Canon Photoshot G3 vs. Pentax Optio 550, Powershot S50, others.

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Brad J., Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Brad J.

    Brad J. Guest

    I've been doing extensive research and trying to find the perfect
    digital camera in the 4+ megapixel and preferably relatively compact
    with 4X+ optical zoom and the option of lens attachments, without
    having to pay out the nose (e.g. I don't want to go over about
    $550-600 with spare battery, case, etc. unless it's really going to
    make a huge difference).

    I'm a pretty novice photographer, so I want something that's not going
    to be so complex that it discourages me from using it, but I also want
    something I can grow into and not be limited by if/when I get to the
    point where I want to experiment.

    So far, the strongest contender all around is the Canon Powershot G3.
    The main down sides of this as I see it so far are the
    partially-obstructed view in the viewfinder and the fact that it's
    rather bulky and wouldn't really be too comfortable in my pocket.

    I'm also considering the Pentax Optio 550, which seems pretty amazing
    in that it's small, has a 5X optical lens (vs. the G3's 4X), and runs
    at 5 megapixels (vs. the G3's 4). The main down sides I see there are
    the fact that it won't take lens attachments, it has no RAW mode, and
    I've read that it sometimes has some purple anomalies around the edge
    of the image.

    Then there's the Powershot S50, which is small than the G3 and has
    most of the same features, but it only has a 3X zoom and doesn't take
    external lenses.

    And if I really want to splurge, I could go for the 5 megapixel
    Powershot G5 or the Nikon Coolpix 5700 or possibly something else, but
    as yet I've been unable to justify that.

    I've looked at tons of web sites and the G3 seems to be the most
    favorable, but I'd like some more personal input. Is the obstructed
    viewfinder really a big deal or will I probably use the LCD all the
    time anyway? Are lens attachments really that useful on a digital
    camera or can it do most of what the average user would want with its
    stock features? Is there any point in going with 5 megapixels if I'm
    not a pro photographer?

    Any advice on these features and/or other cameras in the same class or
    better that I should be looking at would be greatly appreciated.
    Brad J., Sep 5, 2003
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  2. Daniel Gorham, Sep 5, 2003
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  3. I have bought the G2 before my holidays and am very satisfied with the
    resulting pictures.
    I have researched the G3 and G5 too. Though better in some features these
    had some minor drawbacks reported in tests.
    So if you don't really need 4x zoom you should have a look at the G2 too.

    In comparing Canon G-series with other types, namely lightweight ones, I
    came upon the argument that a certain weight and a sure grip is good for
    stabilizing the camera body. Due to volume and weight the Canon G series
    is definitely not suitable for being permanently carried around in the
    shirt pocket. But the pictures are stunning.
    In comparing ease of use with several previous cameras I find the G2 the
    easiest to use yet.
    Guenter Fieblinger, Sep 5, 2003
  4. Brad J.

    Aardvark Guest

    So far, the strongest contender all around is the Canon Powershot G3.
    Here's one way to help make up your mind : can you imagine yourself being
    restricted by the lack of expansion options on the body ?

    When I first got my G3, I almost regretted that decision due to its size,
    just like you. It was bigger than the S45 I was considering at that time,
    but I got the G3 because it took external flash and lens adaptors.

    Then I started playing with a 380EX flash. Hmmm....great setup. And then I
    tried a +4 macro diopter filter for some closeup photography. Then I got to
    playing with a good quality x2 teleconverter to give me a 280mm focal
    length. Soon I'll also try out a good 0.72 wide converter, which will give
    me a sweet 25mm focal length. What does this mean ? It means that the G3 is
    extensible and versatile. That one body allows you to add all sorts of
    doodads to make it even better than it ever was from the factory. While I
    wait for a good affordable DSLR ( the 300D maybe) or a new 8MP prosumer in
    future, the G3 with its accessories will keep me satisfied.

    Think about it. If you cannot imagine yourself trying all these stuff on the
    G3, then forget it and get something smaller. If experimenting with all
    these makes you happy, then the G3 is right up your alley.

    And the viewfinder is a small pain, but heck, who wants to squint into a
    small hole with 80% coverage anyway ?
    Aardvark, Sep 5, 2003
  5. Brad J.

    John Corbett Guest

    I heartily agree with this sentiment, having just "downgraded" from a
    Minolta Dimage 7HI to an Olympus 5050Z.

    I am going to miss the 7x zoom of the 7Hi, but what use is it, if I've
    never got the camera with me??

    When I initially got the 7Hi, I lugged it everywhere (as you do with a new
    camera), but soon got tired of it's size (and a couple of other technical
    limitations) and often though fondly of my old Oly 3030.

    I just got back off of holiday where I didn't use the 7Hi at all, but my
    3Mp digital Ixus..purely because of it's portability. The day after I got
    back, I was down to my trusty photo store and part-exing the 7Hi for the

    I was tempted by the 10x zoom of the Oly 750UZ, but in the end went for the
    5050 because of the 5Mp and the fast 1.8/2.6 lens as opposed to the 2.8/3.7
    lens on the 750UZ.

    I'll probably get a tele-converter for the odd occasion where I need a
    longer lens, but I think the 5050 will suffice for 90% of my needs!



    John [Harold Hill, Essex, UK]

    Remove the obvious spamtrap from the address to reply!
    John Corbett, Sep 28, 2003
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