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Old Jan 16, 2007, 11:47 AM   #1
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I need a camera that is top of the range in speed.

Long story -

I have tried out my old digital camear circa 2001 and many new cameras that friends own and they all seem so slow, I need a compact digital camera capable of instant action.

The number one priority is taking the image itself. MANY MANY cameras I have tried have that trademark 1-2 second lag before the picture is taken.

The second priority is a great flash, one capable of taking good photos of objects 5-10m away in the pitch black.

Thirdly I would like the back display screen to have some kind of protection covering as I have seen many of them get cracked and damaged

The fourth priorities all of equal importance; the camera must power on as quick as possible, focus as quick as possible and preferrably have an anti-shake or shake stability device.

Short story -

Need

1. Instant photo taking, no lag
2. Highest possible quality flash
3. Protection for the display screen
4. Fast power on and fast focus
5. Anti-shake/shake stability mechanism

I have checked many camera review forums and I have not seen a camera that matches all these criteria, and mostly no more than two of the criteria. In the cons/disadvantages speed and flash strength seem to be always listed.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated


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Old Jan 16, 2007, 12:18 PM   #2
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Sorry, but you're out of luck - the camera doesn't exist. Just about every compact camera has a flash usable for about 3-4 meters (regardless of what the book says), and none have the instant start-up and zero shutter lag that I'm aware of.

You would need a camera capable of using an external flash to get more coverage than that.

As for LCD protectors - I don't know of any designed for digicams - there are ways to protect from scratches but not breaks and such. There are 3rd party hard-covers sold for DSLRs but I haven't seen any advertised for digicams - probably because there are so many different digicams all with different dimensions and different control layouts it would be tough to make a hard cover that could attach somehow and still leave all the controls available. But there are, I believe, plastic covers you can buy that are like putting a clear piece of plastic over the LCD to protect from scratches. I think that's about it.

Quite a few cameras with anti-shake.

So, since flash is one of your top 3 I would suggest looking at cameras that have a hot shoe for an external flash then finding the one with the shortest shutter lag among those. Even then, not sure you will be satisfied.

I'm also assuming since you said compact that a DSLR is out of the question (as a DSLR with external flash would meet all your other criteria).
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Old Jan 16, 2007, 12:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info JohnG, I thought I might be asking for too much.

Yeah a DSLR is out of the questions, needs to be compact and fast.

I will probably just go for something in the 100 - 250 price range.

Is there a general consensus of which company make the most appropriate camera for my speed and flash needs, or a general consensus of which company just make the best overall digicams.

Out of the usual suspects which do camera buffs suggest the most for digicams; canon/casio/fuji/kodak/nicon/olympus/panasonic/pentax/sony ??
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Old Jan 16, 2007, 12:44 PM   #4
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Wateva wrote:
Quote:
The number one priority is taking the image itself. MANY MANY cameras I have tried have that trademark 1-2 second lag before the picture is taken.
If you look at the review conclusion sections for camera's reviewed here, you'll see things like Startup Time, Autofocus Speed and reliability, cycle times between photos and more discussed.

But, use these results as a general guideline for how cameras compare, as your results may vary considerably in lower light.

Light and contrast impact Autofocus Speed. If you're in low light, trying to focus on a subject without much contrast, it may take longer (and if light is too low, you may not be able to autofocus at all). If you're in good light, focusing on a subject with lots of contrast, it will be faster. With many cameras, if you zoom in much, AF will be slower, too (that's because most zoom lenses lose a lot of light as you zoom in more, so the Autofocus can't "see" as well to focus.

The degree of change needed also impacts AF speed. If you focus on something close, then focus on something far away next, the camera will take longer. But, if you are already focused on a subject, and focus again later, the lens mechanism won't have to move as far (if at all), so it's faster.

There are a lot of variables involved with AF speed and reliability.

Quote:
The second priority is a great flash, one capable of taking good photos of objects 5-10m away in the pitch black.
Some of the Fuji models like the discontinued Finepix S7000 can go up to around 28 feet. You'd need to look at the reviews to see how current models compare (again, check the conclusion sections).

But, if it's "pitch black", you may not be able to use Autofocus. ;-)

"Fuji claims a flash range of almost 28 feet in wide-angle, and our results were in agreement. The combination of a 35mm focal length at the wide end of the zoom range and the powerful flash will allow you to capture large groups in a banquet room, yet the S7000 squelches its flash nicely to produce pleasing individual portraits and images of small objects for online auction listings."

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_...S7000_pg5.html

Quote:
Thirdly I would like the back display screen to have some kind of protection covering as I have seen many of them get cracked and damaged.
See if one of these may help:

http://www.delkin.com/products/popupshades/index.html

Quote:
The fourth priorities all of equal importance; the camera must power on as quick as possible, focus as quick as possible and preferrably have an anti-shake or shake stability device.
Again, see the review conclusion sections for cameras you're interested in. You may not be able to find everything you want in one camera. Any camera choice tends to be a compromise in one area or another.

As JohnG mentioned, you may be better off with a model that uses an external flash if flash range is important to you.


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Old Jan 16, 2007, 5:53 PM   #5
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Would something like the Canon Powershot a640 work for you? The LCD flips around to protect it and you cacn get an auxilary flash?
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Old Jan 17, 2007, 5:16 AM   #6
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Thanks JimC for the reply and for the suggestion databoy.

I did a lot of shopping around, testing out different models in different stores and ended going with a Fujifilm FinePix F30. More than what I was going to pay but it has great features, powers up and takes shots instantly and has a great flash.


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