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View Full Version : Hi, looking for a new digital, but need some help...



justin83
08-28-2004, 04:21 PM
Hi. I've been shooting with digital cameras for years now, my first was a Sony Mavica FD51, and then I upgraded to a FD73 when the 51 was stolen...anyway, my FD73 is a bit outdated now, and I have been looking to purchase a new digital camera. I purchased the Mavicas because I wanted an easy storage medium (3.5 floppy) and the 10x optical zoom was also great. I was also lucky and was able to snag them under or at $350.

I've been heavily considering the Cannon PowerShot S1 IS or the Sony DSC-W1, I've read that these cameras were to directly compete with each other. I chose these two for their comparable prices. But there are a few things that I don't really know about, and if anyone can help me out I would appreciate it.

Shutter speed is very important to me, I like to take many action shots, and I am not sure what the 15 1/2000 on the Cannon versus the 30 1/1000 on the Sony shutter speeds translates to. Which one will capture the pictures faster, and be ready to shoot again quickly? The Mavicas were quite slow in the writting to the disk and shutter speed, so this feature is very important to me.

I really like the 10x optical zoom on the Cannon, I havent used anything less then that for as long as I can remember, so I really don't know how big a difference the 3x zoom on the Sony is, and I've also read some reviews that when zooming in the Cannon can take a while to focus.

As to picture resolution I don't really plan on using the maximums, but I have read and seen pictures that the Cannon sometimes gives the "purple fringe" effect. I'd like to avoid that. I also have a very shaky hand, and was wodnering if the Cannons IS system will avert much of that, from what I've read it is a superior stabilization system, and I would benefit from that greatly.

I don't care much for the software and the viewfinders, software I have a-plenty and viewfinders have always seemed to me a way to feel more important about yourself (though the swivel on the Cannon can protect the viewfinder while traveling, seems like a great plus)...anyway, one other thing I do care about is battery life. I wind up in a small prediciment here, the Sony is clearly advantagageous as it comes with re-chargables, but my family has a habbit of touching things and losing things that aren't theirs like batteries and battery chargers. I'm not sure on the price point of such batteries, however if it is under or about $30 for the charger abd batteries, I'd be sold on buying that to make up for the Cannons lack thereof, and it could be replaced if lost for a small ammount of money.

I don't plan on using the video function at all, this camera will be strictly for photos. Which brigns me to the point, am I even looking at the right cameras? I need to keep my budget at $400 for the camera, not including things like batteries, case, bigger memory card...

Well, I'm pretty sure those are all my questions/concerns. Any help is greatly appreciated.

speaklightly
08-28-2004, 06:11 PM
The Sony W-1 competes directly with the Canon S500. The Canon S-1 is an entirely different design. It is a stabilized 3.2mp, 10X optical zoom digital camera, wheras the Sony W-1 is a 5mp 3X optical zoom digital camera.

Are you interested in a long zoom digital camera, or more of a small compact 3X optical zoom digital camera?

Sarah Joyce

John_Reed
08-28-2004, 06:17 PM
I really like the 10x optical zoom on the Cannon, I havent used anything less then that for as long as I can remember, so I really don't know how big a difference the 3x zoom on the Sony is, and I've also read some reviews that when zooming in the Cannon can take a while to focus.

As to picture resolution I don't really plan on using the maximums, but I have read and seen pictures that the Cannon sometimes gives the "purple fringe" effect. I'd like to avoid that. I also have a very shaky hand, and was wodnering if the Cannons IS system will avert much of that, from what I've read it is a superior stabilization system, and I would benefit from that greatly..Well, you might also look at the new Panasonic DMC-FZ3, which is about the same size and pixel count as the Canon S1, but has a faster, longer zoom lens than does the Canon (FZ3: 35 - 420; S1: 38 - 380). In Popular Photography's August issue, they tested the anti-shake systems of the S1, the Minolta A2, and the Panasonic FZ10, concluding that the FZ10 had about a one f-stop edge over the Canon S1 regarding minimum shutter speed for yielding a sharp image. The FZ3 is supposed to be improved over the FZ10 in this respect. With respect to image quality, though there may be some out there, I have yet to see a "WOW" photo from an S1, though I've seen many from Panasonics.
Though the FZ3 has a proprietary Li-Ion battery, you get one with the camera, along with the charger, and although I always recommend people having a spare, there have been many days on vacation trips with my FZ1 and FZ10 cameras when I didn't need the spare in my pocket. If you're never shooting more than 200-300 shots on a charge, you may be able to get along without a spare battery. The FZ3 is available at Circuit City. (http://www.circuitcity.com/searchresults.jsp?catoid=-8025&department=Cameras+and+Camcorders&displayAll=&u=c&category=Digital+Cameras&cattotal=69&hdENTERed=no&qp=0&sort=Price&fv=40450&fv=0&caller=searchresults.jsp&c=1&b=g&u=c)

justin83
08-28-2004, 06:54 PM
Are you interested in a long zoom digital camera, or more of a small compact 3X optical zoom digital camera?

Thanks for your reply Sarah, I'm more intrested in a camera that will take sharp, fast pictures. Compactness is nice, and zoom is nice too, but they will take a backseat to sharpness and shutter speed for me.


If you're never shooting more than 200-300 shots on a charge, you may be able to get along without a spare battery.

Thanks, are there any other differences I should note with the Panasonic? It seems like a step or two over the Cannon, for the same price, with the exception of the 8 MB SD card, as opposed to the 32 MB, but I planned on getting a bigger card no matter which camera I purchase, and I also have a 128 MB SD card laying about somewhere.

speaklightly
08-29-2004, 09:14 AM
Justin-

With all due respects to my good friend and collegue, John Reed, I am afraid there is a substantial difference between the Panasonic, the Canon and the Sony digital cameras.

I could be incorrect, however, I do believe that I read that Panasonic just changed their warranty policy. Unlike, both Sony and Canon who offer a one year warranty of BOTH part and labor, Panasonic now offers a warranty with one year coverage on parts, BUT only 90 days on labor.

Sarah Joyce