Looking for mid sized camera
Which camera should I buy?
* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. - I'm looking to spend between $350 and $450 (that includes any/all accessories like decent memory card and extra batteries!).
* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you? - I want a mid sized sedan...er, camera. Don't need a pocketable camera right now as I already own an S200.
How many megapixels will suffice for you? - 4 minimum. Preferrably 5 or 6. Anything more is icing.
* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify) - 3x or 4x will suffice.
* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) - 8.543
Do you care for manual controls? - Yes! I want to have full control. I also want to be able to do decent night shots.
* What will you generally use the camera for? - Anything. Sports, Night, Events, Macro...I'd like this camera to do everything, with the understanding that it doesn't need super zoom and it can't be TOO big.
* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? - Typical prints will be 4x6, though I'll probably want to print out the nice shots at 8x10
Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? - Probably indoor, yes. Low light...maybe.
Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? - I will definitely want to.
Are there particular brands you like or hate? - No.
Are there particular models you already have in mind? - There are way too many to realistically find what I want on my own. I was looking at the E550, A95, C model Olympus, some others...
(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) - Wide angle would be nice (though not mandatory), stabilization only mandatory if you recommend a super zoom camera, weatherproof not necessary, hotshoe not required, rotating lcd not required but would be nice.
I have a couple extra questions. I know the old C3040 camera comes with a super bright lens (F1.8). Are there any recent comparable camera's in the field in my price range?
Also, when zoomed in, the F stop typically raises...I'd be particularly interested in a camera that can zoom and keep a decent (high light) aperture setting.
The E550 is really nice! But, the 3 second exposure limit bothers me. I really like the speed of this camera.
The A95 seems seems to have everything perfect, but it's TOO slow!
Last thing, I'd like the option to put on lens adapters/filters. This is not mandatory, but a nice bonus if available.
I think that's it...Appreciate any/all help!
The Ideal Digital Camera
It is just a suggestion, but if I were you, I would be seriously looking at the Olympus C-7070. It sells for around $340 (US) is 7mp has both a wide angle setting amd 4Xoptical zoom, and is just about the size (I believe!) that you desire. It is a very capable digital camera and has a photo quality that almost exactly equates to 8.543 on the 1 through 10 Prcisimo System analysis.
It will indeed be a good deal faster and of much higher quality than the Fuji E-550 (many folks have had real problems with the E-550, so I do not recommend the E-550 at all!) and the Canon A-95.
The Olympus C-7070 has a nice hotshoe so adding one of the Olympus FL series flashes could give you some extra light power, if needed for your interior shots.
All in all it is a very capable and nice digital camera that would give you excellent service. Another option might indeed be the Olympus C-8080 which costs more, but still meets your size requirement, and has a much faster lens, like the F1.8 lens that you are pinning after. It is a great performer with wonderful photo quality and has recently come down substantially in price. So much so that I purchased the Olympus C-8080 as my 61st digital camera.
I have attached a photo showing a size comparison between the C-5060 ( the exact same size as the C-7070) and my Fuji F-10.By the way the photo was taken with the Olympus Stylus 800 at ISO 1600.
Thanks Sarah. I actually work with the C5060 quite a bit, and will have my hands on a C8080 and C7070 as well pretty soon as the C5060's are being phased out. I've used the C3040, C3020, and C4000 as well in the past (I work with Olympus cameras)
I love the C series! But, I think for my taste, the 7070 body style is just a slight tad too large (although I will still consider it, because I will always keep a pocketable camera as well).
I think the C3000 body styles are about the size I'm most interested in. But, not necessarily Olympus. The E550 is equivalent in size, as is the A95. I didn't mention this before, but I already have an E550. I am actually pretty happy with it with one exception (it makes night shots difficult). I am very interested in adding that ability, and I don't want to have to rely on my ancient S200 to do it (even though it can!).
Maybe I should just reconsider the size I'm interested in. I know the C5060 pretty well, and if the 7070 and 8080 are built similarly, I know I won't be dissapointed.
What if I dropped my price range down to $300 to $350 (accessories included). You see, I'd be selling off the E550 and trying to pay off any excess for the new camera...
btw, thanks for your insight. I've read many posts here and you seem to be in them all! I know you love the F10 and 800 Wish there were more high ISO camera options out there. The E900 looked so tempting, but all this talk about the chip size = noise :\
The only problem with the Fuji E-900 is that it only goes up to ISO 800! Well, taking into consideration that the C-8080 have fallen dramatically in price, perhaps we can look for a replacement soon from Olympus that might indeed include a bit of high ISO capability.
There is always the C5500 which is quite a digital camera for an around $200 (US) selling price, but there is nothing other than the Stylus 800 (a high ISO capable digital camera) right now. I truly wish I could tell you differently.
Right now, there is just nothing available in the C-3XXX size.