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Old Dec 17, 2006, 10:06 PM   #1
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Good day everybody,

I am getting a new digital camera for Christmas. My needs are :

1. Compact

2. At least 6 megapixel

3. At least 3x optical zoom

4. 2.5 LCD

5. Video MPEG4 compression 640x480 30fr (with at least 40 mins in 1Gb card)

6. Use SD card

My searchingfound the following models:

Casio Z850 and Kodak C875 and Pentax S7

Both shops that I went to, recommended Pentax S7. According to them, Pentax give the best Mpeg4 video.

I would like to have your opinions to help me to decide. Hope to hear from you.

Best regards,

Julie
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Old Dec 17, 2006, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hi Julie, I don't know about the video, but as far as capturing images goes the Kodak C875 is the best of what you listed, IMO. You should check out reviews of the cameras on this site, as well as sites such as dcresource.com, dpreview.com, megapixel.net and others.

Chris
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 3:11 AM   #3
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Hi there,
got the C875 the other day and did some test photos - it's a beauty. Compression of JPEG's is quite strong if you ask me (the get 8mp around 1MB, sometimes smaller in default setup) but it prints VERY nicely on 5x7".

Easy to operate, can't say about battery lifetime, but it uses 2xAA... so plenty of choices for rechargeables.

It's
- compact
- has 8mp
- 5x zoom
- screen ok
- uses SD

As for video... I have the MPEG4 option on my OlyC770... sure I take a video now and then... but in 99,something percent it's taking photos

If you are into videos - you want a camcorder or the like with huge zoom (working while recording), good microphone(important) and so on.

My 2 cents,
Th.
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 6:38 PM   #4
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Thanks thkn777for your opinion.

Currently I have a video camera and a digital camera. I found myself tired 'juggling' between the two. There are times where taking video is better and there are times taking still photo is suitable. By the time, I put down one and get another ready, the precious moments already gone. Or there are times when there are some action and how I wish I have my video camera with me. But I don't carry my bulky video camera with you all the times.

So this small compact camera, I can have it in my pouch, bag or pocket everywhere I go.

One thing that is holding me back from C875 is the AA battery. I was told by the camera salesman that Lithium is better because it can provide power faster and stronger to camera than AA. Is it true?


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Old Dec 19, 2006, 5:37 AM   #5
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MYJulie wrote:
Quote:
Thanks thkn777for your opinion.

Currently I have a video camera and a digital camera. I found myself tired 'juggling' between the two. There are times where taking video is better and there are times taking still photo is suitable. By the time, I put down one and get another ready, the precious moments already gone. Or there are times when there are some action and how I wish I have my video camera with me. But I don't carry my bulky video camera with you all the times.

So this small compact camera, I can have it in my pouch, bag or pocket everywhere I go.

One thing that is holding me back from C875 is the AA battery. I was told by the camera salesman that Lithium is better because it can provide power faster and stronger to camera than AA. Is it true?

Hi there,
as for videos - the shop assistant recommended a digicam to you because of the best video quality... :? that's why I said something about video. To my mind a digicam is a CAMERA and should take good pictures. I can understand that argument, that you want to capture those precious moments in a video. Fine with me - you can do it quickly and painlessly with a digicam - BUT don't ask for camcorder quality recording. That's all I wanted to say. Other than that - you get lovely videos with current digicams - but for 40 minutes video (which I consider something else than taking a occasional video clip) I'd highly recommend a camcorder or the like.

Hope I could make clear what I mean... you'll get nice videos which render OK on a standard DVD etc. - sound won't be that great and you can't zoom while taking the video. That's it mostly.

As for batteries - it heavily depends on the camera itself. There are cameras that do great with it's special Li-Ion rechargeables, but my Oly C770 for example eats one of these expensive Li-Ion thingies every 2 hours, so I carry 4 of them around for a whole day now. So I'd say the salesman can't say this in general. Another example: I tested a Canon S2IS with 4 x 2500mAh AA-type rechargeables and they were drained after 1 hour - even asked support and they said yes - thats normal. Now I got my Pentax *ist DL2 (dSLR) and the same 4 x 2500 mAh rechargeables work in the camera for several days now with one charge.

I can't comment on the stamina of the C875 since it's a present and I didn't took it with me for a stress test, but I'd go for the AA size batteries/rechargeables in that case. If you carry this camera with you and all of a sudden the batteries are empty there MIGHT be a local store to sell AA-size batteries to keep you going, but chances are way lower to get a special Li-Ion thingie

HTH,
Th.
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 7:13 PM   #6
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Thanks thkn777for your valuable input.

I will go to the shop and have a hand-on at both cameras before I make up my mind.

Have a nice day and Merry Christmas!
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 10:51 PM   #7
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Julie, the more I think about it, the less I think the Kodak C875 camera is right for you. The battery life is quite poor, and I believe this would severely impair your ability to reliably record video. Also, Thkn777 is correct when he states that the video/sound quality will definitey be inferior to a true camcorder.

Thkn777, I don't know why you state that you cannot zoom while recording video, when in fact you can. I also find that most of the photos I've taken with the C875 range between 1.5-2.5mb, using the highest quality settings, but the size really depends on the complexity of the scene being photographed.
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 3:08 AM   #8
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flippedgazelle wrote:
Quote:
Julie, the more I think about it, the less I think the Kodak C875 camera is right for you. The battery life is quite poor, and I believe this would severely impair your ability to reliably record video. Also, Thkn777 is correct when he states that the video/sound quality will definitey be inferior to a true camcorder.

Thkn777, I don't know why you state that you cannot zoom while recording video, when in fact you can. I also find that most of the photos I've taken with the C875 range between 1.5-2.5mb, using the highest quality settings, but the size really depends on the complexity of the scene being photographed.
As for the zooming while recording videos - this was a more general thing - most cameras I saw/had can't zoom while recording. Haven't tested the C875 so it's nice to have some1 here that can confirm it works!

Sorry for the confusion I might have caused.
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 10:58 AM   #9
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thkn777 wrote:
Quote:
Hope I could make clear what I mean... you'll get nice videos which render OK on a standard DVD etc. - sound won't be that great and you can't zoom while taking the video. That's it mostly.

I don't know these particular cameras, but many point and shoot cameras now allow zooming during video recording, and some even have stereo recording. I've actually quit using my miniDV camcorder in favor of my Canon S1. I have a couple of microdrives that give me about 45 minutes of video recording, which is more than I ever shoot at one time now. The 640x480 isn't quite the same resolution as the miniDV, but the quality is plenty good for DVDs and still looks nice on the computer. Plus, the Canon writes AVI files, which are easier to edit than the MPEG4s of Kodak.

For me, having a point and shoot that takes good video is preferable to carrying a separate miniDV camcorder. If a picture situation comes up, I know I can get a good shot, and I'll still get good video. If you look at some of the current cameras, you can even get higher resolution than miniDV. That IS the best of both worlds, IMHO.

Russ
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Old Dec 20, 2006, 1:24 PM   #10
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The Z850 has an interesting movie mode called "past movie". You keep the camera aimed at the subject until something worth filming happens. When the kid does the cute thing again or the fish jumps you start filming. It includes the previous 5 seconds from the buffer. It keeps from having to grind away waiting for something interesting, and avoids a lot of editing. It also effectively gives more card space.

Movies aren't great on the Z850. They are now pretty much OK with the new firmware, which a new camera would probably come with. It also has a movie light and some neat features like the ability to take 3 full resolution flash shots in a second. But I think the Casio you might look at is the S600. It has the good MPEG4 and past movie mode in a very slim camera. You don't seem to need slim or even sub-compact if the C875 fits your needs.

The S7 has extremely high movie compression if it is the same MPEG4 as the S6 and Stave's sample movie is at best quality. His sample is underwater so it is hard to compare it to the Casios. Steve didn't do his regular time tests for the movies so it is unclear whether his sample is best quality. But his sample used only about a quarter of a Mb per second. Casio has some newer cameras out with MPEG4 and they get around 1.3 Mb/sec compared to around a half Mb/sec on the S600 and Z850. Kodak usually has around a half Mb/sec on their MPEG4 cameras, but I would look for an actual test specifically for the C875. Most cameras without MPEG4 are in the 2 Mb/second range.

The S600 doesn't have an optical viewfinder, but neither does the S7 which you seem to find acceptable. Resolution isn't great on the LCD but it varies intensity well and is viewable in bright or dim light. You might have problems with sunlight shining directly on the LCD, but that is common with all LCD-only cameras except maybe Sonys with the transflective screens. Otherwise it is a reasonably competent little point and shoot camera with good movies that don't take much space.

I have cameras both with AA and proprietary and much prefer the proprietary now that they have them to where you can get 300+ pictures on a charge. You get smaller lighter cameras without the need to cycle compared to the high self-discharge rate and heavier/bulkier NiMH batteries.

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