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Old Jul 17, 2005, 6:31 PM   #1
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I am torn between Konica-Minolta DiMage A200 (KM), Nikon Coolpix 8800 (NK), and Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom (OLY). While I know the decision is mine, I want to list what I see as pros and cons of each camera and ask your opinions, those who own them, those who made similar comparisons, and any positive or negative comments you may have about each camera, to help me make my decision. Assume cost is NOT a factor. This post may be a little long.

I have combined information from Steves-Digicams.com, a fantastic site, and DPreview.com, another useful site.

The highest "rated" camera is the OLY, receiving the DIWA Platinum Award for 2004, and also receiving the "Highly Recommended" rating from DPreview, its highest rating. It has the sharpest pictures, fastest focus and start-up time, and 595 shots per charge. BUT, it also has a tilt-only LCD (not flip and twist like the other two), only a 5X optical zoom (but down to 28mm) and only 5 steps of zoom on its motorized zoom. It has NO lens thread for a protective filter. It also weighs 26 oz, the heaviest of the three.

The KM Camera is the winner of the DIMA 2005 Winner Award, and DPreview gives it a "Recommended" rating, their second highest. It has AVERAGE shutter speed and focus lag (according to the review), which is something that will be noticed on EVERY shot, and only allows 250 shots per charge, less than half of the OLY. The LCD is flip and twist, allowing you to stor the screen "camera side in", to protect the screen from damage, which, I believe, cannot be done with the OLY. The optical zoom is MUCH better at 7X, and it, too, goes down to 28mm. The lens has a 49mm thread, so a protective filter can be installed. It has "anti-shake" (image stabilization?), a mechanical zoom ring instead of motorized (much more precise zoom), and it is the LIGHTEST camera at 20.4 oz, over a 1/4 pound (5.6 oz) lighter than the OLY. so all-day carrying would be easier on the neck and shoulders.

The NK camera received the DIWA 2005 Gold Award and received a "Recommended" rating from DPreview, their second highest. Battery will give 350 shots, in the middle of the two units above. The camera has "Vibration Reduction" and has the best 10X optical zoom, but goes down only to 35mm, while the other two are 28mm (compromise, compromise, compromise). The review states that the camera is slow shot-to-shot, with a poor AF illuminator. The camera weighs 24 oz, only 2 oz less than the heavy OLY, and still 1/4 pound more than the KM. It hasmotor zoom, not mechanical, and a flip and twist LCD. It does have a lens thread for a protective filter.

Obviously, no camera is perfect, and there must be compromise. If the OLY came with a 7X or 10X zoom, mechanical zoom,and a lens thread, the perfect cameramay be created, but it would still be the heaviest. The lightest camera, the KM, which is SUBSTANTIALLY lighter, also has a better compromise optical zoom, 7X, more than the 5X OLY, but less than the 10X NK. But the KM sacrifices the OLY's focus and start-up time and image quality (subjective), and it has the fewest shots per charge.

In essence, I want the positive features of the OLY, but I also want the lesser weight of the other two, and the greater optical zoom and lens thread of the other two. I also question whether the tilt-only LCD of the OLY is stronger and longer lasting than flip and twist, simply because the more hinge points for wear and tear, the more points to break. I assume that the tilt-only LCD on the OLY will still fit snugly and perpendicularly after years of wear, whereas the flip and twist units will be floppy as the hinges wear with use.

Knowing this, can you offer me any thoughts on which one to buy, or which one YOU would buy and why? The NK has the best zoom (10X) but that appears to be all. The OLY has the best photo abilities but the most weight and lowest optical zoom (5X). The KM is the lightest and better optical zoom (7X), but seems to compromise other items. What to do?

I would be taking family shots, outdoor scenes, real estate, landscape, trees, houses, still animals, some macro, NO fast sports photos. Your comments are appreciated more than you know.

Marsha7
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 12:33 AM   #2
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marsha7 wrote:
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The highest "rated" camera is the OLY, receiving the DIWA Platinum Award for 2004, and also receiving the "Highly Recommended" rating from DPreview, its highest rating. It has the sharpest pictures, fastest focus and start-up time, and 595 shots per charge. BUT, it also has a tilt-only LCD (not flip and twist like the other two), only a 5X optical zoom (but down to 28mm) and only 5 steps of zoom on its motorized zoom. It has NO lens thread for a protective filter. It also weighs 26 oz, the heaviest of the three.
i've read other reviews which claim about 18 steps. is the 5 step thing true? i guess ill find out when mine comes tommorow. i sure hope there is more than 5 steps.
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 1:56 AM   #3
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there is no way it only has 5 stops.. that would be ridiculous in this day n age.. 18 sounds pretty much on par
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 2:32 AM   #4
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Qoute: " It has NO lens thread for a protective filter "


This is wrong, it DEFINETELY has a lens thread (58mm).
I used to have the Oly 8080 and as good as it was , and would be the best chioce
(by far) of these 3. I sold mine a few months ago and bought the Nikon D70s and have
not looked back

Cheers
Marc
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 9:37 PM   #5
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just got my 8080 today. the battery is still charging so i havent gotten to turn it on yet. it feels great in the hand. i'm assuming the very slight movement in the lens barrel is normal.

and yes, it definatly does have threads for filters. 58mm.
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 10:53 PM   #6
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marsha-

I will cut to the chase. With the price reduction, the Olympus 8080 is CLEARLY the choice among your designated field.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 11:10 PM   #7
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Just like Marsha, I am also split between the oly8080 and the kmA200. I want a prosumer with wide angle lens, good image quality, ease of use (most of the times, I'll be using AF) and some flexibility with controls. The oly is about 100CAD cheaper but has to be ordered in. The KM A200's longer zoom sounds attractive too. Is it true that oly 8080 gives superior picture quality ? After all, I believe it all comes down to the image quality.
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 11:46 PM   #8
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Hi Marsha: as an Oly C8080 owner, I would like to throw inmy 2 cents worth.

But first, I want to clarify some misconceptions re the "5 step" zoom. The C8080 has a seamless and smooth zoom when you are shooting and composing. The 5 step refers to the numereous "My Modes" settings that is available for you to customize, store, and recall instantly.

When you tell the camera to remember its current settings into one of the 8 available "my modes" memory banks, the camera stores everything for you, including the zoom setting. It stores your zoom setting at the closest of one of the 5 "zoom steps" in this memory mode. When you then select one of your 8 "my modes" stored in your camera, it instantly goes to the saved program, including the zoom step closest to your choice when you saved it. Due to some poorly worded camera reviews, many people (non-owners)thought that the C8080 would onlyzoom in 5 step increments when composing and shooting.( Reference: page 162 of the owners manual.)

Remember,this was a camera that was literally designed around the lens.I find it to produce extremely high quality photos; it handlesgreat, and it's as study as a tank. (Mine has survived being accidently knocked off the tailgate of an SUV and falling to the pavement. No damage, picked it up, and it worked fine.)

Expect a long learning curve to really get familiar with all the things that thiscamera offers. IMHO you would really like this camera and it's super picture quality.

Good luck with your choices.
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Old Jul 18, 2005, 11:58 PM   #9
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ok i just snapped a few shots of my neighbors cat. on all the photos, i centered the cat and half pressed the shutter to lock focus, then recomposed the shot with the cat closer to the right side of the frame. now, on viewing the images, the cat is out of focus, and the car/street behind the cat is in focus. shouldnt the cat have stayed in focus when i was recomposing the shot?
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