Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Monica Krowley, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Help! I am going completely out of my mind.

    The evolution of digital photography is progressing at such a rapid

    I had my first child earlier this year. I went out and bought a
    camcorder. I bought 2 point and shoot 35mm film Olympus
    Stylus Epic and a Canon Sureshot 90U. Then I bought a Canon Rebel.
    Then I got obsessed! I started to buy film from B&H for like 2 or 3
    dollars per 36 exposure rolls. CHEAP! So I was shooting like 3 or 4
    rolls per week. The processing was starting to cost a fortune! Before
    the baby, I was happy with $3 dollar processing from Clark Color Labs
    or York Photo. Now, I needed dip and dunk double or triple
    prints....$20 or $30 bucks a roll!

    I realized that the money I spent already this year on film,
    processing and the 3 film cameras added together would have bought me
    a nice digicam and a stack of huge memory cards. Not to mention how
    many pics I had to shoot that were not worth printing and all those
    useless red-eye shots of the baby!

    OK. I AM READY FOR DIGITAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I started my research about 2 months ago. I have read every pro review
    from all the major sites (DP Review, Steve's, Megapixel, etc.) for all
    of the 3, 4, and 5 megapixel (non-DSLR) cameras. In addition, I have
    been a daily lurker here!

    I am here to ask for help in choosing because I can't! I WANT THEM

    Seriously, I will probably need to purchase full-featured
    digicam and one small digicam. Unless I find one model that is the
    perfect compromise.

    Here are the cameras I am still considering:


    And the "get on your knees and worship the phallic symbol" G3

    1. CANON G3: I have not heard too many complaints about this camera.
    The only issue I have with it is the size and weight. I fully
    understand that it needs to be this big and heavy to be as great as it
    is, but if I buy this camera I would probably need to buy a second
    camera that would fit in my purse. The flash hot shoe, manual control,
    DIGIC processor, fast sharp lens, and Compact Flash format are very
    attractive to me. This camera is currently selling for about $500 on
    average ( and I have been seeing it for $450 or $475
    ( and's price change every few days)
    from some reputable e-shops. (4MP)

    2. CANON G2: The pre-cursor to the "John Holmes" G3! Comes in black,
    and I actually like the retro shape better than the boxy shape of the
    G3. Fast lens, 3X zoom (instead of 4X on the G3) is fine. The only
    thing is that it does not have the DIGIC processor of the G3. CANON
    now in black or champagne/silver for about $375 or $380 (Buydig, Beach
    Camera, etc). (4MP)

    3. CANON S400: Gotta love the size! DIGIC processor. According to
    DPReview, outdoor pics should look almost the same as G3 pics in
    automatic mode. 3X zoom, but slow at the tele end. If I get this
    awesome camera, I would probably use this as my "grab-shot" camera and
    also get a larger full-featured camera like the G3, G2, or Olympus
    C-4000. This camera is selling for about $400 bucks in the And it is hard to find! Amazon has been out of stock for
    weeks. (4MP)

    4. CANON S-45: Is the the compromise I have been looking for? Not
    small enough to be considered an ultracompact, not as full featured as
    the G3. Lens slow at the long end. I have heard that pics are soft and
    need to be sharpened on the computer before printing. Any truth to
    this? This camera has recently gotten CHEAP for what it is! $375-$400

    5 & 6: CANON G5 and CANON S-50: According to most reviews, they say to
    stick with the 4MP version (the G2/G3 or S-45). Is there any truth in
    this? Same resolution as the 4MP version with much more noise? I am
    not trying to penny-pinch by being tough on these cameras....I want
    the better camera. If the 4MP version is better, then so be it. Part
    of me wants the 5 Megapixels so I would have more cropping options,
    but my heart wants the better overall image. My composition is decent
    enough to live without aggressive cropping. The S-50 is selling for
    $418 from Buydig with free shipping. a few more bucks than the
    S-45....but would I be only buying more noise with those few extra
    bucks? The G5 is still ridiculously overpriced....$700-$800 average.
    Is it really worth it? I do admit it is a sexy camera! (4MP)

    OK, NOW TO OLYMPUS!!!!!!!!!

    7. OLYMPUS C-4000: AWESOME VALUE! You can buy this camera new for
    about $300 bucks online. 2.8 lens throughout the zoom, and wider than
    most zooms. Excellent manual options and images. This camera is a big
    boat, so I would also need to buy a small "grab-shot" camera to keep
    in my purse. Drawback....the Smart Media cards! Dead end card format,
    and to get the most value I would need to buy my smaller second camera
    that also takes these crappy cards that only go up to 128! (4MP)

    8. OLYMPUS C-5050: This camera is ugly as sin! And I heard it is noisy
    as hell! The major advantages: the 1.8 rocket-fast lens and the fact
    that this camera accepts many different media cards! About as good as
    it gets for low light photography. And 5MP is nice for cropping. For
    the high price ($600-$700 average) I am not sure if it is worth it.

    9. OLYMPUS Stylus 400 (4MP) $329.00 and 10. OLYMPUS Stylus 300 (3.2MP)
    $259.00. I love my Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm film camera. Would either
    of these cameras make a nice grab-shot camera for my purse? I have
    heard mixed reviews. The XD cards scare the hell out of me! Can
    anyone that has actually used/owned these post some comments?

    10. OLYMPUS D-560 Zoom (3.2MP) about $200 or 11. OLYMPUS Camedia
    D-390, (2MP) $120. Can anyone that has actually used/owned these post
    some comments?

    11. OLYMPUS Camedia C-50 Zoom (5MP) $400. This camera got only an
    "above average" review at DPReview. Can anyone that has actually
    used/owned this post some comments?


    12. NIKON Coolpix 4300: Another awesome value! Can easily be found for
    between $300 and $400 bucks online. (4MP)

    13. NIKON Coolpix 3100: A smaller, cuter version of the 4300. Priced
    about the same as the 4300, but smaller and half the weight. Only 3.2
    MP. No manual features, but how are the optics compared to the 4300?


    Is it true that Sony optics are not as good as Canon, Nikon, and

    I am tempted by 2 Sony models:

    14. SONY DSC-P10 (5MP) $425 and 15. SONY DSC-P92 (5MP) $360. The P10
    had some good reviews, but I can't find any reviews on the P92. Since
    the P92 is a little bigger (but cheaper!!!) would the images be better
    than the smaller P10? The 5MP resolution and size tempt me on these
    cameras. The memory sticks do not tempt me at all! Can anyone that
    has actually used/owned these post some comments?


    15. PANSONIC Lumix DMC-LC43 (4MP) $300 and 16. PANSONIC Lumix DMC-LC33
    (3.2MP) $250. They come with Leica 3X zoom lenses. Have I gotten your
    attention????? The price is right. Feather light. Almost as small as
    Canon ELPH series. The few reviews I have found have been very good.
    They take SD cards. Can anyone that has actually used/owned these post
    some comments?

    17. PANASONIC Lumix DMC-FZ1 (2MP) $375. OK, it only has 2 megapixels,
    but a 12X Leica zoom lens that is 2.8 throughout the zoom? INSANE!
    This camera, I would only buy as a toy for my second or third camera
    if it is any good. I would not use this as my primary camera because
    of the 2MP resolution. Can anyone that has actually used/owned this
    post some comments?


    As you can see, I have done some homework. I have narrowed it down to
    about 17 cameras. I need to pick one (preferable), two (possible), or
    three (pushing it!) cameras from this list.

    I would prefer one DO-IT-ALL camera that would fit in a jeans pocket
    as most people would prefer, but I know this it not possible.

    Please share your stories of how you started with digital photography
    and how your needs evolved. Please suggest your recommendation(s) from
    above. Please share any appropriate insights.

    Final Question: Can some please give me a breakdown of how many DPI
    you get from 5, 4, 3.2, and 2 MP cameras at 4X6, 5X7, 8X10, 16X20, and
    20X30 inch print sizes? THANKS IN ADVANCE!


    ANSWER: I want to do it all! Or at least have the equipment to do it
    if I desire. I realize it may not be possible with only one camera, so
    I may need 2.
    Monica Krowley, Sep 3, 2003
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  2. Monica Krowley

    Anterope Guest

    use: alt.books

    Anterope, Sep 3, 2003
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  3. Monica Krowley

    GCW Guest

    You sure have done a lot of homework! Just to add to your confusion, you may
    wish to consider Canon's A-series. The A70, which I have, is a neat
    all-round camera, budget priced, pretty small, and quite fun.

    I also have a hunch the A-80 (just announced) may be a pretty good smallish
    G3 in some ways, although you'd be giving up the hot shoe and some other

    Anyway, just my two cents.

    GCW, Sep 3, 2003
  4. Monica Krowley

    GCW Guest

    Do you have a point or just enjoy insulting people?
    GCW, Sep 3, 2003
  5. Monica Krowley

    Frankhartx Guest

    From: (Monica Krowley)
    Well here is what you do--write the name of each of your 17 selections on a
    slip of paper, fold the papers place in a hat, go out in the street and ask the
    first passer by to pick one out and that's it.

    Or you can trot out and buy the Oly 5050 which is capable of making better
    pictures than you are capable of taking.

    The first answer is probably the only objective answer you will get here all
    the rest will be subjective based upon the posters own camera selection
    Frankhartx, Sep 3, 2003
  6. Monica Krowley


    Your question shoud've ended here. You must have some lenses with your Canon
    rebel, you're pretty familiar with what it does and how to use it, so I
    suggest you buy yourself the new Canon 300D digital Rebel SLR. Why? Well, I
    see no point in buying two or three average digital cameras when you're
    clearly already using an SLR. You'd probably be disappointed with the
    results of some consumer Olympus or Sony. I guess the G-3 or c-5050 should
    get you nice results, but I can't figure out why on earth would you like to
    buy one prosumer and one consumer camera. Personally, I'd never sacrifice
    quality of the shots just because the better camera is a bit bigger or
    heavier. It makes no sense! And you must keep in mind that digital point n
    shoots deliver much less quality than film p'n's.
    BUNTOVNIK, Sep 3, 2003
  7. [lots more snipped]

    A good answer.

    You're not going to be completely satisfied with any of the
    cheap digital cameras so just buy the one you find the most
    attractive (however you define attractive) and learn to use
    Photoshop or equivalent for sharpening and other fixes.

    Andrew Brooks, Sep 3, 2003
  8. Monica Krowley

    Matt. Guest

    I did much the same bit of research. I own a Canon Rebel, and was looking
    for a digital, as I was tired of experimenting with a roll of film for 1 or
    2 shots, as well as the Rebel being just too big for a day trip to the zoo
    with a child in tow. I ended up with the Canon A70. I almost bought the
    Coolpix 3100, but my wife suggested it was too small.

    The Auto modes shoot very well. I've recently gone to the other side of
    Auto on the mode dial with the A70, and have taken some shots that I'm very
    happy with. With a mini-tripod, this camera can accomplish some amazing
    shots, and is not the big anchor around your neck. And don't worry about
    the "soft" focus issues. I've taken some very crisp shots (including my son
    sliding down a waterslide).

    Matt., Sep 3, 2003
  9. : 7. OLYMPUS C-4000: AWESOME VALUE! You can buy this camera new for

    : 8. OLYMPUS C-5050: This camera is ugly as sin! And I heard it is noisy

    Since these both use almost exactly the same body... it's funny/curious
    that you'd call the 4000 an "awesome value" while the summary of the 5050
    is that it is ugly. I have the C2040z which is the same form-factor.
    While it ain't pretty, it fits pretty good in the hand. The only knock I
    have against the 4000 is that it doesn't have an external LCD display for
    showing frame counts, flash and ISO and WB settings, etc. (I'm talking
    about the monochrome LCD display that is on the top of many of the Olympus
    Cx0x0z cameras, not the 1.8" display on the rear!)

    Other than that... I'm not sure that a "do-it-all" camera such as what you
    are looking for even exists. If you're going to go for TWO cameras (one
    "serious" and one for portability in the pocket) you might want to
    consider the soon-to-be-shipping Canon EOS 300D for the upper end.

    Expen$ive? Yes. But flexible and fast and with (apparently) good-looking
    results. Sure wouldn't fit in your pocket, though.

    Charles Robinson, Sep 3, 2003
  10. Monica Krowley

    Annika1980 Guest

    From: (Monica Krowley)
    The math is easy enough to do yourself. Just figure that you'd like to print
    at 300dpi (or at least 240dpi).
    So an 5x7 at 300dpi will require an image size of 1500x2100 ( (5*300)x(7*300)
    ). This is about 3.1 megapixels.

    You can see that you'll run out of megapixels in a hurry when printing at
    larger sizes, but the situation is not as bad as it seems. Perfectly good
    prints can be made at larger sizes with 5 and 6 MP cameras.
    Annika1980, Sep 3, 2003
  11. Monica Krowley

    Charlie Ih Guest

    Even "she" is trolling, the amount of time and work she put
    together for the message wothy a honest reply. In fact the message
    itself is a good reference for new comers.
    Charlie Ih, Sep 3, 2003
  12. Monica Krowley

    badgerfish Guest

    better tell him about your new 'discovery' as well anni - digital dodge &
    badgerfish, Sep 4, 2003
  13. Monica Krowley

    zxcvar Guest

    Greetings! For the picture of the toddler, you will need a non-zoom
    digital camera like Fuji A200 or Canon A300 or something like that.
    Toddlers move so fast that there will be not enough time for
    focussing. Do not worry too much about quality. It is the magical
    moments in the life of your kid that matters. I have a picture of my
    son when he first walked without help. It may not be very good
    picture. But it reminds us about that event 23 years back. [He is a US
    AirForce Pilot now]For a bit of leisurely photos, you can use a 5 MP
    cameras like C-5050 or G5. If you have more money than you can try a
    DSLR. My 2 cents.
    zxcvar, Sep 4, 2003
  14. Thank you for defending me. I have been lurking here for a long time.
    I thought I would put all of my concerns and questions in one long and
    detailed post, instead of flooding the newsgroup with dozens of
    unrelated questions. I did the basic research I am just
    fishing for some help to push me to decide! PERSONALLY BIASED REPLIES
    Monica Krowley, Sep 4, 2003

  15. I want subjective! Opinions please! I have read all the objective stuff.
    Monica Krowley, Sep 4, 2003
  16. Thanks Alan for your kind reply, but I did mention that I am not ready
    for a DSLR. Yes, I know I could use the same lenses on my Rebel, but
    when I do eventually get a DSLR, it will not be the Digital Rebel.

    I think I can grow quite a bit on a prosumer digicam. Would I be
    better of buying...say a Canon G3 and an S400 as the "grab-shot
    camera"? Or would the S45 be a good compromise?

    I LOVE HOW THE NIKON 3100 LOOKS AND FEELS! Maybe I could get that as
    my "grab-shot" camera. But if I get that at 3.2 MP I would want
    another camera more capable of enlargements and manual settings.
    Monica Krowley, Sep 4, 2003
  17. I never said that it needs to be cheap. And I would buy 2 if necessary.
    Monica Krowley, Sep 4, 2003
  18. I never said the C4000 was beautiful, but it is a great value. Am I
    wrong? The 5050 seems to be overpriced for what it is. I am not so
    shallow that I will buy one camera over another for the appearance. I
    admit, it is a small factor. :)

    Why do so many people say the 5MP prosumer models (G5, C5050, S50) are
    noisier and not significantly better than their 4MP predecessors
    (G2/G4, C4040, S45)?
    That is why I would buy 2 different cameras if i need to.
    I will eventually buy a DSLR. And it will not be the Digital Rebel. I
    will wait about 2 years for the price points to mature on DSLR. In the
    mean time, I will learn!

    Thanks, Charles for your input and lack of flames!
    Monica Krowley, Sep 4, 2003
  19. The A70 seems really nice! But if I only get one digicam I would want
    at least 4MP. that is why the A70 did not make my LONG LIST of 17. I
    am sure the A80 will be great, but at $400 I could pick up a G2 for
    less and a G3 for $50 more.

    3MP would be OK for a second, smaller camera for my grabshots. The A70
    is not small or light enough for this, but the 3100 is! That is why
    it made my LONG LIST!
    Monica Krowley, Sep 4, 2003
  20. (Charlie Ih) wrote in message
    Yes, family pictures will be important....but I do not want to limit
    myself to that only. I never said that I needed a very long zoom. I
    said that 3X or 4X is fine. Wide is also important for lanscapes and

    There is only one long-zoom camera on my LONG LIST (PANASONIC Lumix
    DMC-FZ1 2MP with 12X Leica 2.8 throughout zoom). I am interested in
    this camera strictly as a toy. 2MP would not be enough for my primary
    Monica Krowley, Sep 4, 2003
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