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Old Nov 9, 2006, 7:34 PM   #1
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Ok, folks, these forums are amazing and I'm glad I've stumbled into them. You guys/gals are the best. Here is where I stand. I'm a total newbie. I'm looking to spend up to about $500or$600 max.

From reading around in different reviews, and things, I think that I've narrowed my search to the Fuji Finepix F30 and the Canon Powershot A170 IS. However, I am in no way shape or form tied into these, so feel free to tell me I'm a moron, and suggest a better option.

To me, it is of VERY little importance how much manual control I have over things like aperture, etc. I prefer something very automated. Most important to me is picture quality, and I also like that some of these cameras have a TON of "modes" to choose from, making my life that much easier.

I presently own a 5mp Sony Cybershot DSC F707. From what I understand, it's a decent camera, all things considered.

I want to stress that I am BY NO MEANS, TIED INTO THE TWO CAMERAS mentioned above. If you feel there are other, better options, by all means.

What I like about the Fuji is that supposedly, it takes great pictures, but I don't like the lack of zoom. The Canon has double the zoom of the Fuji, but probably takes slightly noisier pictures.

Anyway, as you can see, I'm a newbie. Would love everyone's opinions on that and I want to thank you in advance.

I have ONE MORE question which will probably sound pretty ignorant to you folks, who for the most part, REALLY know what you are doing...I see "noise" mentioned alot in reference to ISO. I don't know what that means, or what ISO means, or how that affects me as a VERY amateur person in this. Any help here too would be greatly appreciated.

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Old Nov 9, 2006, 7:49 PM   #2
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Johnny,

What don't you like about your F707? Maybe that would be a good place to start. If it's zoom you want, there are other cams out there that have more than the Canon (and I assume you meant the A710 IS?). Are you looking for better available light performance? Smaller, lighter...what?

Noise:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_...s/IMG_0151.JPG

As opposed to:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_...s/IMG_0147.JPG

(enlarge them)

the Hun

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Old Nov 9, 2006, 8:03 PM   #3
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There is nothing that I really DON'T like, per se, but, since I know next to nothing about all this, I just figured it was time for something "newer."

As for the noise thing. I guess maybe I phrased my question wrong. I know WHAT it is, I just don't know how it affects me, as an amateur. In other words, does noise ONLY happen if it's dark out? Or does it only happen with certain cameras?

Also, as for what's important to me. I would like a GREAT CAMERA. That's all. I really am looking mostly for picture quality. I do value optical zoom, but it isn't THE most important thing to me. I also like cameras with a bunch of pre-set "modes" as I mentioned before.

any other thoughts?
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 8:36 PM   #4
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Noise doesn't just affect you as an amateur, it affects everyone. It affects every camera, to various degrees. It doesn't only occur when it's dark out, more like when the available lighting is less than optimal. For some cameras, that means on anything other than a bright sunny day. The Fuji F30 happens to handle low light conditions very well. If you like the F30 picture quality and need some more zoom, take a look at the new Fuji S6000. It has the same sensor as the F30, coupled with the FD (face detection) technology of the F31, and the zoom lens of the Fuji S9000 (10.7x, 28 to 300 mm). It also has manual zoom and focus rings. Since it's new, there aren't too many professional reviews out yet, but here is one you can look at:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...ew/index.shtml

It's in your price range, and it has a $50 rebate on it now.

the Hun
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 8:39 PM   #5
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If you are considering the F30 but don't like its lack of telephoto zoom, why not consider the Fuji S6000fd, which supposedly has the same sensor but zoom range going from 28mm to 300mm. It can bebought for under $400 online and also has a 50 buck rebate offer from now until the end of January, I think.

The Sony 707 is a very nice camera. If you know how to use it, I would say you know much more than nothing.
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 8:44 PM   #6
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beat ya to it, robbo!

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Old Nov 9, 2006, 8:51 PM   #7
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Wow. Thanks for the heads up. Just read the review, and it sounds great. Except it has no image stab. I'm guessing that's fairly important? Or I could be wrong on this. Thoughts?
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 8:59 PM   #8
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None of the new Fujis have IS. They substitute high ISO capabilities to permit higher shutter speeds, thereby reducing the effects of camera movement. This also reduces the effects of subject movement - something that IS cannot overcome. This is a highly debatable topic...some people swear by IS...some people have no use for it. I have never owned a camera with it, and have never felt the need for it. I think if you have shaky hands, it might be important for you.

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Old Nov 9, 2006, 9:09 PM   #9
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Sounds good. So, is it basically the general consensus that, through about the $500 price range, this might be the camera to get?
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 10:58 PM   #10
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Johnny:

It depends what you really want. DO you want a camera that's a replacement for your F707? Or do you want a compact pocket camera as a compliment to it?

The F707 model is over 5 years old now, but at the time it was introduced it sold for near $1000. It looks like it's still pretty capable considering it's age.

As for the Fuji models, it's impressive what they've done with higher ISO quality in a small sensor. But a larger sensor camera will still beat them easily.

The Sony R1 is available now for around $650. That's over your $500 pricetag, but it is worth bringing into the discussion since it might be the closest today to what the F707 was in it's day. It's simply the best image quality you will get from any fixed lens digicam. The reason is it uses a sensor that would normally be found only in a DSLR, with interchangable lenses. It doesn't do movies, and with a 24-120mm range it has less telephoto than the 707, but more wide angle.

Another recent development though, is if you want DSLR quality for under $500, you can now get it in a DSLR. The Pentax K110D is currently available with a 18-55mm kit lens (that would cover a 27-82mm equivalent range) for around $475 before a $50 reabate ($420 after). The K100D, the same camera but with a gyroscope for stabilization, is only $100 more.

So the "best" camera under $500 at this point would likely be a DSLR.

But, the superzoom digicams are convenient, have movie modes, have more zoom than you would get in a kit lens, and will allow you to compose images on the LCD (if you wish). There are also several in the $300 range now, so you can still save a couple hundred dollars compared to a DSLR. The most likley contenders here would be the Canon S3IS, the Sony H2 or H5, and the Fuji 6500fd. I would guess it's pretty near an even trade betwen Fuji's extra high ISO performance and the IS and brighter lenses available on the others.

And then there are more compact cameras, such as pocket cameras, which can sometimes go places more conveniently than the larger cameras. The Fuji F20 and F30 and the Canon SD700IS would be popular examples. Again here, the tradeoff is close between IS and the better high ISO performance, with the later coming in more handy when there is action or motion blur you want to stop with higher shutter speed.


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