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Old May 30, 2006, 8:30 AM   #1
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I have been shopping around based on the best cameras on Steve's sight and I have found five cameras in my price range of under 250.00. They are: Exilim EZ-Z120; Lumix DMC-LZ5; Easyshare z740; Powershot A620; Kodak P850; Olympus SP-500. I like all of these cameras and I believe I could learn to use any of them effectively for photos and videos. Could someone give me some guidance?

Thank you very much
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Old May 30, 2006, 9:39 AM   #2
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Of the long telephoto cameras the Kodak P850 is optically stabilized and a better choice than the Z740. It is also a steal for under $250 with a stabilized 12X zoom. It has a hot shoe so an inexpensive automatic bounce flash unit can really improve your flash shots as well as increase your flash range. For more money you can get a dedicated Kodak flash unit that is easier to use. It is also quite compact for a 12X stabilized zoom and has raw so you can exchange tips with the big boys. It is an all-round competent camera with full controls you can grow into. The P850 also has a high resolution EVF compared to the other super zooms.

The A620 doesn't have anything special like stabilization or high ISO capability, and it is almost as heavy as the P850 once you load 4 NiMH batteries. It also has full controls but they aren't as easily accessible as the P850. It doesn't come with a charger or rechargeable batteries, so add the cost of a charger and batteries to the price. To me it is a clumsy middle ground that can't be easily carried everywhere and doesn't have a lot of advanced features. But it does have a super sharp 4X lens for its price range.

The Z120 is another camera that you have to add the cost of batteries and charger to the price to make normal use practical. It is pocketable and has a very good lens and sensor. Since you have to buy batteries and charger I would suggest the Casio Z750 instead. It is a bargain now that the Z850 is out and it is smaller with a larger LCD and MPEG4 movies that take a quarter the space on your memory card. It also has the great Casio past movie mode. Butterfly has it for $267 delivered including shipping. It comes with a lithium battery and charger cradle, which you can also download from.

The Panasonic LZ5 has a 6X optical zoom in a compact package. It doesn't have an eyelevel viewfinder and a very low resolution LCD. Acquiring moving targets is more difficult without an eyelevel viewfinder and it can be difficult framing in bright sunlight. It also comes with single use AA batteries and you should add the price of batteries and a charger. It is a nice package with a 6X optical zoom that is not super small but pocketable.

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Old May 30, 2006, 11:34 AM   #3
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You didn't tell few important things, like do you need it to fit into normal pocket and what kind targets you would photograph.


From non pocketable cameras Z740 and SP500 lack iamge stabilization which is quite big deficiency, also SP500's video mode is bad joke/insult in these days...
So while I disagree about P850 having high resolution EVF (237000 pixels can be above standard but it's just about 1/4th of high resolution) it's really best of those listed long tele cameras.
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Old May 30, 2006, 1:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for your comments guys, they have been very helpful. Let me asksomething else. Both of you seem to be siding with the P850, then maybe the Z750 (Slipe). Of the P850, Z750, and the A620 which one will give me the best movies, since I would like to do this quite often as well, although the primary focus will be photos?

And one other thing. I have rechargable batteries already and what disadvantages do you see to have a camera that you cannot just drop some AA into?

Thanks alot. Oh yeah, are there any cameras in this price range that you might suggest over these three?
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Old May 30, 2006, 2:59 PM   #5
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From pocket sized cameras that Casio Z750 definitely has very nice video capability considering length of videos because of MPEG4 compression which is way more effective than motion-JPEG.

Actually Kodak Z740 also uses MPEG4 compression which P850 lacks but lack of stabilization is even worser deficiency in video recording because it shows all handshake, in tele end shake becomes easily literally "nausea causing" bad.


As for AAs vs. Li-Ion...
In emergency disposable AAs can be foudn from every where and NiMHs are cheap... then again Li-Ions hold their charge easily for months unlike NiMHs and have conderably better capacity vs. size/weight ratio. (because of that many smallest cameras use Li-Ions)

If you want more pocketable compact camera (P850 would fit only to bigger pocket) there's few of those with longer zoom in this thread:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...18&forum_id=87

For long tele cameras KonicaMinolta Z5 propably would fit to that price range.
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