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Old Jun 20, 2005, 12:24 PM   #1
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Sony P200, Canon SD400, Canon SD 500, Casio EX-Z750, Casio EX-Z55, or Fuji F10?

I can't decide.

Here are my needs:

1) Portability - I have a DSLR system and am looking for a pocketable camera. I am only considering the ones listed above.

2) Image quality - of course I care about this

3) Autofocus speed and accuracy - the whole reason I'm getting a pocketable camera to replace my Powershot S50, besides the fact that the S50 is too big/heavy, is that the S50 takes too long to focus, especially in low light. From what I have read, the Canons focus slowest of the ones mentioned above.

Other preferences (none of these are dealbreakers):

1) Would like SD rather than MS/XD - I already have an extra 1GB high-speed SD card, and my laptop has a built-in SD card reader. Switching to another card type adds about $100 to my overall startup costs. This point favors Canon and Casio.

2) Would like Mac compatibility. Only Casio seems to fail in this aspect

3) High ISO ability - of course the Fuji wins here



Any thoughts? Using various coupons etc, I hope to keep my costs under $350-400. Thanks for your input.
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Old Jun 20, 2005, 11:37 PM   #2
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Casio uses the internal memory very well compared to others. It has an interesting user mode. You can put an almost unlimited number of user settings and include a photo with a setting to remind you of what the situation of the camera setup was. A reviewer suggested using a marker board with your settings and what they are for. You can also put photos you really like in your favorites. That puts just the thumbnail on the internal memory so you can show people your favorite photos or have them to look at yourself. You just have to remember to not format the camera without the memory card in the camera.

Besides the movie compatibility with a Mac the camera has a real sore spot IMO. The lens extends so fast that you will develop problems if you power it accidentally in your pocket. I'm willing to turn off the auto-on features and exercise care because of all the benefits, but it isn't for everyone.

The movie mode is nifty in that it buffers 5 seconds. So you can wait for something to happen then start to record. It saves the previous 5 seconds and then records until you release the button. You can turn the buffer off of course.

My old eyes love the large LCD but I can't live without an eyelevel viewfinder. The Z750 is the only really small camera with both an optical finder and a 2.5 inch LCD besides the point and shoot Z55. I used manual exposure often on my old C50 and often wished it had manual focus. The Z750 has both.

Casio doesn't specify a fast SD card, but it will evidently skip frames in the movie if you use best quality unless you have a decent card. Battery life is exceptional and the best quality JPGs are large, so it will fill a 1Gb card with power left over.

This review would suggest you could walk across a lake or river without getting your feet wet as long as you are holding a Z750. One thing I really agree with is that the Z750 is a unique small camera designed by photo enthusiasts who are also engineers. http://www.kenrockwell.com/casio/exz750.htm#intro

It was a close choice between the Z750 and the P200 for me. The P200 is the only small camera that doesn't give a lot of red eye. And it seems to do everything very well.

The Z55 doesn't have as good photo quality – the lens shows a lot of corner and even edge softness. It also vignettes more. I like the 7Mp sensor better as well. It is also the only one you listed that has low light focus problems.

Both Canons have better photo quality than the Z55, but are also point and shoot. They have an interesting glitch in that they have no sport or action mode, so you can't optimize the shutter speed in good light for action.

The F10 is also point and shoot and has no eyelevel viewfinder. In the dpreview conclusions on the Panasonic FX7 they said the camera would be useable only in very bright light if it weren't for the stabilization because of camera shake caused by having no optical finder. I would think you would have to use some of that ISO capability on the F10 to compensate for an unsteady shooting position the same as the FX7. Fuji finally got the Super CCD right and the optical quality is the best of the bunch. But I don't like LCD only and prefer not to get point and shoot if I can avoid it. Dpreview also found the LCD to be hard to see in bright light. Even though Steve didn't see it that way I spend too much time in the Florida sun to take a chance of having problems framing shots.

There isn't an easy choice. If you want to use your existing SD card you can eliminate the Fuji and Sony. The SD500 is on the large side but has an excellent flash, long battery life and good image quality. Corners are a little soft but I don't find that effects normal photos much. The SD400 is smaller but I really like that 7Mp sensor. The Z750 is a great little camera but the Mac compatibility with the movies would be irritating and you have to be overly careful of restricting the lens extension.

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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:21 AM   #3
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Wow, that was an incredibly helpful reply. Lots of new info in there for me.

I was leaning towards the Canons, but if there is really no way to set a high shutter speed, I don't think I can go there. I would be unable to catch my kids at play without flash, and that's just not acceptable to me outdoors.

I still need to digest some of the info you gave and think it over. Thank you again, Amin.
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 7:21 PM   #4
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If there is plenty of light the program will have the speed pretty fast. Small digitals have limited aperture settings and there are probably only limited situations you could get a higher speed with a sports action setting. Maybe that is why Canon left it off. I would rather have it on a point and shoot, but maybe it doesn't make much difference. If you like the SD500 otherwise you might ask owners on the Canon board what shutter speeds they are generating outdoors.


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Old Jun 22, 2005, 12:36 AM   #5
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Thanks again. Three things besides the limited settings make me wary of the SD500 for action. First, the AF speed, while very good, isn't quite as good as the Sony, Fuji, or Casio. Second, the Canon only goes up to ISO 400 and seems to have more noise at ISO 400 than the others. Third, the Canon lens reportedly performs more poorly than expected when wide open at f/2.8. Despite the great looks, reviews, and SD card usage, the Canon is moving lower on my list. I am most drawn, at the moment, towards the F10. It really bothers me that there is no viewfinder, mainly because the LCD adds 0.1s to the shutter lag from a practical standpoint. I also hate the idea of investing in both n XD card and XD card reader. Also, the port connector on the F10 looks terrible. Nevertheless, ISO 800 looks great on that camera, and it is the least expensive of the bunch ($269 after rebate from Butterfly photo). I still need a bit more time to make a decision. Thanks again, Amin.
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