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Old Aug 2, 2005, 7:49 AM   #1
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hello I'm new here..
I'm trying to find a replacement/slight upgrade for my Oly C-5050 which unfortunately was stolen last week (together with lenses and other cameras). I quite liked this camera and hadn't been planning on buying another one until I could afford a decent dSLR (adding to, not replacing the Olympus) and so now I'm a bit at a loss..

I've been trying to get a bit of an overview as to whats available at the moment by reading through countless reviews and got rather confused in the process.

These are the cameras I've mainly been looking at:
Oly C-8080, Canon Pro1, Nikon 8800 , Konika Minolta Dimage A200..

and these are my main requirements / uses:

I'm a recent fine art graduate and will use the camera *a lot* doing reference shots for paintings, as well as travel and some sports photography and 'arty' photography in it's own right (ie. for good quality prints, not just reference); hence I need
  • a sturdy and practical camera that will withstand a lot of use[/*]
  • good res. / image quality for larger scale prints
    [/*]
  • reliable and fast auto functions for quick reference and action shots, as well as decent manual options (I'm still at a practicing stage with those though, so nothing too confusing)[/*]
  • generally little delay (start-up, focus, write time..)
    [/*]
  • sharp pictures in bad light and
    [/*]
  • some compensation for unsteadiness when not using a tripod would be good
    [/*]
  • a good zoom for air shows, wildlife etc,
    [/*]
  • but also wide angle for indoor shots (like aircraft museums etc)
    [/*]
  • and a good macro (preferably all built in, although I'd consider getting lens attachments)[/*]
  • preferably an optical viewfinder, although I'm sure I could get used to just a good LCD too[/*]
  • a good camera asap, as in this week, so no time to wait for upcoming models
    [/*]
Hope that makes some sense..
If anyone can offer some help and advice I'd really appreciate it. So far it seems from the reviews I've read that theres always a bit of a trade-off and no camera's perfect.. I just find it hard to decide which one is best suited for my needs (or rather, which 'faults' I could most easily live with..?).



thanks..
great site & forum btw!

karin

ps. anyone else from the UK on here? just wondering re. prices..








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Old Aug 2, 2005, 11:02 AM   #2
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I am sorry that your camera(s) got ripped off. This happened to me about 6 months ago.

The cameras that you are considering all take great pictures in good light from what I have read. I think the best reviews overall were garnered by the Olympus C-8080.

The Nikon Coolpix 8800 has lots of great features, among them Image Stabilization and a 10X optical zoom, but it's not particularly good in low light and not very fast, either, from what I have read.

The camera I had which was stolen was the Fuji FinePix S7000. It was fairly fast, had a great macro capability, 6X optical zoom,decent burst mode, and took decent pictures at up to ISO 400, but was criticized for noise (in its pictures). I thought the noise wasn't bad but others found it a stumbling block. Its lowest ISO setting was 200.

I know you hadn't intended to get a DSLR for another year or so, but I would suggest you consider a low end DSLR now. I got the Pentax *ist DS two weeks ago. I got it online from www.buydig.com for $675 with the kit lens (18 - 55mm). It's cheaper now. It takes AA batteries and takes great pictures. It's fast and does well in low light with ISO settings up to 3200. I find the picture quality (noise wise) at ISO 1600 is about the same as the S7000 at 400. If you don't like the Pentax, consider the Nikon D50, the Olympus Evolt, the Canon Digital Rebel (original or XT).

Of course, prices in the UK are higher. Making any trips to NY in the near future?

Of the cameras that you mentioned at the start, I would go for the Olympus C-8080.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 3:27 PM   #3
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thanks for the reply robbo,

the c-8080 was the obvious choice, as I always got on ok with the c-5050, .. but then I started getting carried away by zooms etc :roll:
I haven't tried any of the cameras out myself yet, but just from looking at the specs/reviews, the c-8080 is still pretty much top of the list.. but now I'm also looking at the Sony f828.. dearie me :O

Unfortunately they don't seem to sell the c-8080 much over here anymore, I only found it on the odd dodgy online shop, or as refurbished (which I might actually go for). Is there a new model in sight yet?

looking at UK/US prices is so depressing, if I had the spare time and cash I'd definitely come over for some shopping!!

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Old Aug 2, 2005, 4:36 PM   #4
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naiad-

The price of the Olympus C-8080 has fallen quite rapidly here in the USA. Whether it is an attempt to sell off the remaining inventory in anticipation of the entrance of a new replacement model is not clear. Olympus did report large financial loss for the first quarter.

Personally I like the C-8080 a lot and just ordered one, due to the reduced price. I think the C-8080 is a much better digital camera than the Sony F-828. I had considered the F-828 but when I went to look at it, I found it to be too physically large.

All of the digital cameras you have mentioned have an EVF, or an electronic viewfinder. If size is a consideration you might want to take a look at the Fuji F-10 selling for less than $300 (US) which has 6.3mp and 3X optical zoom, or the Olympus Stylus 800 selling for less than $400 (US) which has 8mp when used within the ISO 64 to 400 range, and 4mp when used at ISO 800 and 1600. the Stylus 800 has 3X optical zoom. Neither of those two offers a wide angle capability, but can use up to ISO 1600.

Here is my favorite night photo made with the Fuji F-10.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Aug 2, 2005, 10:06 PM   #5
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If u are going to shoot art u probably want to shoot without flash a lot, because of the damaging factor to paint. Thus need best possible sensitivity to low light. And for on the fly shootingu will want optical stabilisation built in, making it possible to use camera with 2 to 3 steps lower shutter speed than conventional camera when hand held without getting self induced motion blur.

Logical choice is Konica Minolta 5d with build in optical stabilisation in the body. I would exlude the c-8080 mainly because it is as big or bigger than new smaller compact SLR´s thus wherin lies the gain?. I have also read reports of quite severe difficulties focusing in problematic lights, althoug the new firmware supposedly fixes it to soem extent.


That being said I would take the newer olympus c7070 instead of the older c8080, if u are going to capture "art" u definitivelyneed a wideangle capable camerato capture more of thesurroundingin a confined space,allowing a moredramatic and whole picture composedof the interaction between object and surroundingsto be convey´d to the observer.And olympus c7070 is real wideangle starting at 24mm compared to the bulky c8080 that starts from 27mm, aswell as it is quite a bitmore compactin in size.

If u can wait a month to september i would definitelygo withthe Eastman Kodak EasyShare P880 over the olympus c7070 if the shoice is a point and shoot. Althoug both start at 24mm wideangle the kodak ofcoarse offers much more advanced operation. Non of them however offer optical stabilisation that i think would benefit your kind of fieldwork.
Update:I retrackt my Kodak EasyShare P880 await recomendation over the c7070, kodak being restricted in higher iso, offering 400-1600 iso range only with lowest 0.8 megapixel resolution.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 10:11 PM   #6
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themite-

If you will pardon my comment. You do not know enough to write a coherent answer to any post. I think, quite honestly that you had better get a much better grip on digital photography before you make comments such as you have. You are not being knowledgeable nor polite. Please re-think what you really want to post.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 10:40 PM   #7
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That may be true, however i am rational, sturdy, very technically intuitive, capable and devoted. Ifigure icould offer my acumulated observations and possible fill a missedangle. I think here is room for anyone who feels he or she can contribute.

There isone thing i do not do, and that is go around making personal remarks about people all the time.
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Old Aug 2, 2005, 11:45 PM   #8
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So what?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 1:12 AM   #9
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As I try and skirt gently around the (pointless) internal skirmishing, I would tend to agree with themite here. My 5060 was stolen and without doubt it was a great point and shoot with manual over ride. Now I have just helped a friend get into digital and we looked at a number of cameras including the 7070, 8080 and the canon S70 and in the end it boiled down to a choice between the 7070 and the S70. She chose the 7070 because she has always been an Olympus person, but I was so taken by the S70 that I bought one myself to complement my D2X. I had previously been carrying a Sony P150 which slips in a shirt pocket, but the S70 isn't that much larger.

I liked the 8080 but found it very bulky against the 7070 which is the same case as the old 5050 and 5060. Hard choice, but for me it would be between the two mentioned. Both have wide angle which is so so useful, a reasonable flash, and manual over ride. Let us know what you decide.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 2:57 AM   #10
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A couple of rambling thots/observations:

* 7070 wide starts at 27mm, 8080 28mm.

* the 8080 'gains' in that it's a camera built around a very, very good lens; there are some comparison shots of the 8080 vs. kit lens from Oly and Canon dSLR's - links in other forums (dpreview).

* the 8800 is a UZ, so you can't compare with the 8080; the 8400 would be closer, and with a wider 24mm to start with (stops at 85mm though).

* if you're going to take shots of paintings, keep in mind the distortions that would be incurred at the wide angle end; this can be corrected with some PS work though - still you would probably want to take the shot with your lens at a longer fl.

* sharp picture in bad light, etc - there's really no free lunch here imo; best bet is use a tripod. You want high(and good)ISO, large apature - it's going to come at a price.

* it'll be hard for most P&S to deal with action shots unless you learn to live and work with the limitation of the camera, then sure you can get some pretty good shots.

I'll say this much ... you've used an Olympus, and if you're comfortable with the menu system, by all means stick with it. imo ...

On a tight budget now, the 7070 is the best deal going $350 or so shipped (NEW). It's light enough (for me anyways) to be a carry around camera (about 1lb), and the best deal imo is the incredible battery life - I can literally leave the camer ON the whole day (6-7 hr day, turn the LCD around unless I need it for framing or review) and use it more or less like a RF. fwiw I got a Pahyee tube adaptor for it (55mm thread), with the tube you can swing the camera around and not worry about knocking the lens assembly.

Did you know that E-300 prices just dropped? You can get the TWO lens kit for ~$760 - about the SAME price as a 8800! So for the same price you get a dSLR and 2 kit lenses (which are by and large much nicer than other kit lens) that will cover 28mm to 300mm. What are you waiting for? :G

ops - my bad, forgot your UK local ... the E-300 double kit seems to be around800€ or so?

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