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Old Nov 19, 2008, 1:10 PM   #1
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Hi to Steve and all

I am looking for a new wide angle camera that is easy to carry and not too large. My girlfriend and I go quite often into the mountains and our film camera and lenses are just a little too big and impractical. We have quite allot of pictures we have taken on the wall at home and most on average are 11x14 or 16x20 so I would like something with good picture quality at that sort of size. I understand that a digital camera is not quite the same but for ease of use I think that it might be worth it.

Ok, here is what I would like it to be capable of.

-pocket-able size
-a zoom over 4x or 5x, sometimes in the mountains you need allot of zoom
-great image quality
-pretty high megapixel count, so I can blow the pictures up to those sort of sizes
-wide angle lens
-metal body, if possible
-price isn't an issue

I have read quite allot of Steve´s reviews and others on the net. I have also been to a few stores, but they rarely have the most up to date models.

Good contenders at the moment are the Ricoh R10 and the Panasonic DMC TZ5. My question is really, which do you guys believe is the better camera of the two? Or if I am way off the track here can someone give me a better suggestion or camera to look at?

Thanks for all your help and advice.


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Old Nov 19, 2008, 1:53 PM   #2
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Hi-

Megapixel count isn't the only thing critical to blowing up pictures. 15MP on a tiny sensor will look worse than 10MP on a full frame SLR sensor at a given print size.

For blowing something up to 16x20, you really would need an SLR camera with a larger sensor than you would find in a pocket camera. That said, you can find some decent smaller cameras that *might* fit the bill. Something in the high end area of the single lens cameras, like a Canon Powershot G10 would do great. It has amazing image quality, a sturdy body, a 6x zoom (with IS), small-ish size, and a 35mm wide angle. That's no 28mm or 25mm, but it is reasonable.
just my .02. I understand the G10 may be a bit too large for your tastes.
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 2:23 PM   #3
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Hi fussball

Thanks for your idea. I will look into that G10. I had not thought of that. I know that 16x20 was more than a little ambitious for a such a small camera, but I was not completely sure was available at the moment as it seems like almost every week one manufacturer or another has something new to offer.

Isn´t that a 15 megapixel camera? And is it any good? Is it just a megapixel boundary pusher?

What is the maximum one can really expect size wise? Is 11x14 possible with a good camera?

All thoughts are most welcome

Thanks again
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Old Nov 19, 2008, 2:42 PM   #4
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Climber22,

You are correct about the G10. In fact, its pixel density falls between the two cameras you listed. Pixel density is one way to look at how crowded an image sensor is. Generally, lower pixel density will generate a better image. For example, the G10's is 34 MP/CM^2, while an SLR with the same MP rating, the Canon EOS 50D, has a density of 4.5 MP/CM^2. That said, it is not the only determining factor in image quality- but it does provide a point of reference. But, for the same number of megapixels, a camera with a lower density will probably take better pictures.

As for the maximum print size- it is hard to say. I have some very nice 11x14s from my 8MP SLR camera, just to give you an idea of the number of pixels you need for a print

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Old Nov 19, 2008, 3:03 PM   #5
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Fussball

I had a look on the net for a review on the G10. It got not too bad reviews. Unfortunately Steve has not reviewed it yet. I read the review on the G9 and it said that it was very good even though it said also that (it is not the the top contender).

What I did not like about it was it can not take AA batteries in an emergency and an extra power pack costs around $70. I like the fact you can do that in an emergency.

So pushing aside the megapixel issue for one second. If it is possible to obtain a relatively good picture 11x14 from your 8mp camera. What would cameras you suggest if I do not need the top of the range. I had a look at the Ricoh R9 soem months ago and it seemed quite good but of course they have a new model out now. However I have not seen DMC TZ5. Is it any good? Or is there something around that mark that is better?

I would also like it to be able to take relatively fast pictures. From what I have read normally the more mp´s it has at the maximum side of the scale the slower it performs.

Thanks again
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