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Old Oct 11, 2006, 11:11 PM   #1
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Hi,

I'm looking for a camera with more advanced capabilities than the ultracompact point-and-shoot we have now.

I'd really like to get one with a fast shutter delay. I'll be taking shots of kids, so quick response time is important.

I'd also like to get one that has a better zoom than our 3X. I was initially looking at the super zoom (10X +), but I might be happy with a 5X+ if the super zooms sacrifice too much in indoor image quality.

Based on what I've read and my own experience, I think I'd like to get one that has the option of a flash hotshoe. We take a decent amount of indoor pics of the kids with flash, and I think they'd probably turn out a lot better with an external flash.

I've considered a dSLR, but I think the cost with separate lenses will be higher than I'd like, and I like being able to use the screen to frame shots.

I'd like to stay under $500 if possible.

I've looked into the super zooms pretty closely, but don't have much insight into mid-range zooms. From the super zoom, I think I like the Panasonic DMC-FZ30 the most, but it's pretty heavy. I tried out the Canon S3 and really liked it, but it doesn't support the hotshoe flash.

Any one have suggestions?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 3:11 AM   #2
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Look at the new Fuji S6000 and S9100.

They have the zoom (28-300mm), very good low light performance, quick shutter lag, and face detection focus technology (will help keep focus locked on those kids!). The S6000 does lack the hot shoe. However, the on camera flash does do a good job of scaling down to allow the background to expose more, so you do get some nice indoor flash results. The S9100 is a 9MP model which does have the hot shoe, for a bit more.


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Old Oct 12, 2006, 7:42 AM   #3
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The Fujifilm Finepix S9100 seems to be a very good pro-sumer mega-zoom to me.

With 9.2 million SuperCCD V HR photo-diodes, itlooks more like a compelling camera for fine prints. However, with an ISO range ofISO 80 - ISO 1600; it looks like a great low light camera too.

Thephoto-diodes of the SuperCCD are octagonal in shape; they have a larger surface area thanthe usualtype of photo-diodes, and also faster speeds in general.

High ISO performance have been known to be revolutionary (at least to me) on those SuperCCD cameras. Not only is the high ISO performanceexcellent onSuperCCDs, butthe SuperCCD'sability to resolve details are alsoexcellent. (Due to the octagonal design of the photo-diodes)

(Mind you, I'm not trying to market the camera!) [I am presenting the technology in general becauseI'm awed by ittoo]

Read more>>> (Unfortunately, I cannot locate the more detailedP.D.F. presentationof the SuperCCDs)

SuperCCD.

http://www.fujifilmusa.com/tech/TechCaptureCCD.jsp

[I am just a normal guy interested in physics]

Regards.
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 10:52 AM   #4
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Thanks, I hadn't really considered the Fuji. I hadn't seen anything about the 9100, and hadn't thought about the 9000 because it seemed a little slower and didn't have true image stabilization.

What do you guys think of the 9000? Having read a little bit about it, it seems to get pretty impressive reviews. Despite not having true image stabilization, people don't seem to complain about that aspect too much. And most say the shutter lag is not any more noticeable than competitors.

The 9000 is a good deal right now. The 9100 is going to run me well over $500, while I've found the 9000 for under $500 with a $100 rebate from Fuji.

I need to find a store that has one in stock so I can go take a look at it. I do like the fact it has the zoom focus ring on the lense.

Tim
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 4:37 PM   #5
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Also, does anyone have an opinion on the Kodak P880, in comparison to the Fujis?

Costco has a very good deal on the Kodak now (299 after rebate).

I don't mind that the zoom is less (5.8). I was a little concerned about the shutter lag and picture to picture delay, but there seems to be a firmware fix that improves this.

The wider lense on the lower end would be nice, but I woudn't want to sacrifice too much image quality to save $100 bucks.
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Old Oct 12, 2006, 10:05 PM   #6
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The Canon G7 will be out soon. For someone who hasn't had a G-series camera before, you might not mind what they didn't keep from the previous ones. It has a 6x zoom, fastest processor Canon has, hotshoe, nice lens, and more functions that most people will ever use. The only problem is that you wanted to stay under $500 if possible and the G7 will be $599.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 1:23 PM   #7
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Disclaimer: I do not have it out for Kodak.
The P880 is a fabulous camera for a great price, and I was already to buy it, but after trying it out, I decided against it because it's slower to go from shot-to-shot than my current 5-year old digital P&S.

That said, my old camera was just ok for taking pictures of my son, but I knew that the recycle time (time between shots), was causing me to lose a lot of pictures, especially when he was being cute for a full minute. So I wasn't going to get better pictures with a less capable camera!

As of now, referring to what the other posters have said, I have an s6000 on order. It should arrive next week, and then after next weekend, I'll post an initial review.


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Also, does anyone have an opinion on the Kodak P880, in comparison to the Fujis?

Costco has a very good deal on the Kodak now (299 after rebate).

I don't mind that the zoom is less (5.8). I was a little concerned about the shutter lag and picture to picture delay, but there seems to be a firmware fix that improves this.

The wider lense on the lower end would be nice, but I woudn't want to sacrifice too much image quality to save $100 bucks.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 2:34 PM   #8
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if ur budget is 500$ u can get a Pentax K110 for that much with a kit lens ...

Any entry level Dslr can beat any of the consumer level digicams with ease.

for quick response u might wanna consider Dslrs ... or cams that have manual zoom on the lens ... and lenses that donot retract into the body.

The Fuji's seem reall nice .. the new S6000 look real nice.
or the Kodak P880 ... but it seems all kodak cams have some trouble with low light focus and Auto focus at telephoto end.

The fuji S5500 also has some nice reviews ... and u might get one at a reall good price.

If u can strech ur budget by 200$ u can reallly get a good Entry level Dslr ... which will be more versatile and customisable for ur needs ...

Incase of a Dslr .. i would suggest the D70s or Rebel Xt or Xti .. these cams are pretty cheap for their performance levels.

Anyways good luck
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Old Oct 15, 2006, 11:09 AM   #9
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Thanks to everyone who responded. You guys gave me a lot of good advice to think about.

I decided to go with the Kodak P880. It wasn't an easy decision. I think I ended up knowing too much about too many cameras :-)

It pretty much came down to the P880 and the Fuji S9000. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any stores around here carrying anything other than the Fuji 5200, and I really wanted to get a feel for the Fuji before ordering it.

In the end, the lower price (about $350 at amazon) for the P880 plus it's wide ange ability tipped the scales.

I seriously considered a dSLR, but that's a little more money than I want to spend right now, plus I'm not sure how happy I would be not being able to frame any shots usnig the LCD screen. I figure I'll use the P880 for a few years, learn something about photography, and then consider moving up to one of the dSLRs.

Thanks again for the advice.
Tim
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