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digital P&S recommendation wanted
Old 11-04-2005   #1
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digital P&S recommendation wanted

I'm looking for a small digital camera that I can slip into a coat pocket and forget about until the need arises to snap a few shots.. ordinarily I'd say my Contax T fits the bill well, but the 3 ft minimum focusing distance has given me problems many times already.. so I'm looking for a CQB (Close Quarters Body) that isn't too expensive and has great optics

suggestions? donations?
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Old 11-04-2005   #2
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Canon A series. Good optics, close focusing, uses AA cells. Earlier models (A40 though A85) can be had very reasonably used. I have an A40 (2MP) for occasions when I want a light, easy to carry digital P&S. It'll print to 8x10 acceptably.

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Old 11-04-2005   #3
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Well, I do not recommend a Nikon E3.

So I will have to suggest the Digital M3.

http://cgi.ebay.com/MINOX-LEICA-M3-3...QQcmdZViewItem

BIN!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Digital-Classic-...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 11-04-2005   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterc
Canon A series. Good optics, close focusing, uses AA cells. Earlier models (A40 though A85) can be had very reasonably used. I have an A40 (2MP) for occasions when I want a light, easy to carry digital P&S. It'll print to 8x10 acceptably.

Peter
I second what Peter said. Yoou can't go wrong with the Canon A series - wide selection of price/megapixel range. If you want something new and really tiny that delivers great pics, I would recommend the Olympus Verve. A friend of mine has one, and I am impressed with the images.
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Old 11-04-2005   #5
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Canon S400 / S500 series. Ridiculously small, nice optics & picture quality (hard to tell the difference between those and the canon G2/3 in back to back shots. Long battery life, great build quality. Inexpensive if you can get a discontinued S400 / S410.
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Old 11-04-2005   #6
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Old 11-04-2005   #7
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Fuji F10 or Canon S series (or A series - but not the A400/410)

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Old 11-04-2005   #8
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I don't own a digital camera, but my wife _loves_ her Canon A75. She wouldn't use the Nikon FG I forced on her and rarely uses my Stylus Epic, but since she bought the Canon, she shoots and shoots and shoots. It's a great little camera in macro, too, and 3.2 MP are fine for prints up to 8x10.
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Old 11-04-2005   #9
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The Canon S series for me too. Especially the ones that offer RAW as an option. I have an early S45 that has served me well. Would like an S70 even better since it has the equivalent of a 28mm lens at wide angle.

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Old 11-04-2005   #10
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Just another rec for the Canon A series. I've used an A80 for a few years now and two features I consistently value are the macro capabilities and the swivel-tilt LCD screen. The screen's mobility allows the camera to be positioned at interesting angles while you retain the ability to see what the picture is. I've abused this function for taking lame self-portraits while traveling. You can see yourself looking into the lens. Neat. Picture quality ain't bad either.
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Old 11-04-2005   #11
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Andrew's comments remind me that my wife now uses the A80 whenever we travel -- she hates electronics but is far more comfortable using this camera than her previous film p&s.
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Old 11-04-2005   #12
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thanks for all the suggestions.. the Olympus Verve was what originally got me thinking about a pocket digicam.. those things are pretty cool.. but I'm still keeping my options open

thanks for the PM on the TVS, Francisco.. I'm giving it a serious look-see right now.. but I might decide to do a little more searching since the TVS is a little larger than I'd like.. but who knows

keep the suggestions coming, please!
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Old 11-04-2005   #13
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Hey, Brett, I'd highly recommend you go to nearest store (bestbuy, circuit city, costco, sams club, walmart, kmart, wolf's, ritz, etc) and check out the cameras before actually comitting to one. One of those things I cannot stress enough!

A couple years ago, I had pretty much decided on the canon A series for my own, but after trying it out, the thing was horribly slow. That, and I didn't really like the Canon colors. The nikons were slow, too, and I ended up with a sony because it just felt far more responsive. I'm sure the speed and shutter lag have improved today -- however, I'm all for recommending one of the Sony's, they have these amazing, fast cameras with decent lenses.

Be aware that the smaller the digicam, the more likely you are to introduce handshake in your shots. This was a major problem with the sony T series.

The one I ended up buying two years ago is now discontinued: sony V1. It's just slightly too big for a pocket, but man, what a great camera. It can still be had for pretty cheap, new, at some places. All pictures here were taken with the V1.
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Old 11-04-2005   #14
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hmm.. good points, jano.. I did stop in at the local Target a few hours ago, and they have a decent selection to play around with.. right now I'm leaning toward something I never would have considered a week ago.. the Fuji F10.. I'll have to do some more research on it and actually get my hands on one.. but one review I just read raved about it, and compared the photo quality to a Nikon D70
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Old 11-05-2005   #15
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I use a Sony Cybershot DSC P-100 and I like it a lot. Excellent lens. I only bought it because its red (my favorite color) but it was very inexpensive - it is one or two generations back from the current model at 5 megapixels. It has a Zeiss lens.

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Old 11-05-2005   #16
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It really depends on what you do expect from a pocket digicam.

Any camera without RAW support will have some significant limitations on post-processing.

Personally I am thinking about the Pana LX1, even with its high noise, since it is mostly chroma noise and can be easily fixed, optical stabilization is quite attractive too.

Another camera worth considering is the Ricoh GR-D.

If however you are happy without RAW there are a lot pretty good cameras out there.

Another thing you might want to consider is the shutter-lag, you don't want anything with more than 0.12 seconds lag.

BTW I have a very cheap Ricoh GX for sale, should you be interested PM or e-mail me.

See

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...caplio_gx.html

for a review.
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Old 11-05-2005   #17
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Ooo, yes.. the Fuji's I hear are good -- never had a chance to play with them yet. Not the sharpest lenses in the P&S category, but the recent ones have good noise handling up to 400 and 800 iso... I don't mind grain of films, but the rgb noise of digicams is just not quite pleasing. If it's required to get the shot, then so be it, but I'd rather avoid it.
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Old 11-06-2005   #18
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I really like the Panasonics with the Leica lenses. They have a nice glow to them, but not as good as film
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Old 11-07-2005   #19
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Brett,

Another plug for the Canon A-series. I've been happily using my A40 for a few years in virtually the same situations that you describe. My only complaints about the A40 are the low-ish resolution, over-powered flash and bulk (it's a jacket-pocket camera). I'm thinking of upgrading to the Canon A520 (and I'd already own one if the execs at Canon had seen fit to put their digic II chip in the A520) because it offers the same nice combination of image quality, speed and shooting features -- including full manual mode -- with higher resolution, smaller size and even better battery life.

Like you, I was also very intrigued by the Stylus Verve but the lack of an optical VF and poor battery life kept it off my list. I've handled the Sony W- and P-series cameras and they were very impressive indeed. If they used SD cards I might have bought the W-1 (since replaced by the W-5 or W-7).

I also own a Panasonic FZ-1 ultra zoom. It's more of a specialty camera but it's still a pleasure to use and the OIS really, really helps in low light. If you enjoy sports or wildlife shooting then the much improved FZ-5 is worth a look.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 11-07-2005   #20
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I just ordered an Panasonic DMC-LX1, I'll let you know how bad is the noise.

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Old 11-07-2005   #21
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I'd echo a few of the earlier comments. Fuji's F10 is really worth a look. Speed varies a lot. You simply have to try them out to get a grasp of this but some of the shutter delays are really amazingly unacceptable. My old Nikon 4300 has major shutter lag. I think most have improved from that point but there are some standouts if you look around. Sony is usually blazing fast but I tend to not like their colors so much. If I could get a Fuji F10, with Nikon colors, with AA batteries and with button control (not menu) of ISO and White Balance I'd buy it in a second. Try as many as you can and good luck!

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Old 11-07-2005   #22
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It depends on how big your pockets are. My personal over the shoulder digital is a Canon Powershot Pro1, it's light and quiet but won't fit in a pocket. I used to go out with my ex's Oly C-5060, it's a great camera. Thick, but great. The C-7070 it the same camera with a new sensor. If you think you can pocket something around the same size as an Agfa Isolette III, the Sony DSC-V3 is a really nice camera. Fast auto-focus, built to last, Carl Zeiss lens, CF cards...
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Old 11-07-2005   #23
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I recently purchased the Panasonic DMC LX1. I really like this camera even though it has many drawbacks. Ultra fast and responsive.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...eras/lx1.shtml

Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2005   #24
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The Canon A610 or A620 is on my short list to buy...Look at them plenty of good improvements over the great A95 camera. Oh if you try the F10..be prepared for a lot of menu cruising. It has the worst interface of any camera I have tried. I figured it out one time and recently tried to use one again and after 5 minutes of frustration, gave up.
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Old 11-07-2005   #25
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My digi POS - I mean P&S is a Pentax Optio 43 WR. Acceptable optics, no manual exposure but TOTALLY WATERPROOF! It's awesome. I can put the camera right into a tidal pool and take macro shots of crabs, shoot full screen video while going down waterslides, and a buddy of mine attached one to his kite and flew it with the video running. The camera is rugged enought to sustain multiple crashes from the kite. Best of all, when my little nephew drops it in the toilet, I can still use it!
Otherwise, the best combo of good optics, zoom range, manual control and RAW is hands-down the Canon S70.
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Old 11-08-2005   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbug
... If I could get a Fuji F10, with Nikon colors, with AA batteries and with button control (not menu) of ISO and White Balance I'd buy it in a second. Try as many as you can and good luck!

Scott
OK, I forgot to add 28mm on the wide end. That's nearly essential. The new S80 review reminded me of that. The S80 looks pretty darn nice if you want to drop $500. No high ISO or AA batteries though.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons80/page14.asp

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