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Old Dec 30, 2008, 4:40 PM   #1
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Hello,
I'd appreciate some advice. I am a professional gardener who takes photographs for teaching and pr for our garden. The photos are used in powerpoint and print publication and web use. I have been using a Fuji F700 (which remarkably has served quite well). I am ready to upgrade. I want the camera to be lightwieight, have manual mode, have an optical viewfinder(easier to use outdoors) and be capable of taking close ups as well as garden scenes. (Wide angle landscapes not very important in my work). I am looking at the Canon G10 and Nikon Coolpix p5100. Any advice on which is better? I like the weight, cost of the Nikon but have read it's not as intuitive to use and the files arent available in RAW (how critical is this?). The Canon sounds more intuitive but it's heavier and I've read that the center of the optical viewfinder is not the center of the photo which i would find annoying.
Also, I'd like to be able to take action shots of our cats and am concerned about lag time.Thanks for your thoughts.


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Old Dec 30, 2008, 6:09 PM   #2
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gardener-

If I had to make a choice between just those two cameras, without hesitation I would choose the Canon G-10. The G-10 is much better than the Nikon P-5100.

However, if the search was widened a bit there are more cameras to consider. From your post, size and weight seems to hold some importance. A wide angle is not necessary, and a need for zoom was not mentioned. I am wondering if an EVF would be just as acceptable as a viewfinder?? Well, here are some other cameras that you might want to consider and they could save you some money as well.

Canon SD-880 IS

Canon A-590 IS

Kodak Z-1012* EVF Viewfinder

Sony H-50* EVF Viewfinder

Sony W-300 - a reallyexcellent camera but, sometime the menu is confusing

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 30, 2008, 11:01 PM   #3
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I agree with Sarah 100 percent. The G10 is a much better camera than the P5100. And you should look at other cameras as well - assuming you haven't already. Here's a very recent comparison test of a group of cameras in the G10's league that you might find helpful:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q408enthusiastgroup/

The Nikon represented in this test group is the P6000 - which is very similar to the P5100 with a slightly different feature set.

Of course, Steve has tests of both cameras on your list - and the others that Sarah is suggesting - on this very Web site.

One big thing in the G10's favor is the almost breathtaking results you can get in good light and at low ISOs (say, up to ISO 200). 14 megapixels certainly doesn't hurt there. If the G10 has a real flaw (as all cameras do), it's noise at high ISOs and in low light. But I don't think that will be a factor in your garden. Plus the manual controls on the G10's body are simply a joy to use. If you're not used to manual controls, the G10 has automatic and scene modes. But the placement of those manual controls - in the form of simple and convenient dials and switches - makes them a lot easier to deal with than digging down into a menu as one usually must do with point-and-shoot cameras.

I don't know here you live, but if you can get to a camera shop with a good selection, I'd take a close look at the cameras on Sarah's list. Pick them up and handle them. If you can, take an SD card with you and fire off some test shots with the cameras you like best.

Regarding lag time, digital cameras have come a long way over the past few years. Plus, the G10 and most, if not all, the cameras on Sarah's list offer a sports, pet or child scene mode (sometimes all three) that can help with your cat situation. These modes tend to boost ISO so your shutter speed can be faster... perfect for action shots.

If you're not totally satisfied with any of these cameras, you might consider an entry-level DSLR - such as the Olympus E-420. It's small, light, not much more money than a G10 and offers auto and scene modes if that's the way you want to go until you gain more confidence. But it is larger (but I'm not sure how much heavier) than a G10 and you would probably have to at least occasionally switch to a second lens.

Hope this helps. good luck!
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Old Dec 31, 2008, 11:24 AM   #4
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the cannon G-10 is a way better choice.

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Old Dec 31, 2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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Gardner-

If shutter lag is a priority, the Sony W-300 has the shortest of all P&S shutter lag times, an optical viewfinder, is pocket sized, a titanium case, 13+mp, and can take pretty good high ISO photos.

But it has a menu structure that can be confusing to someusers.

Biro (above) mentioned some excellent points that you ought to consider.So, I have not found theperfect camera solution for you yet.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 31, 2008, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thank you all very much for your responses. I have looked at all of your recommendations. I'm going to go see if I can find the G10 in a store so i can see how it feels. I'm leaning towards it at the moment.
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Old Dec 31, 2008, 12:12 PM   #7
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I like the cannon G10

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Old Dec 31, 2008, 12:37 PM   #8
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Gardener-

The production of the Nikon P-5100 has been stopped and the P-6000 is now viewed as the P-5100's replacement.

Sarah Joyce
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