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Old Jun 12, 2007, 4:27 PM   #1
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We have recently decided to replace our old Olympus digital camera and were told the Canon PowerShot 550 was affordable and was a decent camera. We mostly take pictures of our kids, and our kids take pictures of each other and the pets, so we don't need something too fancy or expensive or difficult to use ( we never took the time to figure out how to take remote shots with our Olympus - kind of camera idiots).

We also like having a good zoom, since many of our pictures are taken from the middle of an auditorium during an award ceremony or something.

A friend has a Panasonic digital camcorder and after using it once, I thought it made more sense for us to get one of those, a camcorder that can take still photos, since our old camcorder has had a long life as well.

I don't want to pass up the Canon PowerShot camera if it is an all around better idea to have one of each (a camera and a camcorder) rather than the all-in-one type camcorder.

I have never seen a picture or movie from a digital camcorder. I don't know anything about them. Do they take as good still pictures aspoint and shoot cameras? If I decide to get a camcorder instead of a point and shoot, is there a particular one I should look for?

Any insight would be helpful.
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 6:02 PM   #2
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Mitch-

Unfortunately, the CCD's used in a camcorder are decidedly different from the CCD's used in digital cameras. Therefore the result is a rather poor digital photo. I too, was excited, and actually did get the camcorder hoping for a magical solution to my digital photo needs. No dice! We got photos, but they were extremely poor. So I am sorry to say that a camcorder is not a good solution.

However, I did find a digital camera that might be worth taking a good look at in your search for a solution. The camera is the Fuji S-700. It is 7mp, has a great viewfinder, 10X optical zoom (38 to 380mm in 35mm terms), uses SD chips,has ISO settings up to 1600, is very easy to operate, makes an ideal Family Camera, and it sells for less than $(US) 200.00! I purchased my Fuji S-700 at http://www.buy.com for $(US) 197.00, using a coupon.

The S-700 really is a great, very easy to use Family Camera. I have attached a photo sample from the Fuji S-700 for you to see.

Sarah
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 11:57 PM   #3
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I would personally go for a camera with a camcorder function. That's actually what I DID do when faced with this similar dilemma as I could finally afford one recently.

I had wanted a camcorder for ages and wanted a Sony HandyCam, but when I heard overandoverandover that cameras with video function serve better as dual-purpose especially if I wanted still-picture quality, that's what I did.

If you can justifypaying for a few bigger-memory chips to hold longer video clips ($25-30 US for 1GB), many nice digital cameras have a video function. I have a (newly-bought) Canon PowerShot S3-IS, and now that I'm getting accustomed to it, I've gotten some pretty satisfactory pictures AND little video clips. Yes, it does record sound too (I was filming birds long-distanceat one of our feeders, and I could hear several of the birds in the area singing, didn't expect that sound to record so well). The only problem is that most of them shoot smaller-sized (and not as detailed) video, but there are at least two out there that can record nearly HD-quality clips if their claims are correct. It's nice because it'sconvenient to have the digital camera with video,and I didn't pay essentailly double by buying two different pieces of equipment. Hopefully next week I can post some of my results just as a beginner with maybe not very much opportunity to get the shooting conditions I want.

The biggest issue will probably be lighting in large indoor spaces, but many of these cameras also have the option to attach or communicate withbigger accessory flashes. Mine shoots great indoor pictures at close range, but I wouldn't expect it to perform well at a further range unless I got a biggeraccessory flash.

Shop around and compare, and you'll find something that suits your needs.

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Old Jun 13, 2007, 8:33 AM   #4
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fjorab-

The suggested Fuji S-700/S-5700 has a very capable video mode and you can zoom while creating the video.

Sarah
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 9:07 AM   #5
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Well.. I agree about going for camera with camcorder option.. I have no idea about models today.. they must be stronger in photography offer.. I just remember myself before 3 years using a camcorder's still shot function more than film making (it was sony DCR TRV 740E - a big one!)... and it was only 1,2 megapixel..

After all I have got a compact digicam and have never been considering a camcorder anymore.. although I am using the film option that is available in my DSC-V1 now and then..

Well.. if you can afford, have them both! camera and camcorder..

PS. If you w'd like to see some shots with my camcorder.. the link is here:

Code:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalgal/sets/72157594537984799/
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