. Another reason - beyond replacing every other camera I own - is the ability to expand with lenses and then to expand to a better camera (D200) and still use the lenses. Nikkor are great lenses and they are all I would buy if money was no object.

Perhaps I misread the originalpost and appologize if I did. I was thinking it was to replace, not add to an already p&s camera.

thkn777 Feb 26, 2006 2:40 PM

Thanks for the responses so far.

Hm - a used/older dSLR maybe with a very fast lens? Am not sure about the price though...

@Rinnie & Sneaky
Yes - the Fuji digicams look good to me - although I am not sure about speed and accuracy of the autofocus system under different conditions, especially in low light. Can you comment on that?

As for the FX-z110/120 - they seem to very snappy according to steves review - but the low light pics have much stronger noise than the Fuji cams. Easy handling is a plus too and long battery life.

Great - will put that on my list and see what else will be recommended. As for now, I think I am a bit biased towards the Fuji because of the more usable high ISO modes...


Is there a camera which fits my needs AND have some wide angle? Like a 28mm equivalent etc? Would be very handy indoors when you can't step back to get a full view and so on - and for quick landscapes/everyday pics...

Any ideas? I saw RICOH digicams for example to do this... can you recommend them?

Thanks again for the help.

Carskick Feb 26, 2006 3:48 PM

For the $200-300 price range, the F10 is your best bet. If you need massive zoom with decent low light capabilities, the S5200 is very impressive. If you can afford it and want a larger camera, and entry level dSLR is for you. However, you sound like you just want quick point and shoot, the F10 is the way to go.

E.T Feb 26, 2006 4:16 PM

thkn777 wrote:

Is there a camera which fits my needs AND have some wide angle? Like a 28mm equivalent etc? Would be very handy indoors when you can't step back to get a full view and so on - and for quick landscapes/everyday pics...
Forget super/ultrazooms, those generally lack whole wide angle end... (how 38mm sounds?)
Fuji S9500 is about only exception with its 28-300mm.

thkn777 Feb 28, 2006 2:55 AM

Well... I already have a 10x zoom digicam - no need to have another one I'd say. So I'd be fine with 3x zoom or the like BUT was asking about more wide angle. So not the usual 38mm-105mm or something like this but 28mm-70mm or so.

Sorry if I didn't made it clear in my post.

Yes - I saw the S9000/S9500. Interesting cam, indeed.

E.T Feb 28, 2006 11:11 AM

Those few Ricohs are one of the rare pocket cameras with 28mm wide angle, but those are about pure point&"prays" without any manual settings.

Panasonic LX1 has 16:9 CCD which gives 28mm FOV in horizontal direction but that aspect ratio is again equally hard for printing...

Canon Powershot S70/80 models have 28mmm.

Kodak V570 has interestingly second CCD behind fixed 23mm lens but apparently they have "straightened in corners" because of cost caused by two lens/CCDs design... and again pure point&pray.

But IMO in all those pocket cams manual controls are implemented barely usefully in every case...
From bigger non-ultrazoom cameras KonicaMinolta A200 has 28-200mm and Kodak P880 24-140mm.

For focusing saying anything solid is hard, except that in lower light and with more zooming all focuse slower and much depends on is there contrasty edges and how much camera is "shaked". Some cameras use some kind active focusing assist but working distance of those is limited. Also if there's different focusing modes those can affect greatly to speed and reliability of focusing, I can guarantee that!
(I have KM A2 whose default mode, wide area focus, is real randomizer which tries to focus to tree branches/grass near frame's edge while there's clear target in center, but point/spot focus mode is fast and works realiable even in dimmer inside lightning)

So it would be best if you had chance to test focusing speeds in shop to see what those are in practise. (also cameras of friends are good testing)

PS. All non-SLRs are without interchangeable lens... except chance of using converters.

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