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Old Jan 3, 2006, 9:07 AM   #31
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Except for the 'no viewfinder' the rest of your bullets are taken care of with the F-11 which has over the F-10 aperture priority and shutter priority, set the exposure compensation at -33 or -66 and your away, this camera is getting rave reviews as can be seen in the Fuji forum on dpreview, check it out, and there are samples taken in that forum that is sure to impress you, I will be picking mine up in Hong Kong in 3 weeks time in transit from Australia to the Philippines, a hell of a lot of people with DSLRs are picking this up as an carry all the time camera. It has a 2.5" inch LCD and like you I am old (64) and the eyes are only so so, but after trying an F-10 in the store here can see ok, my regular camera is a Sony DSC-F707 but I do not carry it all the time and miss many shots by having no camera.


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Old Jan 3, 2006, 10:12 AM   #32
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Yo, Wirraway!

Thanks for the tip on the F11. I checked out the user reviews on dpreview.com. One reviewer hit all of the issues I would have. The bold ones are important to me:

Quote:
Limited dynamic range is compounded by a rather high default contrast setting, which tends to blow out highlights. Unfortunately, the only alternate contrast setting is the cryptic 'Chrome', with even higher contrast and saturation. Use of manual mode with exposure compensation is a must for high contrast/backlit situation.

Purple fringing is an overly common occurence in high contrast situations.

Minor issues:

- dumb dongle required for recharging (camera's proprietary port looks like mini-USB port but isn't one)


- no latch on battery, which tends to fall off when door open

- xD cards are expensive and slow. This is mitigated by the F11's moderate-for-6MP file sizes, which top out around 3MB at minimum compression. Already own 5 SD cards.

- movie mode decent, but encoded in obsolescent MPEG2

- 4-way controller's buttons cannot be reassigned, although the defaults are not bad (I would prefer quick access to exposure compensation and white balance to 'macro' and 'screen brightness up' functions)


- only pouch available from Fujifilm is of the vertical style, which is unsuitable when worn on the belt for potbellied owners like me The fine finish and large unadorned surfaces would make scratches quite visible on this camera if unprotected.

- the tripod mount is plastic; it is very close to lens centerline, but probably forward of sensor's plane.

- no infinity focus mode
Honestly, the Casio EX-Z750 is winning... Unless there is something I've missed. Tennis, I applaud you for turning me from the Pentax line to the Casio Exilim line. I am really hard-headed when something works for me. Now I see how much EXTRA camera I can get with this than the Optio 555. It will definitely become my FIRST camera, and the Optio will be the backup... IF it works as well for me as I think it will. Still open for suggestions; will post again after I get a Z750 in my hands.

Edit: Can someone please tell me what this means in easy terms, and isit a significant difference? If I don't to understand it, then don't answer.

Casio Z-750 = 7 lenses in 8 groups

Casio Z-120 = 7 lenses in 5 groups

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 10:48 AM   #33
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Hi again Angie

While you werereadingowners review on the Fuji F-11 I was reading the owners review on your optio 555 and you are right your camera reads well, I also just got the exif on the photo in your original post.

ISO=200

Exposure: f/3

Shutter: 1/40

E/bios: -2

So if your happy with ISO 200 shots you are fine with the Casio, with the F-11youcould have used ISO 800 givingyou1/120 thus stopping most of the motionblur people get withthese type of shots,as the Casio 750is also ISO 400 limitedthe same as the your Optio 555 I cannot see the point, as your camera is 5x zoom against 3x for the 750.

As your camera is still working fine if it was me I would wait for the PMA in Feb and see what these camera makers announce for 2006, my bet is an increase in ISO all around, Casio will bring a new model out to begin with as I think the 750 has been out for some time.

Again good luck with your choice of new camera.

Regards from Tropical Nth Queensland, Australia



Sony DSC-F707

Shutter: 15sec

Exposure: f/5.6










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Old Jan 3, 2006, 10:51 AM   #34
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angielittle wrote:
Quote:
Honestly, the Casio EX-Z750 is winning... Unless there is something I've missed.
For one thing, Flash range. Your Pentax Optio 555 has a rated flash range of 17.1 feet at it's wide angle lens position, dropping off to 10.5 Feet at it's full zoom lens position (equivalent to over 180mm, which is longer than other pocketable cameras).

In contrast, the Casio EX-Z750 has a maximum rated flash range of only 9.51 Feet at it's wide angle lens position.

Casio doesn't even supply the flash range in the marketing specs when using longer focal lengths (flash range will drop as more optical zoom is used, since less light reaches the sensor through the lens).
Quote:
Edit: Can someone please tell me what this means in easy terms, and isit a significant difference? If I don't to understand it, then don't answer.

Casio Z-750 = 7 lenses in 8 groups

Casio Z-120 = 7 lenses in 5 groups


A lens is composed of multiple optical elements, grouped together in various ways. I wouldn't worry about this part. You really need to take each camera on a case by case basis to get an idea of lens quality.

More important considerations would be focal range in millimeters (most will show their 35mm equivalent focal range), so that you have a better idea of how much optical zoom you have.

For example, your Pentax has far more optical zoom compared to the Casio Z-750 (187mm equivalent for your Pentax, 114mm equivalent for the Casio).

Another important consideration would be lens brightness (and they are rated by their maximum available aperture at both the wide and longest zoom setting).

In the case of your Pentax, it's rated at a maximum aperture of f/2.8 on it's wide angle setting, and f/4.6 at it's full zoom setting (lower numbers are better).

The Casio lens stops down to f/5.1 at it's maximum zoom setting of only 114mm (so your Pentax is gong to have a brighter lens at most focal lengths, as well as much longer available zoom settings).

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 1:59 PM   #35
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Hi, JimC!

So I WAS right! I may have the perfect camera for me, huh? I don't know whether to find another 555 and hope it is as flawless as this one... OR... wait for something new. The longer I wait, the less chance I will find another 555. Whatever is announced in February won't be available to the public for months, right? IF I had to decide before then, what do you think would be my best choice to get the most flash range, smaller camera than the 555, and all the other issues addressed here? Sounds like I need the CASIO EX-Z750 with a better flash system. I really thought I had it all figured out.... NOT!


[align=center]:angry:[/align]

[align=left]To thank you for the time and effort [& space used for this thread!] of everyone here, I intend to learn all I can about photography. I know very little about all those elements you talked about. Is there a website that is reallllly easy to understand? Just to get the basics? I want to learn all I can.

I also need to know how to re-size photographs to end up with a GREAT quality photo and small file size. My new site will be hosted for free. But the guy tells me to keep each image to 15k!!!!! And only 4 photos per page. Again, I want to learn the parameters a person uses to get the best quality over the web, and yet a small file size. What good does it do to have all of these awesome photos and not be able to put them online correctly? To get a high quality look on anyone's computer - - - without taking 5 minutes for it to load - - - how small should the file be?

Thanks in advance for your answer! Today is my big 55th birthday, and my husband won't believe it when he gets home and finds I never went to bed at all last night! He may take one look at me and trade me in for a new model. :whack: However, when he finds out I've had all of this personal attention and help with my camera decision, he will be thankful too.

Wirraway, WOW! What a photograph! You are amazing! May be the most awesome photo I've ever seen. The color and detail? Wow! You put me to shame! I will try to add another photo here to show you the type photos I take MOST of the time. KO? This is the effect I get most often, whether at home or at a concert.

Regards,

Angie
[/align]
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 2:12 PM   #36
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angielittle wrote:
Quote:
Hi, JimC!

So I WAS right! I may have the perfect camera for me, huh? I don't know whether to find another 555 and hope it is as flawless as this one... OR... wait for something new. The longer I wait, the less chance I will find another 555. Whatever is announced in February won't be available to the public for months, right? IF I had to decide before then, what do you think would be my best choice to get the most flash range, smaller camera than the 555, and all the other issues addressed here?
You'd need to dig through the specs for any model you consider.

Most smaller cameras are not going to have a flash range as good as your Optio's.

Since you're obviously relying on the flash to get your photos (otherwise, you're going to get blur from camera shake and/or subject movement with most non-DSLR models), I wanted to point out this little detail (make sure to look at flash range). ;-)

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Old Jan 4, 2006, 5:39 AM   #37
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Angie, I just ask you once more to consider my suggestion of the Canon Poweshot SD500 IXUS.

I have been reading more about this particular model, and have found that it has a flash range of 16.9 feet which would definitely rival your Optio.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 2:22 PM   #38
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Hey, now THAT helps a LOT! I was thinking I should buy one like my old one. I can't wait to check it out! I'll let you know what I find. Hope it is a tiny one!

A.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 3:33 PM   #39
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THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THIS UP AGAIN! I have the comparison up for the 2 cameras. The improvements are there... no doubt. Smaller! Moving up to 7 MP from 5. Yes!!!! As far as performance, it is a FAST camera in almost all tests. That is great! The optio flash is SLOW when red-eye is turned on. I don't use it... correct it in software. The SD500 appears to be quick even using that!

Here are the negatives. Tell me if you think they mean I should look further. I feel like all of you know what my needs are. [Remember, I am only discussing the negs here.]

The 3 negatives I see for me [not mentioned by the reviewer] are:
  1. I was hoping for a lot newer and better video... butI do have a great camcorder for that. [/*]
  2. It appears that the way touse the AE compensation is to go through a menu. I use it froma button on the back of the Optio...one touch. I use it about every 4 or 5 pix during aconcert. Does anyone know how the Canon works on this? If I have to stop, look down and start changing menu items, I'd be sunk! You KNOW that if I take 300+ photos in the hour and 1/2 to 2 hours of a concert, I am flying!!! I WILL LOOK FOR ONE TODAY TO TRY IN A CAMERA STORE HERE. [/*]
  3. It's hard to think of going down to a 3x zoom. I am one of the ONLY photographers that regularly do the Edwin concerts that has AWESOME photos of the drummer. Dave sits so far back on the stage, that he's impossible to catch in a good photo. I will add one below to show you what I get. Before the Optio, mine looked horrible, like everyone else's. THAT IS A HUGE THING FOR ME! When I am standing to the left of Edwin, I am a LONG way from the Sax and Guitar. When I'm to the right, the lead guitar player, drummer and bassist are the ones that are hard to photograph. NO ONE can understand how I get such fantastic shots!
Here are the CONS mentioned by the reviewer:
[/*]
  • No manual focus. That could be major, if the macro doesn't work well. I have to photograph marks on porcelain... like Nippon. I have had to use the manual focus more than a few times on the Optio. [/*]
  • Macro focus range on the Optio = 2cm........... SD500 = 5cm [/*]
  • Auto focus... I use the Multi-segment focus mode often. I noticed on the SD500, the reviewer said, "But it's not a camera without problems. Some, such as the rather erratic behavior of the AiAF 'intelligent' focus system, can be easily overcome (switch to center focus)... and ""TURN IT OFF." [/*]
  • Exposure problems... see examples here: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd500/page5.asp That is one think I have never had problems with. most of my photos are indoors and many [concerts] at night with flash. So hopefully, I won't be tooo unhappy with this weakness. [/*]
  • On the same "page" link above, check out the "AiAF multi-point focus errors" section. THAT is bad. I use Pentax multi-segment focusing all the time and love it. One of the things I love about the optio is that it really performs well in all those situations pictured in the review where the Canon was having problems. Reviewer said it happened "over & over."
Conclusion of Revieweron the Cons side:
[/*]
  • Low contrast fine detail (such as foliage or hair) looks soft [/*]
  • AiAF focus unreliable - turn it off [/*]
  • Screen resolution not high enough for a 2.0-inch LCD [/*]
  • Some purple fringing [/*]
  • Slight corner softness at wide angle [/*]
  • Battery life when using LCD not fantastic [/*]
  • No exposure information in record or playback mode [/*]
  • Very little manual control [/*]
  • Finish very susceptible to marks and scratches, can be slippery in the hand [/*]
Okay, everyone! You know I'm not techy enough with cameras to understand completely how these issues will play out for me. Any thoughts? Maybe this one is the one for me? Considering my limited funds... $300 to $350, should I still wait until February? I believe you guys said some new cameras will come out then. Perhaps a 5x zoom in a smaller camera with more features? Are there any hints of what is on the horizon, or is it totally a secret? Remember: I will NEED to buy one by around the 1st of March; will most of the new cameras really be available by then?

I KEEP SAYING THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THE HELP... BUT I MEAN IT! I am taking it all to heart and YOUR comments will weigh the most on my decision... even if it means having to wait. And that is HARD on this ADHD adult.

Ang

Ang

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Old Jan 4, 2006, 4:09 PM   #40
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Forgot to add the photo I mentioned of the drummer:


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