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Old Jul 29, 2006, 9:33 AM   #1
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As a newcomer entering the digital field I have spent several daysstudying specs. basically I need the fowwing

Viewfinder

28mm zoom lens up to 100mm+

2 inch (preferably more) LCD

Compact - less than 1 inch thick

Decent flash range

Lots of dedicated buttons would be good

90% of my (& my wife's) use would be point and shoot but Iwould like to learn to use extra features.

Please help - once I have decided on, andbought, the camera I can get back to the rapidly mounting list of household jobs

Rexgill




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Old Jul 29, 2006, 9:50 AM   #2
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It's going to be tough finding a camera with everything you want if you must have a lens starting out at 28mm that goes to 100mm. So, you may have to compromise on one or more of the desired features.

peripatetic (one of our forum members) had similar requirements recently and ended up with a Panasonic DMC-FX01 (but, it does not have an optical viewfinder).

You may want to read through this thread for some ideas, since it includes some thoughts on cameras he considered:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87

If you can go a bit larger, you may want to look at the Canon Powershot S80 (starts out at 28mm, and has an optical viewfinder). Most dealers have been sold out of them for quite a while now, though.

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Old Jul 29, 2006, 11:33 AM   #3
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Thanjs for your very prompt reply - have studied the Peripatectic thread and noted the comments.

Have studied the Canon S80 but not happy with the thickness and no retailers here to show it to me. Reviews tend to indicate Multi dial contoller not easy to use. First offering of a new idea is not attractive.

Will keep studying specs & news

Rexgill




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Old Jul 29, 2006, 11:45 AM   #4
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I'm not aware of any current models that will meet your requirements. So, you'll probably need to compromise in one area or another.

One other model to look at would be the Ricoh R4. Like the Panasonic FX-01 I mentioned, it does not have an optical viewfinder. Ricoh models are also very dificult to find in the U.S. (apparently, they don't want to sell them here). But, Adorama now has a few of them. I don't know if they're readily available in your country, or not.

http://www.adorama.com/IRCR4.html

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Old Jul 29, 2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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Oups never mind...

I just read that you want acompactcamera!




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Old Jul 29, 2006, 2:28 PM   #6
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Hi Rexgill! This camera might come close to filling your needs. I purchased it a month ago and find it quite nice!!

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/sd600.html

Bob
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Old Jul 29, 2006, 8:25 PM   #7
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As Jim pointed out there isn't anything available with all of your requirements in a small pocket camera.

I share your strong preference for an eyelevel viewfinder on a camera. If you choose to forgo that feature check to see whether the Ricoh R4 is being sold in your market. Ricoh doesn't distribute its cameras in North America for some reason, but they might be available in Uruguay. It has a 28 – 200 zoom and true optical stabilization. The X ratings are based on the widest angle and the 108mm eq full zoom on the FX01 is equivalent to only about 2X as it would be measured in binoculars. I find 108 to 117 mm maximum zooms to be quite limiting in many situations. Wide angle is more useful in everyday family photography than a long zoom, but it would be nice to have both.

A camera that would be perfect for you if it only had a wide angle would be the Casio Z750 or its older cousin the Z750. It has about every "extra feature" you could want to learn to use. I prefer a mode dial to lots of buttons and these cameras have both. The Z750 mode dial is a little better because aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual exposure are separate items on the dial where there is a single manual selection on the Z750 and you have to scroll between the three. They both have large 2.5 inch LCDs and an optical viewfinder. The LCD on the Z850 is brighter. The Z850 will also take 3 full resolution flash shots in a second, has a stronger flash, movie light and good burst mode.

But the Z750 takes better movies and the 7Mp CCD is a little better than the 8Mp CCD on the Z850. I was reading at dpreview that the Z750s are in short supply in some markets and the price has creped up while the Z850 price has gone down to where they are nearly the same. Some Brits said there was a waiting list for the Z750 over there. I would take the Z750 if you plan to shoot a lot of movies and the Z850 if not. Both have a flash assist mode that is a lot more sophisticated than just cranking up the ISO. The Z750 will take a nice flash shot out to 25 feet with assist and I would think the stronger flash on the Z850 would reach even further.

But both cameras have lots of controls and can be tweaked to put out pictures like you want them. They both have 5 levels each for saturation, contrast and sharpening. And you can determine specifically which items reset when you turn the camera off and back on and which remain the same. You can also program some of the buttons to do what you use most of the time.

I've always compensated for not having a wide angle in a pocket camera by holding the camera vertically and taking a couple or three shots for a panorama. You end up with a 4:3 photo of about 27mm and more pixels. With the Casios the slow continuous fixes the exposure and WB with the first shot so you just hold the button down. It works for most situations. Waves on water don't stitch to well and moving crowds are tough. It even works for flash portraits if you get everyone to hold still, but you have to use better software to stitch them since the light intensity might differ. I know it isn't for everyone but it works for me.

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Old Jul 30, 2006, 11:10 AM   #8
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Thanks Jim for the suggestion.

First I should say Uraguay was sloppy mouse pointing, it should have been U K !!

My wife has a cheapish canon with a 28-90 film camera, so I cannot spend spend hundreds of UK pounds, and then ask her to take all our holiday landscapes and groups !!

My eyes are a little weak and I often have trouble with friends LCD's so I really needa viewfinder which I expect to use at least 50% of the time.

I have 2 film cameras which are not pocketable and promised myself I would get a pocketable one next time !! The S80 is a lovely camera but one with half the features and half the width (and half the price) is what I really want.

Journalists here are allwayssaying how useful viewfinders and 28mm lenses are but journalists do not make cameras !

Thanks to all for your suggestions but I guess it's back to the drawing board for compromises for me

Rex
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Old Jul 30, 2006, 11:14 AM   #9
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Thanks for suggestion Bob, please see notes in my reply to Jim

Rex


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Old Jul 30, 2006, 11:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for your suggestions, Slipe, I have studied the R4, Z850 & Z750 in detail but they do not satisfy my needs. Please see comments in my reply to Jim

I have lots of notes on the 750 but your comments on the 750 / 850 are very interesting especially using stitch assist to compensate for lack of wide angle. If I have to compromise and there is nothing new on the market they and the S80 will be on my shortlist

Rex


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