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Old Sep 9, 2004, 6:14 PM   #1
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Hello,

i'm a big fan of this site and since i intend to buy a digicam within the next week I try to gather as much info as possible on cams with VGA movie mode and a decent image quality.

So far I found the following cams quite interesting:

Sony DSC W1 (5MP, very good images, but often reports of not-so-sharp pictures in auto setting, mediocre movie mode that takes a high bitrate to go with average sharpness)

Nikon 3700 (3MP, cheapest of all, good image quality in relation to its listed price, excellent movie mode!, but after all,a tourist/entry level family cam...)

Canon S1 IS (3MP, by far best movie mode, big, average built, slow focus, good images though, ultra zoom is not quite what i'm looking for)

Olympus Camedia 770 Movie (4MP, best image quality of the so far listed cams, no stabilisator, MPEG 4 is about as bad as Sonys VXfine but at least requires a much lower bitrate...)

Fuji Finepix 700 (3MP/6MP, my prior favourite, very sharp pics, but artificially sharpened to go with some digital artefacts and an overall "overprocessed look", hence not so satisfactory in terms of image quality, excellent movie mode, excellent look and feel, nice lcd)

Canon Powershot SD110 (3MP, at least for me inferior to the nikon 3700 in almost every category, though not by much, but movie mode definetly worse, but still a lot better than Sonys mpegs.., nice built quality, overall good cam, like nikon 3700 entry level of point and click cams...)

Konika Minolta Z1/2 (3MP/4MP, hmm.., i've never liked their look, they don't seem to last that long, good-very good movies, image quality (to me) inferior to the olympus 770 or even the Canon S1 IS, but still good)

To me, the A series of Canon provides excellent value for money, but i'm not sooo fond of their movies. Despite their high resolution and (sometimes) framerate, they look less real and more noisy to me then nikons or konica minoltas VGA movies.

So, i've listed quite different cameras, all with different pros and cons. But my main interest isn't a big deal though... i'm looking for a cam that provides good value for money (like the canon a series), nicely built and with a (very) good movie quality. Anything up to 400$.

There might be some spelling mistakes as i'm from Vienna , i still hope you can somehow help me out!!

Many thanks in advance,

Knickz


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Old Sep 15, 2004, 12:52 PM   #2
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Come on guys

help me out!

I'm was just sure that there are lots of more experienced users in this forum.. so answering my question shouldn't be too hard for them, as these are more commonly known cameras anyway...

thankx, knickz
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 3:22 AM   #3
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knickz,

Some "which camera" threads dissapear without a reply, others prompt heated discussion. It's just by chance, nothing personal!

I was asking very similar questions a few months ago when I wanted to upgrade toquality 5MP compact from my first 3MP compact.

Read all the reviews and took some (?) of the advice but it stillneeded home trial of 5 cameras before I found the one that suited me.

Here is my opinion on your choices.

Sony DSC W1 (5MP, very good images, but often reports of not-so-sharp pictures in auto setting, mediocre movie mode that takes a high bitrate to go with average sharpness) I nearly waited for the W1 to arrive in the shopswhen I was looking. It has mixed reviews and I would haveto try one before I bought it. Don't like the difficult to use manual mode.

Nikon 3700 (3MP, cheapest of all, good image quality in relation to its listed price, excellent movie mode!, but after all,a tourist/entry level family cam...) I briefly looked at this but it didn't have the features and performance I was looking for, quickly taken off my list.

Canon S1 IS (3MP, by far best movie mode, big, average built, slow focus, good images though, ultra zoom is not quite what i'm looking for) Looks a great camera but not the pocket compact I wanted. I didn't need that long Zoom, didn't want that shape of body and it was a bit expensive for me.

Olympus Camedia 770 Movie (4MP, best image quality of the so far listed cams, no stabilisator, MPEG 4 is about as bad as Sonys VXfine but at least requires a much lower bitrate...) Again I didn't want that 10x zoom or that fat body shape.

Fuji Finepix 700 (3MP/6MP, my prior favourite, very sharp pics, but artificially sharpened to go with some digital artefacts and an overall "overprocessed look", hence not so satisfactory in terms of image quality, excellent movie mode, excellent look and feel, nice lcd) Interesting...I worried about this camera for weeks. It seemed perfect for me but the image character was a problem. I often take technical shots and need to view full screen on the PC. Under these circumstances you could see the odd way it processes images. Fine for smaller prints I guess. Very frustrating because the LCD looked great, the shape was right and it had all the modes I wanted.

Canon Powershot SD110 (3MP, at least for me inferior to the nikon 3700 in almost every category, though not by much, but movie mode definetly worse, but still a lot better than Sonys mpegs.., nice built quality, overall good cam, like nikon 3700 entry level of point and click cams...) Just too tiny for me, never considered it.

Konika Minolta Z1/2 (3MP/4MP, hmm.., i've never liked their look, they don't seem to last that long, good-very good movies, image quality (to me) inferior to the olympus 770 or even the Canon S1 IS, but still good) Don't like the look, not ideal for pockets! Briefly looked but quickly rejected.

To me, the A series of Canon provides excellent value for money, but i'm not sooo fond of their movies. Despite their high resolution and (sometimes) framerate, they look less real and more noisy to me then nikons or konica minoltas VGA movies. Had an A75 on trial for a while. Liked the manual modes etc but had problems with purple fringing, soft imageedges, inability to focus in low lightand overexposure of highlights in auto. Also a bit fatter than ideal for my pocket. Excellent value for their shooting modes but not for me.

Just my opinions, others will differ. And remember there are loads of good cameras in your price range not even mentioned!

David






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Old Sep 16, 2004, 2:42 PM   #4
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Hey I am currently having the same problem as you

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87

I've narrowed my search down to basically the same ones as you, except you may want to check out the Pentax Optio MX as well. If I can't get any help on here I think I'm going to just go buy a few of these cameras at a place that has a 30-day return no questions asked policy and see for myself which is better. This is a last resort though cause it can get pricey haha. Anyways I'll let you know how my quarrel turns out. Good luck
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 2:55 PM   #5
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I'm looking at similar cameras, I'll say in the $500 range. You might want to add to your list some cameras in the Panasonic line, like the FZ3, FZ15 or FZ20, which seems to compete with the Canon S1 IS, but has image stabilization, more zoom. Apparently good quality, it's 30 fps, but not a full 640x480 (slightly less).

- Jon
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 4:16 PM   #6
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Looked at the Kyocera M410R?
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