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-   -   What's the best thinnest digital camera? (

alexmdo Jul 21, 2005 7:21 AM

I'm having some problems in picking a new camera. I don't have to mention that I'm looking for an Ultra Compact Camera, but I cannot find which one suits me. As I live in Brazil, here we only hear talking about Sony Camera (of course there are others, but the way they talk here, is like if Sony Cameras is the best choice, and they don't consider other choices), so I searched for Sony T7, but everyone says that its baterry is weak and Memory Stick is the most expensive compared with the others.Then I found this website (which is great) and I started to have some new concepts about cameras.

So I knew others camera instead of Sony. I searched for Casio, Panasonic, Canon, and Igot surprised with theirs resourses and their design as well. Nowadays I have Sony P92 and I really want to retire it.

Any recommendation would bevery apreciated.


untitled Jul 21, 2005 8:25 AM

Casio EX-S500,1759,1830975,00.asp

Just ordered this, because the specs are on point and I have heard nothing but praise from it

themite Jul 21, 2005 11:18 PM

PANASONIC LUMIX FX9. is the best thinnest digital camera.

The ex-s500 has a dedicateddigital Antishake processor, so it should be better with low light than its more competent sister ex-z750, but in my personal taste i would prefer a mechanical optical image stabilizer to a DigitalSignalProcessor that is shifting pixels. Somehow i have a gut feeling all that digitalness is accumulating in the chain.

But after having owned a Casio exilim z750 i would not dare to buy the s500, but would go with a Panasonic Lumix instead, possibly FX9. They both have the same Image sensor size of 1/2.5", but i think the lumix has less "digital feeling" to the picture.

If the z750 picture quality in any way gives a hint on s500 picture quality readmy girldfriends and myexperience on the z750 that we where not quite satisfied with.

My girlfriend owened a casio ex-z750 for 1 day, i told her to atleast wait for the firmware update that would fix the movie whine and adress problems of fokus and picture quality, but she sold of the camera anyway.

The few but problematic things that made her drastic move where.

Blurry and grainylow light photo, and out of focus most of the time when dark (z750 has no digital (or analog) image stabilzer like s500 has, pixelshifting dsp), now i know the firmware update has a better darkness algorythm for less noise,and the focus issuses have been adressed, but to what extentcan it bee improved? Anyway she likes to take photos during dark and its should be able to take good pics in evening party or else it is loosing its usefullness.

We both agreed some pictures especially when there was adequate light conditions, came out quite nice, and with a feeling of reality to them, but more photos where not up to par, than she thought acceptable.

The pictures also had for my and her tasting a to "digital feeling" over them, her having owened a Nikon 4300 bnefore that and comparing the results.

I have read its about the sharpenign algorythm that sharpens everything, compared to teh smarter sharpening way that canon and nikon employs keeping the small details like grassunchanged, while sharpening only the big picture" to avoid that overly digital feeling.

Colours where also of the chart, unatural to an extent. The saturation and contast tweaks that have to beappliedby changing default for a more natural tone, did not give the harmonic colours wewhere after.

She bought this camera ater heavy research and Ken Rockwells recomendation, because of its extensive manual control otions as she is a true photograficenthusiast.

It was however very speedy and fun to use because of its very good interface.

She has now ordered a Nikon D50, to be shure to get good night shots. And we bothhave come to agreePanasonic Lumix pictures have that magicaltone of harmony, like we are used too, just like her old Nikon 4300. The 4300 was slow but precise, when shooting nightshotsit landed almost always beautiful pictures.
So i think i will get myself a Panasonic Lumix L1X with a huge Image sensor CCD of 1/1.6", andwideangle of 28mm. The Panasonic Lumix FX9 would be my choice for ultra compact however, would i go for the smallest footprint.

She also came to the conclusion that more pixels does not equal better picture, just like the marketing megapixel hyperness criticism goes, cramming in to many pixels on a to small chip area used with a lens with notcomparably enough light intake, will undoutebly lead to noise = picture stress.

alexmdo Jul 22, 2005 6:28 AM

Thanks man for the tip.

Now, I gotreally confused with both camera (casio ex-s500 and Panasonic Lumix FX9). Why this damn Panasonic lumix FX9 doesn't record videos at 60fps? In other hands Casio EX-S500 does! Damn camera! It only lacked this to be perfect! Funny that you never find everythingwhatyou arelooking forin one single camera. You always have to sacrifice something in order to get the best choice. Now I'll have some work to do in order to decide which camera I'll get.

Thanks again!!!

slipe Jul 22, 2005 9:15 PM

The Z750 has digital anti-shake. It isn't very good. I think the S500 uses a different system, but digital anti-shake isn't very good no matter how it is implemented.

The FX9 might be a good camera if the LCD brightens properly in limited light – something they haven't managed to do in any other Panasonic camera. It is probably useable in most situations, but several reviewers complained about the LCD on the FX7 not brightening enough in low light. I find it a bit odd they would produce a camera that isn't available for sale yet that has outdated movies. But it has a real mechanical stabilization that will aid available light photography.

You can read back through every brand of camera's threads and find people new to digital who are complaining of their indoor shots being blurry. Consumer film has a wider exposure latitude. And most people have their photos developed at places that auto enhance images that the exposure latitude still left dark. The consumer film camera manufacturers account for that and underexpose after a certain shutter speed has been reached. You can't do that with digital. Between the lower exposure latitude and people seeing the final product unenhanced, if the available aperture and light require 1/6 second then that is what it uses. Most people can't hold a large camera steady enough to shoot at 1/6 second, much less a tiny one.

Digital sensors produce more noise with less light hitting them. A given sensor produces the same amount of noise with a given amount of light regardless of which camera it is in. Considering most little cameras are in the f2.8 at wide to f5 at telephoto, you can generate the same amount of light and shutter speed under given lighting conditions with all of them. Some cameras filter the noise out more than others in the processing. One of my few complaints about the Z750 is that they don't have a setting to turn the in-camera noise reduction off. I don't find it excessive, but it is apparent at ISO400.

The 5Mp sensor Casio uses in their S500 is the same 1/2.5 sensor used in all the others with 5Mp, 1/2.5 as far as I know. The S500 has an f2.8 to f4.3 from wide to tele, which is better than most in that category of camera. It will do as well as any other with that sensor and better than most at telephoto shooting in limited available light.

Color is subjective. Look at some photos from the S500 and see whether you like the color rendition. Pbase doesn't have any yet and there aren't any good reviews out. These are from Casio: You might want to wait for some good reviews by Steve and others. The Z750 is my 5th digital camera and I am quite pleased with the colors.

The only two small cameras that will do better than the S500 in low light IMO are the FX9 and Fuji F10. The F10 does it by boosting the ISO and the Panasonic with stabilization. Low light shots are noisier with the F10, but you can capture moving subjects in average light a lot better – stabilization doesn't help at all for subject movement. And the F10 at high ISO isn't as bad for noise as other cameras. The F10 is a little bulkier but has the good movies, albeit without MPEG4 so they take a lot of memory space. Neither is as tiny as the S500.

I would avoid the Sony T series. The flash is pitifully weak and the maximum f is 3.5 at wide. You wouldn't like it for anything but outdoor photography.

One feature on the S500 I wouldn't want to be without now that I've used it is the past movie mode. You can aim the camera and wait for something to happen. When something happens you want to film you start the recording. It records the previous 5 seconds from the buffer and continues to record until you stop it. So you don't have to grind away waiting for something to happen. The Z750 is the first digital I have used the movies on except to test them when I got the camera. The others are 320 X 240 and almost useless. I've been pleased with the movies from my Z750 and would anticipate the S500 is about the same.

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