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Old Feb 5, 2005, 12:05 PM   #1
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Looking for a nice everyday shooter that is reliable. currently using a cannon s200..

Any suggestions appreciated
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 12:40 PM   #2
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I suppose you are aware that the FX7 has no optical viewfinder. If you don't mind always using the LCD to frame your shots and don't use manual exposure and focus it is a nice camera. Stabilization is a nice feature in that you can handhold shots in a lot lower light if you aren't dealing with subject movement.

The Panasonic has manual focus but no manual exposure modes. They are both basically point and shoot cameras. The S5i is a little smaller but the FX7 has a nicer LCD.

One downside of the FX7 is that the LCD doesn't gain up in low light. Without an optical viewfinder it is hard to frame a flash shot in low light.

Another point and shoot camera you might want to consider is the Canon SD300. It doesn't have the stabilization but it takes better movies than the other two you are considering.

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Old Feb 5, 2005, 4:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
The Panasonic has manual focus but no manual exposure modes.
Slipe, I'm guessing you meant the FX7 has a manual exposure but not a manual focus...At least I haven't figured out how to manually focus mine. Do any P&S cameras have a manual focus?

Eddieh, I had a Canon S100 before getting the FX7. So far I have been pretty happy with it. You will find it much lighter and a bit more difficult to handle that the S200 because there is not a lot of room for your thumb to hold it steady. On the other hand, the OIS is wonderful, but not a guarantee that you won't blur some shots. Also, it is much lighter than the S200 and much thinner.

I don't miss the viewfinder, and the LCD screen is adequate for almost every situation. In bright sunlight, you can brighten it up with a button on the back.

You can get extra batteries cheap on Ebay, and one fully charged battery lasts about 100 pictures with review on and set at 3 seconds.

Shop the camera on the Internet; price varies from $359 to $499. I got mine last month for $389.


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Old Feb 5, 2005, 5:57 PM   #4
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Slipe, I'm guessing you meant the FX7 has a manual exposure but not a manual focus...At least I haven't figured out how to manually focus mine. Do any P&S cameras have a manual focus?

As far as I know the FX7 is a pure point and shoot with no manual exposure or manual focus.

I define a P&S camera as anything without advanced exposure modes like manual, aperture priority and shutter priority. Modes like sports action and portrait make aperture and shutter priority not very necessary in a camera without a hot shoe IMO, but I really like to have a full manual exposure mode. None of the cameras discussed have a manual exposure mode.

The only pure P&S I know of with manual focus are the Pentax S series. And they are by far the smallest I know of with manual focus. I have an S4 and really miss manual exposure, but the manual focus with the readout on the LCD works well. You can't really focus well on the LCD, but the distance readout is correct.

Some pocket cameras have a zone focus system that allows you to select among several preset focus distances. Surprisingly the Pentax S series gives full focus range. Again I don't know of any pocket cameras with even the zone focus that don't have manual exposure other than the S series.

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I don't miss the viewfinder, and the LCD screen is adequate for almost every situation. In bright sunlight, you can brighten it up with a button on the back.
I'm glad to hear the viewfinder is working for you. Maybe the reviewers are too critical.

This is what some of the reviewers said about the LCD on the FX7:

Steve's Digicams:
" Luckily the viewfinder is quite usable outdoors in bight light, although it would benefit from a non-reflective coating. However, when shooting in low-ambient lighting it does not "gain up", which makes it very difficult to frame your subject in these conditions.

Digital Camera Resource:
" The other "big" feature on the FX7 can be found on the back of the camera. That is, of course, the large 2.5" LCD display. While it's large in terms of size, it's not big on resolution, with just 114,000 pixels. While I noticed the low resolution while viewing images on the screen, it didn't particularly bother me. In low light, I found the LCD to be a little hard to see. While it "gains up" a bit, things were still pretty dark in my opinion. The "power LCD" function didn't really help matters, either. Keep this in mind if you do a lot of shooting in dim conditions.
In case you didn't notice, the FX7 does not have an optical viewfinder. This is one of those personal decisions that you have to make when buying a digital camera. The lack of a viewfinder bothers me, but it may not bother you."





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Old Feb 5, 2005, 6:33 PM   #5
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The FX7 does have a manual exposure mode. You can compensate from -2EV to +2EV in 1/3 step increments. You can also set the increments in Auto Bracket for a 3-burst shot in 3 different exposures.

The Auto Focus on the FX7 can be set to any of 4 different modes: 9-area, 3-area,1-area focusing, or spot-focusing. (I haven't figured how to differentiate the last 2 yet!)

I did read all the reviews, both here and on the other sites, before I bought the camera. I bought it primarily because of (1) OIS (2) 5 megapixel (3) SIZE! It is not an FZ20, and will not take pictures like one. But then, I can't slip the FZ20 in my shirtpocket, so it's all a tradeoff.

I also have to say that the low-light video is more than adequate on this camera as well. It will shoot video as well in low-light conditions as my mini-dv camcorder, assuming I did not use a spot light or "night shot" setting on it. I think that would be asking a little much of a digital camera anyway, trying to compete with an IR-capable camcorder...

Oh yeah, one other note to all~ polarized sunglasses and LCD screens do NOT mix well!
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 6:56 PM   #6
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All P&S cameras I know of have EV corrections and many will bracket. Manual exposure lets you set the shutter speed and aperture. There is also a meter on the LCD or in the EVF so you can get the exposure right.

This is the definition of manual exposure from Nikonians Photography Glossary:
" Mode by which the Auto capabilities of an Auto body are disabled and the user is free to manually set both aperture and shutter speed by himself, guided by the meter if he chooses to do so."

From dpreview:
" In "Full Manual" mode, you can set both the aperture and the shutterspeed. This gives you ultimate control over the exposure. This can be useful to ensure that the same exposure is used for a sequence of shots or when shooting in special circumstances, e.g. shooting in direct sunlight. Higher-end prosumer digital cameras and all digital SLRs feature full manual exposure. When in full manual exposure mode, the camera will often display a simulated exposure meter which will indicate how far over- or underexposed the image is compared to the exposure value calculated by the camera's metering system. Prosumer digital cameras with live LCD preview will often simulate the effects of the exposure on the live preview."

The FX7 does not have a manual exposure mode.

As far as the video goes I now have 3 cameras that will take 320 X 240 video and find it useless. The movies are so small I can't find any good use for them. A 640 X 480 movie mode at 30fps will give decent movies that will capture an event when you don't have a camcorder with you.

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Old Feb 5, 2005, 7:28 PM   #7
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Hey, if I knew of any credit-card sized cameras that had manual focus and manual shutter and aperture control, I'd have owned that baby and passed on the FX7!

Eddieh, sorry to take up so much space in your thread...

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Old Feb 5, 2005, 10:24 PM   #8
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hi

did u look at sony p150...maybe not exactly credit card sieze but quiet small and has manual controls.

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Old Feb 6, 2005, 11:13 AM   #9
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Both of these are pretty similar (another competitor you should look at is the Canon SD300).

Pentax seems to have brigther lens but the Panasonic has image stabilization and bigger LCD...

I would pick the FX7 over the S5i because of the bigger LCD (bigger LCD IMO is important for ultra-compacts)...

But I would also look at Canon SD300, which is pretty similar to these two...
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