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BlueDevil
07-15-2004, 08:52 AM
after hearing complaints from my new bride that our current camera is too bulky, and my own problems with graininess in 8 x 10's, I'm looking for a new camera.

What I'd like...
1. a compact camera that can be easily placed in a pocket. (something like the Canon S410)
2. quality prints that would not be excessively grainy at 8 x 10 from a 2MP camera. I'm looking at least at a 3.2MP, but can be convinced to go to 4MP if the picture would not be as noticeably improved going from 2 to 3.2MP.
3. reasonably priced, around $300 but preferably below. I can be convinced to go above, but it would need to be a good reason.
4. a easy to use point and shoot model that will not overwhelm the new Mrs.

I've already looked at the Canon S410, Canon S500, Canon SD110, Minolta DiMage G400. Something else in that vein, or one of those may do the trick...

John_Reed
07-15-2004, 11:58 AM
after hearing complaints from my new bride that our current camera is too bulky, and my own problems with graininess in 8 x 10's, I'm looking for a new camera.

What I'd like...
1. a compact camera that can be easily placed in a pocket. (something like the Canon S410)
2. quality prints that would not be excessively grainy at 8 x 10 from a 2MP camera. I'm looking at least at a 3.2MP, but can be convinced to go to 4MP if the picture would not be as noticeably improved going from 2 to 3.2MP.
3. reasonably priced, around $300 but preferably below. I can be convinced to go above, but it would need to be a good reason.
4. a easy to use point and shoot model that will not overwhelm the new Mrs.

I've already looked at the Canon S410, Canon S500, Canon SD110, Minolta DiMage G400. Something else in that vein, or one of those may do the trick...
Take a look at the Panasonic DMC-FX5 camera; it's a 3X zoom - 4MP pocket-sized camera with stabilized lens. A guy over on dpreview, Jack Scholl, has one, and swears he'll never have another camera without IS. He hardly needs to use flash. I think it can be bought for $300-$400.

BlueDevil
07-15-2004, 09:12 PM
thanks for the tip.

I checked that out and it looks like a solid camera, but it does seem a bit pricey.

Is 3.2 MP enough to take the noticeable grain out of a 8 x 10?

I really like the Canon SD110, for size and reviews. But the Minolta DiMage G400 can be found for around $250 for 4 MP if necessary.

I haven't used either camera, so any help would be appreciated.

D70FAN
07-15-2004, 10:21 PM
thanks for the tip.

I checked that out and it looks like a solid camera, but it does seem a bit pricey.

Is 3.2 MP enough to take the noticeable grain out of a 8 x 10?

I really like the Canon SD110, for size and reviews. But the Minolta DiMage G400 can be found for around $250 for 4 MP if necessary.

I haven't used either camera, so any help would be appreciated.

You really need to go try these to decide what you want. Your short list looks like 4 cameras. Spend 10 minutes with each and you will probably make your decision. As John noted IS is a good thing, so you may want to check the DMC-FX5 out. I know I will.

BlueDevil
07-16-2004, 09:14 AM
Thanks George.

That is by no means a short list, but I'm willing to look at anything in that range. Up here in Maine, my ability to see these cameras hands on is pretty difficult, limited to 3 hour round trips to Best Buy.

The FX5 looks good, what about what I would guess is its predecessor the DCMLC43? That is closer to my range than the 380-450 range I have seen for the FX5.

My concerns about the 3.2 v. 4 MP cameras is somewhat crucial to this choice. If the Canon SD110, at 3.2MP, would produce a satisfactory picture for most uses, then I am more than happy to purchase it for under 250. But if 4 MP is the benchmark, then I'm looking at the Panny LC43, Minolta DiMage G400, and if I can find a deal, Canon S410.

Incidentally... what is "IS"? This is the first I have heard of it, and I haven't been able to find more info on the FX5 other than at website mentioned by John.

Ray Schnoor
07-16-2004, 11:04 AM
"IS" stands for image stabilization, so you can take sharper photos at high zoom without a tripod. It compensates for any shake that you handholding of the camera may introduce to the photo if you don't have a fast enough exposure.


Ray.

BlueDevil
07-16-2004, 12:13 PM
Thanks Ray... You guys have all been quite helpful.


I've also looked at the Sony DSC W1.

It is a bit more than I wanted to spend but it also brings 5 MP to the table while the Panasonic FX5 only has 4.

Any thoughts...?

Raoul
07-16-2004, 12:16 PM
John is well-guided, IS is more important in this price range than megapixels.

John_Reed
07-16-2004, 12:53 PM
John is well-guided, IS is more important in this price range than megapixels.
Thanks, Raoul. Actually, if you're worried only about "grain" in an 8X10, a 2 megapixel camera will do the job for making fine 8X10s. I know from experience; I've got plenty of examples from my FZ1 of 8X10s and larger that aren't "grainy." A sharp 2 megapixel image will be superior to a blurry 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8... megapixel image any day. And IS lets you have that, not just at long telephoto focal lengths, but also at shorter ones too. I took a whole bunch of low-speed photos on my recent trip with my FZ10, at shutter speeds of 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/10 of a second, and very nearly all of them were tack-sharp. These shots were taken inside museums and galleries, in low-light. (Where I had permission to shoot!) Jack Scholl can show you indoor shots taken with his FX5, without flash, of people taken at very low shutter speeds that are also sharp. That's why his wife has now taken over possession of the camera; she loves it! Incidentally, here's the lowest price FX5 I could find on the Web, at $350: http://www.dig4less.com/view.html?levels=0000&refid=109&sku=PANDMCFX5