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Old Sep 20, 2005, 8:05 PM   #1
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Hey guys-

I bought a Fuji E550 last year on a spur of the moment thing right before I went on a big trip to Europe. I got a big thing about how it "just came in today" and that it was the last one they had. It really has been a great camera for me, but it's just not what I'm looking for. I am traveling to Kenya this winter, so I think it's about time that I upgrade. To justify this to myself, I would like an increase from the 6 megapixel images that I have now......

Soo... I think I want a smaller camera so that I can easily fit it into my pocket when I am around town (the Fuji is just too big for this), but I may also want zoom capacity (here is my double-edged sword). I know you can get lenses for the P200, but I have also heard that it doesn't take pictures as well as the SD550. The zoom may prove to be pretty crucial when I hike, etc. What kind of advice can you guys give me on this? (In summary... primary concern is good pictures, good zoom would be nice, and if I'm not going DSLR I'd like the camera to be able to fit in a pocket with my keys)

Just throwing this out there... What if I want to just spring for a relatively cheap DSLR? I'm a college student and I REALLY do enjoy taking pictures-I could see it becoming a serious life hobby sort of thing. What are my options along these lines? Would I be able to gain some mastery before it came time to miss the picture of a lifetime in December because I am fumbling with controls?

Also a huge thank-you to the folks who run this site. It's ridiculous how much info I have found here, both in shopping last summer and exploring further this year. I'd be lost without all this stuff in one place
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 10:07 PM   #2
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Culveric-

Please keep in mind that while the the beginning price price of the least expensive dSLR cameras hovers around $650, the average user spends around $1,000 to $1,200 buying inter changeable lenses and the neccesary support kit. Please be sure you want to spend that much?

Another good option would be to look at fixed lens long zoom digital cameras like the Panasonic FZ series, the Fuji S-5100 or S-5200 or the Canon S-2 IS. It would save you money.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 10:17 PM   #3
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To follow up, I guess my next question would be, are there adapters for the SD550 to add a telephoto lens. With such an adapter on the P200 or SD550, are these any better or worse than the zoom cameras you mentioned (like the S2 IS)?

Does either the P200 or SD550 take remarkably better pictures than the other?

Eventually I know that I would like to invest in an SLR. Keeping that in mind, I would like to keep my next purchase to a small camera with a few accessories, so that when I do have an SLR I will also have a camera that I can just stick in my pants or shirt pocket and head out on the town and still take high quality pictures that I will be happy with in years to come.
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 10:31 PM   #4
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culveric-

The Canon SD 500/550 are great digital cameras. However, there have been many reports ofcracked LCD screens on these Canon camera, that Canon does not cover under their warranty. This has been reported widely on the internet. I would be a bit wary. The Sony P-200 has received good reviews, just like the Canon SD-500/550 cameras.

Yes, there are add on lenses for both the Canon and Sony cameras. Please check the price and the size of those auxillary lenses. However these would be additional items to be carried in your pocket. Is that OK with you?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 11:26 PM   #5
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I have read about the SD550 cracked lcd lenses and I guess I am mildly concerned about it. I figure that I will know when I will be in a position where I may want the lense and I can arrange to carry them with me with a minimal hassle. I am more concerned to have a small camera when I want a small camera which will be mostly pictures of friends and just local buildings, etc.

I have read that the P200 has a problem where it takes a lot of blurry pictures and I was wondering if you can comment on that.

The other thing..... I have noticed in my camera and other's cameras that the flaw I most often have to fix in auto mode is that pictures just ocme out too dark on anything but bright and sunny days. Would anyone out there happen to know if either the P200 or SD550 has a presetting that deals with this issue, or which has easier menu controls to fix the problem?
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 11:38 PM   #6
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culveric-

Unfortunately I don't own nor have I used the Sony P200. However, any good digital photo editing program is capable of handling the issues that you mention.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 12:19 AM   #7
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Hi culveric,

The P-200 takes nice photos, but before you purchase this model I would read all these threads in dpreview.com about a "dust problem" in the sensor and in photos:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=12286576

Another consideration is that Sony cameras all take Memory Sticks which are more expensive than SD cards used in the Canon SD500-550.
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 1:15 PM   #8
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The dust problem seems sort of serious.... The only thing that's really keeping me away from the SD550 at this point is that I'm not sure where exactly to find lenses for it. Can you guys point me in the right direction for an adapter and a reasonably priced telephoto lens (I couldn't find anything on ebay or quick froogle search)

This may be a stupid newbie question, but I'll ask it anyway... Both cameras have 3x optical lens, so if I had a 3xtelephoto this gives me 9X optical right? Beyond that, with the digital zoom, I can do just as well cropping and zoomingin photoshop or a similar program?
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 11:02 AM   #9
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Hi there,

I know for sure that Canon does not offer lenses for it's Powershot SD series and i think it's the same with the Sony P200. Also, neither cameras have mounts or threads for filters or lenses.

I have the SD500 and i'm happy with it - that said, i'm just your average camera owner.
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