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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4

    Best current ultracompact (with fast focus)

    Our old Canon SD410 cannot keep up with our 2-year old. Any recommendations on an modern compact camera that can auto focus and capture an image quickly? We also have a Fuji s6000fd, the performance of which I like quite a bit. However, we also want a compact camera that can fit in a pant's pocket and take decent spur-of-the-moment images. Reviews of the Canon SD850 seem pretty good, but is there anything else out there that I should pay attention to? Speed, image quality and size are the most important drivers - most of the pictures will be viewed on a computer monitor, so no need to break any megapixel records.

    * Budget: not particularly important - say < $500
    * Size: very small
    *Features: would like to take mpegs, timer for group shots, mounting hole for my "gorillia-pod"
    *How many megapixels will suffice for you? : ~6 is fine. all else equal, more seems better
    * What optical zoom will you need? Standard
    * How important is “image quality” to you? 8 out of 10
    * Do you care for manual controls? Do not need too many. Forcing a flash is needed sometimes
    * What will you generally use the camera for? fast snapshots
    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? No
    * Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? no
    * Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? yes, small children running around like maniacs
    * Are there particular brands you like or hate? No
    * Are there particular models you already have in mind? Canon SD850
    * Do you need any of the following special features? Wide Angle, Image Stabilization are nice to haves. Rotating LCD seems nice too, but also unlikely in a compact.

    thanks - Jon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    740
    The Panasonic FS5 has been getting excellent reviews.
    Bitten by the photo bug
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon A720IS
    Sanyo Eneloop Rechargeable AA Batteries

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146
    I agree with Andy-

    There seems to be a rather good fit between your requirements and the Panasonic FS 5. It it is certainly worth some research.

    Sarah Joyce

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    western US
    Posts
    1,218
    Speed of the SD850 is not bad, but kinda middle of the pack. Sony T-series and W-series appear to be the fastest.

    Kelly Cook

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4

    thanks!

    Thanks for the tip. I will certainly check out the FS5 and the Sonys. I do like the spec. list for the FS5.

    I haven't seen many reviews for the FS5. There is one on photohowto.info and another on trustedreviews.com. I also searched in the Panasonic forum here at dcresource. Is there some other site where this camera is discussed?

    thanks - Jon

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

    I saw the www.trustedreviews.com review. I will now look for the other one at www.photohowto.info. It appears that the FS-5 is so new that there is not much mention of it so far. the Panasonic Forum over at www.dpreview.com seems to be the most active Panasonic group.

    Have a great day.

    Sarah Joyce

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4
    If I may ask one more question, is the Panasonic FX-35 worth considering? It looks like the same camera more or less, but with a wider angle lens and a ~$70 larger street price.

    Is there any other tradeoffs that are made here? Or do I just have to decide if the 25mm focal length is worth the $70?

    thanks - Jon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    western US
    Posts
    1,218
    Feel of the controls is different. FS is for more of a pop audience, FX "prosumer". Even though the FX lacks actual manual controls. I am considering the FX35 myself. Canon SD770, Nikon S600, and Sony W170 also hit around the same price bracket as the FX35. Lotsa choices.

    Kelly

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4
    Nikon S600, fast startup time and focussing. 99 area manual focus as wel as usual auto modes and face detection. really small size plus wide angle, image stabilisation and reasonably good IQ.

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