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Old Jan 5, 2006, 1:24 AM   #1
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I have been looking at cameras and have narrowed my search down to the Sony T5 and the Canon SD450-550 models.

I have had Sony products before and have noticed low light is a problem with Sony products. However the T5 & T7 have lightening fast shutter lag abd the sleek new form factor is sexy. The T7 has the controls on the wrong side and no tripod mount so I am leaning towards the T5.

However I know Canon has a strong reputation for quality pictures so I am wondering if I should buy a Canon. A lot of people I know who have Canons have always had very good picture results.

Anyone have any strong opinions based on fact? Which one would you recommend and why? Are there any other cameras in the same price/class that I should look at?

I would like to buy a camera asap.
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Old Jan 7, 2006, 8:11 AM   #2
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I am attempting to read a bit between the lines and it seems, based on the cameras selected, that the camera physical size is important to you. Of the group selected, and based on the professional reviews that have been written on these cameras, the best camera choice would be the Canon SD-550.

The reason: best reviews, excellent photos, handy size, good flash range, and the use of the SD chip/card.

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Old Jan 7, 2006, 11:49 AM   #3
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The T7 shares the pitifully weak flash of the previous members of the T series. The new T9 is a little wonder though. The flash is about average for at tiny camera, but much better than the T7 and earlier. It has a true mechanically stabilized lens and good high ISO capabilities. The combination of stabilization and better than normal high ISO would give much better low light capabilities than any tiny camera I know of. The T9 has a metal tripod mount and the controls look to be fairly normal. The LCD is extremely good for resolution and quality.

Avoid the SD400/500 if you plan to carry it in a pocket. There were a goodly number of cracked LCDs. Canon seems to have improved the LCD strength on the SD450/550.

The SD450 is a nice little camera for size and competence. It might be a good choice if you don't plan to make prints larger than 11 X 14. The SD550 is a larger camera with more pixels and a stronger flash. They both take excellent pictures with the 550 maybe having a slight edge.

All small cameras with f2.8 at wide to around f5 at telephoto give about the same low light performance if you are trying to shoot without the flash. Light that looks good to your eye indoors isn't sufficient to generate enough shutter speed to handhold without a flash. The SD550 has an exceptionally strong flash for the size of the camera, but without the flash neither of the Canons is likely to be any better than your old cameras were. Both Canons have optical eyelevel viewfinders, which the small Sony cameras don't have. An optical finder is better for holding the camera steady and much better for acquiring and following moving targets in dynamic situations – especially when zoomed.

The only things that can help in low light are optical stabilization and higher ISO without excessive noise. Stabilization works like a tripod in that it keeps hand movement from blurring the shots, but does not help for subject movement. It isn't as good as a tripod of course, but you can shoot indoors without a flash in decent light. Higher ISO helps also with subject motion, but you get noisier photos even with the few cameras that have good high ISO capability. The T9 seems like a good compromise. The ISO capability seems about the same or maybe slightly better than the Fuji Z1 but not as good as the Fuji F10/11. The optical stabilization is good and also works with movies.

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Old Jan 7, 2006, 2:10 PM   #4
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I am leaning towards the Canon SD450 over the SD550. The SD450 just feels a lot smaller than the SD550.

a couple of things that is holding up my decision on the SD450 vs SD550

* will the 7MP (SD550) produce sharper 4x6 or 8x11 pictures? is it that noticeable?
* the SD450 does not have any time/date stamp. does the SD550 have it?
* no battery life indicator. how am I suppose to tell how much battery life I have??
has this been fixed on the SD550?

hopefully you can address these concerns?
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