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Old Jul 16, 2005, 7:59 PM   #1
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I'm buying a camera for my daughter's trip to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Of these five, which would you choose? Olympus 410; Nikon Coolpix 5200; Samsung Digimax V700; Sony Cybershot DSCP200; Pentax Optio S5i?
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Old Jul 16, 2005, 8:45 PM   #2
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Is the camera for you or for your daughter? Will she be watching the parade or will she be marching in the parade?

Makes it easier to answer your question.

the Hun

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Old Jul 16, 2005, 9:04 PM   #3
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If I were buying one of those for myself I would probably choose the V700. But unless your daughter is like my middle daughter it might not be a good choice. My daughter carried my old Minolta SRT101 with nothing on the camera automatic and loved it. She also took an old small 35mm I had with no automatic focus or exposure for camping. I had automatic cameras she could use, but she liked complete control and understood exactly what she was doing.

The V700 is a great little camera for someone who wants good controls in a tiny camera. The one shortcoming of the camera is that the shutter lag isn't up to current standards if you keep the LCD on – and most females do. It has excellent controls and all the manual modes. It also takes MPEG4 movies that take less space on the memory with excellent quality. You have to tone down the default sharpening and contrast as the shots are a little contrasty, but it has the controls to do that. Resolution is at the top of the pack. It also comes in pretty colors.

The P200 is the only small camera I know of that manages to get the flash far enough from the lens that red-eye isn't a big problem. Unless your daughter is into post processing, that alone might make it worth the purchase. It also has full controls, although the control setup isn't as good as the V700. It has quality movies and seems to do everything well. Shutter speed is good and cycle times are excellent. It is what I would pick for my other daughters.

The S5i is tiny – it will actually fit inside an Altoids tin. The corners are a little softer than the others, but I never found that detracted from any photos. Unless you are copying documents or something it seldom shows. It has manual focus but no manual exposure modes. I have a S4 and was happy with the photos for the size of the camera. It has reasonably fast shutter lag, but cycle times are a little long.

The Stylus 410 would be nice if it is raining. It is weatherproof and I like the clamshell cover. It is a pure point and shoot. Shutter lag is a little slow and cycle times are OK. Movies are poor quality. Low light focus isn't bad, but I would prefer a focus assist light.

The Nikon 5200 is also point and shoot, but the full autofocus shutter lag is really poor. That might be frustrating. It has good movies and takes good pictures.

If your daughter is a pure point and shoot sort who isn't likely to use any of the manual capability, the Stylus 410 might be nice. It is weatherproof and easy to use. But the movies are nearly useless IMO and it isn't real quick. You don't have to go into the manual controls on the P200, and it seems to be a very competent camera. She might want to raise the shutter speed a little for flash shots in brightly lit areas, but otherwise it works fine in full auto. It is fast and has a focus assist light. I think it would be my pick for a generic daughter.




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Old Jul 16, 2005, 9:25 PM   #4
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Oops! Yes, she's marching in the parade. I'm unfortunately watching via television.
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Old Jul 16, 2005, 9:28 PM   #5
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Slipe, thanks for the details. I'll have my daughter look at your comments. I know she's much more adept than me--I'm the point and shoot kinda person.
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