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Old Aug 2, 2007, 6:57 PM   #1
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I have had a palm-sized Sony DSC-V1 for many years and am very happy with it, but since getting an Olympus 720sw for water & sports, I have found how valuable a pocket sized camera is.

I am looking for a pocket sized camera I can manually change the shutter/apeature/iso/focus like the Sony DSC-V1 can do. I prefer Sony & Canon, but have not found any pocket cameras that have these features.
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 8:07 AM   #2
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Why don't you buy the Olympus Stylus S800 ? It has all the features you are listing and is still very similar to your 720. Dust proof.
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 10:02 AM   #3
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philgib wrote:
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Why don't you buy the Olympus Stylus S800 ? It has all the features you are listing and is still very similar to your 720. Dust proof.
Are you suggesting he buy it used from Ebay? It is two years old and no dealers I trust still sell them. Besides it has only automatic modes (A & S are auto modes) and no manual exposure or focus. jtrpop is asking about manual exposure and focus.

The Casio Z850 does have both manual exposure and focus and it is only a year old, but they are also getting hard to find from legitimate dealers. It is quite tiny and they still fit an optical viewfinder in it.

If aperture and shutter priority are sufficient the Fuji F31 is almost pocketable.

But I don't know of a current pocket camera with full manual everything.

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Old Aug 3, 2007, 12:39 PM   #4
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The only reason I got the Olympus is for the durrability and underwater capabilities, other than that, it takes ok pictures, the features are limited and the movie mode stinks.

I'll look into that Casio. I'm quite suprised Canon does not make a small camera with shutter/apeature priority modes. It would be nice to get a Sony or a Canon with face detection.
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 1:10 PM   #5
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slipe wrote:
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Casio Z850 does have both manual exposure and focus and it is only a year old,
I have Casio a EX-Z750, which looks suspiciously the same, but with 'only' 7Mpix. It's excellent, and was the camera of my dreams from Sep 2005 until May07, when I got a Kodak Z712is.

The Casio lives in my vehicle and is used regularly. It goes in my breast pocket, and has very full manual control. It has an optical viewfinder, and big, bright, clear screen, but I still need the sophisticated viewer shown below to change the settings in bright lighting conditions (as with all digicam LCD screens).

I got the Kodak for its long zoom, image stabilisation, and electronic viewfinder, which will show everything the LCD can. It will go in a large pocket, though I don't do that, and it cost less than the Casio.

But the latter fits the spec, and if they haven't taken anything off the 850, that should be just as good. I still love it.
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 2:22 PM   #6
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I'm quite suprised Canon does not make a small camera with shutter/apeature priority modes.
I had thought you wanted manual. The Fuji F31 might fit your needs. There isn't another non-DSLR camera with the high ISO capability with decent noise.

My pocket camera is a Z750 like Alan Ts. I didn't upgrade to the Z850 because the Z750 has a much better sensor. The Z850 has some really great features though.

I've never owned a digital without full manual everything. I've decided it won't be such a high priority for my next pocket camera.

Manual focus is poor using a LCD unless there is a digital readout of the focus distance. Most little cameras have a useless non-linear scale. It can be handy for macro where your DOF becomes very small and the camera can focus on the wrong part of the bug or whatever. But it is almost as difficult to get it right with manual focus using a LCD.

I do find full manual exposure to be better for night photos on a tripod. But I have better cameras for that.

Aperture priority without a hot shoe or sync connector is useful mostly for trying to blur the background, getting maximum shutter or slowing the shutter for things like the overdone flowing water. I still use aperture priority out of habit, but all cameras anymore have scene modes to do all that. And small cameras don't usually have too many apertures to choose from anyway. Most have limited apertures and use internal neutral density filters to let in less light. You do a lot better for flowing water for instance using the scene mode because it can generate a slower shutter combining the aperture and filters.

I never found much use for shutter priority except for flash sync, and most little cameras do fine with the default 1/60.

I find that I can handle most difficult lighting with spot metering and/or EV shift referring to the histogram.

Canon makes some nice small cameras. The SD800 has stabilization and a wide angle lens. The SD 700 and 850 have 4X lenses, stabilization and excellent lenses. All those have optical viewfinders, which have become a rare thing in pocket cameras. I could probably be happy with any of those.



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Old Aug 3, 2007, 2:57 PM   #7
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Shutter priority is the feature I am looking for most. At concerts or events where I don't want to use a flash, I can manually set the ISO at 200 and the shutter speed fast enough that I get well exposed pictures that are not grainy. My pocket Olympus has no such thing, and my hand held Sony DSC-V1 does all that. There have been times I am carrying my pocket Olympus and want to get a shot, but can't because of the lack of any manual controls outside of ISO.

For those that have the Casio 750, does it auto-rotate the image like the newer Canons do when taking and viewing the pictures? The Casio 750 does look nice and might suit my needs for as much manual control I can have in a pocket camera. Has anyone had experience with the newer Canon or Sony cameras when it comes to setting manually setting shutter speed?
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 9:51 PM   #8
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Canon does not make a camera that you can set the shutter speed you can slip in your jeans pocket. They have a mode where you can set from 1 to 15 seconds on most of them, but the stabilization isn't good enough to handhold at a full second.

Don't be fooled by their advertising "manual exposure". It is just a mode in which you adjust the automatic settings. I've always thought that pretty sleazy – if anyone knows what manual exposure means it is Canon.

You can accomplish the same thing with a P&S that you do with the Sony at concerts. There is no magic in manual settings. Well before you get to the point where shutter speed is a problem handholding the aperture is all the way open and the camera is giving you all the shutter speed it can. If you are accepting slightly darkened photos from the V1 by setting the shutter faster than automatic would, you can accomplish the same thing with the EV - which is usually hot on two switches. Set the EV to a minus and the shutter will increase and you will get the same darker picture you would setting it manually.

If you want a faster shutter to capture action there is usually an action mode that will open the lens all the way and give you the fastest shutter available. And you can make that faster in exchange for a slightly darker image by moving the EV to minus. You get the same shutter speed and same darker image you would get setting the shutter speed faster than the camera would.

You actually often get a slightly faster shutter using automatic at higher shutter speeds for action. Where the manual steps go from 1/125 to 1/160 as the next step, the camera can set 1/140.

The Casio Z750 does not have orientation detection. The only Z750s available are used or refurbished. I wouldn't consider one unless it was the anthracite or gunmetal gray model. The very early Z750s had a problem that if the lens extended in an enclosed space the lens would get messed up. The optical qualities were never as good after a bad lens error. They fixed the problem and the anthracite color wasn't released until well after the fix.

A Z850 would be a better bet used or refurbished since it didn't have early models with the lens error problem. It also has a stronger flash and great burst mode. Movies aren't as good as the V750 and the sensor isn't as good. But that 7Mp Sony 1/1.8 sensor in the V750 was probably as good a small sensor as they have made with the exception of the 1/1.7 Fuji 6Mp sensor in the F31.

If you don't want to manipulate the automatic controls to have the camera give you the results you want then the F31 is probably the only thing available. It isn't actually skinny but it isn't bad. And it has your shutter priority. They are getting hard to find though. Tri State still has new ones at a reasonable price. You won't believe the shots you can get at ISO800 with it.

Another possibility is the Sony W200. It has manual exposure but isn't a very good low light camera despite the stabilization. 12Mp is evidently too much with current sensor technology.

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Old Aug 6, 2007, 10:32 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your help. After doing research on the suggested cameras, I decided to get a Casio Z750 gunmetal grey which I found on eBay for $160. I am glad it uses Sony sensors and has excellent movie quality from the samples I found online. The manual shutter, apeature priority and focus are a must and it is sad other pocket cameras don't have this. The voice recording feature also looks like a great feature I was not expecting, but will definately use.

The advice on increasing the shutter speed for non manual cameras like my Olympus 720sw by changing the EV helped in the brief time I played with it. By doing that and fixing the ISO as 400, shots at night without a flash turned out better.

For those that have a Z750, what is the maximum size SD card I can use in it? Is it limited to 2gb, or can it use the newer SDHC at 4gb and higher?
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Old Aug 6, 2007, 11:50 PM   #10
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The Stylus S800 Iwas talking about sitting on my desk has full aperture and speed manual control. Good luck with your Casio anyway !

Cheers

Philgib
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