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Old Nov 4, 2004, 7:54 AM   #1
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Any help would be appreciated. I need a camera that is simple enough for two kids (6 and 8 to take the occasional snap shot with, light enough to travel with ( I travel frequently) and with enough bells and whistles so that when I do infrequently get to play around a bit I can. Basically, I am trying to meet somewhere in the middle of my Fuji Finepix 2650 and my Minolta SLR.

The vast majority of shots will be pictures of the kids that will stay resident on a computer or occasionally make it up to 8x10 size. I also occasionally take more serious photographs and those I need to be able to take to 11x14 or so.

I have read a boat load of reviews. I have also played with a bunch of cameras in this range. I am drawn to the Sonys primarily by the fast cycle and start up time and the ergonomics. I am drawn to the Minolta by price and start up time. Plus, I always liked Minolta (yes, I know it is really a Konica with a different brand, but there it is). I really like the ergonomics on the Nikon Coolpix 5200 but that camera doesn't seem to get a lot of love from the reviewers. I did not like the feel of the Canon A95. I was lukewarm on the Fuji Finepix 510. The Optio was way too small.

So, my questions are:

1)Do I need 5mp to do what I want to do?

2)Is the Zeiss glass in the DSC p100 worth the price difference over the DSC p93 for someone llike me?

3)Are there other advantages to the DSC p100?

4)Is there another camera I should be looking at?

Thanks in advance.

Dan






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Old Nov 4, 2004, 10:44 AM   #2
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5 MP is about right for 11x14 though 4 would work too.

Zeiss lens is the brand Sony uses on their SLR cameras so it has good value.

The P100 is smaller/lighter than the P93. I think both are smaller than the Fuji though the P93 may not be.

There's the Canon A85 which is relatively light with good features. I have a canon SD200 which is very small. A consideration may be memory. You have a fuji which uses smartmedia so you will need a new memory card/stick. If your SLR is a digital; then you may want to get a new camera that takes compact flash.
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Old Nov 4, 2004, 11:06 AM   #3
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dfp51 wrote:
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So, my questions are:

1)Do I need 5mp to do what I want to do?
IMO, no. The problem is that manufacturers don't make many models with decent 4MP CCD's anymore (most are using smaller CCD's now).

You may want to look at the little Canon S410, also (I personally think it takes better pics in low light compared to the models using the 5MP 1/1.8" CCD). This particular Canon is using the Sony 4MP 1/1.8" CCD (most other 4MP models use smaller 1/2.5" CCD's now). It's probably going to be a slower camera than the others, though (autofocus times -- although it does have an autofocus assist lamp, and the G500 does not). The Sonys have a more powerful AF assist lamp compared to the Canon.

2)Is the Zeiss glass in the DSC p100 worth the price difference over the DSC p93 for someone llike me?

IMO, no.

3)Are there other advantages to the DSC p100?

It may have somemode differences (but I doubt that it's anything to write home about). Of course, it uses AA batteries and the P100 uses a Lithium Ion battery. I personally prefer Lithium Ion now (so that you don't have to worry about multiple batteries, getting the polarity right, etc.) -- although the Lithium Iion batteries do cost more compared to AA NiMH batteries.

4)Is there another camera I should be looking at?

Dan, there are lots of cameras out.

A smaller model is going to have it's disadavantages (redeye in flash photos, inability to use an external flash, lens brightness, ergonomics, etc.).

The little Sonys you're looking at do have the advantage of being able to use some lens adapters (as well as a slave flash) designed specifically for them (unusual in subcompact cameras).

The Sony's are also very fast little cameras (other than flash recycle times), and also have a decent Autofocus Assist Lamp. On the downside, I'm not sure that their metering is as good as a model like the G500 you're looking at.

I owned a Sony DSC-P10 briefly, and now own a Konica KD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta G500). I personally prefer the Konica (ergonomics, color accuracy, metering accuracy, etc.). But, the Sonysare faster cameras,and also have an Autofocus Assist Lamp.

All of these models (Sony DSC-P93, DSC-P100, DSC-W1; Minolta G500), use the Sony 5MP 1/1.8" CCD. It's a relatively noisy sensor if you need to increase ISO speeds. Although, the newer Sony models (DSC-P100, DSC-W1) seem to use a relatively aggresive noise reduction system to help keep it in check a little better (which can result in loss of detail/softer images). So, it's a tradeoff.

You can see some photos from my KonicaKD-510z (a.k.a., Minolta G500) at http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z

Interestingly, the newer Sony 7MP 1/1.8" CCD seems to be better from a noise perspective, compared to the 5MP 1/1.8" CCD (even though the 7MP CCD is going to have smaller photosites for each pixel). Sony may have found a way to make some improvements that impact the signal to noise ratio in the new sensor (or, they are simply using some noise reduction in the chip or processing that works better, and the increased megapixel count helps make up for the loss of detail from noise reduction).

4)Is there another camera I should be looking at?

Dan, do you specifically need a pocketable camera? If you don't mind going a little larger, I see that the Sony DSC-V1 is available at bargain basement prices right this minute from some vendors (probably to get rid of existing stock to make room for the newer V3, since the V1 is an older model now).

IMO, the DSC-V1 takes much nicer photos than theothers indoors, even though they use the same CCD. Sony seems to have done a pretty good job controlling noise in this one - - without destroying as much detail. It also has an available ISO 800 that could be used in a pinch (although the noise from it would likely be horrible at ISO 800). ;-)

The V1 also gives youmuch more control of features (aperture, shutter speed, etc.), as the DSC-P100 and DSC-P93 models only use two *real* apertures internally, and don't give you modes like aperture and shutter priority. The DSC-V1 also has a hot shoe for an dedicated external flash, a longer built-in zoom (and it's also little brighter at longer focal lengths), hologram (laser assisted) autofocus system and more.

I was surprised to see the DSC-V1 selling for around $300.00 at many vendors lately. In a smaller (yet not as pocketable) 5MP model, I personally think it's a lot more bang for the buck at it's current prices (while supplies last of course, since it's been replaced by the newer V3).

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Old Nov 4, 2004, 11:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help guys. Any thoughts on the dsc p92 vis the p93?
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Old Nov 5, 2004, 7:17 AM   #5
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dfp51 wrote:
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Thanks for the help guys. Any thoughts on the dsc p92 vis the p93?
The older DSC-P92 did not give you any control over things like contrast and saturation. Personally, I find the Sony models to be a little too "contrasty" straight from the camera, with some loss of detail if you don't set it to a lower setting. So, I'd take the lack of adjustments in the DSC-P92 into consideration.

Also, this model has been discontinued, and the only ones I see online are in used condition.

BTW, it looks Ritz and Wolf have run out of the DSC-V1 at $299.99 now. But, B&H still has 'em in stock for $319.95. Again, I think that this is a much better camera, if you don't mind something alittle bit larger. It's got a lens that starts outwider (34mm), a zoom that goeslonger (136mm), a hotshoe for an external flash, lots of manual control missing in the other models,laser assisted focus system, etc.

If size isn't one of yourbig considerations, I'd strongly give it some consideration instead (the lowest priced vendor now is sold out, but if you click on B&H Photo and Video (a very reputable dealer), they've still got 'em in stock. I personally think it's a better camera compared to the smaller Sonys (and Sony users I've known with both the V1 and the smaller ones concur -- the V1 takes better photos):

http://www50.shopping.com/xPC-Sony_C...29dcbd99d5f12d
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