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Old Oct 9, 2004, 5:29 AM   #1
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Hi there!

Well, i cannot longer resist after all these new models shown at the Photokina, and thus it's time to by my very first digicam.

The models i've decided to choose from are:
- Casio Exilim EX-Z55
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7
- Olympus mju Mini Digital (aka Verse)

My requirements are:
- Small and light weight camera you can always carry around, so it's there when you need it.
- 4 to 5 MP resolution
- Good battery live, at least it should stand one day takeing pictures and savely return to the charger in the evening.
- LCD display, which is still readable in sunlight
- SD or MMC card slots prefered
- And the most importand thing: Should also be able to take good pictures in low-light conditions. E.g. dim light in a restaurant and pictures taken without flash.

After reading through tons of webpages i´m still uncertain what to buy, as aboves cameras are so new, that one can choose from ratings like "the best camera i´ve ever owned" to "i go back to my 1970'es analog cam the picture quality is crap".

So here's my "i've no clue but want to take the right decision"-analysis:

Exilim EX-Z55:
Pro: Very small, Docking station for the PC, HTML generator, SD card slot
Con: Disgusting poor lousy manual, Only available in silver, Design is ok but not very innovative, Picture qualiy in low light probably not so good?!

Lumix DMC-FX7:
Pro: Optical image stabilizer, Very good manual, Picture quality in low light probably better due to OIS ? SD card slot, Very good manual
Con: Very conservative look, No docking station, Poor battery life? TFT display has only 112T Pixels

mju Mini Digital:
Pro: Cool design, Just 1,8" but high resolution & bright TFT display
Con: "Just 4MP", XD-Picture card, No docking station, Battery life?, Overall Picture quality and quality in low light conditons?

So what do you think?
If i would only go for the look, it´s the mju Mini Digital. If i believe in the benefits of OIS, then it´s the Panasonic. If i go for size, then the Exilim. At the end it´s the picture quality which counts and informations about that is still rare and differs from site to site.

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Old Oct 9, 2004, 3:05 PM   #2
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Hi had all of these on my short list together with the Sony W1 and T1, but in the end I really wanted a pocket cameraso I just gotthe Cannon SD300 yesterday.

Pro's: Smaller than the Z55, 640x480 video, 30 and 60fps (for slow motion replay), superfast image procesor- hardly any delay reviewing pictures, continous shooting, benifits from high speed SD cards, great manual controls, great LCD even in sunshine, great pictures compared with the Z55 and Sony T1 (IMHO), 1/2.5" sensor. Good battery life, great flash!

Cons: No docking station (I don't mind really), 2" LCD cf Z55's 2.5", 4MP rather than 5.

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Old Oct 9, 2004, 5:41 PM   #3
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Hi Typhoon!

Well, the Sonys are outruled because of Memorystick-only-support and I just checked the prices for an XD picture card, so the mju Mini is also a no-go despite the really good styling *sigh*.

Hm... "Canon SD300" is this the same camera as the "Canon IXOS 40" in Europe? Looks like. I already had it in my hands in a shop. Made a pretty solid/heavy impression.

@ALL: Any more opinion about the EX-Z55 or DMC-FX7 ?
Some guys on the web say, the image stabilizer is really great on the Panasonic, but a bit ruined due to the high pixel-noise.

So it looks like i can decide between a camera with low pixelnoise and blurred pictures due to shaky hands in low-light conditions or sharp images with high pixel-noise. Well the latter sounds still like the better compromise.

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Old Oct 17, 2004, 2:41 PM   #4
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Hi again...

Thought i give you a little update about my cam-buying-odyssey.

Had the chance to look at all three models on Friday:
-mju Mini.: Gosh.. 1,8" is really a tiny display
-EX Z-55..: The display is huge and has a disgusting quality. Meep... The E-Z55 is removed from the watchlist.
-DMC-FX7..: Well, the menu is a bit ehm.. straight forward, no fancy colors, just black/white/dark gray/orange.. But the display quality is good.

-Canon IXOS 40
-Pentax Optio S5i

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Old Oct 17, 2004, 3:59 PM   #5
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I'm deciding between ixus 30/40 and pana fx-7/2. But i think i have the same problem as you have. the canon feels otherwise a better option, but i have been thinking about the O.I.S. It would be great to have possibility to shoot in low light conditions even without flash and have always sharp images. And i'm really wondering if the noise is a big problem, because you can actually always have lower ISO, because of the stabilation. I think the casio will have some noise in low light also and you should use more flash, too.

I would like to hear more comments about the functionality of the image stabilation in praxis. If it works as they promise, then i'll go for the fx-7. If it doesn't really help, then I'll choose the ixus or z-55.

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Old Oct 19, 2004, 3:33 PM   #6
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Hi Antti!

Just saw, that there is a brand-new review about the FX7 on this page: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/fx7.html

Well, still the decision's not easy. The result of the review is a bit mixed and it doesn't say much about how good the image stabilizer performs.

So what should it be: FX7/2 or IXOS 40 or EX-Z55!?

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Old Oct 29, 2004, 5:25 PM   #7
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Follow up:

After reading many reviews i went into town in order to either get the Mju Mini/Stylus Verse or the EX Z-55.

Well... at the end i got a completely different cam i hadn't thought about before: Sony Cybershot P120 with two batteries and leather case in a reasonable priced set.

In terms of weight there is not much difference between the P120 and the Exilim Z55. So finally i decided to go for the bigger sensor 1/1,8" rather than 1/2,5" and live with the smaller LCD display.

However, thanks for your help!
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