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Old Aug 28, 2005, 7:54 PM   #1
RAL
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I am in desperate need of a new digital camera. I am a mom who takes a ton of pictures of my kids. I currently have a Kodak 3.1 MP (as you can see I am a novice in the digital camera arena). I am willing to spend 350-550 even 600 for a good camera. They all sound so similar in the lingo and features but vary so much in cost. I do not trust the salespeople at the stores and I have been getting differing opinions from family and friends. I want a camera that provides high quality prints (I would like at least a 5mp) The largest print I print is8 x 10. I need a very short shutter lag- my kids move very fast I wnat as little as delay as possible when taking pictures of the kids or pets. I need a camera that does not blur when zoomed in or in low light or indoors. I am very confused about optical zoom (does the higher the optical zoom mean a longer shutter lag or am I totally off?) So far the cameras that have been recommeded to me are the Canon A95, S60 or 70, the G6, and the S2IS. I am so confused as which one is the best for my needs. I am just afraid to spend all the money and find out I purchased the wrong camera, one with problems, or a new better model is coming out next week and I should have waited. Please help me....I am a novice and need some expert advice. I really appreciate any advice. Thank you so much!
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Old Aug 28, 2005, 10:57 PM   #2
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It's not all MegaPixels fwiw, but that's what marketing is all about ... (eg, you need 5MP to get 8x10 prints). Focal length has no bearing on shutter lag (perhaps other than focusing). Shutter lag is usually due to 2 components - when you press the shutter button, it takes x amount of time for the camer to bring the subject into focus - every non-dSLR suffers from this problem. The second component is the amount of time the camera takes to execute the rest of the "photo taking" - getting the exposure, operating the shutter, etc - this is around 1/10 of a second for most good P&S cameras. fwiw, all the cameras you mentioned suffer from slow auto focus, even the prosumer models (up to Canon Pro-1 for eg). The ones you mentioned arent' good in low light situations either. The only P&S that is good in low-light is the Fuji F-10; not sure about responsiveness though (I'm sure users will chime in).

Now, this is all assuming you want to take indoor/low-light shots of kids while NOT using a flash - it looks like your only option would be a dSLR, esp. Canon.

All of this being said, technique plays a much greater part imo. If you are very familiar with your camera, and you learn to anticipate what you're shooting, imo you can get great results from what you're intending to shoot with any good digicam, not just a dSLR.


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Old Aug 29, 2005, 12:21 AM   #3
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There are several cameras in the list that will fit the task without breaking the budget. I have an S2, and I love it, so forgive me for being enthusiastic about it. It works fine in low light, as it has the DIGIC II chip, focus assist, a fast f2.7 to f3.5 35 to 432 mm zoom lens of outstanding quality, and the best IS implimentation on the market. You can beat the performance of the S2 with a DSLR, but it will cost you a couple of grand more up front. Buy the S2, along with several gig of SD cards, and be real happy.

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Old Aug 29, 2005, 7:35 PM   #4
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Voyager13b - Thank you for your input. What would be your recommedation for a good digicam? Thank you.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 12:48 PM   #5
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I'd say the best starting point would be to read the conclusion page of Steve's reviews of the cameras you mentioned. After you're done, just for a lark, read his conclusion of the Sony P-200. Especially with the optional add-on flash, it seems to bea great"fit" according to the criteria you mentioned. Of course, the people who have recommended only Canon digicams would look at you askance if you bought the Sony so you definitely do NOT want to seriously consider it. As I said, read the review just as a lark. By the way, I don't own a Sony. I have a Panasonic FZ10. I love it but don't recommend it for you.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 8:28 PM   #6
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Okay...please help me out....it seems now the more options I am given...the more confused I am!! Can someone lean me one way or another in regards to Sony VS. Canon? Now I am looking at the Canon S2Is Vs. the Sony DSC H1...it has almost identical features and price range but which camera would be "better". Any ideas or advice? THanks lucky2505 for the advice....the Sony P-200 sounds good too but I think? I would like more optical zoom for the long run (I'm planning on keeping this camera for a long time!) Thanks everyone..you have all been so helpful.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 8:54 PM   #7
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RAL wrote:
Quote:
The largest print I print is8 x 10.
You'd probably be fine with 3MP for prints at 8x10 or smaller. But, most newer models are going to have more than that now. Never assume that more megapixels = higher quality. Sometimes the opposite can be true.

Quote:
I need a very short shutter lag- my kids move very fast I wnat as little as delay as possible when taking pictures of the kids or pets. I need a camera that does not blur when zoomed in or in low light or indoors.
OK -- here is where some problems can come in. Light is a camera's best friend.

Are you trying to take photos without a flash indoors, or do you mean with a flash?

If without a flash, you're going to get blur with most models. That's because shutter speeds will be too slow indoors to stop motion with the vast majority of non-DSLR cameras. You'll need to go with a DSLR model capable of shooting at very high ISO speeds, coupled with a very bright lens to have a chance at capturingsharp images ofkids indoorswithout a flash.

You'd just be wasting your money with most of the models mentioned in this thread for taking photos of kids indoorswithout a flash. Even with a DSLR model and a bright lens (and even entry level models are outside of your budget), it may still bea challenge (depending on how much movement you get from the kids and how good your inside lighting is).

Quote:
I am very confused about optical zoom (does the higher the optical zoom mean a longer shutter lag or am I totally off?)
It can mean that... Most (but not all) zoom lenses lose brightness as more zoom is used. As a result, the camera doesn't "see" as well to focus. Also, camera shake is magnified as more zoom is used (compounding the problem of the camera being able to see contrast in your subject to focus). Lens stabilization can help with the camera shake issue (to a point). Lens stabilization won't help blur from subject movement, though.

As already mentioned earlier in this thread, make sure to read the Conclusion section here in the reviews for models you consider. Steve usually addresses Autofocus Speed and Reliability. But, in lower light (or with a subject having lower contrast), Autofocus times can be much longer than the times you see (but the info here can be used as a guide to help see how models compare).

Quote:
So far the cameras that have been recommeded to me are the Canon A95, S60 or 70, the G6, and the S2IS. I am so confused as which one is the best for my needs.
What model is yourKodak?

What limitations do you have with it (other than autofocus lag)? Think about how you use it, and what you find limiting. Is it speed only,image sharpness, optical zoom limitations, flash range)?

What conditions do you use your camera in more often? Do you need a "super zoom" camera for sports or wildlife type photos to bring in distance subjects closer, or are most of your photos taken at the "wider" end of your lens? If sports photos, are they at in a stadium at night or in daylight (or even worse, indoors)?

Quote:
I am just afraid to spend all the money and find out I purchased the wrong camera, one with problems, or a new better model is coming out next week and I should have waited.
A better modelmight come out next week. :-) That's the way technology usually works. It's a rapidly changing industry, and the technology is still maturing. That doesn't mean an old model will stop taking nice photos, though. If you wait for the latest and greatest camera, you'll never get around to enjoying one (since a newer model will always be forthcoming).

As for purchasing the "wrong" camera, it happens. If you're not "digital camera savvy", it's probably a real good idea to buy it from a dealer with a no-restocking fee policy.

That way,if it doesn't meet your needs, despite your best efforts to find a good match,you canreturn it for a refund.
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Old Aug 30, 2005, 10:43 PM   #8
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"THanks lucky2505 for the advice....the Sony P-200 sounds good too but I think? I would like more optical zoom for the long run..."

I guess that leaves me confused as to your confusion over whether the Canon A95, S60 or 70, G6, or S2IS would be best for your needs. Obviously, all but the S2IS should have been ruled out unless you'reamenable tousing a teleconverter which is an option with the other Canon digicams as well as the Sony P-200. As far as S2IS versus Sony H1, the reviews I've read seem to give the edge to the S2IS. By the way, JimC made a very good observation when he asked which model Kodak you have and what limitations you have with it. Make a list of the things itcannot do that you would really like for your next digicam to be able to do then start ruling out cameras that still cannot do those things. No camera is perfect and there is no guarantee that a camera you like now you will still enjoy "for the long run". As I said, I love my Panasonic FZ10; however, the more I use it the more I wish it had an articulated LCD. The FZ20 didn't tempt me; the FZ30 may.
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