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Old Nov 28, 2004, 1:56 AM   #1
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Would appreciate all help offered. Having researched carefully and being somewhat familiar with digital cameras, I know which one I want for general family use. But I am going on a once in a lifetime vacation by myself to Thailand and even for a 67 year old guy I will be doing some things which will require a different camera altogether - things like traveling on a motorcycle, bungee jumping from the equivalent of a 20 story building, elephant trekking through the rain forests, ATVing for days at a time, exploring in an outrigger canoe, taking pics of the beaches, sunsets, flora and fauna, etc., - all which I believe (need your thoughts) calls for some of the following parameters:

a) Ease of operation, i.e., point and shoot with minimal settings, b) Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket or at least pants pocket, c) At least 6 megapixles, d) At least 4x optical zoom, e) Both RAW and JPG formats, f) Lens aperture 2.8, g) Pop-up flash, and h) Easily obtainable batteries like AA.

Cost is not such a problem, ease of use and carry, quality of pics, memory capacity, and ease of upload to Laptop for emailing are the main considerations. Am looking at a Fujifilm Finepix E550 right now - what do you think? :-)
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Old Nov 28, 2004, 9:05 AM   #2
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Well, I have never tried the E550, but Fuji cameras are supposed to have heavy compression which isn't that great when you want to print. Also, don't consider it as a 12mp camera cuz it is not one, at most with the interpolated pixels you can get something like 7.5, but then again, I am unsure if this camera really is what you need. It has fun options, but as I said heavy compression is annoying.

Why do you WANT 6mp at the very least ? Normally, you shouldn't need any more than 5, at 5mp you can print photo quality 8x10 prints without interpolation and probably 13x17 prints of great quality, I don't know about you but 13x17 is pretty big.
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Old Nov 28, 2004, 9:11 AM   #3
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You might want to read around a bit in the Fuji section of this forum to see what people think.

I can't really help with your decision, but I wanted to say that you do have a good list of well though out needs. Helping people pick is much easier when they give the type of detail that you have. Thanks.

When you're closer to deciding I would suggest that you go to a store and handle the camera. The pictures on the web rarely do them justice... they will probably seem smaller in person. Also, it lets you really handle them and see if the controls match your hand size and the buttons are in good places.

Eric
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Old Nov 28, 2004, 11:05 AM   #4
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I'd say you cannot beat the flexibility of the Canon A95. It is currently priced just above $300 and will fit in a large pocket.

- 5Mp

- AA batteries

- Auto-lens cover

- 14 auto modes

- No RAW.
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Old Nov 28, 2004, 5:36 PM   #5
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Thank you one and all. This helps. TO NICOLAS; I wasn't aware of the compression thing. I need to check this out - might be important since I will want to enlarge to very sharp 8x10. No, 6 MP is not an absolute, and the main thing for me is as you said - that I can get sharp prints at 8x10 for putting in books. TO ERIC; Hadn't really thought about actually handling one - very good suggestion - better to do this and try in a pocket rather than just buying off Pricewatch or something. TO BOSAMAR and others; Do I really need RAW format along with JPG? I read that it is much better to have it too, but forgot why???

Thanks to all. Come on back! ...SHAMROCK
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Old Nov 28, 2004, 9:09 PM   #6
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Well, if the largest size you want to print is 8x10, then 6mp shouldn't be your requirement, with 4mp you can get great 8x10 pictures, so going for 5mp can be a great solution and that widens your choices.

I agree with bosamar, the A95 is a fantastic camera, I own it and I really like it, but you asked for 4x zoom, although I don't think 4x itself means anything, the camera being 38-114mm, is good, but I assume u'd want something a bit wider and with a bit more telephoto, I understand you, if my A95 was like that I'd be in paradise.

Well, as for the compression, while Fuji is at one end of the chain, Canon is surely at the other, there is very little compression in Canon cameras.

RAW... what can we say about RAW, if you get a fuji camera only shoot in RAW, if you geta Canon one, shooting in JPEG won't matter that much, but shooting certain shots in RAW can prove to give even better results since you will be able to change things after the shot was made, like some errors in exposure or I don't know.

So, I'd suggest you 1 camera. It will give you even better results than the A95, being bulkier tho and costier(its an issue for me, apparently not for you). The G6, it should fit your needs, but doesn't meet some of your criteria. It can be used in point and shoot and has lots of manual settings, it might not fit in a shirt pocket or pants pockets, it depends on the size of your pockets, it has 7mp, 4x zoom(35-140), both RAW and JPEG, lens aperture of 2.0, no pop up flash and doesn't use AA batteries. IMHO, the AA batteries is not a must, neither is the RAW feature, either way you'll have to have 2 sets of batteries, in the case of a Li-on battery you'll have 1 spare or if you are worried about the duration, you can get 2 spares, they don't lose their charge like NiMH batteries do.

If the portability is a must and you are willing to sacrifice the telephoto, then I recommend the S60(or S70 for 7mp), it has 5 megapixels, it is easy to use with the ability to use manual features, it will fit in a pants pocket and probably in a shirt pocket, it has 3.6x optical zoom(28-100), the 28mm at the wide end makes itvery desireable, it has both RAW and JPEG, it has a lens aperture of 2.8, no pop-up flash and also works with Li-on batteries.


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Old Nov 29, 2004, 3:04 AM   #7
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Looked at the Cannon A95. The E550 has the Auto lens cover, - couldn't be sure on the A95. This will be very important for my use. Also like the Compact Flash memory of the A95 over the XD for the E550.

Here is another great site to check out cameras:
http://www.dpreview.com/ - its the best I've found although Steves' is also great. I reviewed both the Cannon A95 and the Fujifilm Finepix E550 and was very impressed with the way the site presented them - also was able to put up a side-by-side comparison of both cameras which was very helpful.

I think I still lean a little toward the E550, so more discussion would be nice. SHAMROCK
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 3:21 AM   #8
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This is a nice discussion Nicalos. Thanks. I posted my last before I read it.

* Yes wider and more telephoto without having to carry around other lenses is better.

* I still don't understand compression, but probably it is good to have it for more detail if needed? The review of the E550 did not give it's effectiveness very good marks. Said would be better to always shoot in the max compression, but that would use up more battery life??

* The review on RAW was very negative for the E550, saying it was almost useless. I do manipulate photos a lot and it would be nice I guess, but the review gave the camera such high marks otherwise - it said it probably wouldn't be needed.

* The site I mentioned gives about 25 beautiful photos made with each camera it reviews, and going through them to my eye gives the A95 the edge - they are very impressive. Those with the E550 are impressive too, but a little less so I think.

Over all between the two Nicalos, I still lean toward the E550 - what do you think?

SHAMROCK
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 3:54 AM   #9
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JPEG format is called a compression format because the image file is made smaller. Result: loss of data. Most cameras offer several modes of compression. Themode with the least compression will take up the most space on a memory card. Artifacts (jagged lines, blurred outlines) can be a result of compressing files, but they are normally only noticable if a lot of compression has been done.

RAW is a format with zero compression. This takes up the most space. It is usually only available at maximum resolution.
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 4:16 AM   #10
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Hi PvB;

Thanks for your help. I was a little confused about compression Vs RAW. I knew that JPG was compressed but it had slipped my mind. I don't think RAW is all that important for my purposes here, now that I have it right in my mind.

Regards, SHAMROCK
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