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Old Aug 7, 2010, 1:31 PM   #1
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Default Trying to upgrade from Kodak Easyshare Z1485IS, can't find anything better.

I bought my Kodak Easyshare z1485IS (14mp, 5x zoom, manual mode) about 1-2 years ago, refurbished for about $160 shipped. It was my first camera to introduce me to manual control of the shutter, f-stop, iso, etc. I've gotten pretty good at that and will never go back to a full auto camera again. This has been a good camera, but I want to upgrade to get something a little better, with faster shot to shot, shutter response, burst mode. Since although I take all sorts of photography, my favorite is extreme sports photography where sometimes the correct moment, right in the middle of a trick, is only a split second and everything has to be set up and timed perfect.

My maximum budget is around $325 (and willing to go refurbished), I'm not expecting anything super professional, I just figured I should be able to get a decent step up, considering I'm spending twice what I paid for my current one, and its about 2 years later. However, I've just spent about 15 hours online, and 5 hours in the stores, and have been very disappointed, it seems every camera, in the up to $350 range has been worse than my current 2 year old $160 camera for a number of reasons.

1) Shot to shot time seems even slower on most of the ones I looked at. And shot to shot time rarely ever is in the specs, why is that?
2) Shutter delay (I always use half press first, my kodak is almost instant with no flash, a little delay with flash), seemed worse on many. And its rarely ever in the specs of cameras, why not?
3) Many of the sub $350 cameras didn't have a manual mode, and the ones that did I found it to be very poorly organized. On my kodak, it displays the apeture, shutter speed, and iso right at the bottom (along with exposure compensation which is auto in manual mode), left and right moves between each one, up and down adjusts them, simple. I didn't find a single camera with a manual mode as well organized, many of them I'd have to go to different menus for different things. For example to change the iso, I'd have to enter a menu scroll way down, select iso, change it, then to change the f-stop and shutter speed, they would be in some other menu, etc.
4) The burst mode was worse on most of the cameras I looked at, my kodak at least does 6 full 14mp shots at about 1.7fps, either first burst of last burst, and burst mode is absolutely simple to access, a button on top toggles it on and off. Many of the cameras I looked at you had to dig into menus to turn burst mode on and off, took forever, and burst mode wouldn't even be as good.
5) Despite being 2 years later, none in that price range are over 14mp, many are only 12 or 10, I'd think they would be more by now. Although I do realize, its not all about the mp rating, I'd consider stepping down, if it was a step up in every other way.



Here are the main things I don't like as much about my kodak that makes me want to upgrade.

1) I want one that simply can take faster shots all around, faster shot time, faster shutter response with flash, take more than 6 shots in burst, and process them faster to be ready for the next burst. (my kodak takes like 30 seconds to process that 6 shot burst). It would be nice to have one that can take fast consecutive shots without even needing to be in any burst mode. I simply want to always be ready for the split second shot.
2) My kodak takes its 720P movies in h.264 .mov format, which I don't like, I want h.264 MP4. I'd really really want full 1080P MP4, but not sure if any cams at all have it near my price range.
3) Manual focus on my kodak is so cumbersome, you have to go to the manual focus menu, click it, it zooms in the screen, and you move the bar up and down till you find the right focus. Takes like 30 seconds to focus, and if you want to focus on something else it also takes forever. I was hoping to find one with a standard twist type option for quick manual focusing.
4) Although I primarily use manual mode, there are times when you do need a quick little automatic shot, or need to hand the camera to someone else in auto mode. It just doesn't seem like the shots in auto mode generally are that great on the kodak, except for in sports mode (I take most auto shots in sports mode, weather they are fast moving or not, since they seem to turn out best). So I'd like to find one with a better auto mode also, and quicker acquiring auto focus.

Can anyone make any suggestions?
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 9:46 PM   #2
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Hi Carl-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

Just like you, I am a happy Kodak Z-1485 camera owner. To get more speed, and that is, at the bottom line, is what you are talking about, requires a camera with a faster processor and/or imager. I have also considered that question.

However, to do that you it appears that you are going to go with a BSI CMOS imager. Thus far, I am not too excited by that particular imager. Yes, it does give speed, but it also has its own image quality problems. Currently, within the P+S camera field, one of the best examples of this imager is found on the Canon SD-4000.

I tried the Sony HX-1. It is a good camera, but in need of updating and currently beyond your budget. Your $325 budget limit does not allow an entry level DSLR camera, or an EVIL camera, which also brings speed to the table. Next question, is camera size an issue for you?

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Aug 7, 2010 at 10:52 PM.
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 12:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Size is not a very big issue to me. Sure, smaller is better, however Functionality, and bang for the buck is of the highest priority.

Finding a camera with a faster processor/imager seems so difficult, because I mean, they never really put that sort of thing on the specs, or so I've found. So how does someone like me really shop for that.

Since putting up this post, I think I may have found a single great camera in my budget, that seems to absolutely blow away all the others. I still have more research/studying to do about it to make sure, but its the Nikon Coolpix P100. It can be found for about $300 refurbished with warranty, or around $360 new. It has 26x optical zoom, optical stabalizing, 1080P at 30fps, 720P at 60 fps, 640x480 at 120fps, and 320x240 at 240 fps. That meets and exceeds my video expectations, and I haven't had a chance to read about the picture taking capabilities, burst mode, etc, but I'm guessing so far they are probably pretty good. only 10MP but not a big deal I'd rather have fantastic 10mp shots, than mediocre shots of higher density.

I'd still like to hear any other possible suggestions, on any other cameras, I may not know about that are similarly capable, and still within the same price range (I did see the fuji hs10, although its more expensive, and I didn't really like any of the other fujis I tried in the store before). Other than that I haven't found any other camera that comes close to the capabilities of this one, are there any even out there?

One thing to note, zoom isn't one of my major concerns, sure this p100 is 26x zoom, but that's not what got me interested in it. If there was a camera that had the same video capabilities (both 1080p and slowmo), as well as a fast processor, but was only a 5x, or 10x zoom, I'd be interested in it as well. It just doesn't seem like I have been able to find those features in any lesser zoom camera.

Last edited by carl1864; Aug 8, 2010 at 1:06 PM.
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 3:06 PM   #4
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Carl-

Please do some homework on the Nikon P-100, it has received neither good user nor professional reviews. I personally would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 6:36 PM   #5
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I have been reading quite a few reviews of the p100. They are definetly mixed, I've read quite a few good ones, and heard some people say its not good (but never went into too much detail why). I am now set on wanting 1080P video, 720p 60fps, 640x480 120fps, and 320x240 240fps. I absolutely want that, I've wanted it all along, I just didn't know any cameras currently had it, and in my research I've only found 2 other cameras that do it. The Fuji hs10 and the samsung tl350. I'm still debating between all 3 (or if anyone knows any other options I'd consider them too), but right now still leaning towards the p100

Now the reason for leaning away Fuji hs10, I haven't been able to find any stores that carry it to try it. All the fujis I have tried in the stores I didn't like so much. I also believe I heard the burst mode, and shot to shot, is not as capable as the p100 (I could be wrong, like I said shot to shot, burst mode, etc specs are very hard to find). Fast shooting is one of the biggest concerns to me so I'd lean towards the p100. Also the fuji is about $100 more. I do however much prefer the fuji's twist lens manual focus controls.

Now the reason I'm leaning away from the samsung TL350 is I can hardly find any info about it at all, very few details on burst mode, shutter lag, focus speed, etc. And no stores have it here. It claims to have a 10fps burst mode, but for how long, and what resolution? It sounds good, It is spec'd very similar to the p100, has the high speed video, IS, manual controls, etc. Its giving up the 26X zoom, in exchange for being a very small compact. So I am interested, and I would be willing to get it instead if I knew it was better, but the lack of info makes me think its probably not. And my personal guess (I could be very wrong, so correct me if I am) is that such a compact camera, with such smaller lens, would not be able to compare to the full size p100, especially in low light or fast shutter situations.

As far as the p100, why I'm leaning towards it is so far, in my research it has almost every feature I could want for a good price. I would like to know why you (or anyone else) wouldn't touch it. The only really negative things I've found so far is that the color representation isn't as good. However for me, since 95% of my shooting is high action shots, rather than high color flowers and stuff, I'd be willing to give up a little color accuracy in exchange for shot to shot, burst mode, hd and slowmo video, etc. Only other thing I heard bad was the noise filter can't be turned off (but that mainly only applies to slow shutter speeds right? Overall, it just seems like based on the info I've found in my hours of research it seems like although not perfect, seems like the best option for me.

I'm still not 100% set, I'd like to hear opinions, and if there are any other cameras besides those 3, perhaps ones I don't know about, I'd really like to hear about them.
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 7:01 PM   #6
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carl-

The Samsung TL-350 is the best choice of the three cameras you are investigating. www.crutchfield.com has a good price on the TL-350 at $(US)299.99. www.amazon.com has the TL-350 for $(US)289.00. Both have excellent return policies.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Aug 8, 2010, 7:28 PM   #7
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Can you tell me what makes the samsung so much better? I hardly find any reviews, no professonal ones, and few specs.
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 8:06 PM   #8
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Do a google search for "Samsung TL-350 Reviews." Take a look at the Samsung Forum over at www.dpreview.com. And there is also a TL-350 Group on Flickr.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Aug 9, 2010, 3:37 AM   #9
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Hi Carl,

Here’s some info on the TL350 which may address your extreme sports photography concerns.

According to the imaging resource’s TL350 review:
“The standout feature of the TL350 has to be its speed, though. The TL350 can shoot at an impressive ten frames per second, at full ten megapixel resolution.”
http://www.imaging-resource.com/EVEN...266696054.html

The TL350 user manual says:
- 10fps: Take 10 photos per second continuously.
- 5fps: Take 5 photos per second continuously.
- 3fps: Take 3 photos per second continuously.
Since according to imaging resource the 10 fps is at the full 10 MP resolution, I assume the 5 and 3 fps must also be at the full 10 MP resolution.

The TL350 also has a pre-capture feature. Half press the shutter and it pre-captures images then when you press the shutter it saves the last 8 images. You can then pick the best shot from the pre-captured images. What I’m not sure about is exactly how this feature works. I believe in the pre-capture mode it continuously captures 8 images as long as the shutter is half-pressed using its internal memory and just keeps overlaying in a circular pattern but am not positive. You can ask in the Samsung forum here at Steves or at dpreview.

Here’s a link to the TL350’s user manual. It might answer some of the questions you have.
http://www.samsung.com/us/support/de...sub_class_cd=P

Here’s a link to Samsung’s promo for the WB2000 which is the outside of U.S. name for the TL350 in case you or others haven’t seen it:
http://www.samsung.com/hk_en/consume...ype=prd_detail

The TL350, being a pocketable P&S camera, does not have a manual focus ring on the lens. If that's a priority for you, then the TL350 won't satisfy. (It does have manual focus via navigation but not a ring on the lens.)

All of the above is just stuff I've researched since I don't own a TL350 (yet). My fascination with the TL350 is the quality of the high ISO images that I’ve seen posted so far. Samsung appears to have its noise reduction algorithm under control. I also like the overall sharpness of all of the images at any ISO except for 1 or 2 exceptions. There are not a lot of user sample images posted but what I’ve seen so far look pretty darn good.

Sky

Last edited by skylark; Aug 9, 2010 at 3:47 AM.
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Old Aug 14, 2010, 5:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylark View Post
According to the imaging resource’s TL350 review:
“The standout feature of the TL350 has to be its speed, though. The TL350 can shoot at an impressive ten frames per second, at full ten megapixel resolution.”
http://www.imaging-resource.com/EVEN...266696054.html

The TL350 user manual says:
- 10fps: Take 10 photos per second continuously.
- 5fps: Take 5 photos per second continuously.
- 3fps: Take 3 photos per second continuously.
Since according to imaging resource the 10 fps is at the full 10 MP resolution, I assume the 5 and 3 fps must also be at the full 10 MP resolution.

The TL350 also has a pre-capture feature. Half press the shutter and it pre-captures images then when you press the shutter it saves the last 8 images. You can then pick the best shot from the pre-captured images. What I’m not sure about is exactly how this feature works. I believe in the pre-capture mode it continuously captures 8 images as long as the shutter is half-pressed using its internal memory and just keeps overlaying in a circular pattern but am not positive. You can ask in the Samsung forum here at Steves or at dpreview.
UPDATE:

Having bought and received a TL350, I can verify how the above actually works.

CONTINUOUS SHOOTING:
This is a burst mode only. It does not shoot continuously until the SDHC card is filled. When the shutter is pressed, up to 10 frames will be recorded to the internal memory at the fps rate selected. Then the captured images in the internal memory are transferred to the SDHC card.

PRECAPTURE:
Half pressing the shutter starts precapture. Images are continuously stored to the internal memory at what appears to be the 10 fps rate. When the shutter is fully pressed, the previous 8 images plus one when the shutter was pressed (so 9 total images) are transferred from the internal memory to the SDHC card.

Sky
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