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Old Feb 11, 2005, 10:15 AM   #1
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Hey,

I'm looking at getting my first digital camera.. I've used an oldschool Nickon 3MP before, but not many others repeatedly.

I have shortlisted several cameras, but they each have features that I like, and I figure its worth asking someone in the know. I have read every review that I can get my hands on, but its still a significant investment for me and I don't want to regret it.

My shortlist is:
1st Pentax Optio S50
2nd Sony DSCP73S
3rd Canon PowerShot A75
4th Konica Minolta X31

I am concerned about the overall size of the camera, I want one that is small enough to carry in my pocket with ease most of the time, because spontaneous pics are always fun, and I don't want to miss any. However, this comes at a tradeoff, as I want respectable image quality but I am not really a purist, and will sacrefice some quality for size. I am hard up against my budget with these cameras, so I can't justify another couple of hundred dollars. NOTE I can get all these cameras for basically the same money (except the Konica - round $AUD90 Less). I assume I will need to get a larger card, so bear that cost in mind.

I like the overall Pentax package, but the reviews talk of average picture quality and slow operation speeds. I was wondering how the image quality compares to the other cameras above, which have lower MP. The Nikon that I have used had a very long lag before it actually took the photo, so if you wanted to get someone on the move, you would have to lead them, and it was over a sec before the photo was actually taken. How bad is the above mentioned lag??

The Sony seems like quite a nice package, but the fact that it only uses memory stick doesnt sit well with me.. I can get a 1Gig SD card for the price of a 256Meg Sony Memory Stick. However, it is apparently faster.. anyone with hands on experience??

The canon A75 has some great reviews, but it seems a bit larger than the other cameras.. This is a bit of a concern, as I like to take my camera when I go to pubs/clubs/etc with friends.. It also doesnt seem to like low-light with flash shots..

The Konica seems a little out classed, but I have heard some good feedback from a friend (who owns a Konika :S) so I thought I'd include it..

Anyway, I've finished ranting and I'll be grateful for any usable feedback from you... Other cameras I've overlooked? and any wrong impressions I have??

Thanks Heaps,
Bob

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Old Feb 11, 2005, 1:51 PM   #2
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bbob wrote:
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The canon A75 has some great reviews, but it seems a bit larger than the other cameras..
The Canon has been replaced with the A510. The new version uses just two AA's, so should be smaller than the original. I don't know of any reviews, but do a search anyway and check out the press releases. Since they are listed for sale on internet sites, I would imagine that they will be on the local shelves in the not too distant future.

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Old Feb 11, 2005, 2:59 PM   #3
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I recently purchased the Canon A85 and I'm very happy with it so far. I think it's only a bit more expensive than the A75, but you get an extra megapixel.

You're right, the Canon A-series cameras aren't exactly pocket-size. But the upside to that is the 4 double-A batteries. Right off the bat you're doubling your length of charge over most AA-powered cameras because there's 4 batteries instead of 2. And if you buy some high-power NiMH rechargables, you'll be set. (I bought 2 sets of Duracell 2300 MiAs and they last for about 2 weeks with fairlyheavy usage.) If you end up with an AA-powered camera that only uses 2 cells, you'll be complaining fairly soon.

If you're really concerned about size though, you might want to look into the Canon Elph series. They're very small. They use proprietary batteries, but you could always buy a spare. A friend of mine has the S500 and he's quite happy. Of course that's an expensive camera, but there are cheaper versions.


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Old Feb 11, 2005, 3:07 PM   #4
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If the Minolta x31 is the one I think it is, it has no optical viewfinder. The screen is unseeable in sunlight, so the camera is not useable in my opinion.
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 3:13 PM   #5
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I found a 3 megapixel Elph that might be in your price range. It's very small but the LCD is huge compared to most cameras. The Elph ismore of a point-and-shoot camera while the A-series Canons have more manual options. If you're a beginner (I'm also new to the digital scene but I've done a lot of research), and you're willing to sacrifice a bit of quality for a camera you can carry around all the time, you might want to check these out.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/sd200.html

It uses a proprietary battery though, so you might want to buy a spare. And don't forget that you'll probably have to buy a bigger memory card. The ones that come with the cameras are worthless (usually 32 MB).
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 4:43 PM   #6
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you may check out the casio exilim z40.. its very pocketsized with a nice large lcd screen in back and it takes quite nice 4 megapixel images.. can prolly find one on the internet for 250ish.. maybe even less if you look hard.. for good prices on cameras with usa warranties try newegg.com..

enjoy,dustin
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 4:48 PM   #7
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There are so many choices out there, it is very hard to make a decision. Even if you ask others, everyone has their own opinion, so here is mine for what it's worth.

First of all, as there are so many choices, I decided to zero in on one particular manufacturer. After weeks of researching on the net and asking friends, some professional photographers, I zeroed in on Canon. I then did more research, according to my budget, and came up with the A75 and the elph SD200. (although the SD200 is, here in Canada anyway, $100 dearer, this is evened out by the fact that you have to buyrechargable batteries and a battery charger for the A75, which more or less brings it up to the same price ). As I had done some previous photography, I, initially,decided on the A75 as it had more available manual features. The size didn't bother me as I, a female, sometimes wear clothing with nopockets but always have a bag with me. However, when I went to buy one, the saleperson talked me into buying the SD200, saying it had a better lens.

Although I had, for some reason, fallen in love with the A75 and am still a little sorry I didn't buy it, I must admit that the SD200 is turning out to be a great little camera. I have taken numerous photos, both inside and out in all weather conditions, and have only used the auto mode. Every photo has turned out perfect. As I basically just want a point and shoot camera, this little gem is more than adequate. A bonus for me is that my husband thinks it's too small for him to handle, so it's all mine! If you are a male, you might want to consider that these tiny cameras might be too small for you to handle comfortably.

Good luck with your purchase!
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 7:56 PM   #8
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winner makes a good point.. if you ask 100 ppl, you will get that many answers..

so make a little list of the ones that have been recommended and/or you find in your own research and go to the store.. pick up the cameras, play with them, shoot a few pics.. and then decide based on what feels best to you..

be wary of salespersons, for they all have biases, and pick the one you feel is best..

and don't forget to have fun shopping for your new camera!! it shouldnt be stressful after all!!!

enjoy, dustin
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Old Feb 13, 2005, 3:19 PM   #9
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I think it's a safe bet to go with Canon. And if you're looking for something small, the Elph series cameras will fit easily into your pocket. Now you just have to find one that's in your price range. Good luck. Let us know what you end up getting!
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