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Old Jan 23, 2005, 1:03 PM   #1
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I run a Dermatology medical practice and am looking for a durable, simple to use digital, with a large lcd that will be used by several people throughout the day.

Basically I'm looking for a high quality camera to take images of the skin, anywhere from head/torso shots, to closeups of lesions such as cancers and whatnot.

The camera will get used by upto 4-5 different people per day, so ease of use and settings is extremely important. I think features like a 2.0" LCD (or bigger), image stabilzation, and an AF Assist Lamp are what I want. Most photo's are taken under flourescent lighting, but shadows and hand shakes are a problem.

What do you all recommend? I really like the Cannon SD300 since it's small, easy to use, and appears durable, but it does not have all the features I want. I also like the Panasoxic FZ3, but I'm not so certain it will be easy enough to use, and the display is small. Further I don't really need the 12x zoom.

We've used a Fuji S602, but blurry images and poor lighting are frequent. It also is a bit too complicated for many of the nurses who use it. IMO, Image Stabilzation is a HUGE plus, as is the AF Assist lamp.

I'll appreciate any and all comments on what cameras I should be looking at.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 3:47 PM   #2
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I recently bought the SD300 and it's amazing. Its the easiest camera to use and my whole family is all over it. I was in the same boat as you in I needed a quality camera that would be touched by a lot of hands and be user friendly. One reccomendation is that if you are going to be using the camera that often you will need to look into more batteries and chargers. You might want to also look as the Casio z55 but i think that the Canon is the best.



hope this helps, patrick
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 4:05 PM   #3
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The Panasonic FX7 has all the features you mention that you would like. It has a metal body, image stabilisation, focus assist light, and a very large 2.5" lcd.

PhilR.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 4:23 PM   #4
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PhilR. wrote:
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The Panasonic FX7 has all the features you mention that you would like. It has a metal body, image stabilisation, focus assist light, and a very large 2.5" lcd.

PhilR.
Somehow I missed the FX7... looks like a nice camera that has the features I want, though the battary life is a concern... and it's fairly expensive compared to say the SD300. Nice tip though, I'll definatly look into this one a bit. Any others out there? Anyone else familiar with/used the FX7?
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 4:32 PM   #5
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You may want to consider the Kodak DX series.

Brought an DX7440 for myself recently, passed it to my mum, and explained within 10 seconds how to use it.

Not only that, but it has a selection of manuals for when you need it. No AF lamp although when flash is active , AF+AE are fine as it throttles down the flash.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 6:34 PM   #6
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I have an FX7, and add'l batteries are about $10 on Ebay...
One battery takes about 60 shotswith review.

Nice feature you may be able to use is that it easily connects to a TV set for viewing with no difficult setup concerns.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 6:43 PM   #7
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Doesn't a compact vs. ultracompact makemore sense for the requested use? Something with a larger sensor, bigger lens, longer battery life? Also, it won't walk away quite so easy as something like as SD300. Canon's A-Series or perhaps S60/70 make more sense to me, but perhaps fall short with their 1.8" lcd's. The Fuji E550 has very positive reviews on all the sites, and has a 2" lcd. I don't like Xd cards, but I dont' think that should be an issue for a dr.'s office. Kodak's have the highest rated ease of use, so I'd look into some of those also.

I'm sure others with more experience will chime in and suggest some good compact cameras that would do the trick. Sounds like you need something that handles skintones well.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 9:53 PM   #8
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Now that I have a bit more time to write, I wanted to add the following: I do not believe that image stabilisation (IS) and a focus assist light are needed in clinical photography. IS is only useful when ambient light is too low to shoot handheld. This should not be the case in your situation, where you should be using the flash. The very short burst of the flash acts as it's own fast shutter speed, and it will be fast enough to cancel out any movement made by the person holding the camera. A focus assist light is also not needed, as these are only needed when ambient light is too low for the camera to achieve focus. Unless you are forcing your patients to sit in the dark (Wood's light exam notwithstanding....) there should be plenty of light in the exam room to achieve focus.

I would agree with the above post in that something along the line of a Canon "A" series should provide everything you need at a low cost. An A75 (or the new A510) is very easy to use, is of a handy but not too small size, and is very cost effective. It also uses AA's, which is handy when someone forgets to recharge the batteries, as will inevitably happen. They also have plenty of megapixels for office use - enough to make prints up to 8x10.

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