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Old Feb 28, 2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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Greetings one and all. I am desperate to conclude on a camera purchase, and am seeking advice and opinions.

The camera will be used to document my artwork, foremost, and will also be used for general picture taking, travel, etc. I am not an "art photographer". Image quality from edge to edge is important (to display the texture of my paintings with utmost clarity), as is color accuracy and general sharpness.

I have narrowed it down to three, and I know they are somewhat different, but hear me out.

Konica Minolta A200: I like the image stabilization, movie capabilities, manual focus/zoom ring (!!), nice telephoto range, flip out lcd screen, look & feel. However NONE of those features necessarily mean terrific, clear photos of my artwork. They are sure nice for the "other" photos and travel shots, but do I lose significantly in the picture quality department compared to the next two cameras?

Olympus C8080: I am reading that the picture quality is better than the A200, and this camera still offers a few niceties for general/travel photography than the next I'm about to list. Again, is the picture quality THAT much better than the A200 that I lose out a bit on focal length, stabilization, etc?

Olympus Evolt E300: I'm reading great things about picture quality, but of course I lose out on slick things like movie, and the focal range is pretty narrow compared to the prosumers. I don't foresee ever needing to change the lens, and I want to keep my whole package price under a grand. Is the picture quality, in your opinion, enough better than the above two to give up the "fun features"?

I know you'll all say "it depends what matters to you", and ultimately I realize that. I'm just curious what you think about, well, just HOW MUCH better is the picture quality as we ascend my list of choices???

I TRULY appreciate your advice! I have read enough reviews to cause brain freeze!

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Old Feb 28, 2005, 4:10 PM   #2
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Something to keep in mind isa common phenomononcalled "barrel distortion", which is when straight lines come out slightly curved in the picture. This is something that most lenses have to a certain degree - some more, some less. I would think that if you are taking pics of framed artwork, then you would want minimal distortion of the frames themselves.

If this might be important to you, there are several websites that have camera reviews that will state the amount of barrel distortion. Once you begin to narrow down the options, you can look up the stats and narrow the selection even further. I've not done this myself, as I just do "normal" photography, where barrel distortion has little effect. I do know that the Canon A95 had decents stats, but I'm sure that there are others out there that are just as good, or better.

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Old Feb 28, 2005, 6:40 PM   #3
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The advantage of the Evolt is the detachable lens. Disadvantage of the Evolt is Olympus doesn't make very many lenses

The bigger question is if you want to go with a fixed lens camera like the Olympus 8080 or the A200, or do you want to go for a digital SLR?

In the digital SLR world, there are a number of cameras that compare favorably with the Evolt: Canon 300D, the new Canon XT, the Pentax *ist DS, Nikon D70.

Any of these cameras with a decent lens is going to take great pictures of your artwork.

The other question is transportation. An digital slr is a fairly sizable hunk of metal. The Pentax *ist DS is the smallest of the digital SLR's but certainly not pocketable.
When you say you want to travel, do you really want to lug around a fairly hefty camera versus a pocketable?

-- Terry

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