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Old May 15, 2006, 5:16 PM   #1
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Hi all, wonderful site. thank you for your hard work everyone. You make it a treat for the rest of us. Thank you in advance for reading my long post.

Going on a 4 week trip to Morocco, & europe this summer. I am ready to upgrade to a smaller pocket cam w/higher mp and have been looking at the sd's and p200 among others.

Here is what i'd like to have with a new camera and a bit about my photo habits:

Good movie choices, would like some Image stabilization for helping with the zoom issues,do NOT want a dock to recharge as it would be one more thing to lug around (so no casios in general right?), ideally would like to plug camera into the wall and have the whole thing charge w/o taking battery out. If I'm correct, that p200 can be charged byplugginginto the wall? No need to take out the battery? Are there others in this class of camera that allow this?

Need a good macro : I will be putting a design portfolio together to get a job when I return, and since I'll be photographing some of my furniture pieces and jewelry (i'm an industrial designer), macro is very important as is getting a decent clear image, that is well-lit. would like higher mps to mess around with photoshop so i can crop to get just the right stuff.

The A70 bugged me with a lag in the shutter speed, and slow recovery (in my opinion ) being too big for a pocket, too heavy with the batteries, red eye was bothersome, and the ZoomBrowser software was a pain--would not always recognize my camera. Photostitch never did work that well anyway.I got blurry images too, even in bright daylight whenever I would zoom. That was the most frustrating thing! The movies too--i always wanted to clip them and edit and rotate them but didn't ever figure out how w/o some crazy download--I have a pc not a mac. Macro was good but the flash never adjusted. i find the flash to be too strong most of the time. would love something that adjusts for proximity...

A70 always amazed me with its lasting power on the batteries (rechargables). And I NEVER filled up my 512 card, ever, even with 6-8 30 sec-1 min movies and lots o photos. I'm not really sure if i ever noticed that the canon movies were much of a space hog. I don't forsee filming a school play on the thing anyway so length of 30 sec and less is ok. I have filmed a bit inside though, as my cat is often very amusing when he gets on a wild tear at night so performance in low-light would be nice in movie mode.

Dark night shots, will mainly be for people...so i might almost rank red eye reduction over flash distance in this case--there is nothing worse than a night shot of people standing far away. I don't do this as a rule. Night shots from a distance (bridge, eiffel tower, etc) would be fine with a open shutter mode...but I dont think I'll take much else at night. I realize that it's near impossible to get a nice shot at night/low light w/o tripod.

Don't care about lcd size. After all it sucks the batteries. Nice I never used the optical finder on the A70 either so i don't care too much about that either (maybe that's why i got blurry photos though!) Lastly, I found that my A70 photos were a little cool for me--like it washed out warmth from faces and left them a tad greenish. I would adjust them in photoshop afterwards.

Part of the reason I want to upgrade is to be safe for a few years....maybe it's worth spending a bit more for the sd700 to get ImageStab...then sit back for the next 5 years cuz surely 7 mp will be fine for me. I'm not ever planning to print out WALL murals after all!But maybe if I learn the workarounds for blurry photos by doing more manual manipulations then i won't need image stabilzation? I do love to learn so i am not averse to manual modes.

I have looked at the demo shots on pbase.com, but they seem so flaky. Sometimes I wonder if people even know they are supposed to press the button 1/2 way to focus. Maybe this is why there are so many blurry Canon shots? I had this problem with my A70 but I knew to press 1/2 way.

Anyway, I'm not the most knowledgeable as you can tell from my post, but just hoping someone might be able to guide me in a better direction if there is one....or push me a bit towards the best option for my needs.

Many thanks!
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Old May 15, 2006, 6:45 PM   #2
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You can do a lot with a good image editor but you can't fix photos taken out of focus. There are a couple of specialized programs that purport to do that but reports are mixed.

DCRP does the best red-eye tests. You might look up reviews there of cameras you are interested in. http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraList.php

Imaging Resource usually does the best tests on using the flash for macro. Most cameras don't do very well: http://www.imaging-resource.com/MFR1.HTM

For macro you can back off a little and many cameras will do better with the flash. Unfortunately most small cameras capture a much larger area as you zoom because the closest focus distance increases faster than the zoom. The tests at dpreview are the only ones I know that test the macro at anything but wide angle.

From what I have read the Sony P200 is about as good as it gets for red eye in a pocket camera. DCRP tested only the P150 but the flash arrangement is the same and I understand the red eye is as well. As JimC points out though, the red eye tests are good only for the relative close-ups in the tests. As you back off even the P200 will probably give you some red eye. I would guess it would still be less than other cameras though.

The folded lens design cameras seem to do best for flash macro in the pocket camera category. The Sony T9 or T30 might be worth a look. They are both stabilized with better than average noise at ISO400. The combination should make it a decent low light camera. I know the T9 has a lot of red eye and the T30 probably does as well.

There are cameras that have red eye reduction more sophisticated than multiple flashes. You might look through some of the pocket camera reviews at DCRP. Most don't work too well, but it seems I've run across one or two systems that aren't bad. Unfortunately that isn't high on my camera priorities and I wasn't impressed with the camera(s), so I don't remember which ones had effective in-camera red eye reduction. Maybe someone else could help out there.

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Old May 15, 2006, 7:31 PM   #3
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Hi slipe, thank you. I would say, that in rethinking my first post, perhaps low light conditions might be important as I imagine I'll want to take photos of fabulous moroccan interiors!

So, perhaps i might bump up the need for good performance in low lighting.

seems to me that the canons do abysmally under low light w/o flash, but that the p200 seems pretty good.

Is the casio z750 worth looking at for good macro, decent video, decent low-light performance, battery perform. /length, quick responsiveness, and small size? i know it does have a docking cradle....but perhaps someone here could advise me....would you want to schlep the cradle along? is it big, does it seem cumbersome? we already have to tote a converterfor the electricity! So maybe not a big deal?

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