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Old Dec 14, 2004, 6:35 PM   #1
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I own and will continue to use a Canon EOS 10s 35mm SLR, but I'm looking for a relatively small digicam that I can carry with me most of the time for capturing candid shots. I realize that my EOS lenses would work on a Canon DSLR, but for thispurpose I don't want the bulk and weight of an SLR/lenses and film.

The thing is, small size not withstanding, Ineed a digicam that's responsive and can deliver good quality prints up through 8 x 10. So which is the best digicam forthis purpose? :?
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Old Dec 14, 2004, 10:48 PM   #2
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Hey Buster - there's already a Phil on this forum! Get another name!

OK, just kidding. We owner's of the world's second-most unique name have to stick together.....

At this point, there are about 200 cameras out there that will fulfill your stated requirements. It would help to narrow it down a bit if you could let the readership know what your budget is, how much zoom (if any) you want, and if there is any preference in battery or memory card type. Also, what do you mean by responsive? My 'Cuda is responsive, but I can't take pictures with it. Perhaps you mean small and easy to handle, or maybe short shutter lag times, or short startup times, or short shot-to-shot times, or...... well, you get the idea.....

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 12:56 AM   #3
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Ok Phil, since you were here first, I'llchange my name to 'confused' (if that's not already taken).Over and abovewhat I mentioned in my original post, here are some other druthers:

Budget: $700 orthere-about (including a 512MBmemory card).

Optical Zoom:3x (min).A wide-angle low-end would be nice.

Battery &Memory Card Type: No preference.

Responsive? I'veread a lot about shutter lag, auto-focus lag, and shot-to-shot time.Keeping these to a minimum is crucial in order to capture 'the moment'. Nobody will beposing for me!

Other:I anticipate subdued-lightingsituations (indoors)and using flashmay be out of the question.




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Old Dec 15, 2004, 9:52 AM   #4
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When you say relatively small, it's a term I don't quite understand. From an SLR user's point of view, a Canon A95 is small... to me it is giganic. I found the smallest cameras only go up to $500 in price.

So 8x10 prints can be achieved with a minimum of 3-4MP (200 dots per inch). At 300dpi, you need 7MP.

I own a Canon SD200. I use it for candids but don't really print anything. The shutter lag, autofocus lag and shot to shot times on this camera are great for an ultraportable (under 6oz).

If ultraportables are not your thing, I think you may like the Canon S70. I don't know if it's too low end but it's a good camera, relatively small but with a bit of manual controls(especially considering the functionality). The Canon Pro1 is also around your budget range. It adds a 7x zoom compared to 3.6x. It's a bit larger also though as it is more toward the SLR type.

Word of advice... get the highest speed memory card possible. The speed of the memory affects your shot to shot time.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 11:02 AM   #5
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By 'relatively small' I simply mean I don't want it drawing attention. The key point I tried to make in my posts is that this digicam willonly be used for taking candid (mostly indoor) shots!

The Canon S60/S70 appears to be about right, but I'm not too sure about its 'responsiveness' (now that I've defined the term, I guess I can use it again).

Thanks for that memory cardadvice...
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 11:30 AM   #6
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For candid shots you will find a fully articulating LCD to be handy. If you aren't standing behind a camera pointing it at someone they don't tend to pose or even be aware you are taking their picture.

Limited light without a flash is a problem. About the best aperture you can get in a non-DSLR is f 2.0. Canon makes a reasonably compact G series with that aperture and Sony makes a large and heavy series. Olympus made a f 1.8 model (5050) but the remaining supply is going for absurd prices.

The Canon G6 combines the articulating LCD with a f 2.0 lens in a reasonably compact body. You might read through some reviews and see if it might not suit your needs.

The other approach to low light without flash is stabilization. At wide angles people with a steady stance can handhold down to ΒΌ second. This doesn't help for subject movement, but if the camera has a good burst mode you can often get people in null movement. The only stabilized digicam with an articulating LCD is the Nikon 8800, and it is above your desired price range and almost SLR size. The Panasonic FZ series has some good features and are in your range. They maintain f 2.8 all the way to 12X, and that combined with stabilization would allow you to take some pretty good candid shots. They also have great burst capability. The FZ3 is relatively small and lightweight but only 3Mp. No way it is a pocket camera though. 3 Mp will give nice 8 X 10s if you don't crop a lot. The others in the FZ series are very large cameras. Panasonic has a tiny pocket camera with stabilization, but it has no manual exposure or optical finder. The model is the FX7 and might be a consideration.

A camera that has neither stabilization nor a fast lens but is versatile for a pocket camera is the Pentax 750Z. It has a 5X zoom and articulating LCD in a small camera. It also has all the exposure modes.

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 12:50 PM   #7
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slipe~ Thanks foryour interesting views... I appreciate your suggestion for meto consider an articulating LCD; I can see where that would be extremely valuable forcandid shots! I checked out the Canon G6 and it appears to have just about everything I need (although I wish it's zoom had a wider low-end like the S70). But it does have a faster lens thn theS70 (a plus for natural light indoor shots) as well as the articulating LCD, so overall it is probablythe better choice.

However, I just came across a review of the new Konica-Minolta A200. It provides28mm (equiv) at the low-end of its zoom (albeit at f/2.8 vs the G6's f/2) and italso has an articulating LCD plus image-stabilization! What are your thoughts between it and the G6 for my intended use?
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 2:07 PM   #8
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The Minolta A2 and A200 are great cameras. Not very easy to carry around though compared to the G6.

I have seen only one review of the A200 at Magapixel, and it doesn't say enough. I know they have gone from the great EVF of the A2 to a lower resolution one. The A200 EVF is as high a resolution as any other top of the line prosumer camera, the one on the A2 was just head and shoulders above the others. And Megapixel says it doesn't auto-focus as well in the telephoto range. They also say the lower quality EVF isn't good enough for manual focus, although Minolta does read out the focus distance in the EVF and I find you can guess pretty close. I haven't read whether it keeps the good buffer so you can buffer raw shots.

You might read the Megapixel review, but I would wait for some better ones from Steve or especially dpreview. http://www.megapixel.net/cgi-bin/fs_...00-review.html

Prices seem a little high since it was designed to be a lower cost camera than the A2. Prices might drop after Christmas.

Minolta claims 3 f-stops for the stabilization. The G6 lens is only one f-stop faster, so for static available light photos the A200 will do a lot better handheld. Of course stabilization doesn't do anything for subject movement where the G6 would have the advantage.

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Old Dec 15, 2004, 2:46 PM   #9
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Thanks again for your insight. At this point, considering my $700 budget, my confidence inCanon,andthe unknown factors about the A200, it seems as if the G6 isthe best choice. Tonight, I'm going to my local Best Buy or Circuit City just to see how it feels and, if they will permit me, I'll takesome natural light shots in the store. I'd like to see what the noise is like at ISO 200/400 (when shooting film, ISO 400 did the trickwhen shooting candids), but the problem is that LCD viewing won't reveal that.


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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:58 PM   #10
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Well Best Buy was a zoo and the salesman wasn't too accomodating in letting me shootany pics with the Canon G6.In fact, hewas so busy, he wouldn't release the chain that was securing it. So I went over to a local camera store, where the owner not only let metake some ISO 400 shots inside the store (just using the store's lighting), he loadedthe files onhisPC so that I could view them on its 19" monitor.

While I liked thefeel ofthe camera, I was shocked at all of the noise/artifacts appearing on the monitor! He told me that the G6 was better than most digicams in that respect and that for my needs Iwould have to use noise-reduction software to clean-up most, if not all, shots. Forsuch low-lightconditions, it's now apparent to me that a small 35mm with a fast lenshas major advantages over a digicam, as I have often used ISO 400 color film with very little objectionable grain! I'm sure a DSLR would be a different story, but as discussed previously, I don't want to go that route.

So it looks like I'll continue to shoot 35mmfilm until the state-of-the-art ofdigicam-sensors improves...
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