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Old Dec 30, 2004, 2:19 AM   #1
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First off, I'd like to say thanks for all the reviews I've seen on Steve's DigiCams...they're really been helping me out :-).

Anyways, I'm looking for a digital camera that meets the following criteria:

1) Relatively small (pocket carryable)
2) Movie recording with sound (640x480, 30FPS)
3) No movie time limit (for the most part)
4) At least 3MP and 3x Optical Zoom
5) Decent battery life
6) Under $300
7) Media doesn't really matter, as long as it's not too expensive or slow

I've been looking at the SD200, and so far I'm really liking what I've seen. It's small, got decent battery life, great movie modes (I really like the 320x240 60FPS as well at the standard 640x480 30FPS), and takes good pictures. One thing I'm not too worried about is purple fringing - I'm fairly good with PhotoShop, and just now, I fixed the fringing on a picture I found without much difficulty.

I just now saw the 3700 and was wondering how it compares to the SD200. Which of the 2 do you think would better suit my needs? I believe Nikon has a rebate going on, so that will certainly help with the price.

On a side note - which SD card would you recommend for movie capturing? I looked at the 512MB Sandisk Ultra II - I can get it at newegg.com for around $65, and on eBay from redzuco.com for $40 (using rebates - auction link here ). Is this a good choice, or is it overkill?


Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old Dec 30, 2004, 9:04 AM   #2
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It's odd comparing these cameras since the SD200 is the new canon and the 3700 is the year old nikon. The Nikon isa littleheavier with a smaller screen. What's funny at least to me is the purple fringing issue. It is supposed to be more pronounced on the SD300 than SD200. I've taken 650 pictures so far with my SD200 and have never had any problems with the fringing (90% of my shots are indoor).

The 3700 has some AV syncing issues in VGA movies according to the reviews. They both use camera specific rechargable batteries. The Nikon's battery is stronger.

On the issue of Newegg, they sell Kingmax cards for really cheap. I have a 1GB card and (as of Jan 4) they sell the 512 card for 39.50. They are 60x cards. The movie mode is very large and my card has recorded up to 400MB videos (limited by my desire to record, not the cards speed).

I don't think the card you looked at is overkill at all.
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Old Dec 30, 2004, 10:59 AM   #3
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sorry for my original post-wrong thread !!! But I do have an opinion about this as well. I would also get the canon s200 mainly because it's highly rated and personally, nikons are too slow (long shutter lag BETWEEN shots). Nikons in my opinion might take "slightly" better pictures but Canons are MUCH MUCH FASTER and almost as good in photo quality.

But as for value, you can't beat the Nikon. If you go to pricegrabber or bizrate, you can buy it for $129 AR which is an insanely CHEAP for a great camera. My co-worker has the Nikon 3700 and likes it very much although he did concur with me about it's LAG between shots. I don't have the Canon SD200 but am seriously thinking of buying it or SD300 for a pocket camera.

With either camera, I'd get a Sandisk Ultra II SD card - cards do help increase shutter speed ! Also, many people recommend getting several 256 mb or 2-512 mb cards versus a 1 G card even though they are relatively inexpensive in the scenario of a card "going bad" and losing ALL of the data. Also, 1 Gig cards are supposed to be a little slower.
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Old Dec 30, 2004, 4:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help guys.

The reason I mentioned the Nikon Coolpix is that it was another reasonably priced camera that could take 640x480 30fps until the card capacity was filled.

I saw a thread talking about the sd200/300 mention purple fringing, so I assumed that both had at least some problems with it.

That SD card looks great! I'll probably go with the 512MB Kingmax, although the 1GB is also tempting. The larger card would be great for movie taking, as it takes up a good bit of space (roughly 2MB/s, right?) On the other hand, for ~1/2 the price, I can get a card with large capacity, and empty it every day if I absolutely need to. Is the card durable? Why is the Sandisk so much more expensive if they are both the same speed?


Thanks again
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 1:18 AM   #5
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Well I just got to try the sd200 fully at CompUSA (took pictures, movies, got to play around with a brand new one). I REALLY liked it, so now I'm looking for prices on it. Any ideas on lowest prices? I'm keeping an eye out on dealnews.com

About SD cards, I am still debating over which card type/size to get. The Kingmax look quite good, although would they be better than the Sandisk Ultra II's? Also, although 512MB would be great for almost all the time, what about when I want to take a video more than roughly 4 minutes long? Would it be better to get another 512MB card when I need it, or go ahead and pay the extra money and get the larger 1GB one to start with?
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 1:50 AM   #6
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The Kingmax is the generic brand. Does the same job, same performance as the Sandisk which is a premium make of a name brand. It's not that unique an occurence.

As to the cost of the camera, Steves has a link on the review page to various places selling the camera. It can be had from a "trusted store" for 241 shipped. What price are you waiting for?

I don't understand the other question. If it's "one card or two" then it depends. I had a few cameras before the SD200 and knew my tendencies. I would never do two cards because I'd lose a card the second it exited the camera. I bought 1 GB because it was the best price/MB card with over 128 MB I could find. I had previously seen a larger premium on larger memory sizes (and still do at places) so this card for me was the card that cost less than double the high speed 512's and 4x the 256's cost. If the question is "is 512 enough" then it's more complex. 512MB will hold 550 pictures on the normal setting. It will also hold about 4 minutes of vga video. There comes a point where the question becomes what is the primary goal of the camera: stills or motion. If it's stills, then some (longer) videos can be done at 320x240 or a lower fps or both if necessary. If it's video, then the question is whether a DV camera with some still functionality will work better.

At the end of the day, I am biased. I got my GB card for this camera. I have had 2 sessions where I filled it all the way up (out of taking pictures on 27 seperate days). Mind you, recompressing the video on my laptop (WMV) saves 90% of the space for the highest quality the format allows. I'd sooner pay a premium for a 2GB card than work with less.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 3:19 AM   #7
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I found a recent deal that had it for $229 shipped from dell.com...unfortunately, it expired. I think I saw the one you were talking about (from Buydig.com). I might do that, although on newegg.com it is $265 (granted it is $24 more expensive, although it has fast, free shipping, and they have an excellent reputation for returns, if anything went wrong). In addition, I might be able to get the SD card shipped free, which would also save on some costs.

My priority is a camera, although having good movie features is great! The reason for a bigger card was for having more time for movies. Once I empty the card, I can easily recompress them using XviD, DivX, or another good codec. So I wonder whether I should spend more on a bigger card and be safe, or chance it and save.

BTW, there isn't anything different with a 1GB card vs. 512MB except size, right? There shouldn't be any other technical difference in terms of speed or reliabilty?

Thanks again.
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