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Old Mar 6, 2006, 10:25 PM   #11
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mtclimber

"simplicity is desired", but apparently so is "manual control" and wanting to learn and grow into the camera. Katie never put out a price tag or what size she's looking for. My experience, Katie, is that if you have a big camera - i.e.: doesn't at least fit in your coat pocket or purse or hang off your belt, you will bring it with you less, thereby by learning slower and not "Getting the shot" when it appears. For this reason I sold my Nikon D70 dSLR. I had a Sony T7 (now I have the P200) and found I never brought theNikon out with me for casual day outings - I'd bring it for serious "shoots", but I rarely have the time for that. I travel for business so it's easy to tghrow my P200 in my pocket and go. The P200 has some manual control and you can add on a wide angle lens or telephoto - I have a 28mm right now, and just ordered an 18mm. Both were under $70 and very sharp - surprsingly sharp. I can add those on when I think I'll need them - or not. I can also add filters and what-not.

The P200 is on sale for $265 - 7.2mp. Zeiss lens. Highly Recommended rating at dpreview.com and here at Steves. It's a bargain and you'll learn a lot with it because you'll have it with you. Just my 2 cents. Then later you can get a dSLR, or something like the R1, if you really want to "get serious". Then you havbe one for each occassion - like a lot of people do. I'm waiting a little bit before I go big again - maybe the R1... maybe a regular dSLR, but like Phil at dpr3eivew says; the lens on the R1 alone is worth $1,000...

Good luck!
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 10:32 PM   #12
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Can you specify the size you need and your price range? If you need a small camera with manual controls and a wide angle the S80 from canon is awesome.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 6:42 AM   #13
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Size, small to mid-range is probably best.¬* The point that you'll be less likely to carry a larger camera is well taken.¬* Price is somewhat open (my husband won a little $ on the Superbowl - my share was $450, so that gives me a little flexibility to spend more!¬* And I am NOT a football fan) but I would be most comfortable staying under $600.¬* Looking into the different cameras suggested here has helped me to be clearer about what I want, and for sure a camera with wide angle is a must.¬* ¬*I'm also realizing how much I have to learn, so again, a camera that allows experimentation.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 10:22 AM   #14
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Katie

Addicted makes an excellent point about how the size of a camera can hinder use of a camera. How about a compromise on size. The Nikon 8400 has your desired wideangle (24mm), it is flater (width-wise)than the Kodak P-880, and they are still available and very well priced on E-Bay, and come with a 1 year guarantee, and are within your Superbowl winnings.

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Old Mar 7, 2006, 10:50 AM   #15
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I'd suggest looking at a cheap to moderate priced pocket sized camera even ifit lacks a couple of features you would like. Once you have used pretty much any camera you get as your first purchase, you will find that you really want some features that you didn't think of and will be in a better possition to figure out what you want as your second camera. The shirt pocket sized camera will still be usefull as a carry everywhere camera even if you decide that you really want a full featured dSLR. And the price of cameras will continue to come down so your ideal camera will be cheaper later.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 12:53 PM   #16
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I agree with BillDrew. The Sony T7 is probably the best "shirt pocket" camera I've seen and owned - and LOVED. I hated to get rid of it, but I needed more flexibility - I wanted wider lense option, an optical vf, and ability to add filters and what-not. I also wanted a faster lens - I did extensive side-by-side tests in low light and found the f2.8 made a big difference over f3.5. In fact, it made ALL the difference. Per BillDrew's comments, I'd truly suggest a Sony P200. It sounds to me like it will fit all your needs. You can get a .5x wide angle (Tiffen), which gets you to 18mm, roughly - plenty wide. Great build quality. Low noise even at 400 ISO. 7.2mp, so you can crop and still have a good sized image. Manual mode for fun. Macro mode for fun. And you can buy it for $265 and have enough to get the high-quality lens - much wider than anything out there, standard, ($70); a case ($20), and a 1gb Sony Mem Stick, ($70). And still have enough for lunch leftover. :-)




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Old Mar 7, 2006, 2:29 PM   #17
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p.s.: Here's a lost of cameras I have had. If you have questions on any of them, let me know. I only have the P200 and the Fuji A301 right now.

Casio 2000UX
Fuji 40i
Fuji A310
Fuji 6800
Fuji F601Z
Fuji S602Z
Minolta Xi
Minolta Xt
Canon S400
Minolta 7i
Minolta 7Hi
Olympus 560Z
Pentax Optio S
Casio Exilm EX-S3
Sony T1
Canon 300d
Nikon Coolpix 4500
Nikon Coolpix 3100
Nikon D70
Sony T33
Sony T5
Sony T7
Sony T9
Sony P200

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Old Mar 8, 2006, 8:21 PM   #18
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I've been out to the camera store , which I've found to be very good for my film camera needs.¬* But I live in a semi-rural area and the pickings are slim.¬* I was hoping to be able to pick up and hold some of the recommended cameras above - although our quality camera store carries the Canon S80, which I was interested in, none in stock. Based on reading & research, I'm down to the S80 for it's wide angle, small size & versatility¬* OR¬* the Nikon 8400 (on overstock.com for under $500). I'm going on vacation to hike Bryce & Zion National Parks next month, so I'll need to decide soon if I want time to learn the camera before the trip.¬* Thanks to all who offered their thoughts!
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 8:51 PM   #19
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Katie-

Either camera will work well for you. If size is an issue then perhaps the S-80 is the better choice. But, asI own a Nikon 8400 myself, I can assure you it is not a great deal larger. Yes, definitely get used to the camera before your trip and then you will get the very most out of it on your trip.

I just purchased a used S-50 on E-Bay for $136.00 and really have been having fun with it.

MT
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 9:25 PM   #20
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Take a look at the Casio Z750 and new Z850. They are tiny cameras with full manual everything and an optical viewfinder. The controls are excellent and have been improved on the Z850 with separate settings on the mode dial for aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual. There was just "M" on the Z750 and you had to scroll between the manual modes.

The Z850 is new and still selling at a premium price, but if I were buying today I would pay the extra. It has a LED movie light ‚Äď movies are excellent with MPEG4 and the great Casio past movie mode. It will take 3 flash shots in a second and the digital stabilization with the movies is reported to work well.

The Casios have internal memory where you can store a permanent photo album and custom user modes. The custom user modes show a photo to remind you what the settings are for rather than have to remember what custom 3 is for. Casio uses the internal memory well and it is far superior to a throw-away memory card.

This might be a little over-exuberant, but it lays out the features and controls pretty well on the Z750:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/casio/exz750.htm

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