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Old Jul 31, 2006, 1:57 PM   #1
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I'm looking to buy my second digital camera. My first was $80 RCA camera from walmart with no LCD screen and only worked with internal memory. It was very difficult to take pictures, having to run back to the computer to see if they turned out okay or not.

I am fascinated by macro shots and I'd like a camera that can also do great wide angle shots with a fairly descent zoom.

I've been reading around and found that Canon is expected to launch new cameras in August and was waiting to make a decision seeing that perhaps if there is a good choice in their line, their prices may drop.

I've been tinkering around with the SD 700 IS at my local Circuit City although I'm not too familiar with what options it can provide me in addition to any manual controls that could help me get better shots once I get more acquainted with my camera.

Thank you for reading & any recommendations
- Marty
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Old Jul 31, 2006, 6:26 PM   #2
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Marty-

You mention your need for manual controls and then you indicate your interest in the Canon SD-700. Well, the SD-700 IS has virttually no manual controls, just WB and a slow shutter option. Other cameras really do have manual controls, but not the Canon SD-700 IS.

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Old Jul 31, 2006, 11:55 PM   #3
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What cameras could you recommend have manual controls?

Thank you for the reply!

- Marty
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Old Aug 1, 2006, 12:39 PM   #4
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Since you are looking at a SD700 I'm guessing you want something you can carry in your pocket. There are some larger cameras that fit your requirements but you won't come close to fitting one in your pocket. The Fuji S9000 and Minolta A200 fit all your requirements but they are large cameras.

I'm guessing by your reference to Circuit City that your secret location is in the US. Unfortunately the camera that comes the closest to your requirements for a pocket camera is the Ricoh R4, and it isn't sold in the US. A US resident who is a member here said he got one from Ebay, but that would be dicey if you needed service. But it does have a wide angle and decent zoom range along with stabilization.

Since the SD700 doesn't have either a wide angle or any manual controls I'm not really sure of your requirements.

The smallest cameras that have full manual controls are the Casio Z750 and Z850. They are good cameras but have no wide angle or long zoom range. An important thing to me is that they have optical viewfinders in addition to the LCD.

The Panasonic FX01 has a wide angle but no manual controls and the zoom is limited to about two power as you would measure it in a telescope or binoculars.

The Panasonic LZ1 isn't really a pocket camera but it is quite small and has a 10X zoom. No wide angle or manual controls.

I have insisted on manual controls on both of the pocket cameras I have owned. I'm not sure that will be a requirement on the next small camera I upgrade to. I like manual controls on a large camera with an EVF, but there are ways to get good photos in almost all situations with the controls on a camera like the SD700 or FX01. I don't find any lighting situation I can't handle with spot metering and/or EV shift referring to the histogram. Aperture priority is handy with an external flash, but little cameras can't use one. Aperture priority is also good for blurring backgrounds and maximizing shutter speed, but any current camera will have modes like portrait and sports to handle those situations. Full manual exposure is handy for night shots, but many people don't buy tripods to go with little pocket cameras. And most point and shoots have modes that let you take advantage of all the shutter speed the camera will generate for night shots.

One thing I do like is configurability, and cameras with manual controls are also usually more configurable. The Z750 and Z850 for example have 5 settings each for contrast, saturation and sharpening. A point and shoot like the SD700 has no user settings for these with just a vivid mode that shotguns all three with only one setting. The Casios also let you determine with each item what will return to default and what will stay the way you left it when you turn the camera off and back on. You can also custom configure some of the buttons.

Edit: I forgot to add that the Casios don't have a great macro mode. You can focus down only to about 4 inches in wide and that increases to around 20 inches in full telephoto. If you want to fill a frame with a small bug or coin it isn't the best choice.


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Old Aug 1, 2006, 12:49 PM   #5
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Marty-

Please tell me what kind of budget you are allowing for the project? That has to factor into our considerations. If we have around $(US) 225 in the budget, take a look at the Casio Z-120 camera.

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Old Aug 1, 2006, 1:00 PM   #6
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Thank you Slipe for taking time to respond. The only reason I like the SD 700 is that it felt very responsive to me. Size is not too much of an issue although I don't think I am yet ready for a DSLR.

I would like to spend no more then $400-$500 for the camera itself although with the features I'd like, it wouldn't be much more for a decent DSLR? I have also read that Nikon is coming out with a new DSLR, the successor to the D70 which I hear is a pretty good camera.

Now I'm just lost! Thank you for helping me sort out this camera conundrum.

- Marty
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 8:33 PM   #7
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D80 is in very good camera...but arround $999 so with a decent lenses ...too much...

I would recomend KonicaMinolta 5D as DSLR solution....you can still find them brand new for $600 or arround $500 factory refurbished. This is great camera and Cameta Camera has Tamron 28-300mm lens for it for $144 and also I would recomend Sigma 24-135 lens ...also good price.

I'm looking currently at Panasonic FX07 ...7.2Mp as pocket camera....
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