Buying my first digital camera

Discussion in 'Digital Point & Shoot Camera' started by Miles, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Miles

    Miles Guest

    For 20 years I have used a nice Canon 1.2 SLR and am now looking at a
    small digital for taking on extended trips. Have looked closely at and
    am interested in Canon Powershot S80, SD 500 & 550 and Sony Cybershot DSC
    P200.

    Also looked briefly at Olympus C-7070 (too large), Casio Eilim EX Z-750
    (OK-but cradle charging scares me away), Nikon CP 7900 (no manual focus
    and poor focus in low light, etc.), Fuji finepix S5100 (slow start, etc.)

    Intention is to use it both indoors with groups as well as outdoors in
    the country-mountains, or in cities taking shots of buildings, people,
    and stuff of general interest. Opinions as to the Canons and the Sony
    would be appreciated, as well as if you know of other comparable or better.
    thanks, Miles
     
    Miles, Nov 21, 2005
    #1
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  2. Miles

    Miles Guest


    I believe someone responded directly to my email address, not to the
    newsgroup. When spam was being auto deleted, I'm certain I saw some
    writing on this subject. If so, would you please resend -- and perhaps
    include the newsgroup so it won't get lost in spam removal with MailWasher.

    Thanks, Miles
     
    Miles, Nov 21, 2005
    #2
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  3. Miles

    Ronald Hands Guest

    We have two small Canons, an A40 and an A75, both discontinued models
    now, but my wife and I find them ideal for travel. They're light in
    weight, but big enough to be easy to handle. I would hate to muscle any
    of the digital SLRs around on a trip.

    Both cameras, if used with proper care, yield pictures that will blow
    up to great 8 x 10s, even though they're only 2 and 3 megapixels,
    respectively. By "proper care" I mean, if indoors, don't use the flash
    but do rest the camera on some support: a ledge, up against a wall, etc.
    , and use the program mode. And, most important, use the 2 second delay
    on the shutter release. I'm convinced more pictures taken with small
    cameras are ruined by camera shake than any other factor. By using the
    delay, the camera can be gripped firmly so that it is not moving when
    the actual exposure takes place.

    That said, I'm sure any of the models you suggested would do the job.

    -- Ron
     
    Ronald Hands, Nov 21, 2005
    #3
  4. Miles

    Miles Guest

    Thanks, Ron, and that's a good pointer as to the 2 second delay. Went to
    a store last night for the first time to see how the cameras feel and
    much to my surprise discovered that many of them are simply too small for
    my big mitts.

    So am back to the drawing boards -- looking for ones with AA batteries
    which have an enlarged area for gripping, or a twist out LCD, or one that
    has the button more towards the center of the camera instead of the right
    top which cannot be reached unless using two hands such as some of the
    Olympus', or ones that have a decent ridge on the front or back right
    side that allows a better grip.

    The only store open last night was Circuit City and theirs had a large
    plastic piece on the bottom for the electricity & cable so could not grip
    them properly. Today will try some other stores that don't have that
    "feature." And I think I do agree with you as to the mp, 8 or 10 mp's
    is unnecessary, and will look in the 5-6 mp range first, then higher if
    there has been substantial improvements made in later models.

    Miles
     
    Miles, Nov 21, 2005
    #4
  5. I love my Canon A80 - flip screen that I love, love, love. 4MP.
     
    Melba's Jammin', Nov 22, 2005
    #5
  6. Miles

    Dave Cohen Guest

    The A95 is working out very well for me. I believe that has now been
    superceeded, not sure of the model# but has same features with a 4:1 zoom,
    something I would have liked on the A95. To go above that in Canon involves
    more money, but the G6 is a great camea, somewhat larger and has a hot shoe
    plus lots more. Next step up would be a dslr.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Nov 22, 2005
    #6
  7. I also have the A95 and really like it. It is my first digital camera so I
    only have file ones to compare it with.
    Tom Atkins
     
    Thomas S. Atkins, Nov 23, 2005
    #7
  8. Panasonic Lumix FZ5 is worth looking at. I like mine.
     
    Charles Schuler, Nov 23, 2005
    #8
  9. Miles

    Miles Guest

    After far too much consideration I am settling in on the Canon A610 with
    5mp. Do not believe the A620 at 7mp is needed. Thank you for the lead to
    the A95 as apparently this is a later version.

    The negatives to the camera appear to be:
    1) No stability or antishake.
    2) No raw/tiff which is surprising since the camera has so many manual
    settings -- but then I am not a camera head, so will not spend hours and
    hours playing with each pic.
    3) Noise extremely high at ISO 400 rendering it useless, and 200 isn't
    the best. Curious as to how taking at 100 will affect action shots.
    4) Lots of redeye, so will probably need to buy slave.
    5) Does not show battery status -- low only -- Is that similar to a
    temperature idiot light on the dashboard of your car that doesn't go on
    until it's too late?
    6) Construction appears a bit flimsy -- plastic and metal -- but
    talking with a camera buff who has a 620 he said it's very strong as he
    straps it to his leg and uses it frequently as he climbs cliffs etc to
    obtain shots of birds with his other extreme zoom cameras.
    7) Need to buy charger & NmH batts. It contains 4 AA's instead of 2
    which certainly increases the size of the camera -- but guess that
    provides longer battery life? And the charger/spare batteries are one
    more large item to fill my suitcase!
    9) Although the shape with the battery housing provides a nice grip,
    the camera is too large to fit in pants, coat, or shirt pocket. If only
    I could find an identical camera that uses a small lithium battery that
    my hands can still grip -- perhaps I could glue a section of a chopstick
    to the front!

    The positive points are numerous as seen by the reviews at:

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/a610_pg6.html

    And this one of the A620 (identical camera, except 7 mp's instead of 5:

    http://dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_a620-review/index.shtml

    Miles
     
    Miles, Nov 26, 2005
    #9
  10. Miles

    jolaer Guest

    Seems like a good choice, Miles. The A610 is the successor to the A95
    which is the successor to the A80 ... good bloodlines. If you haven't
    already come across Albert Achtung's review of the A80--

    http://albert.achtung.com/cameras/A80/index.html

    --it has some information that may also be useful for the A610, esp.
    with regard to setting up a fast point & shoot mode (SNAP) that
    eliminates the time ordinarily taken by the camera's auto focus. He
    gives instructions for programming the camera for both indoor and
    outdoor use and I find I use his settings most of the time. Like Ron, I
    also make frequent use of the 2-sec. timer for shutter release,
    particularly in lower-light situations. I almost never use the flash
    except as fill-flash.

    I've a handful of shots on Flickr, all done with an A80:
    http://flickr.com/photos/blueshoe

    The shots on that page aren't print-ready files but I can tell you that
    printed 8 X 10's come out beautifully.

    Jon
     
    jolaer, Nov 27, 2005
    #10
  11. Miles

    Miles Guest

    Thanks, Jon, a great deal of very useful info on Albert's site! Can't
    wait to get my camera in hand later this week. And since leaving for
    Asia next weekend for a month will print some of his pages.

    Miles
     
    Miles, Nov 27, 2005
    #11
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