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Old Dec 1, 2008, 12:01 PM   #1
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I have an old Minolta Dimage F300 that has faithfully served us well. The problem is the camera is very slow both in shutter lag and flash charging time even with full batteries it seems.

This becomes a problem with taking photos of our 3 year old son or even other kids as the attention span is limited at their age! ie you know the drill where you do a family photo and while they are all looking at the camera when you frame it, by the time the camera has suddenly realized "What you wanted me to take a photo NOW?!" it ends up catching them with their heads in various postions other than where you wanted them LOL

So I am looking at a replacement camera around $200 that obviously has good image quality, minimal shutter lag and when flash is needed, it doesn't spend an eternity charging between takes. With the Minolta it seems like the charging light takes so long that it makes it very difficult to take several backup shots one after the other with the flash when kids are involved. Actually scratch that, it takes so long that even Adults attention spans are tested!!

I am sure most cameras now are going to be better in that area to begin with, but I just want to make sure I don't pick up the one that is still poor in this regard.

One possibility I was looking at was the Casio Z80 since it's quite inexpensive (but there may be a reason of course although it gets fairly decent reviews) and has a decent video mode which I do make use of on other cameras (The Minolta only has 320x240/15fps back when that was standard).

Any suggestions appreciated.

While I prefer $200 or less I will stretch a bit further for the right camera.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 1:14 AM   #2
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I've also seen the Sony W150 right at $200. Of course the W130 is even a little under that. Shutter lag ontheseis not bad, I have not paid attention to the flash cycles though. Check a few reviews.

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Old Dec 2, 2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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Thanks. I have been having a look at the Sony cameras. Although I like Sony Products, I don't like the fact they always seem to use their own proprietary non standard media such as their memory cards. I almost feel that purchasing products like this encourages non standardization in the industry. Olympus and Fuji being another although it seems Fuji are finally edging towards the SD standard.

One thing that is interesting about the Sony I notice is that it records in MPEG VX format which I understand is Sony's version of MPEG 1. Is their version of MPEG 1 different enough that it won't play on a DVD player capable of playing regular MPEG 1 files? It would be good to be able to play them unconverted but if I have to convert them anyway I don't see the advantage as the compression is not as good as the MPEG4 cameras.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 10:29 AM   #4
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rgv-

Please tell us a bit more about your camera needs, please.

Do you do a lot of low light level photos?

Is a good flash range and capability a priority

Is IS a desired feature?

Is size a priority?

With that data in the discussion, we can be much more capable of supplying good camera suggestions. One camera that does come to mind that might meet your requirements is the Kodak Z-712 camera. It now sells for well below $(US)200.00, and it offers IS and 12X optical zoom. It has virtually no shutter lag and it recharges in about 2 hours.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Just on the flash recycling time: pick a camera with the most battery power, e.g., 4-AAs instead of 2-AAAs. Though I have never tried it, it is possible with an external power supply the recycle time might be even faster.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 1:11 PM   #6
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Well yes I would like a camera with decent low light capabilities and flash recycle times. I am reasonable in that I don't expect the fastest camera for that price but when the flash recycle time is in the order of a good few seconds for my current camera then you know that can be improved on at least.

IS would be nice of course since it would help in less optimal lighting such as late afternoon/early evening shots and I would prefer a compact so my wife can place it in her purse for instance. Flash range isn't going to be great on a camera this size anyway, but as long as it's reasonable.

I have been kind of reluctant about the compact Kodak cameras such as the M series etc. since they always seem to get mixed reviews although they do seem to have improved lately.
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 1:21 PM   #7
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rgv-

Well, it appears that size is going to be the fence to jump. Size narrows the choice a lot. How about a Canon A-590? It a camera with great reviews, but because it uses 2 AA size batteries, the flash recycle time will be about 5 seconds.

You also can improve your flash range by adding a slave flash, but that is adding to the size factor.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 2, 2008, 3:15 PM   #8
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Seems I can't win. I notice bestbuy has the Canon on sale for just $149. I know it has excellent image quality but apparently it has slow flash recharge times and someone complained about the slider switch breaking. I don't know why Canon use sliders to swtich between video and photo. A regular toggle button would be better in my opinion. Still it does have minimal shutter lag.

Anyone else had problems with the slider on the SD1100 or similar models?
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Old Dec 3, 2008, 1:00 PM   #9
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rgv-

Well, here is another possibility for you.

I found another camera for you that might be just the ticket. Take a look at the new Canon A-2000 which offers a lot for its price of $179.95 (at B&H).

It has a 3" LCD screen with a 230K pixel density which is excellent. It is 10mp and it has 6X optical zoom. Best of all it is small and sleek. It uses two AA size batteries and those batteries can take 500 photos. The flash recharge time is4.0 to 5.0 seconds.

Sarah Joyce
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