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Old May 29, 2009, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Confused about available cameras.....

I need a new camera but am confused by the plethora of choices. I plan to use it for simple landscape, telephoto scenery & perhaps people or animals and close-up shots. My wife and I are retired and we travel often. It is not unusual to take several hundred pictures a day as anything is fair game while on the road. I need a camera that is versatile and have created a short list of "must have" features that includes the following:
1. Minimum of 20x zoom
2. Reasonably good picture quality and white balance control
3. Need AA batteries and not a proprietary battery
4. An LCD display that is not fixed but will tilt allowing easier viewing
5. A macro mode that will allow good detail within 4"
6. Built-in flash

Other features like hot shoe, mega-mega pixels, raw format, video, etc. are not as important but nice to have in the quiver. I don't do much cropping because of time restraints and availability of zoom. I'm not sure about the model most likely to fit my needs but have looked at Olympus, Nikon and Canon with the later sparking my interest with a couple of models. However, since this will most likely last for at least 3 years I would like a product that is reliable as well. Any insight you experienced users could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old May 30, 2009, 6:55 AM   #2
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You have five choices: The Olympus SP590UZ, Olympus SP570UZ, Olympus SP565UZ, Canon SX1is and Canon SX10is.

The three Olympus cameras are very similar as are the two Canons.

Of the three Olympus cameras, I'd choose the SP565UZ because I prefer its smaller size and weight.

Of the two Canons, I'd pick the SX10is because it's much less expensive than the SX1is and is pretty much the same camera, apart from lacking the SX1is's HD video capability.

Though the Canon SX10is is probably a better camera than the Olympus SP565UZ, it's much heavier (600 grams compared to 415 grams). Due to this major weight differential, I'd go with the Olympus over the Canon.
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Old May 30, 2009, 7:08 AM   #3
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In rereading your post, I see you've listed the requirement of a tilting LCD. The Canon SX10is has a movable LCD (not tilting) while the Olympus SP565UZ has a fixed LCD.
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Old May 30, 2009, 7:22 AM   #4
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The only cameras in Andy's choices with an articulating LCD are the Canons. The SX10 IS would be the only camera to fit ALL your needs, and be at a reasonable price. The SX1 IS would be next, but much more expensive.

Are you certain you cannot live without AA batteries? If you are on the road, driving your car, then you can easily recharge LiIon batteries using an inverter that plugs in to your car's "cigarette lighter" socket. I have two cameras, one that uses AA, and one that uses proprietary. The proprietary battery works fine for me, and cuts down on the weight. It takes 90 minutes to recharge a fully depleted LiIon battery, while it can take much longer to recharge the NiMH AA batteries. Spare LiIon batteries are available for low prices from reliable sources, so you can carry a few if needed. I only own two, and it allows me to take up to 500 shots between them.

If you could live without the articulating LCD, and are willing to go with proprietary batteries, then your choices open up. A new camera you could consider is the Pentax Optio X70.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2009_...x70_specs.html

Dennis
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Old May 30, 2009, 9:32 AM   #5
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You might also want to read through this comparison review of several super-zooms from DPR;

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q109superzoomgroup/

Also, after rereading Steve's review of the Pentax X70, the LiIon battery is quite weak, so you would need to carry at least three to get through a day. The Sterlingtek source of batteries I was considering does not carry this type of battery yet, so extra batteries from Pentax would be rather expensive right now.

Of the available ultra-zooms, I would say the Canon SX10 IS is your best bet, and the one that covers all your "must have" features. The articulating (rotating) LCD is the best design, an often desired feature that is hard to find in today's market.

Dennis
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Old May 30, 2009, 6:09 PM   #6
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Thank you so much all of you.....next, I plan to visit a retail store to handle all of the individual cameras mentioned.....I really appreciate your insight and it will greatly simplify my decision process......off to the store now......thanks again.......Dave
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