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Old May 25, 2008, 8:15 PM   #11
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abjam-

I will add one more camera that has all the features that perhaps you are looking for excepting RAW and that is the new Nikon P-80 18X optical zoom bridge camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 26, 2008, 12:02 AM   #12
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Hi abjam,

I really doubt that your going to find the absolute perfect camera. I am just guessing, but you will probably decide on something that has all the features you want, however its size will be larger than what you desire - at least for every day use (the carry around part).

A solution to this is 2 cameras. The one with all the bells and whistles, and then a rasonably simple, small P&S - fully automatic. I believe that you can probably find some deals on cameras that have been just discontinued, say for $100 or so, possibly from the same make as the full featured camera, using the same storage media and possibly the same software.

This would solve your entire delima.... Also, it would provide you with a backup - just in case, something unexpected happens....
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Old May 26, 2008, 1:14 AM   #13
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I don't think two cameras are really fesable between budget and just travel capacity. I am trying to find a camera that is small enough to be pocketable, but as you said this might not be possible. Between the FX500 and the LX-2 (I would buy the Lumix not Leica version), the touch focus thing on the FX500 is really cool, but other than that I think I would probably go with the LX-2. I am leaning towards the LX-2 now (I am sold on the 16:9 mode and it has a lot of the smart features that the TZ5 does). Wide angle and huge telephoto is welcome, but not a deal breaker for me (I don't think I could hold the camera steady enough for the 18x zoom on the nikon p80 to be effective). Gonna try to get over to Best Buy tommorrow and compare the size of the G9 to some of the smaller Lumix cameras (it seems like a lot of stores are not carrying the LX-2 right now, probably becuase it is so old). The LX-2 is fairly pocketable right?
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Old May 26, 2008, 7:54 AM   #14
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abjam-

Yes, the Panasonic LX-2 is fairly pocketable, but not as pocketable as the Canon SD-series cameras. I own a LX-2 and I find it to be a fairly "touchy" camera. It has a hard time getting the white balance spot on a lot of times. Yes, you can set a manual WB but that takes extra time.

It seems that you like Panasonic, so while out looking at cameras, also take a look at the Panasonic LZ-8. It has 8mp, 5X otical zoom, all of the Panasonicauto feature like iA and it has manual controls, and the 16:9 format that you like. Plus it is slightly smaller than the LX-2 model.

Here is a photo sample taken last night with the LZ-8 using existing light and the iA mode in a restaurant.

Sarah Joyce


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Old May 26, 2008, 4:35 PM   #15
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abjam77 wrote:
Quote:
...Finally, I am planning on getting a new camera. Right now I am using a Canon A620 and I like it a lot but my family wants to keep it at home, so I will be getting a different camera . ...

Since I will be traveling a lot portability is a big deal, which is why I am leaning towards a point and shoot. This option is a bit cheaper and would mean I don't have to deal with buying lenses and such. So far the Canon G9 looks to be my best bet. It is fairly small (smaller than a SLR at least), and from what I have heard it takes very nice pictures. The reviews say it is jacket pocketable but not quite pants pocketable, which is a bit discouraging. In a perfect work it would love to be able to carry this thing around with me all the time and have it not be that big a deal, but I may have to make a trade off. Assuming that I get a G9, I would probably but a big bundle off ebay (most likely this one http://cgi.ebay.com/Canon-PowerShot-...QQcmdZViewItem)
The biggest decision when buying these packages is whether or not to get the telephoto and wide angle lenses. These add about 100 dollars to the package and seem like they would add a lot of extra bulk if I used them. On the topic of zooming though, I read that the G9 can have up to 15x zoom without degradation in quailty if you shoot at a lower resolution and use the digital zoom. Is this just the same as shooting at full resolution and cropping it down or is there some advantage to using the digital zoom?


In summary:
...
3) For my needs, is a point and shoot or a SLR more appropriate? If I get a point and shoot is the G9 portable enough or is there a smaller alternative that has the customizability and quality of the G9?
4) What accessories should I get for the G9?
I also own the A620, and recently purchased the G9. My wife now claims the A620, so I use the G9 exclusively. I was surprised to find the G9 is nearly identical in size to the A620, with the A620 grip sticking out a bit more due to the fourth AA battery. Neither the A620, nor the G9 is really pocketable in your pants pocket, unless you wear really loose fitting pants. I carry mine in a small shoulder bag, that can also be worn on your belt. However, I don't like it on my belt, so it is only worn over my shoulder. This is the same manner I carried the A620.

The A620 came with a wrist strap, so I assumed I would need to buy one of those. I have since adapted to using the G9's neck strap. I now prefer it that way, so I can let go of the camera and have both hands free. I also now like the fit and feel of using the G9, where most others prefer to purchase the "Grip" to essentially add a piece that would about match the protrusion of the A620 grip size. So, if you like and prefer a grip like the A620, then you might also want the "Grip". I don't want it.

The G9 does offer the Safety Zoom and Digital Tele-Converter features, which can be useful. They are supposed to not degrade picture quality, but you may not be totally pleased with the results. I have used them both with some success, but not 100%. Here's a thread on the Safety Zoom;

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=25419484

I recently ordered the Canon 2x teleconverter lens, but have not used it yet...still waiting for the adapter to arrive. The lens is rather heavy, so consider carefully whether you would really need it. Here is a link with a review about the tele and wide converters;

http://www.photoaficionado.com/pimpm...onverters.html

You might also want a small tripod, and there are many to choose from. I am experimenting with several, but at the moment am using something made by Targus (Grypton XL) that is essentially a Gorillapod SLR tripod. I got mine at Walmart. I like it's light weight, and it's fairly easy to bring along. Here's a thread on small tripods;

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...ghlight=tripod

You should have one or two spare batteries, since the G9 only gets about 240 shots per charge of it's battery. The A620 gets over 400 per charge of the NiMH batteries I used. Sterlingtek sells the battery used by the G9 (NB-2LH) for a lot less, but still high quality, per discussions I've read.

http://sterlingtek.com/canbeqba80.html

You may already be familiar with Lens Mate, but here is their G9/G7 page of options. They also offer good SD cards (Class 6);
http://www.lensmateonline.com/newsite/order_G7_1.html

good luck in making your decisions,
Dennis


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Old May 26, 2008, 5:35 PM   #16
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Here is some more info and examples on Safety Zoom and Digital Tele-Converter for the G9. First, here's an image capture from the Canon G9 User's Manual (it is suddenly not available for download as a PDF on Canon's website???) on the Safety Zoom;



Here's a shot I took in March, right after I received my G9, using 24x zoom with Safety Zoom. This little guy was cold, and he was about 45 feet from the room I shot it from. I used a tripod, since it is about equivalent to 850mm.



Here's a shot of a tulip I took recently using the 2x Digital Tele-Converter feature. It is sort of like a 2x lens, but is selectable from the menu. It works like the safety zoom, I think. It was handheld.



hope this helps in determining whether you need more lenses,
Dennis




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Old May 26, 2008, 11:07 PM   #17
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Bah, leaning towards the G9 again. I went to Best Buy and tried out the G9 (they did not have the LX2 in stock). I really like the build quailty and the control setup of the G9 and I think it would be a great all around camera. It is a little big, but I also looked at the TZ-5, which wasn't all that tiny either. The LX2 is bigger than the TZ-5, and with the lense cap is actually thicker than the G9




I also know that I am going to be carrying the camera in a case regardless of which one I get, so once they are in a case the size will probably be about the same. I'm also thinking it might be easier to pocket a camera that has flat sides like the g9 versus the big lense protruding out of the LX2. If anyone knows of a good hard case for the g9 I would love to hear about it.
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Old May 27, 2008, 9:05 AM   #18
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They don't get much harder than this case - body armor.

http://reallyrightstuff.com/RRS/Cust...G9-Pkg&eq=

Here's a thread on other G9 camera cases;

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...ht=case+for+g9

Dennis
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Old May 27, 2008, 5:44 PM   #19
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Here's a couple of more safety zoom pics I took this afternoon;

2MP (M3), 15x



0.3MP, 24x, some movement by squirrel as I shot it;



Both shot handheld, but braced against window frame. I shot through a double pane glass window. These guys don't like me opening the window and pointing at them.

Dennis

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Old May 29, 2008, 10:42 PM   #20
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Finally received the adapter for my TC-DC58C (2x tele-converter), so I took a shot of the squirrel again today for comparison to using the in-camera Safety Zoom.

Here's a shot equivalent to 12x (6x optical + 2x Canon tele-conversion lens).



A similar shot in the previous post was equivalent to 15x at 2MP, this is the full 12MP.

Here is this shot cropped in close on the squirrel to see detail and clarity.



Here's the 15x, 2MP image cropped to a similar view.



There is definitely more clarity using the external lens vs the built-in Safety Zoom. However, there is a lot more bulk and weight to deal with when you carry the lens. I'm using an older fanny pack to carry the lens while hiking, while the camera is in a small belt case. It worked fine for me, rather than one larger bag.

Dennis
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