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View Full Version : Burnt out & would love 4-ish MP advice



Hamster
08-15-2004, 12:50 AM
I'm very excited/relieved to have found such an experienced and helpful forum for this. I've spent hours and hours (& hours) reading info. & reviews on 5-6 MP cameras, thinking that's what I wanted cause prices are so much lower than they were, I fancy myself a very good amateur photographer and have been avoiding taking the digital plunge til now, etc. However friends have convinced me that 5-6 is overkill for me and that I'd save money, memory, etc. and still get plenty good quality with a 4-ish MP camera. If anyone can advice me a) if 4 MP seems sufficient (given that I use my camera for family, school, newsletter, etc. and am very picky about image quality but won't be doing huge enlargements etc.) and if so, b) what a few of the best bets are out there, I would sooo appreciate having this 2nd search made a little shorter and less painful. Ideal criteria: great quality 4x6 and 5x7 (both indoor and outdoor shots), as little as possible lag time during power-on as well as between shoot and capture, good macro capability (e.g. flowers up close), very low red-eye, good flash coverage. Price and size are secondary to quality. Thank you thank you thank you.

speaklightly
08-15-2004, 07:40 AM
Hamster-

We are happy to help but we need a bit of info:

1. Is camera size important?
2. What level of camera complexity?
3. How much zoom?
4. How much do you want to spend on this camera?

Here is a general list showing the low internet prices on 4mp digital cameras that have received good reviews.

Fuji A 340 $160
Olympus D-580 $200
Nikon 4300 $200
Olympus C-4000 $200
Canon A-80 $200
Sony P-73 $230
Kodak DX 6440 $230
Kodak DX 7440 $270
HP R707 $280*
Canon S 410 $290
Kodak DX 6490 $330
Olympus C-765 $340

* 5mp camera

Give us some more info please and we can narow this list some more.

Sarah Joyce

Hamster
08-15-2004, 10:22 AM
Hi Sarah Joyce,

Thanks for your quick and helpful reply! I've read other responses of yours and was hoping you'd give me some feedback. Camera size--I'd like something that I can fit in my purse, e.g. the size of the Sony DSC-W1 seemed like a good fit for me. Smaller would be fine if quality wasn't sacrificed and a bit larger could work if for a significant improvement in quality. Level of complexity not important. I'd prefer a few manual options but don't need a ton of them. Price--I'd say under $400 if it's going to be 4 MP. I would be up to $500 for 6MP. Re Zoom, I've never had a good grasp of zoom/focal length etc., but I think 3x would be fine and 5x would be better. I gather that fixed focal length usually means less lag time? If true, I guess I'd rather have less zoom and greater speed, but of course if I could have both, all the better. Ideally I'd like image stabilization (which I gather you give up with higher zoom?) and as high an aperture as possible given my other criteria. Also what do you think about the 6mp vs. 4mp question?

speaklightly
08-15-2004, 11:09 AM
Hamster-

Thanks so much for the additional info. Now we can narrow the choice a bit.

Canon a-80 - $200 - *
Sony P-73 - $230 - *
Kodak DX 6440 - $230 *
Kodak DX-7440 - $275 *
HP R707 - $280 **
Sony p-93 - $290 **
Kodak LS 753 - $290 **
Sony P-100 - $340 **
Sony W-1 - $340 **
Sony DX-7630 - $340 ***
Sony V-1 - $360 **
Nikon 5200 - $360 - **
Canon S-500 - $375 **

*= 4mp
**- 5mp
***= 6MP

This list covers 4mp, 5mp, and 6mp digital cameras that are suitably compact and able to go into your purse. The are also digital cameras that have received good reviews. Personally, I don't think that you need to go higher than 4mp to 5mp for your proposed uses.

Sarah Joyce

Hamster
08-18-2004, 02:21 AM
Hi again,

I've spent loads of time looking into the cameras you listed as well as some that I came across along the way. The ones in your list that I find the most consistently positive remarks about are the Canon A80 (but some comments about too much lag time and not great zoom), Kodak DX6440 and Kodak DX7440which both sound pretty strong. However in my search I came to the Canon G3. This wasn't on your list but is seemed to be highly thought of in reviews, though seems expensive for a 4.0 mp (in the $465 range). I gather it's a couple of years old model? Any thoughts on these narrowed down candidates?

jamison55
08-18-2004, 11:48 AM
Hey Hamster,

Congrats on your choice to go digital. I know some purists would disagree, but with the advent of digital processing at every CVS, Wal-Mart, and Ritz across the country, there's really no reason to hold on to film any longer!

I thought I'd pipe in on your choices. I bought a Canon A80 at the beginning of the year, and was thrilled with all of the camera's features except one: the redeye was terrible. It showed up on every indoor flash shot I took, even with the so called redeye reduction turned on. I sold it and bought a refurb'd Olympus 5050 on EBay, and I have been thrilled. Olympus is very aggressive with their in camera sharpening, so the pictures come out of the camera tack sharp but some people complain that this adds too much noise. Canon has chosen the softer route, so I have always had to sharpen the pics a little in PS. The G3 would be comparable to the 5050 (they are both a couple of years old, the 5050 might be a little newer), but given the choice I would select the Olympus. The Oly also has the f1.8 lens, to my knowlege the fastest ever made on a digicam...

Having said all of that, have you considered the Canon S1? I know it is only 3 Megapixels, but most folks will tell you that you can get a darn decent 8x10 out of a 3MP camera (and a heck of a lot more shots on the memory card). Your requirements are for 4x6 and 5x7, and the S1 should render those perfectly. The flash is away from the lens, so no red-eye, and you have a 10x IS lens. The price is really starting to come down online, so you should be able to hit your <$400 target...

speaklightly
08-18-2004, 11:51 AM
Hamster-

The Canon G3 is an excellent digital camera, but it is outdated and expensive. The bargain of the group that you mentioned is the Kodak DX-6490. We own the 6490 and I would be happy to supply sample photos if you would like. It is an excellent 10X optical zoom digital camera, but do keep in mind that it is NOT stabilized.

If you prefer long zoom, then also take a look at the Canon S-1 which is also 10X optical zoom and it is stabilized. The kodak is 4mp while the Canon is 3.2mp. Because we own that camera also, I can supply sample digital photos.

Perhaps I have it wrong, but I got the drift that you were tending toward long zoom. If that is not the case, please let me know.

Sarah Joyce

Hamster
08-21-2004, 03:34 PM
Hey Sarah Joyce, Jamison, and anyone else who feels like helping out a lost soul: You might have thought I either fell off the face of Digital Earth or else that I actually bought a camera. No such luck on either score--just been doing MORE research on your suggestions and other leads I came across. SJ, yes you were right that ideally I would like more zoom than average. Bottom line is still image quality, which includes being able to GET good images in various situations, including times when I need flash, zoom, etc. After drawing up numerous tables of candidates and qualities (fyi some I've k.o.'ed are below), the 3 top contenders I think I've got right now are:
Canon S60 (5mp, 3.6 x4 .1 zoom, around $400+)
Kodak DX7440 (4mp, 4x4 zoom, around $290)
Kodak 7630 (6mp, 3x4 zoom, around $400)
Again I want good value but am more interested in great quality. If you or anyone else has a vote on which of these to focus on (ugh) or on something that I've somehow missed, please chime in and THANKS!

Cameras I think I'm dismissing are: SonyW1 (weak flash, lack of detail due to too much noise suppression, some bad first-person reviews including one saying that Canon is way better than Sony, particularly the CanonS60); SanonS1IS (high noise compared to S30) :o

speaklightly
08-21-2004, 05:48 PM
The Canon S-60 has been the subject of some very negative comments in this forum, just look back a few pages please. I do own the Kodak DX-7440 and I like the camera a lot. The Dx-7630 has more megapixels but about the same quality of digital photos.

Sarah Joyce

D70FAN
08-21-2004, 06:58 PM
The Canon S-60 has been the subject of some very negative comments in this forum, just look back a few pages please. I do own the Kodak DX-7440 and I like the camera a lot. The Dx-7630 has more megapixels but about the same quality of digital photos.

Sarah Joyce

I'm not even going to try.

RobbieG
08-21-2004, 07:26 PM
The Canon S-60 has been the subject of some very negative comments in this forum, just look back a few pages please. I do own the Kodak DX-7440 and I like the camera a lot. The Dx-7630 has more megapixels but about the same quality of digital photos.

Sarah Joyce

I too was looking at the dx7630. How does 4mp and 6mp give the same quality?

speaklightly
08-21-2004, 09:10 PM
George-

Please don't be discouraged. You do a GREAT job.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
08-22-2004, 12:07 PM
Robbie-

If you look closely, these two digital cameras use somewhat different lenses. The DX-7440 uses a 4X optical zoom lens, and the DX-7630 uses a 3X optical zoom lens.

Sarah Joyce

Hamster
08-24-2004, 12:20 AM
Sarah, thanks very much for the photo comparison gallery. Still, I had decided on the Canon A80 and then today found it's been discontinued but still managed to order one through Ritz camera for $299, which seemed a good price though at one point you had indicated it could be had for closer to $200? Of course when I got home from ordering and looked up what's replacing the A80, I gather it's the A85 which has JUST been released, reviews seem non-existent so far, and I'm now thrown back into turmoil wondering if I get that instead? The price seems to be exactly the same, at least $299 on Amazon. From what I've read it seems the main improvement is that there are more situation-specific settings e.g. fireworks, snow, etc., which I wouldn't mind having all else being equal. Zoom seems the same, the A85 is a bit smaller (may not have swivel lcd?). Any thoughts before I receive and open the A80?? AARRRGGGHHHH. (And if you think the Kodak 7440 is actually better than either of these, please tell me)

speaklightly
08-24-2004, 07:57 AM
Hi Hamster-

No I have no more thoughts. I personally feel that you are down to deciding on very fine points indeed. I will attempt to add a Canon A-80 digital photo to the Digital Camara Comparison Gallery and then get that off to you today. That way you will have a side by side comparison.

I have a lot scheduled today, so I cannot guarantee the addition. However, it will be either today or tomorrow.

Sarah Joyce

speaklightly
08-25-2004, 07:21 PM
Hamster-

All of us have made VERY SERIOUS attempt to get you the info that you need. We hope that info put you in a good position.

Sarah Joyce