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Old Aug 5, 2008, 3:33 PM   #1
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About five years ago, I bought my step-daughter one of the better Kodak point-and-shoot's. 4mp with a decent Schneider lens. She still loves it (says it's the perfect size for her) and both her and her husband get a lot of use out of it. But now thather kids are in school, she enjoys taking photos of her two childen (aged 9 and 5) in various sporting activities and other events. Her one complaint about the Kodak, not surprisingly, is that she's missing too many shots because of shutter lag.

So it may be time for a DSLR. I'm pleased with my own Pentax, but my step-daughter is A) a very small person and B) not a photo enthusiast (at least not yet). She's open to the idea of a DSLR (or something close in terms of performance speed and image quality) . But shewants light, easy andinexpensive... emphasis on this last point - since I'll probably be buying it.

The Olympus E-420 comes to mind... but I'm trying to find outif the 4:3 image format will work properly with her current Kodak printer. An aside here:I didn't know it at the time I bought it, but her Kodak point-and-shoot apparently puts out photos with a 3:2 aspect ratio. If that's true, it'sone of the few point-and-shoot's to do so. Maybe my impressions are incorrectand it's just the paper being used (6x4). I can't check in person easily because they are in Florida and I am in New Jersey. But the results I get mailed to me look like both the printer and camera are working with a 3:2 ratio.

I'm as textbook familiar with the entry-level DSLR's as anyone else. But I'm looking for input from those with real-world experience with these cameras. Again, either an entry-level DSLR that's small, light and very easy to use... or perhaps a better point and shoot that doesn't suffer from that infuriating pause when one presses the shutter button or forgets to pre-auto focus. Any suggestions?
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 4:51 PM   #2
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To be sure, the E-420 is the smallest, lightest dSLR available. And by virtue of it's smaller image sensor, it has the smallest, lightest lenses as well (for equivalent angles of view.) And the E-420 adds autofocus during 'Live View' that the E-410 doesn't have.

But the E-520 adds image stabilization as well. That might be a good choice for sports, low light,and such.

Kodak did have some P&S digicams that used a 4:3 image sensor and some that used a3:2 image sensor. Unless you know the model of the camera, or better, the printer, there's no telling. But good quality color photo printers are not expensive, andare not tied to a particular camera either.
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 5:40 PM   #3
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Biro-

Because your daughter is already familiar with her Kodak camera, perhaps a new Kodak ultra-zoom such as the 10mp Z-1012 with IS, 12X optical zoom, and a sports shots mode might be able to handle her current needs for a price around $(US) 260.00. It would also provide a much smaller camera , and camera kit size that might indeed be more adaptable to her smaller hands.

I am not discounting the DSLR option, I was just thinking that might be a first option to consider. The Kodak Z-1012 reaches out to around 400mm (in 35mm terms). If more zoom was needed, consider the Nikon P-80, the Panasonic FZ-28, or the Olympus SP-570, which can reach out to around 500mm (in 35mm terms).

However, I think the Kodak Z-1012 might be a very nice fit for her small hands.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 5:55 PM   #4
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Biro wrote:
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... Her one complaint about the Kodak, not surprisingly, is that she's missing too many shots because of shutter lag....
mtclimber wrote:
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Because your daughter is already familiar with her Kodak camera, perhaps a new Kodak ultra-zoom such as the 10mp Z-1012 with IS, 12X optical zoom, and a sports shots mode might be able to handle her current needs for a price around $(US) 260.00. ...
How's the shutter lag?
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 6:53 PM   #5
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Good Point, TCav-

Read Steve's latest review on the Z-1012 and you will find that shutter lag is no longer a problem at all. Nice going Kodak!

And here is an existing light photo sample (no flash at all!)taken under fluroscent lighting in a doctor's office with the Kodak Z1012. No, not Bradley this time. Instead, its me, and notice how nice and sharp the photo is without much noticable noise. Not bad for a $(US) 260.00 camera.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Aug 5, 2008, 9:19 PM   #6
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You know Sarah, that's a very good idea. I must say I am impressed with the natural-light photo. Do you know if that was an automatic white balance or a flourescent-specific setting? I'll have to look into the Kodak Z-1012. A second option might be the Olympus SP-570, which I think is ergonomically a fantastic little camera. But if I can maintain 100 percent printer compatibility (remember, the printer dock is also a charger for the Kodak cameras), that would be a big advantage.

Steve
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Old Aug 5, 2008, 9:50 PM   #7
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Steve-

That sample photo taken with the Kodak Z-1012 was taken with Auto WB.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 6, 2008, 9:53 AM   #8
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Biro wrote:
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... But if I can maintain 100 percent printer compatibility (remember, the printer dock is also a charger for the Kodak cameras), that would be a big advantage.
The Kodak Z-1012 is compatible with the G610 Printer Dock, G600 Printer Dock, Printer Dock Plus Series 3, and Printer Dock Series 3. If your daughter already has on eof these, she's already for the Z-1012.

But lots of sub-$100 photo printers have card readers built-in, so you can just remove the SD card from the Z-1012, insert it into the printer, and have the photos come out. That would solve the problem and alleviate your concern about compatibility.

Unfortunately, the Olympus SP-570 uses xD cards that are not as widely supported by photo printers, are limited in capacity compared to other cards, and are getting harder to find. So compatibility is probably likely to crop up with the Olympus as well.
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Old Aug 6, 2008, 12:47 PM   #9
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Nicely done, TCav-

That is a very thorough answer. It looks like the Kodal Z-1012 might work nicely for Steve's daughter.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 6, 2008, 2:35 PM   #10
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mtclimber wrote:
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Nicely done, TCav-

That is a very thorough answer. It looks like the Kodal Z-1012 might work nicely for Steve's daughter.

Sarah Joyce
Thank you. But five years is a long time in the evolution of digicams, and Biro hasen't given us much info about the camera his daugher is using now. Whether the Z-1012 is compatible with what she has now remains to be seen.
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