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Old Feb 1, 2005, 1:52 PM   #11
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 838

My thoughts...

Ombladon wrote:
-improved auto mode or many manual features ?
All thte auto modes are kind of the same. The only difference is in focusing speed and stuff like that...

If you plan to use manual features then go for that... but if you don't plan to become an amateur photographer then it doesn't matter... Let me repeat that if you actually have an interest in photography, get one with manual controls (such as shuter priority mode/aperature priority mode, etc)...

-shaky zoom (W1) is a problem of practice (human hands) or of camera ?
Most of the people complaining about blurry pics are complaning about camera shake in low-light (eg. indoors). NEarly all cameras have this problem but the smaller ones or ones with weaker grip will be more prone to produce blurry pics due to handshake. The Sony W1 is kind of small so it doesn't surprise me that people have problems with it...

-smaller but swivelling LCD or bigger and better in sunshine LCD ?
Flip-out LCDs are very benefitial IMO so I value them. But if the LCD is big (2" or 2.5") I would go with that. If you get an ultra-compact then you definitely want a big LCD... if you are comparing similar sized LCDs, then flip-out LCDs are better. I would pick 1.5" flip-out over 1.8" normal.

You also need to look at the # of pixels on the LCD. Some of the cheaper brands have large LCDs with less pixels vs the more expensive ones (eg. Casio vs Sony).

-which are best batteries to have as spare? AA's or an additional set of the rechargables that come with the camera?
AAs are supposed to be better... they are cheaper and easily replaceable... but this is a minor point...

-what to choose between CF and Memory Stick PRO (QUALITY AND PRICE)? Also is there big quality difference between Sandisk and Sony/Lexar memory sticks (PRO) ?
Nearly all memory technologies are the same from a performance point of view--sort of.

SD and compact flash are the cheapest so they are the best (out of these two, SD is probably better since it is smaller). xD, Memory Stick, and others are more expensive and undesirable...but this is a minor point and you don't have much choice here. The camera you pick will dictate the memory standard. For example, all Sonys (as far as I know) use memory stick or memory stick pro.

-purple fringing problems and not very smooth zoom are major disadvantages for A95 ?
Not sure...

-is it really true this discouraging "don't buy W1 unless you have steady steel hands"... ?
don't know...

I'm also considering spend less money if any other cam will do fine for a newbie like me, but it's all about picture quality, clarity and all, for me.
Depending on the size your want and the price you are willing to pay, the ones I like are:

Canon SD300
Panasonic FX7

Canon A95
Sony W1

low to mid-end prosumers:
Canon G6
Sony V3
Panasonic FZ3
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