Good AA-powered point-and-shoots?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    What are the best AA-powered compact digicams available these days?
    I'm looking for something comparable to a mid-90's 35mm
    point-and-shoot except digital. I'm realizing the main thing I care
    about is fast handling, since film cameras beat most compact digicams
    in that area. Are things getting better? Overall basic wish list:

    - Camera should be ready to shoot within a second or two of turning
    it on. My Nikon 3100 takes upwards of 10 seconds, which is crazy.
    - Camera should be able to AF in low light (infrared assist ok) and
    should have minimal shutter lag.
    - Camera should be able to take macro shots, the closer the better.
    - Should have an optical viewfinder, preferably a good one
    - Should take clean shots at ISO 400 or preferably 800. Pixel count
    isn't important: 2MP is fine.
    - Zoom lens with reasonable wideangle coverage; 28-70 equivalent
    would be great. Fast lenses are good.
    - MUST be powered by AA NiMH cells, not lithium ion. I'm just sick
    of special batteries and chargers that don't work with any other
    devices. I notice that more and more camera makers are starting
    to understand this, so there's more AA-powered models to choose
    from now than before.
    - Smaller is better, but this is not the top priority. Canon A510
    size is fine, A410 is great, A610 is tolerable, bigger than that
    is getting cumbersome.
    - CF memory is preferred but this isn't a high priority any more, now
    that flash is so cheap. Especially if the camera has a USB2
    high speed interface so I don't need a separate card reader.

    Any opinions on the Canon A410/510/610 and how they compare with each
    other? I don't care at all about the 610's increased pixel count but
    it does have a slightly larger sensor and some extra features.
    There's also a Pentax Optio powered by AA's?

    Thanks for any thoughts.
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. Paul Rubin

    Mark² Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > What are the best AA-powered compact digicams available these days?
    > I'm looking for something comparable to a mid-90's 35mm
    > point-and-shoot except digital. I'm realizing the main thing I care
    > about is fast handling, since film cameras beat most compact digicams
    > in that area. Are things getting better? Overall basic wish list:
    >
    > - Camera should be ready to shoot within a second or two of turning
    > it on. My Nikon 3100 takes upwards of 10 seconds, which is crazy.
    > - Camera should be able to AF in low light (infrared assist ok) and
    > should have minimal shutter lag.
    > - Camera should be able to take macro shots, the closer the better.
    > - Should have an optical viewfinder, preferably a good one
    > - Should take clean shots at ISO 400 or preferably 800. Pixel count
    > isn't important: 2MP is fine.
    > - Zoom lens with reasonable wideangle coverage; 28-70 equivalent
    > would be great. Fast lenses are good.
    > - MUST be powered by AA NiMH cells, not lithium ion. I'm just sick
    > of special batteries and chargers that don't work with any other
    > devices. I notice that more and more camera makers are starting
    > to understand this, so there's more AA-powered models to choose
    > from now than before.
    > - Smaller is better, but this is not the top priority. Canon A510
    > size is fine, A410 is great, A610 is tolerable, bigger than that
    > is getting cumbersome.
    > - CF memory is preferred but this isn't a high priority any more, now
    > that flash is so cheap. Especially if the camera has a USB2
    > high speed interface so I don't need a separate card reader.
    >
    > Any opinions on the Canon A410/510/610 and how they compare with each
    > other? I don't care at all about the 610's increased pixel count but
    > it does have a slightly larger sensor and some extra features.
    > There's also a Pentax Optio powered by AA's?
    >
    > Thanks for any thoughts.


    I just decided on the 610. I've never owned any non-SLR digital, and am
    VERY picky...so my impressions will come from the context of my preference
    for DSLRs. This is a new thing for me with P&Shoots... I've only had it
    for an hour or two and haven't even opened the box (been busy fiddling with
    the 24-105 4F IS L lens (for my Canon 10D DSLR, of course!) that I received
    from B&H along with the 610. The 610 will be for my wife...and for when we
    don't want to lug the full kit bag...but I'm gonna check it out before she
    gets it. :)

    I'll fiddle some more and post about the 610 in a few days... From my
    handling of one in the store, I was extremely impressed with the immediacy
    of all functions, and the VERY snappy response to literally
    EVERYTHING...including focus...pre-focussed LACK of shutter lag...incredibly
    fast image-to-image playback/review...amazing video mode (full VGA at
    30fps!!)...and the small size, even with 4 AA batteries.
    I opted for the 610 instead of the 620, since 5MP is enough for a tiny
    sensor camera, in my view.
    I'll post info perhaps this weekend (after 24hours of driving to/from the
    in-laws...!!).
    -Mark
     
    Mark², Nov 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    > I'll fiddle some more and post about the 610 in a few days... From
    > my handling of one in the store, I was extremely impressed with the
    > immediacy of all functions, and the VERY snappy response to
    > literally EVERYTHING...including focus...pre-focussed LACK of
    > shutter lag...incredibly fast image-to-image
    > playback/review...amazing video mode (full VGA at 30fps!!)...and the
    > small size, even with 4 AA batteries. I opted for the 610 instead
    > of the 620, since 5MP is enough for a tiny sensor camera, in my
    > view. I'll post info perhaps this weekend (after 24hours of driving
    > to/from the in-laws...!!). -Mark


    Thanks, I'm looking forward to your post. I'd been more interested in
    the 510 since I didn't care about the 610's extra resolution, but I
    see the 610 (and interestingly, the 410) have a faster processor than
    the 510. I do like the 410's small size and low price, and I'm
    looking for a snapshot camera rather than an advanced one, but the 610
    has a considerably larger sensor and various other extra capabilities,
    so it's also tempting.

    I hope dpreview.com reviews the 410 and 610 soon, since Steves
    Digicams reviews are somewhat less informative.
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #3
  4. Paul Rubin

    Dave Cohen Guest

    "Paul Rubin" <http://> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    >> I'll fiddle some more and post about the 610 in a few days... From
    >> my handling of one in the store, I was extremely impressed with the
    >> immediacy of all functions, and the VERY snappy response to
    >> literally EVERYTHING...including focus...pre-focussed LACK of
    >> shutter lag...incredibly fast image-to-image
    >> playback/review...amazing video mode (full VGA at 30fps!!)...and the
    >> small size, even with 4 AA batteries. I opted for the 610 instead
    >> of the 620, since 5MP is enough for a tiny sensor camera, in my
    >> view. I'll post info perhaps this weekend (after 24hours of driving
    >> to/from the in-laws...!!). -Mark

    >
    > Thanks, I'm looking forward to your post. I'd been more interested in
    > the 510 since I didn't care about the 610's extra resolution, but I
    > see the 610 (and interestingly, the 410) have a faster processor than
    > the 510. I do like the 410's small size and low price, and I'm
    > looking for a snapshot camera rather than an advanced one, but the 610
    > has a considerably larger sensor and various other extra capabilities,
    > so it's also tempting.
    >
    > I hope dpreview.com reviews the 410 and 610 soon, since Steves
    > Digicams reviews are somewhat less informative.


    I have the A95 and notice this is still listed. The A610 looks like it's
    replacement with a 4x zoom. Notice the sensor on both models is larger than
    some of the lower models. Personally I would find the A610 the best choice.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Nov 23, 2005
    #4
  5. Paul Rubin

    Mark² Guest

    Dave Cohen wrote:
    > "Paul Rubin" <http://> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> "Mark²" <mjmorgan(lowest even number here)@cox..net> writes:
    >>> I'll fiddle some more and post about the 610 in a few days... From
    >>> my handling of one in the store, I was extremely impressed with the
    >>> immediacy of all functions, and the VERY snappy response to
    >>> literally EVERYTHING...including focus...pre-focussed LACK of
    >>> shutter lag...incredibly fast image-to-image
    >>> playback/review...amazing video mode (full VGA at 30fps!!)...and the
    >>> small size, even with 4 AA batteries. I opted for the 610 instead
    >>> of the 620, since 5MP is enough for a tiny sensor camera, in my
    >>> view. I'll post info perhaps this weekend (after 24hours of driving
    >>> to/from the in-laws...!!). -Mark

    >>
    >> Thanks, I'm looking forward to your post. I'd been more interested
    >> in the 510 since I didn't care about the 610's extra resolution, but
    >> I see the 610 (and interestingly, the 410) have a faster processor
    >> than the 510. I do like the 410's small size and low price, and I'm
    >> looking for a snapshot camera rather than an advanced one, but the
    >> 610 has a considerably larger sensor and various other extra
    >> capabilities, so it's also tempting.
    >>
    >> I hope dpreview.com reviews the 410 and 610 soon, since Steves
    >> Digicams reviews are somewhat less informative.

    >
    > I have the A95 and notice this is still listed. The A610 looks like
    > it's replacement with a 4x zoom. Notice the sensor on both models is
    > larger than some of the lower models. Personally I would find the
    > A610 the best choice. Dave Cohen


    Even more significant:
    The 610 has Digic II processor...which is MUCH faster, and allows very quick
    and responsive handling...not to mention Full VGA video at 30fps, and 60fps
    high-speed video.
    Image playback is extremely fast.
    My dad has the A95, and the 610 blows it away in terms of processor speed
    and the above.
     
    Mark², Nov 23, 2005
    #5
  6. Paul Rubin

    Guest

    Have you at all considered a Sony DSC W7. Bought mine a while back and
    has most if not all you're looking for. Extremely fast power up (as
    fast as any 35mm point and shoot I've used) Use Duracel NiMH AA batts
    found anywhere, and in a pinch use reg. AA. Optical view finder, (85%
    coverage) portable (breast pocket or pants). Some describe as an
    "aluminum Brick" I'm comforted by its "heft" and would feel
    uncomfortable with something any lighter. Controls and screen are very
    user friendly . My two cents Doc
     
    , Nov 23, 2005
    #6
  7. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    writes:
    > Have you at all considered a Sony DSC W7. Bought mine a while back and
    > has most if not all you're looking for. Extremely fast power up (as
    > fast as any 35mm point and shoot I've used) Use Duracel NiMH AA batts
    > found anywhere, and in a pinch use reg. AA. Optical view finder, (85%
    > coverage) portable (breast pocket or pants).


    I won't buy Sony products if I can help it (spyware blah blah) but
    it's interesting that they've wised up and used AA's and added an
    optical viewfinder. Some of their cameras even use CF now, though I
    think the W7 uses memory sticks. Sony used to omit optical finders
    and use infolithium batteries in most of their digicams.
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #7
  8. Paul Rubin

    Guest

    Does has some nice features. I've heard the rumors of "spyware" but
    have not seen any definitive analysis or proof of it, just talk.
    Previously owned a DSC 85 and was very pleased as well. Purchased the
    larger teleconverter lens and very pleased with that (not the price!).
    I'm sure I'll miss some of control more manually oriented digi's offer,
    but never really used all of them to begin with. I'm still going to
    keep my other sony just in case tho'.....................Doc
     
    , Nov 23, 2005
    #8
  9. Paul Rubin

    fab Guest

    Paul Rubin ha scritto:
    > What are the best AA-powered compact digicams available these days?
    > I'm looking for something comparable to a mid-90's 35mm
    > point-and-shoot except digital. I'm realizing the main thing I care
    > about is fast handling, since film cameras beat most compact digicams
    > in that area. Are things getting better? Overall basic wish list:
    >
    > - Camera should be ready to shoot within a second or two of turning
    > it on. My Nikon 3100 takes upwards of 10 seconds, which is crazy.
    > - Camera should be able to AF in low light (infrared assist ok) and
    > should have minimal shutter lag.
    > - Camera should be able to take macro shots, the closer the better.
    > - Should have an optical viewfinder, preferably a good one
    > - Should take clean shots at ISO 400 or preferably 800. Pixel count
    > isn't important: 2MP is fine.
    > - Zoom lens with reasonable wideangle coverage; 28-70 equivalent
    > would be great. Fast lenses are good.
    > - MUST be powered by AA NiMH cells, not lithium ion. I'm just sick
    > of special batteries and chargers that don't work with any other
    > devices. I notice that more and more camera makers are starting
    > to understand this, so there's more AA-powered models to choose
    > from now than before.
    > - Smaller is better, but this is not the top priority. Canon A510
    > size is fine, A410 is great, A610 is tolerable, bigger than that
    > is getting cumbersome.
    > - CF memory is preferred but this isn't a high priority any more, now
    > that flash is so cheap. Especially if the camera has a USB2
    > high speed interface so I don't need a separate card reader.
    >
    > Any opinions on the Canon A410/510/610 and how they compare with each
    > other? I don't care at all about the 610's increased pixel count but
    > it does have a slightly larger sensor and some extra features.
    > There's also a Pentax Optio powered by AA's?
    >
    > Thanks for any thoughts.



    have you considered the fuji f 11. look at the picture taken at 1600.

    cheers
    fabricius
     
    fab, Nov 23, 2005
    #9
  10. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #10
  11. Paul Rubin

    Freedom55 Guest

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > What are the best AA-powered compact digicams available these days?
    > I'm looking for something comparable to a mid-90's 35mm
    > point-and-shoot except digital. I'm realizing the main thing I care
    > about is fast handling, since film cameras beat most compact digicams
    > in that area. Are things getting better? Overall basic wish list:
    >
    > - Camera should be ready to shoot within a second or two of turning
    > it on. My Nikon 3100 takes upwards of 10 seconds, which is crazy.
    > - Camera should be able to AF in low light (infrared assist ok) and
    > should have minimal shutter lag.
    > - Camera should be able to take macro shots, the closer the better.
    > - Should have an optical viewfinder, preferably a good one
    > - Should take clean shots at ISO 400 or preferably 800. Pixel count
    > isn't important: 2MP is fine.
    > - Zoom lens with reasonable wideangle coverage; 28-70 equivalent
    > would be great. Fast lenses are good.
    > - MUST be powered by AA NiMH cells, not lithium ion. I'm just sick
    > of special batteries and chargers that don't work with any other
    > devices. I notice that more and more camera makers are starting
    > to understand this, so there's more AA-powered models to choose
    > from now than before.
    > - Smaller is better, but this is not the top priority. Canon A510
    > size is fine, A410 is great, A610 is tolerable, bigger than that
    > is getting cumbersome.
    > - CF memory is preferred but this isn't a high priority any more, now
    > that flash is so cheap. Especially if the camera has a USB2
    > high speed interface so I don't need a separate card reader.
    >
    > Any opinions on the Canon A410/510/610 and how they compare with each
    > other? I don't care at all about the 610's increased pixel count but
    > it does have a slightly larger sensor and some extra features.
    > There's also a Pentax Optio powered by AA's?
    >
    > Thanks for any thoughts.

    I have the A95 which was replaced by the 610-620. Excellent P&S camera.
    Versatile, great images and fun to use. You can't go wrong with Canon!

    Ron

    --
    And it really doesn't matter if
    I'm wrong I'm right
    Where I belong I'm right
    Where I belong.

    Lennon & McCartney
     
    Freedom55, Nov 23, 2005
    #11
  12. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Freedom55 <"joinertake this out"@ns.sympatico.ca> writes:
    > I have the A95 which was replaced by the 610-620. Excellent P&S
    > camera. Versatile, great images and fun to use. You can't go wrong
    > with Canon!


    Yeah, the 610 does sound very promising. I finally retired my S100
    after many years of use (I bought one of the very first ones). I was
    delighted with it. I replaced it with a Nikon 3100 that I got cheap
    and that turns out to be somewhat unsatisfactory in handling speed,
    but I love its use of AA cells and am determined that my next small
    digicam will also use them (or AAA's, which a few cameras turn out to
    use).
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #12
  13. Paul Rubin

    m Ransley Guest

    Sony W5 or W7, good photos, fast startup, re-shot, AA and the only P&S
    with filter ring. What I dont like is its slippery, I dropped mine
    twice. Never dropped my 1983 A1
     
    m Ransley, Nov 23, 2005
    #13
  14. Freedom55 <"joinertake this out"@ns.sympatico.ca> writes:

    > I have the A95 which was replaced by the 610-620. Excellent P&S
    > camera. Versatile, great images and fun to use. You can't go wrong
    > with Canon!


    The A95 would have been perfect for my snapshot camera, and I
    seriously considered snapping one up before they became unavailable.
    Unfortunately, they seem according to the reports to be quite slow and
    unresponsive, which is not something I intend to live with in my next
    camera. (This would be a snapshot camera to use when I don't want to
    carry the Fuji S2 and lens collection around.) Are the 610/620 better
    in that regard? Imaging-resource.com only has the 510/520 up so far
    (and they're slow and noise, it seems).
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Nov 23, 2005
    #14
  15. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    David Dyer-Bennet <> writes:
    > The A95 would have been perfect for my snapshot camera, ...
    > Unfortunately, they seem according to the reports to be quite slow and
    > unresponsive... Are the 610/620 better
    > in that regard? Imaging-resource.com only has the 510/520 up so far
    > (and they're slow and noise, it seems).


    See dpreview.com. It seems to say the 610/620 are faster than the
    A95. I wonder about the 410, which is very compact, but maybe noisy.
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #15
  16. Paul Rubin <http://> writes:

    > David Dyer-Bennet <> writes:
    > > The A95 would have been perfect for my snapshot camera, ...
    > > Unfortunately, they seem according to the reports to be quite slow and
    > > unresponsive... Are the 610/620 better
    > > in that regard? Imaging-resource.com only has the 510/520 up so far
    > > (and they're slow and noise, it seems).

    >
    > See dpreview.com. It seems to say the 610/620 are faster than the
    > A95.


    Buried in the user reviews somewhere? I mostly don't look into those;
    too little way to tell where any individual reivewer is coming from.
    I want the real measurements -- and then I can look at how individuals
    like it as additional information.

    > I wonder about the 410, which is very compact, but maybe noisy.


    Of course, the fast and non-noisy choice is the Fuji S10. But it uses
    both the wrong memory medium *and* the wrong batteries, *and* it's
    being replaced by the F11 which adds manual control, *and* the F11
    doesn't seem to actually be anywhere yet. All of which are
    complicating factors. It's more expensive, too.

    I could live with a snapshot camera that was flash-only indoors, if it
    had good flash performance (lots of the little cameras don't).
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Nov 23, 2005
    #16
  17. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    David Dyer-Bennet <> writes:
    > > See dpreview.com. It seems to say the 610/620 are faster than the
    > > A95.

    >
    > Buried in the user reviews somewhere?


    Bah, I'm thinking of the SD550 review, which uses the same Digic II
    chip. This stuff becomes a blur after a while. SD550 timings are at:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd550/page4.asp

    They haven't reviewed the 610 yet but I hope it would be similar.
    Steves Digicams does have some 610 timings:

    http://steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/a610_pg6.html
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #17
  18. Paul Rubin <http://> writes:

    > David Dyer-Bennet <> writes:
    > > > See dpreview.com. It seems to say the 610/620 are faster than the
    > > > A95.

    > >
    > > Buried in the user reviews somewhere?

    >
    > Bah, I'm thinking of the SD550 review, which uses the same Digic II
    > chip. This stuff becomes a blur after a while. SD550 timings are at:


    Ah, I hadn't gotten desperate enough to start looking for that kind of
    flanking attack on the problem. Thanks for the idea, and the pointer.

    > http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd550/page4.asp
    >
    > They haven't reviewed the 610 yet but I hope it would be similar.
    > Steves Digicams does have some 610 timings:
    >
    > http://steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/a610_pg6.html


    And it seems to be pretty responsive. That's good.

    I'm actually looking for *two* cameras, a first snapshot camera for my
    mother-in-law, and a snapshot for me to carry when the Fuji S2 and bag
    of lenses is overkill.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Nov 23, 2005
    #18
  19. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    David Dyer-Bennet <> writes:
    > I'm actually looking for *two* cameras, a first snapshot camera for my
    > mother-in-law, and a snapshot for me to carry when the Fuji S2 and bag
    > of lenses is overkill.


    The Canon S2 also looks kind of interesting as a Fuji S2 alternative.
    And there's some humor in ending up carrying an S2 either way.
     
    Paul Rubin, Nov 23, 2005
    #19
  20. Paul Rubin <http://> writes:

    > David Dyer-Bennet <> writes:
    > > I'm actually looking for *two* cameras, a first snapshot camera for my
    > > mother-in-law, and a snapshot for me to carry when the Fuji S2 and bag
    > > of lenses is overkill.

    >
    > The Canon S2 also looks kind of interesting as a Fuji S2 alternative.
    > And there's some humor in ending up carrying an S2 either way.


    If that's the same as the Canon S2 IS, much bigger than I'm looking
    for. I don't need one that will fit in an Altoids tin (a friend
    carriers her snapshot camera in one!), but I do want one that will fit
    in a shirt pocket or a modest belt pouch, not something I need to
    carry in a special camera bag. And *still* doesn't have a wideangle
    lens.
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com/> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Nov 24, 2005
    #20
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