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Old Aug 10, 2006, 2:20 AM   #1
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My E550 had 4 things that were great (aside from pretty good IQ):

1) AA batteries
2) 4x optical zoom b/c more zoom is better
3) 6MP sensor so that if I can't zoom in far enough, I can crop
4) 30fps video w/sound

Find me a camera that can do the same or better. Concerning the zoom/sensor, I'll take a higher zoom/lower MP or vice versa since everything gets cropped anyway.

Cheaper is better because I can buy a refurbished E550 for $173...or should I just wait until Black Friday sales?
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 9:27 AM   #2
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How about the Canon A620?
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 6:39 PM   #3
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robbo wrote:
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How about the Canon A620?
It uses 4x AA's so it'll be too heavy.

However, if it's the only one that fits the bill, I could overlook that.

What do you guys think of the A700, Nikon 7900, and Panasonic LZ5? They seem to meet my requirements up top, unless I missed something.
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Old Aug 15, 2006, 2:09 AM   #4
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Is the use of proprietary batteries worth the advance of having a slim camera like an Exilim or ELPH? I wouldn't buy a second battery so I'd be limited in terms of how long I could go without a recharge. In this case, the Casio Z850 looks very tasty and a better value than the SD600.
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Old Aug 28, 2006, 6:30 PM   #5
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 5:14 PM   #6
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I like the proprietery LI battery in my F30. I can just plug it in and charge it overnight in the camera. And there's no problem with frequently charging the Li batteries. And it gets 500+ shots on a charge, so overall the battery performance, as well as the convenience of a camera I can slip into my jeans pocket was worthwhile for me. I also like the fact that it wont lose significant charge if I leave it for a few weeksa or a month. I probably will have to replace it aevery couple of years, and if the battery is not available while the camera still has some useful life, I'm sure I'll change my mind about it then. But for now this is more convenient to me than AA batteries. What I would really like though is for them to finally figure out a way to do rechargeable AA lithium (and I suspect they might).

Another issue you might have with the smaller cameras might be that there are fewer with 4x zoom or better. And you haven't said whether you care about manual controls, but that's another feature lacking on many of them.

What I like about my F30 is it's pocketable, and still has manual controls. What I dislike is that it lacks optical image stabilization.

For the type of camera that you're looking at, I would suggest considering the A710 IS, if it's in your budget. That's with AA batteries, and a 6x zoom, and very good image quality. The Nikon Coolpix L5 is another new one that might meet your requirements. Neither of those is available yet.

If budget is a big factor, I'd go for the Panasonic, as it gets you IS at that price but with generally good image quality. But I think both the Panasonic and Casio will fall short of your old E550 when it comes to image noise at ISO 200 and above. I think the Cannon A710IS will give a bit better image quality, but at a bit of a premium. The SD700IS gives good quality, is pocketable (with a proprietery battery), and has the 4x zoom.

If you're going to take most of your pictures outdoors, however, go for one of the the Panasonic models (they all have the optical IS).

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Old Sep 1, 2006, 12:28 PM   #7
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kenbalbari wrote:
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I like the proprietery LI battery in my F30. I can just plug it in and charge it overnight in the camera. And there's no problem with frequently charging the Li batteries. And it gets 500+ shots on a charge, so overall the battery performance, as well as the convenience of a camera I can slip into my jeans pocket was worthwhile for me. I also like the fact that it wont lose significant charge if I leave it for a few weeksa or a month. I probably will have to replace it aevery couple of years, and if the battery is not available while the camera still has some useful life, I'm sure I'll change my mind about it then. But for now this is more convenient to me than AA batteries. What I would really like though is for them to finally figure out a way to do rechargeable AA lithium (and I suspect they might).

Another issue you might have with the smaller cameras might be that there are fewer with 4x zoom or better. And you haven't said whether you care about manual controls, but that's another feature lacking on many of them.

What I like about my F30 is it's pocketable, and still has manual controls. What I dislike is that it lacks optical image stabilization.

For the type of camera that you're looking at, I would suggest considering the A710 IS, if it's in your budget. That's with AA batteries, and a 6x zoom, and very good image quality. The Nikon Coolpix L5 is another new one that might meet your requirements. Neither of those is available yet.

If budget is a big factor, I'd go for the Pentax, as it gets you IS at that price but with generally good image quality. But I think both the Pentax and Casio will fall short of your old E550 when it comes to image noise at ISO 200 and above. I think the Cannon A710IS will give a bit better image quality, but at a bit of a premium. The SD700IS gives good quality, is pocketable (with a proprietery battery), and has the 4x zoom.

If you're going to take most of your pictures outdoors, however, go for one of the the Pentax models (they all have the optical IS).

Any idea what a battery for the F30 goes for at a discount place?

BTW, so far I haven't missedthe need for IS on my F30. I have IS on my DSLRs and would never giveit up. On the F30 Ihave been ableto take pretty steady shots with it despite the fact that it lacks viewfinder, which sometimes helps to steady a camera. I'm guessing the ISnot as critical as it would be in a camera with a little more zoom.


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Old Sep 1, 2006, 2:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Any idea what a battery for the F30 goes for at a discount place?
Looks like B&H has the Fuji brand battery for $40, and the Impact brand now for only $30. I imagine you can find discout places which are a bit cheaper than that.

Quote:
BTW, so far I haven't missed the need for IS on my F30. I have IS on my DSLRs and would never give it up. On the F30 I have been able to take pretty steady shots with it despite the fact that it lacks viewfinder, which sometimes helps to steady a camera. I'm guessing the IS not as critical as it would be in a camera with a little more zoom.
Well maybe IS isn't critical. But it's a very nice feature. Being able to shoot at ISO 400, 800, and even 1600 with reasonable noise isn't often critical either. Most of the time you can do without it. But I think for many people, the IS might be a even a bit more useful than the high ISO performance.

Really, the high ISO performance of the Fuji mostly offsets the need for IS. If you are getting a 2 stop advantage from IS, with the Fuji you can instead dial up the ISO 2 stops (and prevent a bit of blur from subject movement as well as camera shake). And, an experieced photographer with a steady hand isn't likely going to get more than about 2 stops advantage from IS (in some cases maybe less).

But, it would be really useful to have both. I like the slow synch flash mode on the Fuji for example. But all that really does is change the default flash shutter speed to 1/15 sec from 1/60 sec, allowing a less powerful flash to expose more of the backgroud. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take that shot handheld?

Just as features like slow-sych, and the "intlligent flash" on the Fuji are made more useful by the high ISO capabilities of the F30, it all would be enhanced even more if IS were available. I'd love to see them be able to put IS on a camera with the F30 sensor. But Fuji doesn't even have IS on their super zooms. So I guess it will be awhile. It would be nice if they could license the technology from one of the companies that has it though, if they can't develop their own. If Fuji and Panasonic ever got together with their technology, that would be a heck of a camera. (and I meant Panasonic where I said Pentax above--which I've now edited).



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Old Sep 1, 2006, 2:15 PM   #9
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kenbalbari wrote:
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Well maybe IS isn't critical. But it's a very nice feature. Being able to shoot at ISO 400, 800, and even 1600 with reasonable noise isn't often critical either. Most of the time you can do without it. But I think for many people, the IS might be a even a bit more useful than the high ISO performance.

Really, the high ISO performance of the Fuji mostly offsets the need for IS. If you are getting a 2 stop advantage from IS, with the Fuji you can instead dial up the ISO 2 stops (and prevent a bit of blur from subject movement as well as camera shake). And, an experieced photographer with a steady hand isn't likely going to get more than about 2 stops advantage from IS (in some cases maybe less).

But, it would be really useful to have both. I like the slow synch flash mode on the Fuji for example. But all that really does is change the default flash shutter speed to 1/15 sec from 1/60 sec, allowing a less powerful flash to expose more of the backgroud. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take that shot handheld?

Just as features like slow-sych, and the "intlligent flash" on the Fuji are made more useful by the high ISO capabilities of the F30, it all would be enhanced even more if IS were available. I'd love to see them be able to put IS on a camera with the F30 sensor. But Fuji doesn't even have IS on their super zooms. So I guess it will be awhile. It would be nice if they could license the technology from one of the companies that has it though, if they can't develop their own. If Fuji and Panasonic ever got together with their technology, that would be a heck of a camera. (and I meant Panasonic where I said Pentax above--which I've now edited).



Agreed, I would have liked to see IS on the Fuji. BTW, I hate the way Fuji misleads people promotingtheir "picture stabilization" feature. I wonder how many people buy the Fuji thinking they are getting IS.


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