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Old May 8, 2005, 12:39 PM   #1
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Hi,

I posted once here and Steve was kind enough to suggest I buy an Olympus D-595. I really appreciated the advice, but this camera is really new and I need to buy one that has a lot of consumer opinions as well as professional; plus, it lacks some of the things I wanted. I'm a single mom of two and I can't afford to take the risk of buying a camera that no one has used for a while to rule out long-term use problems. So, anyone and everyone's advice on this major purchase for me would be greatly appreciated.

As I said, I was leaning more towards the Kodak DX7440, but then saw a lot of people complaining about it picking up the dust in the air on taking pictures inside. I am far from a professional, but would like to learn more about photography eventually.

Here's what I would like to have in a camera:

*Price range of 0-$250; could go as much as around $270-$280, though, if I have to.

*Takes great pictures, of course, especially inside pictures. Some cameras take really dark pictures inside and I'm trying to find one that does a great job inside for various reasons.

*No redeye, or as little as possible. Like I said, I am no expert and this seems to be a problem with my picture taking abilities...or lack thereof. The Kodak DX7440 did an awesome job in this category. People say you can eliminate the redeye with software, but I have never been able to do this.

*Must be capable of using regular batteries, too.

*Automatic everything with manual controls also so I can grow in using it.

*Conversion lenses

*Big LCD, or one that you can see well in sunlight

*Would be great to have a built-in lens cover, but not mandatory.

*Want one that is at least capable of video for 20 to 30 minutes.

*AF-assist lamp

*External flash support would be nice, but not mandatory

*One I can plug into the TV and watch

*At least a 3X Optical lens

*Would like to have 4 magapixels but will settle for 3 since it is my understanding that more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better pictures.

*Size isn't really a big issue with me.

Here are some cameras I have been considering, keeping in mind I have only looked at Cannon, Sony and Kodak. Who could ever look at all of them?

Kodak DX7440 - This camera seems to have everything I want, but the dust in the pictures really bothers me.

Cannon SD300

Cannon A520

Sony CyberShot DSC-W1 - Although I don't think this one will takes regular batteries and many have complained about blurry pictures, I believe is what they've complained about.

I would love and appreciate as many opinions as possible, but please do not argue with others over which camera is best or jump onto them for stating their opinion about any particular camera or brand. Just state your opinions without attacking others. Everyone has different opinions, different favorites, different complaints. That is what's so great about web sites such as this one; however, I've noticed some get way too upset when someone complains about a particular camera or brand. Personally, I like to see all complaints & feel people should never jump onto others for stating their complaints about any camera or brand.

Thanks, Debbie
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Old May 8, 2005, 1:46 PM   #2
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Debbie: Have you looked at the Fuji E550? It does not have AF-assist lamp. Has 2inch LCD. The lens retracts and covers. Video time is limited to size of XD card. that it true on all cameras. Listed in Steve's DigiCams best. Might be a little bit more in MP then what you are looking for. You can also check the E510. I have the E550 and Love it. The best bet is to go to a store and try any of the cameras you have an interest in.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

Kev
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Old May 8, 2005, 6:20 PM   #3
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Thank you so much. I'll check both of them out. More mp won't be a problem at all.

I see a lot have read this, but I've only gotten one reply. Would love to get as many opinions as possible.

Thanks, Debbie
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Old May 8, 2005, 7:40 PM   #4
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Debbie,

Of the four cameras you expressed interest in, none of them seemed to meet all of your search criteria.

The DX7440 and SD300 both use proprietary Lithium-Ion batteries. The A520 and the DSC-W1 use AA batteries, but they only use two. Comparing the use of two vs. four AA batteries, I would have to assume that those that use four would get a lot more mileage out of them.

The A520 is the only one that has an AF assist lamp - I don't think any of the others do.

None of the four have external flash support.

Regarding manual controls for future growth, none of the cameras you listed can record in RAW format. Only the DSC-W1 and A520 have manual focus.

In order to record 20 to 30 minutes of video (in any digicam) would require using the lowest video resolution, a slower FPS speed, and a very large memory card. For example, on my camera, when filming at 640 x 480 resolution and 30 FPS, a 256 MB card permits approximately 3.75 minutes of video (it's not a camcorder). Reducing the resolution (320 x 240) gives about 7.2 minutes of video, but the picture quality isn't quite as good. I would need a 1 GB card to get over 20 minutes of video at the reduced resolution setting. The Kodak has a video speed of 13 FPS, so you could probably get a longer recording time, but the video may be a little herky-jerky when filming action shots due to the slow speed.

I hope this helps you. I would have recommended some brands and/or models to you, but I didn't want to start a fight.

the Hun




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Old May 9, 2005, 4:05 PM   #5
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"Of the four cameras you expressed interest in, none of them seemed to meet all of your search criteria."

Yeah, that's one of the things that's so nerve-racking. I can't seem to find one that has everything I want.

"The DX7440 and SD300 both use proprietary Lithium-Ion batteries. The A520 and the DSC-W1 use AA batteries, but they only use two."

I probably didn't make myself clear on this one. I don't really care whether they take one, two or three batteries, I just wanted a camera that could use regular batteries in case my charged up ones ran out of juice and I had nowhere to re-charge them.

"The A520 is the only one that has an AF assist lamp - I don't think any of the others do."

I think I'm about ready to go with the A520. Not because of the AF assist lamp, though. That was just something I would like to have, but it's not a must have.

None of the four have external flash support.

"Regarding manual controls for future growth, none of the cameras you listed can record in RAW format. Only the DSC-W1 and A520 have manual focus."

I've reviewed so many cameras now, I think I got some of the features I had chosen on the ones I picked day before yesterday mixed up in here somehow. By manual controls, though, I only meant being able to buy other lenses and use thosee, which I know I didn't explain correctly, and just a few manual controls. I really know little to nothing about camera or taking pictures, obviously.

"In order to record 20 to 30 minutes of video (in any digicam) would require using the lowest video resolution, a slower FPS speed, and a very large memory card. For example, on my camera, when filming at 640 x 480 resolution and 30 FPS, a 256 MB card permits approximately 3.75 minutes of video (it's not a camcorder). Reducing the resolution (320 x 240) gives about 7.2 minutes of video, but the picture quality isn't quite as good. I would need a 1 GB card to get over 20 minutes of video at the reduced resolution setting. The Kodak has a video speed of 13 FPS, so you could probably get a longer recording time, but the video may be a little herky-jerky when filming action shots due to the slow speed."

I'm about ready to decide this isn't at all importan to me any longer. I'll just take my video camera along with me, too, if I want videos.

"I hope this helps you. I would have recommended some brands and/or models to you, but I didn't want to start a fight."

You have helped and I really appreciate you taking the time to try to help a confused amateur out.

I wouldn't think mentioning brands and/or models would cause any kind of a fight. It shouldn't, anyway. I mentioned that because I saw a man get jumped all over on one of the camera topic boards just because he had problems with a certain camera and posted it. I've seen a lot of similar situations on some of the other boards, too. I come to these boards to hear the good and the bad about as many brands and models as I can read about, and I didn't want anyone to fear getting jumped all over if they mentioned something they didn't like about the cameras I mentioned. I value the consumers' opinions more than anyone else's, and I have found that you learn more on these type of forums from the people than you can anywhere else. I think it's a great idea to help protect consumers from buying lemons, etc, and I think it keeps the companies on their toes, too, as far as their products are concerened, as well as their service. So, I would hate for people to ever hesitate voicing their opinions and/or complaints for fear of being jumped up. I've even seen where 4 or 5 have ganged up on someone just for mentioning a problem they've had with a certain camera.

So, if you don't mind, give me some ideas of different cameras.

Thanks, Debbie



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Old May 10, 2005, 6:39 PM   #6
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OK...here goes...

Fuji FinePix S5100

4 MP
(4) AA batteries/excellent battery life (with NiMH)
10X zoom
Better redeye than some
Good picture quality
AF assist lamp
Good video (up to the xD card size)
A little bigger than some (you said size wasn't a concern)
Priced within your range...I believe the $50 rebate is still in effect. You can probably buy it delivered for less than $250.

Check as many reviews on it as you can stand. Download some pictures taken with one. Go play with one in a store before you buy.

Don't forget you will need to buy accessories...additional memory cards (at least one 256 MB), a case, a cleaning kit, a UV filter, at least eight Nimh batteries (four for the camera, four in reserve) and a charger (you can use disposable alkalines or Li-Ions, but it will cost you a fortune in the long run).

Good luck, no matter what camera you choose. Let us know which one you buy, and how you like it.

the Hun
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Old May 10, 2005, 11:52 PM   #7
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Look at a Minolta Dimage z-1. It can be had in your pricing and has every one of your criteria except built in lens cap, but few do. It is 10x (38-380mm equiv) 3mp and you can use regulary aa batteries, but will wind up with rechargeable ones with the little 8.00 charger, works greAT, BUT YOUR NEVER WITHOUT BATTERY POWER CAUSE EVERY 7-11 HAD BATTERIES IN A PINCH. The Dimage z-2 is the same but with slightly upgraded lens, and 4 mp, its what I upgraded to, I have both. At any rate look at the review on Steves Digicams of course. You almost cant take a bad picture with it, and the gn 39 built in flash is about the most powerful Ive ever seen. It will light you up to more than 20 feet away
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Old May 12, 2005, 2:03 AM   #8
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Hi, Debbie! Most of the cameras in the same price range have identical specs and features. It's hard to remeber the differences. I wouldadvise to pay attention to how correct the colour reproduction is. You won't be happy to see Your children, friends and Yourself with red faces. You can have a look in sample indoor pictures in sites like http://www.imaging-resource.com/

http://www.dpreview.com/ and others. Sadly many of the brands have this, called colour cast and it is allmoust impossible to check this by yourself without taking pictures and comparing. Canon gives one of the truest indoor colours (technically speaking hue and saturation). Suprisingly I got perfect results with a german brand Medion MD9653, but otherwise this model was not so competitive. My Kodak DX7440 fullfills all the wishes and is very easy to use, but it does have redish cast indoors...




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Old May 12, 2005, 8:20 AM   #9
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rinniethehun wrote:
Quote:
Ditto
Quote:
OK...here goes...

Fuji FinePix S5100

4 MP
(4) AA batteries/excellent battery life (with NiMH)
10X zoom
Better redeye than some
Good picture quality
AF assist lamp
Good video (up to the xD card size)
A little bigger than some (you said size wasn't a concern)
Priced within your range...I believe the $50 rebate is still in effect. You can probably buy it delivered for less than $250.

Check as many reviews on it as you can stand. Download some pictures taken with one. Go play with one in a store before you buy.

Don't forget you will need to buy accessories...additional memory cards (at least one 256 MB), a case, a cleaning kit, a UV filter, at least eight Nimh batteries (four for the camera, four in reserve) and a charger (you can use disposable alkalines or Li-Ions, but it will cost you a fortune in the long run).

Good luck, no matter what camera you choose. Let us know which one you buy, and how you like it.

the Hun
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