Advice on 1st Digital Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Martin Palmer, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    I'm looking into buying my first digital camera, and wondered if anyone can
    give me some advice.
    I'm after a compact, stylish camera that takes excellent shots. As my
    girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over her
    shots, so some decent manual settings would be nice.

    I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to the four cameras below, but if
    you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. If any of you own any
    of these cameras I'd be very interested to hear your opinions.

    Casio EXILIM EX-Z4
    Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)
    Pentax Optio S4
    Minolta DiMAGE F200

    Many thanks in advance :)
     
    Martin Palmer, Nov 13, 2003
    #1
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  2. Martin Palmer

    Ric Guest

    In article <bovm8s$43e$>, "Martin Palmer" <> wrote:
    >Hi,
    >
    >I'm looking into buying my first digital camera, and wondered if anyone can
    >give me some advice.
    >I'm after a compact, stylish camera that takes excellent shots. As my
    >girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over her
    >shots, so some decent manual settings would be nice.
    >
    >I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to the four cameras below, but if
    >you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. If any of you own any
    >of these cameras I'd be very interested to hear your opinions.
    >
    >Casio EXILIM EX-Z4
    >Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)
    >Pentax Optio S4
    >Minolta DiMAGE F200
    >
    >Many thanks in advance :)
    >
    >


    I can only comment on the one I own -- I did my own research and bought the
    Canon S400. It is as you said, a stylish compact camera that takes excellent
    shots. It feels solid and fits easily and inconspicuously into the pocket of
    a light jacket (even with the $16 optional leather slip case) making it an
    ideal camera to carry along. It is simple to operate and works predictably
    well indoors and out. Shutter lag is minimal, and it goes pretty far on a
    rechargeable battery.

    OTOH it does not allow much manual control -- no focusing, aperture or shutter
    selection, etc. Forget about controlling depth of field. You can give a +/-
    exposure comensation for snow scenes, backlighting, etc. You can also select
    a "long" shutter which I haven't used yet, and choose from different flash
    modes, but not much more. Personally I don't use the display screen, and I
    would also complain that the optical viewfinder is too small.

    In summary, a great carry-around camera but not much creative control. It
    suits my needs for snapshots, and I'm satisfied with it for that purpose. My
    other camera is an F3 so they each are suited to different situations. I'd
    recommend you choose the Superfine image quality and buy a 256 MB compact
    flash memory card if you want quality shots.

    Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy it.

    Richard C.
    Swarthmore, PA USA
     
    Ric, Nov 13, 2003
    #2
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  3. "Martin Palmer" <> wrote in news:bovm8s$43e$1@sun-
    cc204.lut.ac.uk:
    > As my girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over
    > her shots ...


    Well, if this is a major point, only the Minolta F200 would allow your
    girlfriend to pick a particular aperture or shutter speed.

    If you're willing to get over the small size thing, and I think your
    consideration of the F200 shows you have some flexibility here, check out
    the Canon A70 and A80. Those 2 are hard to beat for features and value for
    the money. If they aren't too big for you, I'd say those are the ones to
    consider.




    --
    To email me, type my 1st name before my last.
     
    Tony Whitaker, Nov 13, 2003
    #3
  4. Martin Palmer

    Rich Guest

    Consider the Olympus 750uz, - i find the 7X0 series olympus cameras to be
    excellent all rounders with plenty of creative control - full manual
    settings and complete control over shutter speed, aperture and ev.. Add the
    10x optical zoom ED lens 4.0 mpix and the hotshoe flash adaptor of the 750
    and you've got a winner.

    some of my photos are displayed here:

    www.digitalmood.co.uk


    "Martin Palmer" <> wrote in message
    news:bovm8s$43e$...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm looking into buying my first digital camera, and wondered if anyone

    can
    > give me some advice.
    > I'm after a compact, stylish camera that takes excellent shots. As my
    > girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over her
    > shots, so some decent manual settings would be nice.
    >
    > I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to the four cameras below, but

    if
    > you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. If any of you own

    any
    > of these cameras I'd be very interested to hear your opinions.
    >
    > Casio EXILIM EX-Z4
    > Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)
    > Pentax Optio S4
    > Minolta DiMAGE F200
    >
    > Many thanks in advance :)
    >
    >
     
    Rich, Nov 13, 2003
    #4
  5. I have this one's little sister, the SD100. Its slightly smaller and used
    secure digital cards. This is my 4th digital camera, and my favorite. While
    I do have more control with my Olympus 4040z, it is too bulky to just grab
    and go. Thus, since I've gotten the little Canon, I always have it...and the
    photos it takes are incredible--esp. for such a small camera. As good as my
    Olympus.
    You can use the camera in Manual mode and adjust the ISO from 50-400 which
    is all I usually need anyways. (and only if I am taking night shots).
    >
    > I can only comment on the one I own -- I did my own research and bought

    the
    > Canon S400. It is as you said, a stylish compact camera that takes

    excellent
    > shots.
     
    Stephen Kasun, Nov 13, 2003
    #5
  6. Martin Palmer

    SD Guest

    Martin Palmer wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm looking into buying my first digital camera, and wondered if anyone can
    > give me some advice.
    > I'm after a compact, stylish camera that takes excellent shots. As my
    > girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over her
    > shots, so some decent manual settings would be nice.
    >
    > I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to the four cameras below, but if
    > you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. If any of you own any
    > of these cameras I'd be very interested to hear your opinions.
    >
    > Casio EXILIM EX-Z4
    > Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)
    > Pentax Optio S4
    > Minolta DiMAGE F200
    >
    > Many thanks in advance :)
    >
    >

    I have an f100 and it has more manual features than all of the others
    (don't know about the pentax). Its comparable to the powershot S45 in
    features. IF you would like to see my personal photos with it, reply to
    this. THe f200 AFAIK is just an improved F100.

    SD
     
    SD, Nov 13, 2003
    #6
  7. <quote who= Tony Whitaker email=/>:
    > "Martin Palmer" <> wrote in news:bovm8s$43e$1@sun-
    > cc204.lut.ac.uk:
    >> As my girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over
    >> her shots ...

    >
    > Well, if this is a major point, only the Minolta F200 would allow your
    > girlfriend to pick a particular aperture or shutter speed.


    My CoolPix 995 allows for this.

    J

    --
    Justin F. Knotzke

    http://www.shampoo.ca PGP: http://www.shampoo.ca/pubkey.txt
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously - Noam Chomsky
     
    Justin F. Knotzke, Nov 13, 2003
    #7
  8. Thanks for all the helpful advice.
    I'd like to see some photos from the Minolta SD, thanks.
    Although my decision may have been swayed as i've just discovered a site
    where I can get the Canon for the bargain price of £228.95! :)

    "SD" <> wrote in message
    news:bp03ff$mcd$...
    > Martin Palmer wrote:
    >
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I'm looking into buying my first digital camera, and wondered if anyone

    can
    > > give me some advice.
    > > I'm after a compact, stylish camera that takes excellent shots. As my
    > > girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over her
    > > shots, so some decent manual settings would be nice.
    > >
    > > I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to the four cameras below, but

    if
    > > you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. If any of you own

    any
    > > of these cameras I'd be very interested to hear your opinions.
    > >
    > > Casio EXILIM EX-Z4
    > > Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)
    > > Pentax Optio S4
    > > Minolta DiMAGE F200
    > >
    > > Many thanks in advance :)
    > >
    > >

    > I have an f100 and it has more manual features than all of the others
    > (don't know about the pentax). Its comparable to the powershot S45 in
    > features. IF you would like to see my personal photos with it, reply to
    > this. THe f200 AFAIK is just an improved F100.
    >
    > SD
    >
     
    Martin Palmer, Nov 13, 2003
    #8
  9. Martin Palmer

    SD Guest

    Martin Palmer wrote:

    > Thanks for all the helpful advice.
    > I'd like to see some photos from the Minolta SD, thanks.
    > Although my decision may have been swayed as i've just discovered a site
    > where I can get the Canon for the bargain price of £228.95! :)
    >


    http://www.parchayi.net/interest.php?content=2
     
    SD, Nov 13, 2003
    #9
  10. "Justin F. Knotzke" <> wrote in
    news::

    > My CoolPix 995 allows for this.


    Of course, I meant >>from the list he provided<< only the F200 has aperture
    priority and/or shutter priority.

    --
    To email me, type my 1st name before my last.
     
    Tony Whitaker, Nov 14, 2003
    #10
  11. Martin Palmer

    dsco Guest

    "Martin Palmer" <> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >I'm looking into buying my first digital camera, and wondered if anyone can
    >give me some advice.
    >I'm after a compact, stylish camera that takes excellent shots. As my
    >girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over her
    >shots, so some decent manual settings would be nice.
    >
    >I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to the four cameras below, but if
    >you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. If any of you own any
    >of these cameras I'd be very interested to hear your opinions.
    >
    >Casio EXILIM EX-Z4
    >Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)
    >Pentax Optio S4
    >Minolta DiMAGE F200
    >
    >Many thanks in advance :)
    >


    From your list, it looks like "pocketability" is important to
    you. To me, the most important factor is how thick the camera
    is. The thinner it is, the easier it fits in the pocket,
    especially a pants pocket.

    FYI, here's a list of small cameras, ordered by thickness, also
    showing size in cubic inches (ci) and weight, per data from
    manufacturer sites. Because most of these cameras aren't exactly
    box-shaped, the thickness may vary and the ci value is only an
    approximation; the weight is usually without batteries or
    accessories.

    Considering only 2mp or more, 1.2" thick or less.

    - 0.44": 2.99ci: 2.8oz: Casio Exilim EX-S20U/EX-M20U
    - 0.44": 3.30ci: 3.1oz: Casio Exilim EX-S2
    - 0.46": 3.63ci: 2.6oz: Casio Exilim EX-S3
    - 0.49": 3.68ci: 3.2oz: Casio Exilim EX-M2
    - 0.59": 5.72ci: 4.4oz: Kyocera Finecam SL300R
    - 0.73": 4.81ci: 3.5oz: Canon PowerShot SD10
    - 0.79": 5.27ci: 3.5oz: Pentax Optio S4
    - 0.79": 7.03ci: 4.2oz: Minolta Dimage Xt
    - 0.79": 7.44ci: 4.6oz: Minolta Dimage Xi
    - 0.83": 7.01ci: 6.6oz: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1 (Jan 2004)
    - 0.90": 6.91ci: 4.5oz: Casio Exilim EX-Z3
    - 0.93": 7.15ci: 4.6oz: Casio Exilim EX-Z4
    - 0.93": 8.32ci: 4.1oz: Minolta Dimage X20
    - 0.94": 6.93ci: 5.8oz: Canon PowerShot SD100
    - 1.02": 8.22ci: 5.1oz: Minolta Dimage G400 (0.9" at thinnest)
    - 1.05": 8.07ci: 6.4oz: Canon PowerShot S230
    - 1.09": 8.37ci: 6.5oz: Canon PowerShot S400
    - 1.14": 6.00ci: 4.3oz: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U30
    - 1.16": 9.44ci: 7.1oz: Minolta Dimage G500
     
    dsco, Nov 16, 2003
    #11
  12. Martin Palmer

    JK Guest

    Martin Palmer wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm looking into buying my first digital camera, and wondered if anyone can
    > give me some advice.
    > I'm after a compact,


    Not a good idea. Get a larger camera. The shirt pocker sized cameras
    have a lens that doesn't let much light through.

    > stylish camera that takes excellent shots. As my
    > girlfriend is into photography she would like a lot of control over her
    > shots, so some decent manual settings would be nice.
    >
    > I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to the four cameras below, but if
    > you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. If any of you own any
    > of these cameras I'd be very interested to hear your opinions.
    >
    > Casio EXILIM EX-Z4
    > Canon PowerShot S400 (Digital IXUS 400)
    > Pentax Optio S4
    > Minolta DiMAGE F200


    UGH! Get a serious camera with plenty of control.
    Go for a Canon Digital Rebel slr. If you want
    something a bit smaller and less expensive,
    go for a Canon G3.

    >
    >
    > Many thanks in advance :)
     
    JK, Dec 17, 2003
    #12
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