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Old Jan 29, 2006, 11:53 AM   #1
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I recently sold my Minolta F100 and am looking to upgrade. I would like a camera I can learn the ins and outs of photography. I am looking for a faster camera than the F100 (shouldn't be too hard) and one that can serve all my camera duties until I find the need to upgrade or buy a new camera to expand my options.

Costco has the A620 for $350 and the P880 for $400 after rebate so the cost is essentially the same.

A620 pros:
Secure Digital media
AA batteries
swivel LCD
FAST camera
Movie mode
Size more pocketable

Cons:
Not wide angle???
Lower zoom range
No RAW?

P880 Pros:
Better zoom range (longer and wider)
More control (manual zoom, RAW, etc.)
More expansion options (hot shoe, PC sync, etc.)

Cons:
Size
Speed? Compared to the A620 seems to be worse at low light levels/indoor?
Proprietary battery

I am not entirely sure what I will be shooting the most, but I like the IDEA of a wide angle zoom (24mm opposed to 35mm) for indoor and landscape shots. This is my main concern is this flexibilty worth the lack of AA batteries, swivel lens, better movie mode, size? I also want a camera I can grow into over time, yet be accessible enough I will use it often. I am concerned about the speed of the P880, I am not sure if the reviews treat it the same as the A620 as it seems to be in a different class (Prosumer vs. enthusiast point and shoot) as well as the general size.

Basically I would like someones input on both and if one is more suited to what I am looking for. The Canon seems to be on top right now due to the battery, slightly lower cost (will make a 2GB SD card easier to buy), and size. Am I missing anything by not choosing the 24mm zoom and longer zoom, RAW, and future expandability? Also it seems the P880 MAY be better at focusing/dumping buffer with a POSSIBLE firmware upgrade, any thoughts here?

If it is a toss-up I may end up getting both and returning the one I like least (Costco has a GREAT return policy so not too big a deal), but with any luck I will pick correctly the first time and not have to go through the hassle.

If there is any other camera I should look at as well please let me know. The features I am most interested in:
$300-400 lower is better, more money for accessories
Secure digital
AA batteries
Fast shot-toshot times
Good quality pictures
Manual controls I want to be able to play with photography
Versital zoom
Movie mode
Good indoor/outdoor performance
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 12:25 PM   #2
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metapy-

If one of your high priority items is indeed wide angle photography, the Kodak P-880 is an excellent choice because it remains within your budget with the current pricing and rebate being offered by costco.com, it uses SD chips, and it is a camera that has received some very good reviews. The fact that it uses a proprietary battery does not bother me at all. It will offer you a lot of growing room photographically, and it will be a lot faster than the F100.

If you can give up the wide angle, the Canon S-2 IS is an excellent camera, albeit at a somewhat higher price. It has 12X (twice as much as the Kodak P-880) optical zoom, probably on of the best video capabilities among P&S cameras, and it uses AA sized batteries.

If low light shooting capabilites are high on your priority list, then you might want to take a good look at the Fuji S-5200. It has 10X optical zoom, uses AA batteries, BUT it does use the XD chip, but it sells for around $275.

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Old Jan 29, 2006, 2:27 PM   #3
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The P880 is a nice bit of kit, no doubt.

With a 24mm wide angle lens you will certainly shoot some impressive shots, most 'wide angle' P&S cams start at 28mm. Id certainly recommend this camera as one to grow into, and definetley if you want nice wide angle shots from the get go. By the way its movie mode is excellent too and reviews say its focus and performs well in low light.

The A620 is a lovely camera too. It offers excellent photographic control and a nice swivel LCD. For general photography Id recommend this to anyone.

The S2 IS is a Ultrazoom. If you wanted bigger zoom capability though Id seriously review the many threads pitting the S2 IS against , FZ5 (soon to be FZ7), FZ20 and FZ30, Sony H1 and Kodak P850 - all excellent UZs.


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Old Jan 29, 2006, 4:21 PM   #4
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metapy wrote:
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I am not entirely sure what I will be shooting the most, but I like the IDEA of a wide angle zoom (24mm opposed to 35mm) for indoor and landscape shots. This is my main concern is this flexibilty worth the lack of AA batteries, swivel lens


Am I missing anything by not choosing the 24mm zoom and longer zoom, RAW, and future expandability? Also it seems the P880 MAY be better at focusing/dumping buffer with a POSSIBLE firmware upgrade, any thoughts here?
If you mean lenses which retract inside camera with that "swivel lens" you don't find any longer zoom camera with wide angle, also unless you want even less than half useless menu surfing/button tapping "controls" such compact cameras are big no.

Well... if you go to standard pocket cameras or ultrazooms you'll miss/loose about 1/4th from height and width of wide angle's field of view.

Only very few manufacturers make any firmware updates and mostly to more expensive cameras... in reality very few cameras ever get firmware update, most manufacturers do those updates by stamping new bigger number to camera and put BS department to advertise it as new. So I wouldn't count getting new firmwares for fixing deficiencies.
(especially from any manufacturer mostly concentrated to doing me-too dozenware cameras which market is already full of)


And remember that zoom number really doesn't mean anything solid.
Bigger number isn't necessary better, especially when all ultrazooms lack wide angle. (Samsung 815 is that exception which aproves the rule)
I've myself used two cameras with 28-200mm zoom (just 7x) for three years and there's no way I would buy any of those so glorified ultra-zooms.


And how big memory card you have? Unless it's at least 512MB I wouldn't put any weight to support of it in camera requirements.

mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
If you can give up the wide angle, the Canon S-2 IS is an excellent camera... probably on of the best video capabilities among P&S cameras
Not really anyway special video capability, for video mode being good MPEG4 is only useful compression, not some MJPEG.
(with MJPEG even 1GB card holds only much under ten minutes of video)
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 5:29 PM   #5
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When considering a 24 mm wide angle, one should not forget the Coolpix 8400. I rate the image quality about the same as the P880, but unlike the P880 the CP 8400 has an excellent swivel LCD, which is twice as valuable for wide angle cameras. Yes the P880 has a much wider zoom range, but without image stabilisation the extended zoom range is hardly usable. While the CP 8400 has no image stabiliser, it has Nikon's proprietary best shot selector, which is also a good medicine against shake, but clearly an image stabiliser is more comfortable. Despite all the idiotic restrictions in the firmware I still would purchase the CP 8400 again.
I do not share E.T's opinion about ultrazooms, but he is right that ultrazooms are weak in the wide angle area. If you need more wide angle like myself, then two cameras are the right choice. The CP 8400 and the FZ5 ultrazoom combined are significantly smaller than the Samsung 815 monster, cost less and together they are much more versatile.

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Old Jan 29, 2006, 5:32 PM   #6
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of the ultrazooms S2 IS is touted as having best movie, not for compression, but for stereo sound, zoom during video, 640x480 30fpsand sd access speeds.

you wont find any of the zooms using mpeg4 compression

also maybe the ultrazooms are so glorified as they are 35-420mm equiv, some people do find use for that extra focal length even if you dont
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 6:31 PM   #7
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Kassandro-

Perhaps, it is just my own personal experience. However, I own both the Kodak V-570 and the Nikon 8400. IMHO, swivel LCD or not, the V-570 takes better wide angle landscape shots than the Nikon 8400, and the V-570 cost LESS! Here is a kodak V-570 sample photo.

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Old Jan 29, 2006, 10:29 PM   #8
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Well the S2 IS is looking more attractive for the ultra-zoom. I was interested in the wide angle for landscapes as there is a great overlook of the city and I bet there would be some very good cityscapes, but then again a panaramic stitch would work as well on the S2.

Decissions, decissions... I think I will try and find the P880 and S2 at the same store so I can try them side-by-side. Thanks so far for the input it has been great. Mtclimber, I am very glad you chimed in as well it seems you have an interest in the cameras I am looking at as well. I hope you take some great shots with the P880 you ordered, I am anxious to see them.

If anyone has a 24mm lens and could shoot and indoor shot at 24mm and 35mm or a landscape at 24mm and 35mm or can point me to a site where I could see the difference between a 24mm shot and a 35mm shot of the same subject I would be greatful.

I found a site where I could compare focal lengths here:
http://www.tamron.de/Focal_Length_Co...38.0.html?&L=2
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Old Jan 30, 2006, 2:16 AM   #9
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metapy wrote:
Quote:
If anyone has a 24mm lens and could shoot and indoor shot at 24mm and 35mm or a landscape at 24mm and 35mm or can point me to a site where I could see the difference between a 24mm shot and a 35mm shot of the same subject I would be greatful.
I don't have photos taken with such but here's one shot I took with 28mm+0.8x converter meaning ~22.4mm:

24mm FOV would be about 5% narrower and lower.
38mm which is very common in ultrazooms (like that Canon S2 IS) crops lightly over 1/3rd away from height and width. 35mm isn't much better, slightly under 1/3rd narrower so in practice those crop away half of frames coverage.
(and 28mm FOV is slightly over 1/6th narrower)
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 5:21 PM   #10
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Well I decided on the P880 I ordered it today, WOO HOO!
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