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Old Dec 31, 2006, 10:59 PM   #1
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I need to buy a camera next week with the following features:

-3x or more optical zoom
-ultra compact point and shoot (something I can keep in a pocket)
-image stabilization
-sd/mmc card support
-rechargeable battery
-good quality pictures (with 6mp or more)
-manual settings
-$250 price range

I've looked at Canon cameras (SD600, SD630 and SD800 IS), and cannot decide.

I'm new to photography, and don't know much about it, and would like something I could learn from (don't want to go all out and blow my money on an SLR). A lot of photos will be of scenery (architecture related), people, and indoor.

SD800IS sounds close to what I want, but it's not in my price range (but I could probably manage to come up with an extra $100 for it). The only down side I heard is that it has no manual settings which means I won't be able to learn much about photography from it.

Any suggestions?
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 8:03 AM   #2
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push,

If you really want to learn photography, I'm not real sure that a compact P&S is necessarily the way to go. Every digital camera purchase will be a trade-off with quality, size and features. Quality and features cost money...you can't expect the finest of everything in an inexpensive P&S - the manufacturers don't put the best in them. Size is restrictive - you can't expect an ultracompact cam to have every feature known to man - where would they put the buttons? There's no room! By the time they put a 2 1/2" LCD on the back..well, that just about fills up the whole camera.

I would seriously recommend you try an "SLR-like" camera, with a full set of manual features. That would put you closer to the size and feel of a DSLR, and permit you to experiment with manual controls.

If you must have a compact cam, at least find one with aperture and shutter priority control as a minimum - none of the cameras you listed have this. You can do this and stay within your price range if you consider the Fuji F30. It doesn't offer all of the features from your list, but none of the cameras you listed do, either.

Good luck with your search.

the Hun

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Old Jan 1, 2007, 9:52 PM   #3
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I thought that the 800IS had the features I was looking for (minus the manual controls)...


Ok, so let's forget about the manual controls for a second, and let's say I am looking for a simple point and shoot camera that would produce good results. I'd want one that could fit in my pocket
, allow me to take good scenery and indoor photos, have 6mp or higher, good optical zoom (3 or more), and something for image stabilization. What would be a good pick for $250-300 price range?
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 9:59 PM   #4
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The 800IS should do it if you gave up on the manual mode.

It is a good camera and would likely be fine for basic shooting. However, when I planned to get serious about photography I went for a bigger camera with a large SLR-like body and full manual modes and didn't regret it.

So if it's just general shooting, go for the 800IS, if you want to get serious, I'd suggest something along the lines of the Canon S3 IS. (Probably out of your price range as well as your size limit though)
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 9:52 PM   #5
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hi Push,

so did you manage to get your camera? Is it any good?

i too am looking for something similar to Push's features. But i was looking at the Casio EX-Z70 though? But am not sure if its a good buy? Any advice?

Nad
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 11:20 PM   #6
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No, I've yet to make a decision, and I need to order buy one this week.

At the moment I need a ultra compact point and shoot cam that fits in a pocket. I was thinking of the Canon SD800 IS. It is packed with features like wide angle, image stabilizer, 4x optical zoom, viewfinder, some color single-out feature (not sure what it's called), and good optics in general. Only thing I'm not sure about though is how it performs under low light. Does anyone know or have sample images in dark lighting?

I also saw that SD600 is now around $205 this week at a few online stores with free shipping. Also read that it has poor low light performance.

As for Casio - my sister has a 5mp casio (don't remember model) ultracompact, and the pictures are good quality (in general), except if you use the zoom feature they become grainy.
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 3:43 AM   #7
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Did you look at the F30?

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf30/page6.asp

the Hun

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Old Jan 4, 2007, 9:14 AM   #8
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rinniethehun wrote:
Quote:
...
I would seriously recommend you try an "SLR-like" camera, with a full set of manual features. That would put you closer to the size and feel of a DSLR, and permit you to experiment with manual controls.
...
While I agree that experimenting with manual controls is a real good way to figure out what a camera does, getting a simple shirt-pocket sized digicam as a first camera is also a good idea. A simple shirt-pocket sized camera is nice to have even if you have a more capable larger camera. Having two bulky cameras is not as usefull. So, if you are considering getting a dSLR in the reasonably near future (1-3 years), an ultracompact could be the way to go.

Indoor (low light) shooting will be the major problem with an ultracompact, but that is likely to be a problem with any camera but a dSLR and/or a good external flash.
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Old Jan 5, 2007, 8:39 AM   #9
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Before you start saying you do or you don't want manual controls, I suggest you google "digital photography tutorial" and start reading the first entry.

If you read through and find that stuff appeals to you, then go with the manual controls. If not, then you know you at least gave it some thought before choosing your camera.

That being said, the F30 should satisfy most of your needs. Good manual controls, good size, amazing indoor capabilities (we're talking unmatched here), and good outdoor capabilities. 6MP, rechargeable battery.

2 things you wanted, but this falls short on:
1. xD - can't really do much here. The F40fd just announced will support both SD and xD for an estimated $299 in March (I believe the press release said)
2. image stablization - depending on what you do, it's not really necessary. if you read up on the tutorial, you'll see why.


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