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View Full Version : something like the h5, but w/out zoom



cmezak
05-31-2007, 06:39 AM
Hey all,


Budget

* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.

$500

Size

* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?

I'd like something small enough to fit in a large pocket

Features

How many megapixels will suffice for you?

the camera I'm replacing was the h5 with 7.1mp. I like to print at 8x10, but being able to crop or print larger woudl be great

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)

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

9. Image quality is the most important thing to me. ill sacrifice usability to get it, but of course I'd like to be able to control the image, as well.

Do you care for manual controls?

yup!

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for?

I ride my bike everywhere and want a camera that I can take with me always for serendipitous shots. I'll buy a dslr when i can afford it for more intentional, serious work

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?

yes. 8x10 at least

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

definitely some. Id like to do some HDR stuff, too.

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?ar

rarely

Miscellaneous

Are there particular brands you like or hate?

I owned a canon powershot g3 back in the day and loved it, and I feel comfortable trusting canon to deliver good image quality from what I've read. I liked my sony h5, too before I lost it.

Are there particular models you already have in mind?

the sony h7/h9, maybe, though it's at the high end of my budget and its fairly large. Also, the lumix lx2 seems fun, but is again at the tip top of what i can afford. I'd like to find a canon powershot that will do the job for me, but there are so many of them that I'm having a hard time seeing how they are different.

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)

In my day to day shooting, I almost always shoot at the widest possible setting, and I would appreciate a camera with a wider-than-usual lens. I almost never use zoom when I shoot, which is something that made me feel funny about owning the h5. If the camera I buy doesnt have a very wide lens, I'd at least like to be able to buy a conversion wide angle lens for it.

speaklightly
05-31-2007, 07:09 AM
cmezak-

In view of your budget and your interest in wide angle photos, it might be worthwhile taking a look on E-Bay for the Kodak P-880. It had a Schneider 24mm ultra wide angle lens that zoomed out to around 140mm. It was very highly regarded and it was a WA favorite.

A bit more pricey is the Sony R-1 which also featured a Zeiss 24mm lens with the ability to zoom out to somewhere abount 120mm

Sarah

cmezak
05-31-2007, 07:21 AM
oh my. how i wish i could afford the r1!

John_Reed
05-31-2007, 08:02 AM
The Panasonic TZ3 has one of the cooler wideangle capabilities out there for a pocketable camera. It shoots 28mm in any of three aspect ratios, 4:3, 3:2, or 16:9. It has a fast, sharp lens, and even though few manual controls (you can control exposure bias and WB), gets the job done pretty well. Here's my TZ3 gallery (http://john-reed.smugmug.com/gallery/2762845) for many examples of its extreme versatility.

Incidentally, I know you don't need zoom, but when shooting scenery, I don't often stray from the 28mm peg for the TZ3. It's a very low-distortion lens, so when you're doing architectural shots, the straight lines stay straight, magically.

coldrain
05-31-2007, 08:52 AM
Personally I would shy away from the TZ3 or LX2 from Panasonic, because their noisy sensors and they internal processing make the results below par.

The Kodak P880 mentioned is a good wide angle bridge camera, as is the Sony R1 (discontinued a while ago), but they both are not pocketable.

The Canon Powershot S80 seems to offer everything you would like (but is also discontinued, so you maye have problems locating it): 28mm wide angle lens of good quality, high IQ, and relativily compact, with manual controls.
The Canon G7 is a bit bigger but still pocketable, and also delivers very good results with manual controls. But it lacks wide angle (as wide as you are used to, 35mm). Both are metal and pitched at the higher end compact digital camera market.

The smaller SD series lacks the manual controls you are looking for, which is a shame as the SD800 IS offers 28mm wide angle, good IQ and is very compact.

The Canon A series has some interesting models in there too, but they lack wide angle, they go as wide as you are used to with your G3 and H5 (~35mm).

flippedgazelle
05-31-2007, 09:32 AM
It's interesting that Jeff uses the term "fun" when describing the TZ3. It may not feature the absolute best image quality, but should be very good outdoors and is versatile. The fact that it has image stabilization will help keep the ISO down (and thus also noise) in lower-light situations. Doesn't help as much if you have a moving subject, though.

There's a "Store" on Ebay that is selling a refurb P880 for about $360 shipped.

Canon SD800 would be very pocketable for you, though I have read that photos can suffer from edge softness. I suppose that most small, 28mm-capable cameras have this issue.

I wonder how well small cameras do when used with a wide angle adapter lens. Is there excessive edge softness or barrel distortion? I don't know.

cmezak
05-31-2007, 09:37 AM
wow thats a lot of great into! thanks guys!

Honestly I think what's making this decision difficult for me is that I want to do many different things but am having trouble deciding how much it's reasonable to ask for out of a single camera.

I'll probably make a run to best buy today to see if anything jumps out at me. I'm primarily concerned about image quality. As far as control goes, I love shooting in manual with an SLR, but it has always been too much of a pain for me to navigate the manual controls with smaller cameras. So I may forgo some of the control options and hope that in time I'll be able to afford a DSLR. This camera will then become more of a take-anywhere sort of thing that I might still be able to pull larger prints from if I like.

I'll check this forum again as often as I can today in case there are more suggestions. I'm especially interested in thoughts on the cameras available at best buy, as thats my best option for buying around here. That and target. :P

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=cat04001&type=category&categoryRep=cat04000



Thanks again!!

Charlie

cmezak
05-31-2007, 09:53 AM
Do you guys have any thoughts on the samsung pro815? I haven't been able to find many reviews of it.

cmezak
05-31-2007, 10:44 AM
Also, I'm still seriously considering buying the h9 :P

Even thought I said that I don't need the incredible zoom, it seems to be such a great camera in other ways that I might go for it. At least I'll know I'm getting an improvement over my old h5.

Is there a camera out there for under 500 that betters the h9 in image quality, maybe without such a huge zoom capacity?

charlie

John_Reed
05-31-2007, 12:01 PM
Also, I'm still seriously considering buying the h9 :P

Even thought I said that I don't need the incredible zoom, it seems to be such a great camera in other ways that I might go for it. At least I'll know I'm getting an improvement over my old h5.

Is there a camera out there for under 500 that betters the h9 in image quality, maybe without such a huge zoom capacity?

charlieThey rank it behind the Panasonic FZ50, all features/limitations considered. Here's the review. (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyh9/)

flippedgazelle
05-31-2007, 02:46 PM
Charlie, from what I have read on the Internet, it seems as though virtually every ultrazoom bests the H9 in regards to image quality.

fwiw, I've found that Sony's W-series cameras offer good image quality, plus they are very pocketable.

You could always audition a camera by purchasing it at Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, etc and then return it if you don't like.