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Old Apr 27, 2005, 6:28 PM   #1
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I am an avid lightweight backpacker and would like to purchase a new lightweight digital camera with specifications as close as possible to the following criteria:

Ultralight: Ideally less than 5 oz. with battery and memory card

3 megapixel minimum

3X Optical Zoom minimum

1.5" LCD screen that can be powered off to save battery but still take pictures

Non-proprietary battery that is readily available at drug stores

Good battery life, ideally measured in pictures per battery set or perhaps hours with the LCD turned on

1 GB memory "stick"-capable

Appropriate lens for scenic views

Point-and-shoot, although I'm willing to select modes for Panorama, Landscape, Low Light, Macro, etc. The interface doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be quick to get to settings of choice.

Optional: Water resistant, flash

I've read through a number of reviews for some of the smaller cameras, but I'd like to hear opinions on preferences. Thanks!
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 10:28 PM   #2
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i have heard great things about sony's little dsc-l1.. 4.0 megapixels, zeiss lens, bout the size of a candy bar and 5 oz...
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 1:52 PM   #3
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For what you want I like the specs of the Nikon 8400. Its most impressive feature is its shortest zoom range, the equivalent of a 24mm in 35mm format. I don't know of any camera with as many features that have this range. When I think landscape, wide-angle is always import. It pretty much has all the features you're looking for. As supplied, it comes with a Nikon proprietary Lith Ion battery. However, Nikon offers an attachable with grip, MP-CP10, that takes 6 AA cells.

A friend has the 8400. His shots printed out as 13X19 prints are enough to sell anyone


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Old Apr 28, 2005, 3:15 PM   #4
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the only problem there is the size of the 8400... while it is not large, it is considerably larger than the specs originally desired.. if size were not a concern, i would wholeheartedly recommend the likes of nikon's 8400, canon G6, or Sony V3.. however his size and weight limitations narrow this field considerably...

the new 7900 and 7600's from nikon could be an option here, though they are a little larger than 5oz i believe... also check out the 510 and 520 from canon, which give you alot for the price anduse anon-proprietary battery..
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 10:30 PM   #5
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The 8400 idea would be a good one, except that it uses proprietary batteries that the op wanted to stay away from, weighs almost three times the op's requirement, and doesn't use a memory stick (a rather limiting requirement, I must say). The wide-angle lens would be nice to have, but given that one can do panoramas with any digicam (wide-angle lens or not - you just need the software), the need for wide-angle lens becomes much less.

Only the Sony line uses the memory stick. Unless you happen to have a bunch lying around, you might want to consider making memory type less ofa requirement, so that you can consider some other good cameras. I know of only one Sony that is water-resistant, but it is an older design that might very well not be capable of using a 1 gig stick.

The only cameras that I can think of that would satisfy all of your requirements (save the memory stick one) would be the Pentax and Olympus water-resistant ones. For instance, the Pentax 43WR is 4mp, 2.8x zoom, 1.6"lcd, uses AA's, and weighs about seven ounces fully loaded. The nice thing about this camera is that it is so water-resistant that it can actually be submerged, and it also has in internal zoom lens which helps to minimize the possibility of damaging an extended lens. You might look at this and the new WR model from Olympus.

PhilR.
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Old Apr 29, 2005, 8:01 AM   #6
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Thank you, PhilR. Actually, any removable memory format that I can is sized to at least 1 GB is fine with me.

Weight is the most critical issue here...a quarter-pound is a lot when you've got to lug it hundreds of miles along with all your other stuff. I've gotten decent shots with disposables that weigh 3-5 ounces, but I'd like to review images and not be quite as stingy on the shots I take.

Let me prioritize my criteria:

1) Lighter the better: My weight limit is 6 ounces for the body, memory and battery.

2)1.5" LCD, 3+ megapixel, 2X Optical Zoom, 1 GB removable memory

3) Removable, non-proprietary battery-OR- a very long-lasting removable proprietary battery
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Old Apr 29, 2005, 8:46 AM   #7
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i would still take a look at the Sony DSC-L1

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/l1.html

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscl1/

for a camera this small and light, you can't beat it as far as image quality is concerned, and its price is reasonable as well at about 230$ from bhphotovideo.com or newegg.com
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Old Apr 29, 2005, 6:26 PM   #8
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Kerosene wrote:
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Thank you, PhilR. Actually, any removable memory format that I can is sized to at least 1 GB is fine with me.

Weight is the most critical issue here...a quarter-pound is a lot when you've got to lug it hundreds of miles along with all your other stuff. I've gotten decent shots with disposables that weigh 3-5 ounces, but I'd like to review images and not be quite as stingy on the shots I take.

Let me prioritize my criteria:

1) Lighter the better: My weight limit is 6 ounces for the body, memory and battery.

2)1.5" LCD, 3+ megapixel, 2X Optical Zoom, 1 GB removable memory

3) Removable, non-proprietary battery-OR- a very long-lasting removable proprietary battery
As I am also a backpacker, I realize how weight can be an issue. I would also say that slightly over one ounce will *not* make a difference, which I why mentioned the Pentax's. I can guarantee you that you will not be able to notice a one ounce increase in weight. Also, given that the Pentax WR's satisfy *all* of your remaining requirements, I don't know why you would feel the need to reiterate your criteria.

Oh well, advice is free - do with it what you want....

PhilR.


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