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View Full Version : Please Help Me Find a Good Compact Camera



confusednewbie
08-19-2004, 01:47 PM
Hi everybody. I'm trying to find a compact digital camera. The features that are important to me include speed, picture quality, a movie mode, price, and size. The cameras that I am considering include the dimage g400 and xg, canon a75 and 410, the coolpix 3700, and the dsc-t1.

Speed is very important for me because I want to be able to remove my camera from my pocket, turn it on, take a picture, turn it off, and put it back in my pocket before anybody notices, faster than you can read this sentence.

Size is important too because I don't want to add noticeable bulk to my body.

Price is also something that I consider because I don't like the idea of losing an expensive camera.

But price doesn't outweigh function. That means good quality pictures that look great blow-up (not to a poster size or anything) as well as good movies (I don't really need tv size, but it would be nice anyways).

All of these cameras have some good features and some bad. So I can't decide. If there are any other cameras that you folks know work great, please tell me about them.

The xg looks good and it has functions that I need, but I don't hear great things about its picture quality.

The g400 is fast and snaps great pictures, but it doesn't have that great of a movie mode and it isn't easy to find anymore.

The coolpix 3700 is the cheapest of my current selection with that $100 rebate. The fact that there is such a large rebate on this camera makes me suspicious of its quality. Is there a problem that I haven't heard of yet that plagues this camera? I haven't heard any really negative statements about this device, but it also isn't near the top of any best digital camera lists of any kind. By the way, can you turn off the flash on this thing?

The dsc-t1 is a great camera if not for the price. If I lost a 400 dollar camera due to falling on it, well, it'd suck much more to if I lost a 200 dollar camera. Also, it needs Memory stick memory and I am more accustomed to using CF and SD cards.

Canon cameras have always been in the spotlight. So they must be good right? Well, I see that the a80 isn't quite compact enough though it has many features in terms of function. On the other hand, the 410 is smaller, but it isn't as cheap as the xg or coopix 3700.

So there is my dilemma. Which camera to pick? Please help me find my ideal camera. If I take great pictures and movies, I'll be very happy and I'll be able to send home to my friends and family all the adventures that I'll be having. Thank all of you who read my message and I appreciate any advice that any of you folks can provide.

Seeya!

D70FAN
08-19-2004, 02:13 PM
Hi everybody. I'm trying to find a compact digital camera. The features that are important to me include speed, picture quality, a movie mode, price, and size. The cameras that I am considering include the dimage g400 and xg, canon a75 and 410, the coolpix 3700, and the dsc-t1.

Speed is very important for me because I want to be able to remove my camera from my pocket, turn it on, take a picture, turn it off, and put it back in my pocket before anybody notices, faster than you can read this sentence.

Size is important too because I don't want to add noticeable bulk to my body.

Price is also something that I consider because I don't like the idea of losing an expensive camera.

But price doesn't outweigh function. That means good quality pictures that look great blow-up (not to a poster size or anything) as well as good movies (I don't really need tv size, but it would be nice anyways).

All of these cameras have some good features and some bad. So I can't decide. If there are any other cameras that you folks know work great, please tell me about them.

The xg looks good and it has functions that I need, but I don't hear great things about its picture quality.

The g400 is fast and snaps great pictures, but it doesn't have that great of a movie mode and it isn't easy to find anymore.

The coolpix 3700 is the cheapest of my current selection with that $100 rebate. The fact that there is such a large rebate on this camera makes me suspicious of its quality. Is there a problem that I haven't heard of yet that plagues this camera? I haven't heard any really negative statements about this device, but it also isn't near the top of any best digital camera lists of any kind. By the way, can you turn off the flash on this thing?

The dsc-t1 is a great camera if not for the price. If I lost a 400 dollar camera due to falling on it, well, it'd suck much more to if I lost a 200 dollar camera. Also, it needs Memory stick memory and I am more accustomed to using CF and SD cards.

Canon cameras have always been in the spotlight. So they must be good right? Well, I see that the a80 isn't quite compact enough though it has many features in terms of function. On the other hand, the 410 is smaller, but it isn't as cheap as the xg or coopix 3700.

So there is my dilemma. Which camera to pick? Please help me find my ideal camera. If I take great pictures and movies, I'll be very happy and I'll be able to send home to my friends and family all the adventures that I'll be having. Thank all of you who read my message and I appreciate any advice that any of you folks can provide.

Seeya!

How about the A75 that you mentioned in the first paragraph? Too big? If not it has all of the attributes you requested and sells for about $250 retail.

What you need to do is put together a list of the 4 top choices, and then wander over to the camera store and see which one you really like. The advantage of doing this is that you may come accross a camera you didn't consider, which also meets your criteria and budget.

jfn
08-19-2004, 02:32 PM
One problem I read about the 3700 was that it sometimes has A/V sync issues in movie mode. That's a deal breaker for me.

I'm looking for an ultracompact and one camera I found that you might like is the Sony DSC-P100. Very small, and supposedly extremely quick, with 5mp and 640x480 movies at 30fps until the card is full. I'd probably own it already but I hear that some people have issues with blurry pictures and such... I found some long threads on dpreview.com's message boards about it. Seems like maybe it's good for some people and not for others. The thread I started about what I'm looking for is here: http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=507.

confusednewbie
08-19-2004, 03:11 PM
First, thank you both for your responses :) Its nice to get good advice especially with all these cameras out there. I would like to reply to each of your messages.

Mr. Riehm, that is a very good idea to go out and personally check out the cameras. I have used your advice and checked out some of the digital cameras at my local department store. Most of the cameras there are at least a year old because that's the way the store can sell them for a cheaper price. Still, there were a few current cameras such as the a80/a75, it is smaller than I imagined. But, it isn't as small as I'd like. I would rather consider some other cameras first. For instance, there is this Olympus that is weather-proof. Nice if you're going somewhere wet. I couldn't find any of the other cameras that I am thinking about at this store.

I know this is sad, but I don't have access to other stores except through the internet, so I can't go physically shopping around in better stores. I hope you folks can understand.

Sir, I know this is off topic, but your location is stated as being "The Desert." What do you mean by that? I'm just curious.

To jfn: I don't feel so alone in this confusing world knowing that you too are looking for a similar camera. When you do decide on a camera, could you please tell me which one you picked. I appreciate your opinion. I checked out the DSC P-100 and I like it very much for its features, but its price is very high for me. I'm aiming for 250 and below. Also, about the coolpix 3700, I read that if you use a SD card with a fast enough data transfer rate, or if you don't use the 640x480 30fps mode, the movies will record fine.

speaklightly
08-19-2004, 05:34 PM
When one compares price, function, and size. Geroge's suggestion of the Canon A-75 is the winner. Tha Canon A-75/A-85 duo offer a combination that is hard to beat.

To get smaller you would have to pay more and accept less function. Try the digital cameras at your nearest retailer and see what feels right.

Sarah Joyce

confusednewbie
08-20-2004, 08:14 AM
Hi all, thanks again for helping me out.

Yes, the canon A75 is very hard to beat. I would buy it if it weren't for the size. I know I'm being real picky, but I need something smaller. I tried out the Pentax OptioS (my store sees it as the current model of that product line) and I love the size and ease of use (I got small hands). But its picture quality isn't great (I'm no expert though) and my pictures get blurry a lot, and that's not just indoors. I was thinking about the ex-z4u and read about it, but I'm afraid its picture quality isn't so good too. I think the best compromise would be from the nikon series or the dimage series. I'm only a point-and-shoot kind of photographer so I don't need too many functions. I'd prefer an automatic that knows what its doing.

Say, does anybody have any experience with the Nikon Coolpix 3700? I just can't get it out of my mind because of that $100 rebate. Is it too good to be true? I mean, is this camera bad in some important way?

Thanks again for participating in my little dilemma.

speaklightly
08-20-2004, 11:36 AM
The Nikon 3700 is a good digital camera. It has been reviewed right on this website. You may want to read over that review. Please keep in mind that this is very much an automatic point & shoot digital camera. If I remember correctly the only item that can be changed is White Balance.

With the $100 rebate that Nikon is offering through 10/31/2004 it makes the the final cost to you of this digital camera about $150 based on current internet prices. If that works for you, check the camera out and handle it at a local retailer. Then make your decision.

Sarah Joyce

tc17
08-20-2004, 09:29 PM
Say, does anybody have any experience with the Nikon Coolpix 3700? I just can't get it out of my mind because of that $100 rebate. Is it too good to be true? I mean, is this camera bad in some important way?

I currently own the Nikon 3700. I haven't had it long enough to say a whole lot. I'm still debating if I want to keep it or get the Canon S1 which has a 10x zoom. Although really I don't want to spend that much money either.

But I do like this Nikon 3700. Its even smaller than I expected. The LCD is very sharp, and has nice animated graphics. The menu is easy to use for me with the tiny joystick it uses to navigate them.

I was trying to compare the pictures to my previous Nikon 950 and my brothers Canon A40. I haven't taken any outside pictures yet but all the ones inside are very sharp. Just as good as my other two cameras. If I get some dark area on a picture, it sometimes has a slight grainy look but its not bad.

If you shake though you will get a blurry picture no matter what camera unless it has built in image stabilization. After pushing the shutter halfway down to focus, I have to remind myself to wait for the green light to say its in focus, before I push it all the way down.

It has a focus assist lamp also which helps for low light inside shots. Its actually MUCH brighter than the AF light on my brothers Canon A40, and if I shine it on a wall or object I see a nice round defined circle, unlike the Canon which AF light seems to have no shape. A little suprising since the camera is so small.

It has scene settings, but so far I've had better results using just the auto mode. I haven't tried them all though.

Try to buy a camera from a place that has a good return policy in case you don't like it.

This website has pictures people have taken with the 3700
http://www.pbase.com/cameras/nikon/coolpix_3700

Here are some user opinions on the 3700
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinions.asp?prodkey=nikon_cp3700

And some reviews on Amazon.com, some good, some bad.
reviews on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/B0000VL2VK/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/104-6546188-2869506?%5Fencoding=UTF8&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER)