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Old Jun 3, 2007, 1:58 AM   #1
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Hi,

I'm going to be studying abroad next year and because the place I'm am studying is located on a farm in the middle of nowhere I thought it might be interesting to take up photography. I am thinking of getting two cameras: entry level dSLR and ultra-compact to keep in my back pocket in case something I see something without the dSLR on me. What would everyone recommend on the ultra-compact side. I'm interested in image stabilization, something very-compact, but other than that I don't know what I'm looking for.


Tonight I've been looking around the internet for hours. There was a point I had it narrowed to the Sony T series, based on the reviews and photos i saw taken with it it seemed good, most its major shortcomings were distortion and high ISOs and lousy flash were found in most ultra-compacts; after that I stumbled on some forums that that didn't talk so highly about its lack of no manual controls and propitiatory USB connector. For a camera that I just plan on using if I see something for everyday events that I didn't plan to have a dSLR with me on are manual controls going be necessary?

If the T series is a bad idea what should I look at? I've seen ppl recommend the Sony N1/2, Cannon SD550, SD600, SD630, SD700IS, and SD1000, Kodak V550, Fuji F20 & F30, and the casio z600, really don't want to read 11 more reviews and look through 5 pics taken on each. I'm particularly keen ultracompact on looking for a camrea that is a generation or two old either on clerance or used on eBay, leaving me with more money for the dSLR. I have quite a bit of money to spend on sony products from Credit Cards Rewards, but if I don't use them here i'll use them somewhere else.

Thanks for the help,

Dan
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Old Jun 3, 2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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dan-

I would be very careful indeed when buying those so called "cheap" no name you have ever heard of cameras on E-Bay. Most samples I have seen folks using are pretty junky. The Fuji F-20, F-30, and F-40 (an upgrade to the F-20) have all received excellent reviews. I have an F-30 and like it a lot.

Sarah



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Old Jun 4, 2007, 10:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion, I'm going tomorrow to try one out hopefully.

For a camera that is only going to be used for spur of the moment, turn the camrea on and hit the button or you'll miss the moment, is not having full manual controls really an issue? I like the the sleek compact look of the Sony T-series.

I'm not thinking of buying a no-name camrea, just maybe last years latest-and greatest instead of this years (either as clearance\overstock or used).
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Old Jun 4, 2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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I bought a "recertified" Fuji F10 from Newegg just over a month ago for a very good price. I like it very much, especially in low light. One drawback is its proprietary USB port/charger connection. One huge asset is its great performance in low light. I came very close to buying an F20 from the same place about 6 weeks ago, but they ran out of stock. If I could afford it and hasn't purchased the F10, I would be looking closely at the F31 now, which has come down a lot in price in the last month or two. It has superb low light performance.
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Old Jun 4, 2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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I'm confuesed, I just looked at the manual for the F10,F20, and F30 and they all say they use mini-usb connectors. Are you shure its propritary?
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Old Jun 4, 2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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Hi Dan, I like your decision on two cameras, as there are times that a DSLR I feel is not approperiate. On the other hand a small point and shoot is ideal. I have a Canon SD500 ELPH. The concept is the important idea here and not the actual brand - although I would get a brand name. Something that can be put in to your pocket and is with you will get the use - far more than what you may suspect. Something with 6MP and image stablization - an extra battery (one for the camera and one for the recharger) I find works very well.

My canon uses SD cards as does my DSLR, so a commonality in memory does help, but is not an absolute. If you can get what you want with a Sony with your points - then go for it.

On the topic of the DSLR, I would suggest get a cheaper body and putting the funds towards more and/or better lens. Also something with image stablization in the body, thus any lens you use becomes image stablized. Again, that filters the brands down to Sony, Pentax and I think that there is one more. Something with at least 6MP and I have found that entry level bodies are good - as they are not loaded with every function in the world, but have enough controls so as to do everything you can ask for plus a lot of growth. I selected the Pentax K100D. You can get the body, and 2 lenses (18 - 55 and 50 - 200) for under $800 with discounts from Pentax here in the US.

All DSLRs will give good images, but you need something that you will actually feel comfortable using, or else you P&S will see all the use.

Hope that helps...
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Old Jun 4, 2007, 11:31 PM   #7
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Everybody has emphaised how much dSLRs are really what feels good to you so tomrrow morning I'm gonna run around Manhattan and try to go to atleast B&H and CompUSA.

I can't find a major chain that seels the Fuji F10,F20,or F30, am I missing something? I really wana see how small it is before I buy it. I'm sure B&H will have the ELPH and Sony T-series.

Thanks for all the help, without these forums I'd have no idea what to get,

Dan


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Old Jun 5, 2007, 2:59 AM   #8
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I agree with the interested observer: there area number of cameras that take good pictures and are very handy to carry around. I like the Fujis because of their low light image quality. But the latest ELPHs are pretty nice cameras, too. I have had a number of digital cameras (maybe about 8 in the last 7 years). I kind of know what works for me. But, given your experience, it might be a good idea for you to actually pick up the cameras you are interested in and play with them.

As for the USB cable for the F10 - maybe on Ebay youcan buy a generic cable which goes directly from the camera to your computer. However, the cable supplied with the camera connects via a hub which also has a plug for charging the battery inside the camera.

Memory card-wise, SD seems to me to be cheapest and easiest to find peripherals (i.e. card readers) for.

If you don't mind using xD cards (I don't), I would recommend you consider the Fuji F31. It's as cheap as the F30 got, I think. Very, very good high ISO performance. If you want the SD card option, consider the F40. It has slots for both xD and SD cards.
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Old Jun 5, 2007, 12:34 PM   #9
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asyouare405 wrote:
Quote:
Everybody has emphaised how much dSLRs are really what feels good to you so tomrrow morning I'm gonna run around Manhattan and try to go to atleast B&H and CompUSA.

I can't find a major chain that seels the Fuji F10,F20,or F30, am I missing something? I really wana see how small it is before I buy it. I'm sure B&H will have the ELPH and Sony T-series.

Thanks for all the help, without these forums I'd have no idea what to get,

Dan

I don't know who carries them in person but if you haven't been to B&H yet, they probably do. I bought my F30 from Beach Camera aka Buydig.com and they have a retail location in New Jersey. The F30 is pretty compact and I imagine if you hold a compact camera of similiar size based on the spec dimensions they feel about the same. I bought mine sight unseen and in all honesty don't feel ergonomics in a compact play as much of a role in selection as it would apply to a DSLR or other large camera where the grip, shape and weight make a bigdifference. I bought the F30 for its featuires to compliment my DSLRfor the same reasons you want to buy two cameras. There are quite a few DSLR owners on this forum that haveown a fuji. I believe most buy it for the great low light results. It's no match for a DSLR in every situation but there are times when it performs so well that I have troubleseeijng the difference between a shot woth the Fuji and my DSLR. Like any compact digicam it does have its limitations.
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Old Jun 5, 2007, 2:27 PM   #10
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The F30 is selling for about 50 bucks more online than the F31. There is also a 30 buck rebate onthe F31 through the end of next month if youget it from an authorized dealer.
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