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Old Mar 7, 2005, 12:38 AM   #1
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Hi folks -

I'm looking for a new digital camera. It's between the Fuji s5100 and
the Fuji e550. However , my decision making process became difficult.

Pros and cons:

Fuji s5100:

pro: 10x optical zoom,good build, optional telephoto for 558mm!
con: only 4 megapixel, larger size

Fuji e550:

pro: 6.6 megapixel, 2 AA batteries, compact size, optional tele lens to
255mm, speed, more advanced features
cons: only 4x optical zoom

I got used to using a Fuji S3000 with a 6x optical zoom in several
national parks and got some really good photos out of it. I borrowed my
friends Canon a80 and it just wasn't as fun composing shots, especially
for landscapes and wildlife.

The 5100 would be more fun, but it's almost 3 megapixels less. And, I
can add a tele lens to the e550 that will make it slightly better in
it's zoom range than the 6x optical I have grown accustomed to , at around 255mm. However, the
optional tele lens for the 5100 gives you around 550mm!

I'm really stuck here. This will be used for website work and personal
use with lots of outdoor shots/wildlife shots for fun. After reading Steve's reviews I understand that he actually recommends the e550's digital zoom at 6 megapixel. This means the e550 would have an effective zoom of 5.4x, only .6 times behind the 6x optical s3000 I have enjoyed. Plus, Im gaining 3.3 megapixels on the e550 which would allow me to zoom in more clearly in Photoshop.



Also, I am a bit conerned about "vigenetting" on the s5100 based on a few other website reviews. The 5100 sure would be a fun camera though right out of the box.



Thx for any tips.
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 2:23 AM   #2
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I was pondering the same choice about a month ago, when my S7000 disappeared.

I chose the S5100 because I like to attend sports events (pro baseball and basketball). The seats I get are usually in the bleachers or upper decks/leves, so a super zoom comes in handy. I also got the Olympus TCON-17 teleconverter with gives me an effective optical zoom of 17X.

However, it sounds like you will rarely use such zoom in your shots. From what I saw in sample photos, the E550 is really a bargain. Its pictures at the end of Steve's review look as good to me as some of the pictures of some of the much more expensive 7 and 8 megapixel cameras.

Of course, if you come into some extra money, you could get both for less than $600. No, I don't have any money to spare, but the other guys/gals on this forum.. ? Who knows?
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 4:26 AM   #3
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"I also got the Olympus TCON-17 teleconverter with gives me an effective optical zoom of 17X. "







this sounds pretty cool. how much was this option?



Also, do you know if you can add his lense you are talking about to the e550?



One mroe question, lol. Do you have any issues with stabilization or vignetting with the 5100? Thx. I really like that camera.



Also on the e550 shots, were yo ureferring to the 12 fine shots in steves test, or the 6? thx!

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Old Mar 7, 2005, 6:15 AM   #4
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Montana, I have the S5100, about 700 shots thru it by now, haven't noticed any vignetting! Don't have the TCON lens on it though, so can't speak for that. Also, digital zoom is not available on this camera at full resolution (4mp), you must use 2mp mode to get digital zoom, But, It is a great camera!
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 7:05 AM   #5
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Montana, I haven't used the camera yet. I am living in Taiwan for the next 3 months, studying Chinese. My camera was lifted in Taipei. I ordered the S5100 two weeks ao, and now it is in the US awaiting my return. I helped a friend get an S5000 about 18 months ago. He liked it and I thought it was pretty good for the money. The S5100 was almost 50 bucks cheaper when I got it than the S5000 when he got it. Plus there was an extra megapixel. When I get back to the US and start taking pictures, I will be glad to show them to you. But by that time, you will probably be taking your own pictures.

http://www50.shopping.com/xPO-Olympu...ptor~CLT-HSNLF

Go to the preceding page on Steve's Buyers' Guide for prices on the TCON-17. It has a 55 mm thread so I am not sure if you can get a lens adapter to fit it on an E550. Maybe some of the other people on the forum can suggest some options.
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Old Mar 9, 2005, 10:34 PM   #6
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I was considering the S5100, but I wear glasses and use my left eye to shoot, a scenario which will not work with this camera. Nevertheless, I ended up buying a 10x zoom camera rather than a higher pixel camera and am glad I did. Unless you're going to print enormously large pictures, anything above 4 or 5mp IMO is diminishing returns. True, you can digitally zoom in more in a higher pixel image, but still 4mp x 10X zoom is far superior to 6.6MP x 3X in producing close-up detail, if that's what you want or need.

Howard
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 12:26 AM   #7
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Howard thanks for the reply.



So you are essentially saying a 4mp 10x optical zoom will in the end give you more closeup detail than a 4x optical zoom 6.6 megapixel, even factoring in photoshop zoom? That was my main question.



In steves review of the Fuji e550, he said the digital zoom did not reduce quality like other digital zooms, so you effectively get 5.4x zoom on the e550 at 6 MP. This would be very close to the 6x optical I became used to in Glacier national park (fuji s3000).



This is a really tough choice, lol.
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 2:19 AM   #8
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Maybe I misunderstood, but "Photoshop" zoom is equivalent to digital zoom.

Digital zoom does not increase detail.

I think the 10X zooms are cool because you can stand farther from your subject if necessary, and still get detailed shots. I sit 4-500 feet from Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners during MLB games and can still get decent shots. An 8 megapixel camera with a 3X or 4X zoom cannot do that.
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 4:34 AM   #9
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But couldnt an 8 megapixel camera with a 4x zoom get a good shot of that player by zooming in photoshop without losing too much detail?
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Old Mar 10, 2005, 9:14 AM   #10
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Here's how I understand it.

If you blow up a 8 megapixel picture at 4X zoom to an 8X zoom, you are doubling both the width and the height of your image. Therefore, you end up with resolution of a 2 megapixel image.

There is an camera from Olympus, the C-755, I think, which is normally 4 megapixels. It used to advertise a 14X zoom, but only at 2 megapixels. The square root of 2 is 1.4 etc. so I think that's how they did it.

Now, if I am wrong, I hope the other people on the forum will correct me.

Maybe you can borrow a friend's super zoom camera and check it out for yourself.

If you won't be taking pictures from far away, maybe a zoom of 3X, 4X, or 5X is enough for you.
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