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Old Feb 7, 2007, 2:34 PM   #1
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Camera Priorities

Point & Shoot Digital Camera
Pocket/Purse Compact Size

Pictures I like to take:
Skys, sunrise, sunsets, clouds
Flowers: Greatly magnified & 1-10 feet
Animals - still & action
People – still and action
Indoor & Outdoor Photography




Price: $200. $395.
Very User Friendly – Well defined instructions
Manufacture & Camera Reputation
8 – 10 Mega pixels
View Finder
Monitor Screen Size 2 – 4 inches LCD
Digital Image Stabilization
Automatically Optimized image brightness & Shadow detain
Lithium rechargeable batteries
Shutter Speed : Slow - Fast -
Aperture: Max - Min -
Internal Memory at least 32 Megs
Capture Time – ?
Refresh Rate – ?
Maximum ISO - ?


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Old Feb 8, 2007, 5:41 PM   #2
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Camera selection is always a best guess and no one camera will meet all requirements.

Pictures you want to shoot.

Flower shots:
Most are done at less than 2 feet. This setting is usually in the "Scenes" mode for most camera. Gives you close up wide angle shots.
Over 2 feet I would just use "Auto" until you get familiar with the camera.

Animals and people still and action.
Regardless of subject, stills can again be done in "Auto" for pretty good results.
In the Scenes mode, most camera's have a "sports" mode in the which will set the camera for a higher shutter speed. Most cameras go to 1/1000 of a second which will freeze most subjects. Some cameras go a little higher but for most applications 1/1000 will do nicely.

Indoor & Outdoor:
These are two totally different requirements. Which is most important. Outdoor is rarely a problem and indoor can be almost impossible to get good shots without some sort of external flash and the ability to shoot at higher ISO settings without to much noise (grainyness)

User Friendly: Kodak is hard to beat

8 - 10 Megapixels:
Maybe a little overkill for a point and shoot. 6 - 8 will probably serve your needs unless you intend to do a lot of poster size picturs printing. 6 - 8 does a very nice job on up to 8 x 10's

View finder:
Most cameras have them

2" - 4" LCD.
The biggest I have seen and a lot of cameras have 2-1/2" LCD.
Remember that using the LCD to compose the picture will shorten the battery charge suggnificantly as opposed to using the view finder.

Motion Stabilazation:
Nice feature and it does help when shooting at higher zoom levels. Some cameras claim to have the feature but it is not truly a stabilizer.
Always read some customer and professional reviews prior to purchasing.
With the limited magnification (zoom) of a point and shoot, I don't think you will have much need for Stabilaztion.

Shutter Speed:
Most camera are in the 2 second to 1/1400 second range. This is well within the needs of most users.

Aperture:
2.7 to 4.9 is pretty standard. (lower number = more light)
Using the auto mode takes care of this mix of shutter and aperture. Cameras are getting pretty smart.

Internal memory:
A few cameras still have 0 but most are in the 16mb to 32mb. There are a few that have 64mb internal.

Capture time:
The lower the better, you need to do some reviewing to see who offers what.

Refresh rate:
Same as cature time.

ISO:
Will vary with the setting you are shooting at. In auto mode when you look at the properties of the pictures most will be in the 64 to 180 range.
For indoor sports (basketball) or dimly lit rooms most point and shoot cameras fall a little short of desireability. Again camera specs and reviews should answer most questions.

Just remember that no one camera will do it all. The more your needs, the more money and sophistication you will need.

Hope this helps

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Old Feb 8, 2007, 5:50 PM   #3
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Thank you for responding. I am reading this carefully. I do hope I am going in the right direction with this post. Your suggestions are well thought out. Thank you Foss

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Old Feb 8, 2007, 5:56 PM   #4
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Hope that I helped you some. Thankfully digital cameras are becoming more and more resonably priced, kinda link LCD HDTV monitors and computers.

Just remember that the more you expect, the more likely you are to be disappointed.
Expect nothing and smile all the way to the printer.


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Old Feb 8, 2007, 6:00 PM   #5
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Sunbean-

FlyingFossil has certainly provided a good starting point for you to consider. After reading FF's post, I wonder if you have considered and looked at the Panasonic TZ-1? it has a lot of desireable features and has gotten good reviews.

Why not take look at the Panasonic TZ-1, or the Kodak C-875. Both are, IMHO, worth a good look.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 9, 2007, 4:17 AM   #6
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A couple points.

One is that "digital" image stabilization really doesn't mean much. I've seen one company use this term to mean what appears to be simply applying more in camera sharpening. What you want is "optical" or "mechanical" stabilization, which actually uses (a) gyroscope(s) in the camera to sense and then counteract movement.

The other point, as Flying Fossil suggested, you might want to relax the 8MP requirement.

Building a sensor with more MP is always a tradeoff between better resolution and more noise. It is also significant that we are approaching the point at which more MP has no practical use, where you are beyond the limit of resolution that is discernable by a human eye even in very large prints.

In theory, the difference between 6MP of resolution and 8MP of resolution might be noticable in prints of about 10"x14". But that also assumes ideal conditions in the rest of the imaging chain. As in, a high resolution subject, an almost perfect lens, proper exposure, expert postprocessing incuding optimal sharpening applied, and a high quality printer. (The printer is not normally the limiting factor in practice today).

Without getting into the technical deatils, with the sensor sizes in the models in your price range, it probably also requires that that near perfect lens be shot at near wide open (where in the real world, most lenses haven't reached their maximum sharpness).

As a practical matter there are few models available with both image stabilization and 8MP. There are a few "enthusiast" type models, in the Canon G7, Panasonic Lumix LX2, Pentax Optio A20, and Leica D-Lux 3, which offer 10MP as well as IS. In the 8MP range are Nikon P3 and P4, the Optio A10, Lumix LX1, and Leica D-Lux 2. The G7 is the only of these with a viewfinder.

For the most part, the real benefit of 8-10 MP in these models is the ability to crop more. If you are going to see a benefit of 8-10MP, though, large prints of landscapes shot with a wide angle Leica lens would be where you might appreciate the differnce in detail. So maybe something like an LX1 or LX2 would be at least a bit temping for landscape work. But the tradeoff would be that they would not be good for some indoor and action shots, which you also want to be able to do.

In your case, I think something like the 7MP Canon A710IS would likely do a better job of meeting all of your needs. Or, if you prefer a more compact model with a lithium rechargable battery, the 6MP SD700IS or 7MP SD800IS.

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Old Feb 9, 2007, 10:02 AM   #7
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be sure to checkout steve's reviews and sample images, and also steve's best list (http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html).
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Old Feb 9, 2007, 1:29 PM   #8
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Ken is verycorrect in his analysis-

It is not all about the megapixels. You have to consider all the photos you will be taking and the conditions under which those photos will be taken. You want a camera that will best serve ALL of your needs.

The Canon A-710 IS recommendation is a good one.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 2:06 AM   #9
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I must agree with both Ken and mtclimber. I have never owned a Cannon camera but they were here before Noah and have maintained a good reputation over the years.

I would not consider this a pocket camera, but it is not oversize either. I am not sure on the user friendlyness of the Cannon line and perhaps someone who is familiar can elaborate on that.

The only negatives I see are the two standard AA Alkaline batteries.
Recharagles and a charger are options.
16 meg standard card is almost usless.
512mb appears to be the maximum but that will still store a lot of pictures.
At the top of your price range limit.

On the plus side it has optional wide angle and close up lenses a nice telephote range for most users.

Enjoy your search.


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Old Feb 10, 2007, 8:22 PM   #10
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Thank you Sarah, I will and I'll get back to you.

Cheers,

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