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Old Mar 22, 2005, 8:31 AM   #1
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I have a Canon S40 which has served me well, but I'm finding it's too big and too slow and I don't need all the features it has to offer.

So, I'm looking for a replacement with;

3x optical zoom
4 to 5MP CCD
Light, small and pocketable
Quick start-up and low shutter-lag
Image quality which won't be too far off my S40

My shortlist so far is;

Casio EX-Z55
Sony DSC-L1
Nikon Coolpix 5200
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7
Pentax Optio S5i

I realise these don't necessarily all fit into the same category of camera, but that's part of my dilemma, do I go for something smaller with less ability or slightly bigger with more?

I'm wary of the Pentax Optio S5i because I think the power/shutter-release button layout would get on my nerves, and I've excluded the Sony T-series because they seem pricey for what you get.

But I might be wrong, which is why I'm asking you! Your views and opinions on the above would be much appreciated, as would any alternative suggestions.

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Old Mar 22, 2005, 11:51 AM   #2
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If you plan to have several cameras for different situations the power button on the Pentax might be a problem. But if it is your only camera you will likely turn it off a few times when you first start using it and it won't be a problem after that. You might ask on the Panasonic board if there are S3/4/5 users who weren't able to adapt. It hasn't been a problem after the first time I used my S4, and I have several cameras. I'm not necessarily saying it is the best camera, but I wouldn't avoid it because people who regularly test dozens of cameras might have a problem with it.

If you regularly shoot using the LCD rather than putting your eye to the optical viewfinder the Panasonic FX7 might be a good choice. The stabilization makes up for the less stable hold and it has a nice viewfinder. It can be a problem to frame in very low light though because Panasonic has never figured out how to make their LCDs gain up properly. You might ask some owners on the Panasonic board if that has been a problem. If you like to shoot from eye level the lack of an optical viewfinder might not be suitable.

The Nikon 5200 has a $50 rebate going until the end of the month I think. It makes it a good deal.

The Z55 has a Pentax lens and has the same general optical characteristics. The Pentax cameras are a little smaller, and it is handy to be able to carry them in an Altoids tin. The larger LCD is a nice feature on the Casio, but you have to carry a larger camera to get it.

The Sony is only 4Mp and has a really small LCD compared to the others. You also have to buy Memory Stick, but that isn't a really big deal.

I would go into a store and handle them. Really small zoom cameras tend to be soft in the corners. But it doesn't affect most photos. Might be a problem if you regularly copy documents. I don't think any of the cameras you listed are likely to equal your S40 overall, but I doubt you will see the difference.

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