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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2

    Question Wide-angle compact advice

    I’m a keen amateur photographer with a Nikon FE manual-focus film SLR and an Olympus mju2 fixed focal length (35mm) film compact. I’m looking to replace the film compact with a digital that gives me more creative control, with the eventual intention of replacing the SLR with a digital one later.

    I use 28mm, 50mm and 135mm fixed lenses with my SLR, and much prefer the 28mm wide-angle to the 35mm of my compact. Less concerned with the telephoto end, as most can offer at least 100mm which is fine.

    I’ve always been one to go for optical quality, lens speed, build quality etc. over gimmicky features, and so good optics, large sensors and usable high ISO ratings are all features that interest me.

    Budget

    $450-600 but keen to get the ‘right’ camera, rather than the cheapest one that will do.

    Size

    Preferably pocket, but ‘large pocket’ OK. I’ve used my company’s Nikon 5400 a lot and find it a bit too big for even the largest pocket.

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you? – 5+

    * What optical zoom will you need? Standard, preferably down to 28mm 35mm equiv.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) 8

    Do you care for manual controls? Yes.

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? Social occasions, gigs, short holidays, work (architect). I’m not looking for SLR performance, but as a keen photographer I’m after a ‘serious’ compact with either (preferably) decent manual controls, or if not, programme modes which are responsive and intuitive to an experienced photographer.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? Not that often, but would like the option.

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Yes.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Occasionally.

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate? Like Nikon film cameras, but also happy with my Olympus compact. Don’t have much handle of who I ‘rate’ for digitals.

    Are there particular models you already have in mind? Canon S70 (question over soft images?), Ricoh GX8 (question over image quality?), Sony DSC-V3 (only 34mm though), Fuji F10 (only 36mm and fewer manual controls), Olympus C7070 (bit bulky); and interested to see Panasonic announce the wide zoom DMC LX1

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) – Wide angle as mentioned. Hot-shoe would be nice. Build quality and durability important, but less so true weatherproofness.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    274
    Fuji E500/E510 have wide-angle lenses.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146
    The Canon S-60/S-70 twins are also a possibility.

    Sarah Joyce

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    274
    I believe the OP mentioned the Canon S70 and was asking about soft images. I have never tried this camera. Maybe someone who has can address this for the OP?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    37
    If you want something even smaller, the new upcoming Panasonic LX1 is a true compact with wide angle... Pretty interesting preview at DPreview.com...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146

    Panasonic LX-1

    c0mrade-

    Thanks for the "heads up"n the Panasonic LX-1. It seems to be a rather interesting digiital camera.

    Sarah Joyce

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,175
    I really like the concept on the Panasonic, but the price tag is shockingly high. I'd wait for the "second generation" of that camera before buying, even if it's good. Nobody should have to pay $700 for a $500 camera.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146

    Panasonic LX-1 versus the Olympus Stylus 800

    Yes, Panasonic has been very sucessful indeed with their FZ and LZ series digital cameras. However, the have now reach a point where their products ar becoming somewhat overpriced.

    Rex raised a very valid point about Panasonic pricing policy. I m personal opinion, Panasonic had better be careful. Cameras such as the Olympus Stylus 800 and the Fuji F-10, although not truly wide angle cameras, are forging ahead with outstanding features and enhanced resolution.

    Wake up, Panasonic!

    Sarah Joyce

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Not sure where I saw the reference to the S70 giving slightly 'soft' images. In many repsects I think it may be the best choice for me. If the Sony DSC-V3 had a wider lens I'd probably go for that, or the Ricoh GX8 if there weren't so many concerns over its image quality.

    jessie - I had consdiered the Fuji E510 as well. It's got the wide lens and manual controls that the F10 doesn't, but not the low-light performance. Any hope that Fuji will start putting the sensors from the F10 into some new models anytime soon?

    I had noticed the Panasonic FX1 with interest as well - could be an F10 style large-sensor compact, but with a wider lens. No manual controls though. Is it really going to cost $700?

    Matt

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146

    New Fuji Models

    Matt-

    Fuji just announced several new models that all draw on the F-10 type of imager. Most are larger models. However, the E-900 is a compact with 9.0mp but the lens begins at 32mm which does not seem very wide.

    Take a look at the E-900. It does have some nice features and it will be out in September.

    Sarah Joyce

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