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Old Jan 12, 2005, 9:55 PM   #1
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It's my first post, but I've been trying to do a lot a reading over the past month. I'm pretty much a beginner to photography, but would like to have a camera that I can grow with. Here's my dilemma:

I had a Canon A70, but it dropped 2ft to a carpet/padded floor while turned on, and falling on the lens, it works no more (the LCD reads "E18" whatever that means).

While i liked the A70, there were 3 "issues" with it that I would like to solve in a replacement (in order of importance):

1. When set to "Auto", the focus/flash/picture would often take what felt like a long time (2+ seconds), and there were times indoors with plenty of light that it wouldn't take a picture on the first try. I'll admit I never did any experimenting with manual settings (I'm not much advanced beyond turning the scene dial). I only useda standard Sandisk 256MB CF card. Was it my lack of manual settings? Just a typical Canon? Or slow CF card?

2. I often wanted to zoom a bit closer than the 3X zoom of the A70 but could not.

3. I also didn't like the LCD getting scratched no matter how carefully I handled it.

What I liked about the A70 (also in order of importance):

1. Beautiful outdoor pictures (what I mostly used it for) that looked nice as 4x6, 5x7, and the occasional 8x10.

2. Movie mode of 640x480 with sound was great!

3. Small enough to easily carry around on a walk/hike, but big enough that when I pressed to take a picture, I didn't worry about budging the camera and getting blur.

What camera should I buy? I first thought of the Canon A95 (flippable LCD). But I read about superzoon cameras and I really like the idea of 10X+ zoom.

I'd like to stay under $400. So, that seemed to narrow it to only a few choices:

Canon S1 IS

Fuji S5100 (not stabilized)

Panasonic DMC-FZ3

Olympus C765 UZ (not stabilized)

I've picked all of them up in the store and liked the feel of the Fuji best, Canon second, and the other two felt alright. The Panasonic and the Canon seem to get the highest marks in reviews.

Here's my questions for y'all:

Are there other cameras I should consider?

Should I not consider the not image stabilized cameras? I would probably zoom beyond 6X often.

But most importantly, if you think about what I liked and disliked about my A70 (especially the long focus to picture delay), what camera comes to mind as fitting my needs and budget the best?

Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Old Jan 12, 2005, 10:24 PM   #2
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santaclaus005 wrote:
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1. When set to "Auto", the focus/flash/picture would often take what felt like a long time (2+ seconds),
Less than three seconds isn't a long time - perhaps you don't realize what has to happen in those few seconds before the camera fires. When you press the shutter button, the camera has to determine exposure settings, focus settings, move the lense to the correct focus, charge the flash, and then finally fire. These things don't take long, but they do take time, especially charging the flash. The flash does not stay in a permanent state of readiness, and must be charged before firing. When you realize what all the camera has to do when in auto/flash mode, you begin to realize that 2+ seconds isn't a very long time.

I'm sure there are cameras out there that can do these slightly faster, but if you expect near instantaneous firing when using flash, then you will be greatly disappointed.

good luck in your hunt,

PhilR.

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Old Jan 12, 2005, 10:31 PM   #3
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If I were to go ultra-zoom, I would only look at stabilized lenses, the FZ3 and S1 IS are great. But, they have problems to focus well in low light, probably a bit worst than the A70.

Since you liked the movie mode and that the S1 IS was good second for the shape, I would suggets you take that camera, if the low light possible problems don't bother you. The one thing about the S1 IS is that its one of the best(if not the best) movie mode available on cameras. It has better sound(16hz vs 8hz), stabilized movie and movies limited to 1gig at 640x480with 30fps.

So that's it, you could also choose a camera with more than 3x zoom, I am thinking about something like 4x and use a bit of cropping or use your feet to get closer.

You could also wait for the next camera show to see what new cameras will come.
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Old Jan 12, 2005, 10:49 PM   #4
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PhilR. wrote:
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Less than three seconds isn't a long time - perhaps you don't realize what has to happen in those few seconds before the camera fires.
Good points. So, I'd have to buy a camera way out of my budget in order to get one to fire almost as quick as a film one with autofocus?

Nicolas wrote:
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You could also wait for the next camera show to see what new cameras will come.
When will the next wave of new superzooms come out? I can wait a little while if need be. Is that what people are referring to when they say that some new ones could come out in February?
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Old Jan 13, 2005, 3:10 PM   #5
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You can always wait for new technology. And when that comes out you can wait for the next line. And then when that comes out...well, pretty soon you're dead.

Anyway, buy what you want now. The jump is not worth it. Get a camera that fits your needs and start shooting.
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Old Jan 13, 2005, 7:09 PM   #6
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santaclaus005 wrote:
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PhilR. wrote:
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Less than three seconds isn't a long time - perhaps you don't realize what has to happen in those few seconds before the camera fires.
Good points. So, I'd have to buy a camera way out of my budget in order to get one to fire almost as quick as a film one with autofocus?

Not necessarily, but it's hard to answer that question when you don't state what film camera you are talking about. Film cameras are no different when it comes to flash recharge time. Some are faster, some are slower. Also, did you change what you were talking about and are now discussing focus times only?

PhilR.
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Old Jan 13, 2005, 10:35 PM   #7
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PhilR. wrote:
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Not necessarily, but it's hard to answer that question when you don't state what film camera you are talking about. Film cameras are no different when it comes to flash recharge time. Some are faster, some are slower. Also, did you change what you were talking about and are now discussing focus times only?
I probably should not havementioned flash because I was not meaning to talk about flash charging time. Whether or not I used the flash, when I'd attempt to take a snapshot I would often have to pre-focus the A70 in order for it to take the picture. There were many occasions outside during daylight (and indoors) that I could not get the camera to take the picture when set to "Auto". At those times, I would have to make several attempts unless I pre-focused the camera. In addition, after seeing otherfriends use their digitalcameras (and usingaFujiS3000 for a couple hours) it seemed like my camera took longer to focus/flash even when it would take the picture. So, my conclusion was that either digicam's in general take a longer time to focus, or that Canons take a longer time to focus than other digital cameras. Would either of those conclusions be true? Or was it the fact that I didn'tchange to better manual settings? Or was it all just an illusion?:?
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Old Jan 13, 2005, 11:18 PM   #8
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santaclaus005 wrote:
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So, my conclusion was that either digicam's in general take a longer time to focus, or that Canons take a longer time to focus than other digital cameras. Would either of those conclusions be true? Or was it the fact that I didn'tchange to better manual settings? Or was it all just an illusion?:?
Although the Canon film camera I once used did seem to have the longest shutter lag time I had ever seen in an autofocusing film camera, I don't know if this is the same with Canon digitals. Many digitals will have lag times less than 1/2 second. which is not bad. The review for the FZ3 I have states a lag time w/autofocus of 0.3 seconds, and that is quicker than the last Canon film camera I used. Therefore I wouldn't say that digicam's in general take longer focus than does film cams- some do better, some don't.

As for changing to manual settings - it shouldn't make much difference, as the manual settings determine exposure more than focus. Determining exposure is basically a computer calculation, which is fairly quick. Determining the focus also means moving the lens to the correct position, which does take a bit of time.

I think you just happened to start off with a camera that was a little on the slow side, and got jaded because of it. Spend some time in the reviews section, and you will see that many cameras have much faster lag times than what you experienced. For expample, the Ricoh Caplio R1 advertises a lag time from 0.05 to 0.1 seconds, which is pretty darned quick....

PhilR.


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Old Jan 14, 2005, 4:31 PM   #9
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PhilR. wrote:
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I think you just happened to start off with a camera that was a little on the slow side, and got jaded because of it. Spend some time in the reviews section, and you will see that many cameras have much faster lag times than what you experienced.
It could be that my Canon A70 had high shutter lag. However, in Steve's reviews the A70's shutter lag appears to be shorter than the S1 IS (.6 to .7 seconds for the A70 compared to 8/10 of a second for the S1 IS). Panasonic's FZ3 has a shutter lag of just 3/10 of a second and the Fuji S5100 has a lag of 6/10 of a second. (These are all including the autofocus.)

That's what made me think that maybe Canon's shutter lag is higher (slower) than competitors. AND, that I might be more dissatisfied with the S1 IS than I was with the A70. That's why I was hoping that maybe I've missed some great camera out there that might fit more of what I'm looking for.

If I want image stabilization, the Panasonic FZ3 and Canon S1 IS seem to be the logical choices. However, Canon appears to have a high shutter lag, and the Panasonic has a poor movie mode. That's why I'm not sure whether I should buy one of those two, or if I should see if I can find some other camera that might give me what I want.

Can anyone think of a good camera that I've missed and might like? :idea: Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 4:55 PM   #10
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Hi,

I have the Canon A70 and find it okay, I bought another camera as I wanted the ultra zoom.

I have bought the Kyocera M410R. It is a very fast camera, it doesn't have a manual mode though or IS.

I played with lots of the ultra zooms in the shop, I narrowed my list down to the Canon S1-IS, Panasonic FZ3 and the Kyocera.

IMHO the EVF on the Kyocera is the best out of the 3, It also gains up in low light.

An ideal camera would be a cross of these 3.

Just may be worth while looking at, there are some photos on the Kyocera forum.

I'm very pleased with it and the results I've had so far(not many as it was a christmas present) have been better than expected.

Cheers Ian

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