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Old Apr 30, 2006, 11:00 AM   #1
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I'm going on exchange overseas later this year, and I'm looking to get a nice, pocketable ultra-compact so I have no excuse for not always having a camera on me. When I was looking at them a couple of years back, the Pentax Optio S series and the Casio Exilims were the only ones really as small as I wanted (i.e. pocket it and forget it's there), but looking around nowadays there seems to be an awful lot of models in the "small enough to hide behind a credit card" category. I was really hoping I could gather some experienced opinions to help me narrow down the field of consideration.
My criteria are as follows, (roughly) in order of importance:
  1. Pocketability (esp slimness) [/*]
  2. Image quality (esp low-noise sensor) [/*]
  3. Configurability[/*]
  4. Extra Features (prefer high-res, high-refresh screen, but don't care about size)[/*]
Not set totally is stone, though. For example, is one model is slightly bigger than another but takes far better pictures, etc, obviously I'd go for that. I prefer a slim camera over raw MP (e.g., in the Casio line, an S600 is probably better for me than a Z850: 16mm thick vs. 24mm). I don't care too much about weight, I just want compact size. Heck, if they could shrink it down below 10mm thick I wouldn't care if it was made of depleted uranium sheeting, but there's nothing that thin yet...
Oh, and it must use SD memory (to match my PDA and existing cards). Manual settings'd be nice, too, but not a deal breaker. Basically, I want the smallest, most configurable camera I can get without sacrificing too much image quality. Anything much bigger than the old Optio S4 is too large for me, but anything in that ball park is fair game. Any suggestions as to which models I should be looking at would be much appreciated.
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Old Apr 30, 2006, 12:03 PM   #2
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you didn't mention a budget.
try:
Canon SD series (450, 550, 600, 700)
Casio Exilm S- series
Sony W50 (100, etc)
Kodak, the red one with the round base (430?)

all of these are very well-reviewed, etc.

megapixel count is unimportant -- 3 is plenty for 8x10" photos, and when the sensor is tiny, 6-8 MP is meaningless, the picture just won't look good at full size!

i talked to a lot of people and did a lot of research and chose the SD450. lots of people I know (both online and in the "real world") recommend Canon, and it seems that the weird LCD problems have been solved with the new 2006 SD models.

for reviews, look at dpreview, steve's, amazon, shopping.com, pcmag, etc
they all include measurements, but the small cameras are pretty much all around the same size... the SDs are among the smallest you can find.
have fun

(i don't own a camera yet -- this post is just based on online research)
y.
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Old May 1, 2006, 5:44 AM   #3
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I'm also going overseas in Jun 06 and will carry a Minolta 7Hi for serious photos and in Singapore I hope to find the soon to be released Fujifilm F30 to use as a pocket ready anytime camera. The F30 looks the best to me, large 1/1/8 CCD, nice LCD display with both auto and manual modes and excellent low light shooting. If you can not find the F30 when you are ready to go then look at the Fujifilm F10, almost as good.
I do not see another camera that will equal it for size, sensitivity and photo quality...tell me I'm wrong?
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Old May 1, 2006, 11:19 AM   #4
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the F10 has been talked to death in this forum...
yes it has good sensitivity but there are dumb drawbacks: (1) no optical vf (2) annoying port converter box thing to lose (3) uses crappy xd cards
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Old May 2, 2006, 6:30 AM   #5
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Yeah, XD rules out the Fujifilms for me. Plus the fact that the F30 is 28mm(!) thick (won't be forgetting that's in your pocket), and has even less wide angle than most other ultras...

28mm equivalent would be nice, but all the ultra-compacts ican find that do it are rather on the thick side...

Edit: Also, regarding budget, it's not really a concern. I won't be upgrading it for years, so I want to get something that meets all my needs now and I'll be happy with for a long time, regardless of cost. That said, I do want something that a remotely sane person would consider worth what it costs...
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Old May 2, 2006, 7:53 AM   #6
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Amleth wrote:
Quote:
I'm going on exchange overseas later this year, and I'm looking to get a nice, pocketable ultra-compact so I have no excuse for not always having a camera on me. When I was looking at them a couple of years back, the Pentax Optio S series and the Casio Exilims were the only ones really as small as I wanted (i.e. pocket it and forget it's there), but looking around nowadays there seems to be an awful lot of models in the "small enough to hide behind a credit card" category. I was really hoping I could gather some experienced opinions to help me narrow down the field of consideration.
My criteria are as follows, (roughly) in order of importance:
  1. Pocketability (esp slimness) [/*]
  2. Image quality (esp low-noise sensor) [/*]
  3. Configurability [/*]
  4. Extra Features (prefer high-res, high-refresh screen, but don't care about size)
Not set totally is stone, though. For example, is one model is slightly bigger than another but takes far better pictures, etc, obviously I'd go for that. I prefer a slim camera over raw MP (e.g., in the Casio line, an S600 is probably better for me than a Z850: 16mm thick vs. 24mm). I don't care too much about weight, I just want compact size. Heck, if they could shrink it down below 10mm thick I wouldn't care if it was made of depleted uranium sheeting, but there's nothing that thin yet...
Oh, and it must use SD memory (to match my PDA and existing cards). Manual settings'd be nice, too, but not a deal breaker. Basically, I want the smallest, most configurable camera I can get without sacrificing too much image quality. Anything much bigger than the old Optio S4 is too large for me, but anything in that ball park is fair game. Any suggestions as to which models I should be looking at would be much appreciated.
[/*]
Take a look at the Casio EX Z850. There is also a new model coming out... the EX Z1000, but they decided to eliminate the viewfinder. Not that the viewfinders on these cameras is that great, but it's still nice to have.


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Old May 2, 2006, 11:37 AM   #7
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Ricoh R4 is a camera catching my eye, I really want to try it out before comitting though
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Old May 2, 2006, 10:21 PM   #8
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meanstreak wrote:
Quote:
Take a look at the Casio EX Z850. There is also a new model coming out... the EX Z1000, but they decided to eliminate the viewfinder. Not that the viewfinders on these cameras is that great, but it's still nice to have.
I did actually mention the Z850 in my original post, and said I'd prefer the S600 to it since it's too thick for my taste (24mm vs 16mm), and the Z1000 is thicker still. I'd like to find something that doesn't have the poor image quality rep the S600 seems to, though, and ideally, 28mm-equivalent wide angle...
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Old May 2, 2006, 10:27 PM   #9
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audioedge wrote:
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Ricoh R4 is a camera catching my eye, I really want to try it out before comitting though
But at 26mm it's even thicker than the Z850. Plus, 7.1x zoom in an untra-compact worries me somewhat...

The Panasonic FX-01 looks nice, but is on a size par with the Z850 (24mm), which is just too much to pocket comfortably (plus it only has a 1/1.25" sensor)...

I'm looking for 20mm or under, e.g, Pentax Optio S6 (19mm), Casio EX S600 (16mm), etc... There's loads of models in this range now, and there's bound to be a few I've overlooked. Anyone know some nice really thin cameras? Which do you think is the best overall?
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Old May 3, 2006, 12:35 AM   #10
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Amleth wrote:
Quote:
meanstreak wrote:
Quote:
Take a look at the Casio EX Z850. There is also a new model coming out... the EX Z1000, but they decided to eliminate the viewfinder. Not that the viewfinders on these cameras is that great, but it's still nice to have.
I did actually mention the Z850 in my original post, and said I'd prefer the S600 to it since it's too thick for my taste (24mm vs 16mm), and the Z1000 is thicker still. I'd like to find something that doesn't have the poor image quality rep the S600 seems to, though, and ideally, 28mm-equivalent wide angle...
Take a look at the C-LUX 1
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