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Old Dec 28, 2005, 3:03 PM   #1
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I need advice. I have the most perfect camera on the planet. The Pentax Optio 555. The only thing that is unimpressive is the video quality. But I have 2 great camcorders, so that doesn't matter.

I use my photos mainly to take pictures of Edwin McCain's band. I take about 300 photos per night and go to about 30 concerts per year. [He's like a 2nd son to me.] I LOVE the long... super long battery life. Everyone around me comments that they have changed batteries 3 times and I'm on the same one. :-)

The photos are so perfect! IF I take one that is too light or too dark [taking one of the guys further downstage from me], I only hit my toggle button once or twice and it's fixed. I have no formal training... other than just EXPERIENCE of taking so many photos the last few years. My photographs even appear on the liner notes [booklet] inside of the Edwin's last CD!!! All of my photos are taken in the standard auto program mode... except to change to no flash or macro once in awhile. I am NOT up on manual settings.

I even took 400 photos over 2 nights during the filming of a DVD live concert at a House of Blues. I had NEVER used it at night without the flash. I had no idea how they would really look when blown up. OMG, they are some of the best I have EVER taken!

Besides the band photos, I have been enjoying using it to take photos of my first grandchild. The quality just knocks me out. You'd think I was a professional!!!

The only problem I have had is ... like others... having the lens cover open partially. It only took the flick of a fingernail to open it.

What in the world is out there to replace this camera? I don't want to go down from the 5 megapixel or 5x optical zoom... and love recording the sound without time limits other than the size of my memory card. I can't pay what I would like... I'm stuck around the $300 level. Any help you could give me would be sooooo appreciated.


Love your site! Have been hanging out here for several years. Thanks for all you guys do for people like me! Thanks for listening, too. Thought knowing what I USE it for would be critical for you to know what I need.

Ang


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Old Dec 28, 2005, 8:38 PM   #2
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If you are not having any real issues with your 550, why replace it?
But if you think you just have to, I would take a look at the fuji S5200, it really shines in the natural (no flash) light levels like you are taking them in. I got mine for $304.00 delivered on line. But expect to buy another memory card as the 16 MB that comes with it is a joke. It is also bigger than your current 550, not anywhere near a pocket camera.
I hear the fuji F10 is good also and smaller.
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Old Dec 29, 2005, 3:08 AM   #3
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I should have said that. The compact size is very important! I have to be able to put it in my jeans pocket, like I can do with my 555.

I use mostly flash photos likethe one below{I'll try to put up a different photo.} Theone without flash was an unusual

Any chance the 750Z might be close to the same camera? I was hoping it might be even better!

I am not really replacing it. I just got worried when the battery got stuck one day. I rely on this camera sooo much, and I would DIE if something happened to it. Had it awhile, use it heavily, need to be prepared for the day it conks out on me. Therefore, want to go ahead and get something else. Keep it with me for a backup.
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Old Dec 29, 2005, 8:56 AM   #4
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If you want a compact stylish camera with a big screen and high resolution, but don't need the 5X optical zoom, I can recommend the Casio Exilim EX-Z120. It offers 7.2MP, a 2" LCD screen and 3X optical zoom lense.

With the extra megapixels, you should be able to crop your images to acheive a zoom effect anyways. It can't be beaten on value either. It performs good in low-light with ISO reaching 800 and has great battery life. It also has an anti-shake mode.

Rated 10/10 by Pixmania. You can't go wrong.

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Old Dec 29, 2005, 8:19 PM   #5
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I second the suggestion of the Fuji S-5200, or even the S-9000.

MT
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Old Dec 29, 2005, 9:39 PM   #6
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
I second the suggestion of the Fuji S-5200, or even the S-9000.

MT
I own an S5200, and it is a great camera, but angielittle specified that she wanted a compact camera that could fit her pocket. That's why I suggested the Exilim Z120
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Old Dec 29, 2005, 10:59 PM   #7
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How about the Fuji Z2? It's smaller and lighter than the 555, and has ISO 1600 capability.

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Old Dec 29, 2005, 11:57 PM   #8
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Ang, I really think that you'd love the Exilim EX-Z120. I just know that you'll be extremely happy with it. But ultimately, it's your choice.
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 1:09 AM   #9
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Hee hee hee. I love the advice. I will check them all out... that is, the ones that will fit in my pocket.

Tell me one thing. Why isn't anyone suggesting the Pentax Optio 750z? I was so sure you guys would jump on that one. Isn't is much the same as the Pentax Optio 555? Just curious about it. Not "into" the retro look, but I don't mind it either. I am not at all set on getting another Optio... don't get me wrong. I just wonder what you guys think of it.

BTW, I will look into ALL the ones you suggested. I LOVE being able to put it in my pocket and go anywhere.Can't imagine giving up that perk.

I totally appreciate all of your suggestions. Hey, Tennis... is it in my price range? Probably being 7.2 MP, it is more expensive than a 5 MP, right? You also got my attention with your comment about long battery life;I need that, too! And hey! THANKS for pointing out the issue of using a 7.2 and cropping. Never even thought of that. I am not a professional. I'm one who just enjoys a camera that can do everything for me. With the Optio 555, everyone thinks I am sooooo talented. [Not!] Check out some of the photos on my website... http://www.EdwinMcCainMusic.com. I took ALL of theml with the 555... every one on every page of the website. This camera I'm buying will be the only one I get for YEARS... THAT's why I'm so worried about getting one that can duplicate whatI do with my 555.

You guys rock! Thanks again and again. It will be fun checking these out! I'll post back after I make a decision. Meanwhile, if anything me comes up, let me know.

Ang


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Old Dec 30, 2005, 3:30 AM   #10
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Hey angie, if you can't afford the Z120, it also has a 5MP sibling, the Z110. I just thought you might need the extra MPs without the 5x zoom you are used to having.

I've also just had a look at the Optio 750z, according to PCmag, the image quality isn't quite up to where it should be.
I've noticed a trend with recent Optios. The cheaper ones aren't delivering as the should be, where as the top of the line (offering less bang for buck) models such as the S6 are very competitive cameras.

The Pentax Optio SV also seems like a good buy, with 5mp and 5x optical.


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