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Camera Recommendations Requested

 
 
HerHusband
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-09-2009
We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are some
of my requirements:

- UNDER $500

- Uses SDHC memory cards. Our current Fuji F10 uses XD cards. When we
filled up the cards we had brought, the extra 5 SDHC cards I had for my
camcorder were of no use. So, I'd like to be able to use the same memory
cards in both devices.

- FASTEST power up. My wife often missed shots of wildlife or passing
scenery, because the subject was already gone by the time the camera
turned on.

- FASTEST picture taking/saving. Even when our camera was already on,
the delay in taking the picture was too slow, and having to wait while
the first picture was being saved often meant the subject was gone before
we could take a second picture.

- Simple automatic operations. We're not photographers, we just like to
capture special family moments, vacations, etc. We have no need for the
manual controls (or cost) of a DSLR. We don't need lots of fancy
features, just good quality photos.

- Compact. We need something fairly small that's easy to take on
vacations, hikes, etc.

- GREAT quality. We don't necessarily need a bazillion megapixels. Our
Fuji F10 is only 6MP and is fine for our purposes. But the image quality
of my camcorder far exceeds the F10's quality with just a 1920x1080
resolution. So obviously there's more to quality than massive megapixels.
I'm not against higher resolutions, but I'm more concerned with image
quality.

- GOOD ZOOM. My wife's most common complaint is not being able to zoom in
close enough to see a bird, chipmunk, or whatever. So, I want something
with at least 5X optical zoom, preferably more, though I don't want to
lose too much wide angle view either.

Any recommendations???

Thanks,

Anthony
 
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Irwell
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-09-2009
On Sun, 9 Aug 2009 16:34:02 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband wrote:

> We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
> of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
> a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are some
> of my requirements:
>
> - UNDER $500
>
> - Uses SDHC memory cards. Our current Fuji F10 uses XD cards. When we
> filled up the cards we had brought, the extra 5 SDHC cards I had for my
> camcorder were of no use. So, I'd like to be able to use the same memory
> cards in both devices.
>
> - FASTEST power up. My wife often missed shots of wildlife or passing
> scenery, because the subject was already gone by the time the camera
> turned on.
>
> - FASTEST picture taking/saving. Even when our camera was already on,
> the delay in taking the picture was too slow, and having to wait while
> the first picture was being saved often meant the subject was gone before
> we could take a second picture.
>
> - Simple automatic operations. We're not photographers, we just like to
> capture special family moments, vacations, etc. We have no need for the
> manual controls (or cost) of a DSLR. We don't need lots of fancy
> features, just good quality photos.
>
> - Compact. We need something fairly small that's easy to take on
> vacations, hikes, etc.
>
> - GREAT quality. We don't necessarily need a bazillion megapixels. Our
> Fuji F10 is only 6MP and is fine for our purposes. But the image quality
> of my camcorder far exceeds the F10's quality with just a 1920x1080
> resolution. So obviously there's more to quality than massive megapixels.
> I'm not against higher resolutions, but I'm more concerned with image
> quality.
>
> - GOOD ZOOM. My wife's most common complaint is not being able to zoom in
> close enough to see a bird, chipmunk, or whatever. So, I want something
> with at least 5X optical zoom, preferably more, though I don't want to
> lose too much wide angle view either.
>
> Any recommendations???
>

Try entering your criteria on this page
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp

You will be able to make a selection then
 
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HerHusband
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-09-2009
>> I'm starting a search for a new camera

> Try entering your criteria on this page
> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp


Awesome, thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for...

Take care,

Anthony
 
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Fotoguy
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-09-2009
On Sun, 09 Aug 2009 16:34:02 +0000, HerHusband wrote:

> We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
> of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
> a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are
> some of my requirements:
>
> - UNDER $500
>
> - Uses SDHC memory cards. Our current Fuji F10 uses XD cards. When we
> filled up the cards we had brought, the extra 5 SDHC cards I had for my
> camcorder were of no use. So, I'd like to be able to use the same memory
> cards in both devices.
>
> - FASTEST power up.
>
> [big snip]
>
> Any recommendations???


Take a look at the Canon Powershot SX-200 IS. It meets all your
requirements. And is well under $500.

There are a couple of other cameras that might do as well, but I've
always been impressed with the overall build and image quality of Canon
point-n-shoots. And, their reasonable prices. So, I chose the Canon
over the others. Although, that doesn't make the others "bad" choices.

If you want to do your own search, click on the Best In Class link in my
signature below. The site is designed for people who don't know a lot
about photography or cameras, but do know what kind of pictures they want
to take. Searches are criteria-based instead of camera feature-based.


--
Fotoguy
BestInClass.com
"Personalized digital camera recommendations"
http://www.bestinclass.com/digital-cameras
 
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Marty Freeman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-09-2009
HerHusband <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
> of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
> a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are some
> of my requirements:
>
> - UNDER $500
>
> - Uses SDHC memory cards. Our current Fuji F10 uses XD cards. When we
> filled up the cards we had brought, the extra 5 SDHC cards I had for my
> camcorder were of no use. So, I'd like to be able to use the same memory
> cards in both devices.


Anything modern that takes SD cards should also take SDHC. Say, less than 3
years old or thereabouts.

> - FASTEST picture taking/saving. Even when our camera was already on,
> the delay in taking the picture was too slow, and having to wait while
> the first picture was being saved often meant the subject was gone before
> we could take a second picture.


Preset focus (infinity or hyperfocal distance) might help here, or phase
detection focus (normally only found on DSLRs though). Other than that you
need to look at some review sites for power-on-to-first-shot timings.

> - Compact. We need something fairly small that's easy to take on
> vacations, hikes, etc.
>
> - GOOD ZOOM. My wife's most common complaint is not being able to zoom in
> close enough to see a bird, chipmunk, or whatever. So, I want something
> with at least 5X optical zoom, preferably more, though I don't want to
> lose too much wide angle view either.


You could look at the Ricoh R-series or their high dynamic range successor
the CX. They all have 28-200mm equivalent zoom in a very compact body with
options to preset the focus to infinity, hyperfocal distance or manual. The
lenses are good, though received wisdom is that the newest models such as
R10 have worse picture quality due to stuffing too many megapixel into the
same size sensor, so you might want to look for R9 or earlier if still
available.

Some of the Panasonics offer a bigger zoom range in a slightly larger body
but tend not to offer any control over things like focus. Personally after
experiencing frustration with failure to focus on things like clouds with
an all-auto panasonic camera I would not buy anything which didn't at least
let me preset infinity focus to avoid frustration with skyscapes and
distant landscapes or taking pictures through glass. Sometimes "scenic" or
"landscape" mode sets infinity focus for you (my Nikon does that), but not
in the case of Panasonics IME.

 
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ray
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-10-2009
On Sun, 09 Aug 2009 16:34:02 +0000, HerHusband wrote:

> We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
> of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
> a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are
> some of my requirements:
>
> - UNDER $500
>
> - Uses SDHC memory cards. Our current Fuji F10 uses XD cards. When we
> filled up the cards we had brought, the extra 5 SDHC cards I had for my
> camcorder were of no use. So, I'd like to be able to use the same memory
> cards in both devices.
>
> - FASTEST power up. My wife often missed shots of wildlife or passing
> scenery, because the subject was already gone by the time the camera
> turned on.
>
> - FASTEST picture taking/saving. Even when our camera was already on,
> the delay in taking the picture was too slow, and having to wait while
> the first picture was being saved often meant the subject was gone
> before we could take a second picture.
>
> - Simple automatic operations. We're not photographers, we just like to
> capture special family moments, vacations, etc. We have no need for the
> manual controls (or cost) of a DSLR. We don't need lots of fancy
> features, just good quality photos.
>
> - Compact. We need something fairly small that's easy to take on
> vacations, hikes, etc.
>
> - GREAT quality. We don't necessarily need a bazillion megapixels. Our
> Fuji F10 is only 6MP and is fine for our purposes. But the image quality
> of my camcorder far exceeds the F10's quality with just a 1920x1080
> resolution. So obviously there's more to quality than massive
> megapixels. I'm not against higher resolutions, but I'm more concerned
> with image quality.
>
> - GOOD ZOOM. My wife's most common complaint is not being able to zoom
> in close enough to see a bird, chipmunk, or whatever. So, I want
> something with at least 5X optical zoom, preferably more, though I don't
> want to lose too much wide angle view either.
>
> Any recommendations???


How about film?


>
> Thanks,
>
> Anthony


 
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Shawn Hirn
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-10-2009
In article <Xns9C625FF3D371herhusband@188.40.43.213>,
HerHusband <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
> of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
> a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are some
> of my requirements:
>
> - UNDER $500
>
> - Uses SDHC memory cards. Our current Fuji F10 uses XD cards. When we
> filled up the cards we had brought, the extra 5 SDHC cards I had for my
> camcorder were of no use. So, I'd like to be able to use the same memory
> cards in both devices.
>
> - FASTEST power up. My wife often missed shots of wildlife or passing
> scenery, because the subject was already gone by the time the camera
> turned on.
>
> - FASTEST picture taking/saving. Even when our camera was already on,
> the delay in taking the picture was too slow, and having to wait while
> the first picture was being saved often meant the subject was gone before
> we could take a second picture.
>
> - Simple automatic operations. We're not photographers, we just like to
> capture special family moments, vacations, etc. We have no need for the
> manual controls (or cost) of a DSLR. We don't need lots of fancy
> features, just good quality photos.
>
> - Compact. We need something fairly small that's easy to take on
> vacations, hikes, etc.
>
> - GREAT quality. We don't necessarily need a bazillion megapixels. Our
> Fuji F10 is only 6MP and is fine for our purposes. But the image quality
> of my camcorder far exceeds the F10's quality with just a 1920x1080
> resolution. So obviously there's more to quality than massive megapixels.
> I'm not against higher resolutions, but I'm more concerned with image
> quality.
>
> - GOOD ZOOM. My wife's most common complaint is not being able to zoom in
> close enough to see a bird, chipmunk, or whatever. So, I want something
> with at least 5X optical zoom, preferably more, though I don't want to
> lose too much wide angle view either.
>
> Any recommendations???


Yup. Take a look at http://www.dpreview.com for tons of camera reviews.
 
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HerHusband
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-10-2009
Ray,

> How about film?


Nope, been there, done that...

We took over 2250 photos on our week long vacation (between three cameras),
and kept about 1700 of those after weeding out similar photos, blurred,
pictures with posts or other objects in the way, etc. It's simply not cost
effective or convenient to use that much film and wait to get it developed.
Not to mention the instant feedback of digital to see whether you caught
that bird in the frame, or whether you need to reshoot.

We've gone all digital for both stills and video and won't be going back to
film...

Thanks,

Anthony
 
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ASAAR
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-10-2009
On Sun, 9 Aug 2009 16:34:02 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband wrote:

> We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
> of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
> a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are some
> of my requirements:
>
> - UNDER $500


Fuji's S100fs has just been discontinued. You can still find them
new but prices vary quite a bit from dealer to dealer and from day
to day. As an example, about two weeks ago J&R was selling the USA
version for $599 and a day or two later the price dropped to $550.
As I type this the price remains $550 ($549.8 but now they've
added to the description "Limited quantity available...while
supplies last". Also shown is a *very* nice, well padded leather
bag for the S100fs for $27. It includes a full copy of Paint Shop
Pro X2 which is the current version and which normally sells for
several times that price, alone. B&H sells the same case and
software for $50, but their version also includes a two year
warranty extension from Fuji. Another camera store (TriState)
claimed to have the USA version (I highly doubt that they ever did)
for $520 and the imported S100fs for $479 two weeks ago, but a few
days later claimed to run out of USA versions and raised the price
of the imported version to $590. The price has now dropped back
down to $520.

The only problem with the Paint Shop Pro software is that its
support for RAW files is limited to a small number of old camera
models. For instance, the most recent supported Fuji model, IIRC,
is the S7000 and maybe the old S5000/S5500. For Nikons it's the
D200. I don't think that the Paint Shop Pro Ultimate X2 upgrade
really adds much other than RAW support for many recent models
(D300, D700, S100fs, etc.), and it's an additional $60 or so to
upgrade. If you need RAW support you may prefer going for Photoshop
Elements instead, but PSPro X2 is a good program and it includes
Lynda.com's video training software on DVD which helps beginners
come up to speed pretty quickly. Fuji's own software, by the way,
offers RAW support for he S100fs, but it's pretty poor and *very*
slow. Best avoided.


> - Uses SDHC memory cards. Our current Fuji F10 uses XD cards. When we
> filled up the cards we had brought, the extra 5 SDHC cards I had for my
> camcorder were of no use. So, I'd like to be able to use the same memory
> cards in both devices.


The S100fs uses xD, SD and SDHC cards. Unlike many previous Fujis,
SD performance is pretty good.


> - FASTEST power up. My wife often missed shots of wildlife or passing
> scenery, because the subject was already gone by the time the camera
> turned on.


It's not as quick as DSLRs, but not too bad - 2.0 seconds from
power on to ready to shoot.


> - FASTEST picture taking/saving. Even when our camera was already on,
> the delay in taking the picture was too slow, and having to wait while
> the first picture was being saved often meant the subject was gone before
> we could take a second picture.


How slow was your camera's "slow"? Again, not lightning fast
(thinking of Nikon's D300, which is *far* faster than the S100fs),
but it's able to take up to 5 consecutive shots (either JPG or RAW)
at the rate of one shot per second in single shot mode, after which
its internal memory buffer is full and if you keep shooting, it's
quite a bit slower, maybe 2 or 3 seconds per shot - even slower if
you're using slow memory cards. In continuous mode given a fast
enough memory card, it'll shoot at 1 shot per second until the card
is full. There are a couple of traditional Fuji "high speed"
continuous shooting modes. Top 7 shoots up to 7 frames at about 3
frames per second. Last 7 keeps shooting at 3 frames per second, but
only retains (up to) the last 7 shots you took. For RAW files the
same 3 shots per second frame rate applies, but it's called Top 3
and Last 3 for obvious reasons. There's also a Top 50 mode that
shoots at the rate of 7 frames per second for up to 50 shots, but
these shots are recorded at 3mp instead of the camera's normal 11mp.


> - Simple automatic operations. We're not photographers, we just like to
> capture special family moments, vacations, etc. We have no need for the
> manual controls (or cost) of a DSLR. We don't need lots of fancy
> features, just good quality photos.


The S100fs has all of the usual manual controls but they don't have
to be used if you set the shooting mode dial to Auto or use any of
the scene modes, which include several Landscape and Portrait modes,
Baby mode, Night mode, Sunset, Beach, Snow, Sports and Fireworks
modes.


> - Compact. We need something fairly small that's easy to take on
> vacations, hikes, etc.


Too bad you didn't mention this earlier, as this camera probably
isn't for you. It's as large as some of the smallest DSLRs. Many
small men and petite women have no problem carrying it all day on
vacations and hikes and a smaller camera would be more convenient,
but that would lose the S100fs's better performance and image
quality. Its lens, BTW, has a 35mm equiv. range of 28mm-400mm, and
28mm is wider than you get with most P&S cameras, quite good for
landscapes and indoor shooting.


> - GREAT quality. We don't necessarily need a bazillion megapixels. Our
> Fuji F10 is only 6MP and is fine for our purposes. But the image quality
> of my camcorder far exceeds the F10's quality with just a 1920x1080
> resolution. So obviously there's more to quality than massive megapixels.
> I'm not against higher resolutions, but I'm more concerned with image
> quality.


Nope. Almost any 3mp, 4mp, 5mp and 6mp camera will take higher
quality shots than your camcorder. 1920 x 1080 is only 2mp, but
because the image is moving, it may appear to have more resolution.
If you extract a still image from your camcorder's video, it won't
look as good as your F10's images unless there's something
drastically wrong with your F10 or your camcorder is very unusual
and extremely expensive. You may want to take a look at some S100fs
images. One photographer recently bought the camera and these
pictures are from his first and second model shoots with it :


http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=32610662

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=32627411

and from other photographers,

Birds :

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=30298983

Butterflies :

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=31197435

A wedding (by an S100fs newbie) :

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...9&changemode=1



> - GOOD ZOOM. My wife's most common complaint is not being able to zoom in
> close enough to see a bird, chipmunk, or whatever. So, I want something
> with at least 5X optical zoom, preferably more, though I don't want to
> lose too much wide angle view either.


The S100fs has a 14.3x zoom lens (28mm - 400mm), as good or better
than you asked for, wider than usual and the zoom range is much more
than 5x. In addition, the zoom is much faster to operate and more
precise than most P&S cameras, since it is zoomed manually (like a
DSLR) by rotating the lens's zoom ring instead of using a rocker,
button or lever on the camera body.


> Any recommendations???


Yes. If you're at all tempted by the S100fs despite its size,
don't consider the S200EXR, its replacement which will be available
in a month or two or three. It uses the same lens, but it has a
slightly smaller sensor, which gives the lens a wide focal length of
only 30.5mm instead of 28mm, and it doesn't have the S100fs's
articulating LCD display, which can be invaluable for several types
of shooting. If you want to see what it looks like, here's a link to
DPReview's extensive review. It's fairly long (19 pages) and highly
technical in spots. Much of the review can be skipped. After seeing
the spec's and what it looks like on the first two pages, you can
skip to page 18 to read the Pros, Cons and conclusions.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilms100fs/


 
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David J Taylor
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-10-2009

"HerHusband" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns9C625FF3D371herhusband@188.40.43.213...
> We just returned from a week long vacation, in which we discovered some
> of the weaknesses of our present digi-cam. So, I'm starting a search for
> a new camera and thought I'd ask for some recommendations. Here are
> some
> of my requirements:

[]
> - GOOD ZOOM. My wife's most common complaint is not being able to zoom
> in
> close enough to see a bird, chipmunk, or whatever. So, I want something
> with at least 5X optical zoom, preferably more, though I don't want to
> lose too much wide angle view either.
>
> Any recommendations???
>
> Thanks,
>
> Anthony


Anthony,

We've used the Panasonic TZ3 for some time and been pleased with it.
28-280 mm zoom, SD cards, compact, movies.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonictz3/

Their current model has 12:1 zoom (25-300 mm):
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0901/09...nasonictz7.asp

When using long zoom cameras like these, having Optical Image
Stabilisation such as that on the Panasonic models is a great aid to
taking sharp telephoto shots hand-held. 25-28 mm wide angle is quite
respectable too.

Cheers,
David

 
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