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-   -   Is there a camera that has everything I want in one package? (

14two10 Nov 8, 2006 6:56 AM

I currently have a Fujifilm S5500 (S5100 in US), and although its a great camera, I'm finding more and more that I'm not using it that much anymore because of its bulky size, and poor results in low light. So I've decided to eBay it off and buy a sub-compact point and shoot that can fit in my pocket instead.

My ideal camera would have:
- 2.5" or larger, high resolution LCD screen
- excellent photos in a variety of lighting conditions
- MPEG4 video recording
- 5cm or closer macro focusing
- SD or CF memory
- dimentions of no larger than 90x60x20mm
- fast startup and processing speeds
- priced below AUS$350

Unfortunately, such a beast does not seem to exist. After much research there seems to be only 3 cameras close to the mark:

Casio Exilim EX-S500 - I know this camera has been replaced by the S600, but it is my understanding that apart from the extra 1MP the S600 has, they are basically the same, and the S500 can be found for less than $350 on eBay, the S600 cannot.

The Good:
- At only 90x59x16mm, this camera is definitely pocketable.
- MPEG4 video recording allows approx. an hour of good quality video recording on a 1GB SD card, at 30fps.

The Bad:
- Macro focusing is limited to 17cm, which is terrible.
- 2.2" LCD only has 84 946 pixels, giving it a grainy appearance.
- 38-114mm lens - could be wider.
- according to most reviews, image quality is not as good as other compacts.

Casio Exilim EX-Z60- Basically the same as the S500, except is 6mp instead of 5, has a 2.5" LCD with 115 000 pixels (which is still not brilliant), 10cm macro focusing and is slightly larger (95x61x20mm), but is also cheaper, at around $310 in stores.

Canon IXUS 60 (ELPH SD600)

The Good:

- 2.5" LCD with 173 000 pixels, giving a much sharper image than the Casio's.
- Video recording at either 30 or 60 fps.
- 3cm macro focusing!
- 35-105mm lens
- by all accounts, takes better photos in almost all conditions than the Casio's and indeed, most other compacts.

The Bad:

- at 86x53.5x21.7mm, the Canon is shorter and narrower than the Casio's but is much thicker than the S500 (though this is not a huge concern to me)
- video quality is higher than the Casio's, but due to compression method, only about 15mins will fit on a 1GB SD card.
- Cost! the IXUS 60 is $379

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading, and if you have an recommendations or can suggest another camera that you think might meet my wishlist better, I would love to hear it. Currently, I'm torn between the better video recording of the Casio, and the better photoimaging of the Canon.

Suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated!

rfortson Nov 10, 2006 12:06 AM

Have you looked at the Kodak V-series cameras? My wife has the V530 and it takes nice shots, records MPEG-4 (which I don't like as I hate Quicktime), is well built and isn't that expensive. I'd avoid the C-series cameras as I don't think they are as well madel.


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