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Old May 22, 2005, 7:01 PM   #221
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Desperate in Germany,

You certainly did your research! As you found out, there are tradeoffs with all the choices. Therefore it is difficult to reccomend one, because everyone places different weight on minimum requirements and only you know which one has more weight than another. For example, AA batteries might be more important to one individual than another, even though both put that feature as a prerequisite.

That being said, the only other cameras I would add would be the Cannon SD400, SD500. They are a little pricier than you would like (especially the SD500), but they got great reviews from everyone in the business. The SD400 is 5MP, and it is said to make great looking photos. They also use the most common storage method, SD cards. Both cameras have an excellent movie mode, but they use propietary batteries.

There are many SONY cameras that meet your AA battery requirement, but they all got mixed reviews on their movie modes (including some allegations that the 640 X 480 30 FPS mode is not real but interpolated). Since you are on this thread, I assume that is an important feature to you. They also take the pricier and less common Memory Sticks.


Of your camera choices, I would most reccomend the Nikon 5900. It got the best overall reviews out of the ones you mentioned and is very reasonably priced for a 5 MP camera. But all your choices are good ones. If AA batteries are important, you could consider the Fuji, although it got mixed reviews for low light shooting and uses the more expensive and less universal XD card..

Good luck!
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Old May 24, 2005, 12:04 AM   #222
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bjohn,

thanks for the compliment ("You certainly did your research"), the tip (SD400) and the reassuring comment ("But all your choices are good ones").

As it looks like the SD400 is aka IXUS 50. And the IXUS 50 has the same camera body as the IXUS 40, which is for my feeling too small. But otherwise was a very good tip.

I went on with my research and I found some very bad reviews of the Fuji FinePix E550 on

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read...i_finepixe550z

The majority of the reviews might be/is positive, but the bad ones gave me something to think about. As it looks like, quality testing is not that good with Fuji. :sad:

I tend more and more to buy the Nikon 5900...


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Old May 24, 2005, 6:50 PM   #223
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Desperate in Germany,

Your welcome!:-)

Good choice. You cannot go wrong with the Nikon 5900

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Old May 24, 2005, 7:09 PM   #224
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Hello:

I was wondering if anyone can make recommendations for a camera, specifically I'm looking for a camera that can take 640X480 movies at 30FPS as a stand-in for a camcorder. Here's the things I'm looking for:

unlimited length of movie clips
SD card or preferably microdrive support
Decent sound
Mpeg movie format, AVI as a secondary consideration
Optical zoom that can operate when taking movies
Cost is an issue, so older or cheaper models would be preferrred.

All other considerations (still resolution, lens, features, etc.) wouldn't matter as I've already got a decent still camera. I'm looking right now at a Powershot S1 even though it does AVI movies. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old May 24, 2005, 7:52 PM   #225
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sfpeter wrote:
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Hello:

I was wondering if anyone can make recommendations for a camera, specifically I'm looking for a camera that can take 640X480 movies at 30FPS as a stand-in for a camcorder. Here's the things I'm looking for:

unlimited length of movie clips
SD card or preferably microdrive support
Decent sound
Mpeg movie format, AVI as a secondary consideration
Optical zoom that can operate when taking movies
Cost is an issue, so older or cheaper models would be preferrred.

All other considerations (still resolution, lens, features, etc.) wouldn't matter as I've already got a decent still camera. I'm looking right now at a Powershot S1 even though it does AVI movies. Any ideas would be appreciated.
you've got it - S1 IS it is, since you're only concerned with the movie part. otherwise, wait for S2 IS, although higher price. S1 uses CF with microdrive support but S2 uses SD which doesn't support microdrive. S2's movie file is mjpeg format which should be best quality format. pls bare in mind that "unlimited" for S2 means around 8~9 mins recording for up to1GB size. i think the same applies to S1
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Old May 24, 2005, 9:35 PM   #226
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sfpeter,

You might want to think about the Konica Minolta "Z" series. I have the Z2. It is an older camera, but it is relatively inexpensive, takes great movies, uses SD cards and has 10X zoom. It takes 4 AA batteries. It also meets your criteria for unlimited movies. The only limit is the size of the SD card. The problem with the Cannon S1 IS and S2 IS is that they are both limited to 1 GB of continuous shooting- which only gets you about 15 minutes. They now manufacture 2 GB SD cards and it is only a matter of time before they make bigger ones. So, you now can have a half an hour per SD card with the 'Z' series and your continuous shooting time will get longer as SD cards get better. Starting with the Z2, they all can use the optical and digital zoom during filming, although the more expensive Z3 and Z5 are quieter while using the optical zoom. The Z3 and Z5 also have image stabilization, which the Z2 does not. I do not find this a problem as I have a steady hand, but your mileage may vary. One disadvantage is that like all long zoom cameras, they are bulky- but that comes with the territory. If you go long zoom, whether it is Cannon, Konika Minolta or Panasonic, you are going to get a bulky camera.


Good luck!:-)
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Old May 25, 2005, 6:24 AM   #227
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bjohn wrote:
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Meldias, The Minolta Z2 also does a good job. A little bulky, to be sure, but it uses AA batteries and now that 2 gb sd cards have come out- can do 30 minutes straight video at 640X480 30 FPS. It only has 10X zoom, but that is plenty enough for me. The only weakness is no image stabilization, but i have a steady hand and there is also software you can utilize to correct any video shake (although this has not been a problem). It also takes great pictures! i highly reccomend it.:-)

Thanks for your recommendation, but as a matter of fact, I already bought the z3 in February. My post was only to share my experience with other with the sames needs. it was one way of saying thank you to all the people who posted and help me to pick a camera which i'm 100% satisfied.

Concerning the cards, which brand do you use?

Also, give me a tip about the software, I use Ulead VS 8.

Cheers
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Old May 25, 2005, 6:57 PM   #228
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meldias,

I was not recommending the camera for you; I recognized the purpose of your post. I was merely adding another happy experience as well as further information to those surfing this thread.

In answer to your questions, I have an iMac G5 computer and am very happy with the iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD software that came bundled with it. That is what I use to edit and work with my photos and videos. I use the Sandisk Ultra.

Your fellow 'Z' owner,

John


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Old May 25, 2005, 7:22 PM   #229
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Thank you John and Ajay, I'm leaning towards the Z2 mainly because I could use the SD cards in my other cameras/gizmos.
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Old May 27, 2005, 1:45 PM   #230
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If you consider buying a "real" camcorder instead... dont do it... Here's my beef with the Panasonic D-SNAP SV-AV100.

I was disappointed about Canon SD200's 11khz audio and the missing zoom function during recording (well the S2 IS seems to have solved both problems :-) and, of course, has a better zoom since it's a bulkier more expensive device). Anyway I thought "then get the real thing" and bought a "real" camcorder, the Panasonic D-Snap SV-AV 100, the top model with 10x optical zoom, MPEG-2, SD card. Said to be the only real tapeless camcorder besides the JVC Everio; the rest is somewhat lower MPEG-4.

I was quite disappointed. MPEG-2 files are saved as interlaced 720x480 files on the card. Which means if you don't want to use a deinterlace filter that blurs the image, you have to cut the image back to 720x240. It just sucks, has been sucking for the last ten years, well won't be better until HDTV is standard. It's sad but normal digicams provide better videos today than camcorders! Because they don't limit themselves to TV standards.

Ultimately, the image crispness and details of my Canon SD200 are much better. Oh, and the Panasonic couldn't be mounted on my stand, there is no way to mount it whatsoever, so you have to hold it in your hand all the time, pretty shameful for an otherwise full-featured camcorder.

EDIT: I wonder whether the new MPEG-4 camcorders will deliver good quality. If anyone has sample videos from the Samsung Miniket or the Kodak Easyshare V530/V550, please share them.



And Bjohn, could you post a few seconds of video from the Z2? You description sounds awesome.
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