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Thread: Small Sensor Camera Help

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    Small Sensor Camera Help

    Hello I'm "new" here although I've been lurking and reading threads as a guest for the past 4 or 5 months. Anyway I decided to register as this forum seems to be one of the better communities without all the pretention of some places while providing helpful and knowledgeable information... without the bad attitudes.

    On to my question though. I recently (read: the last 6 months) began looking into picking up a new digicam to complement and/ or eventually replace my old school Canon Digital Rebel (D300... yes the original "affordable" one.) The problem has been that honestly it became more of a hassle to take with me with the equipment I take to various events and trade shows or just for traveling (with new airline regulations charging for extra bags/ carry-ons.) I really wanted something that I could just slip into my laptop bag relatively easily but still provide very good IQ - mind you most of this stuff will be for web albums or websites anyway. I would still like the option to be able to make good prints when I wanted though.

    Originally I wanted something that was 6-10 MP, would do RAW, have a good macro mode, good ISO up to 400-800 if possible, have a relatively fast lens (at least 2.8f on the low side,) and have good color reproduction. I've looked at the Canon G9, Leica D-Lux 3, Sigma DP1, Ricoh GX200/GRDII and the Olympus e420. They are some of the best of the best in the price range I wanted to spend but that was before the Micro 4/3 format became public knowledge. So now I am leaning a bit more to the sub $350 cameras if possible (although I can or will go up to $400 if it's worth it.) I've read a few reviews online that confused me more than anything as they would either praise or bash the cameras and they all got about the same ratings in the end. As you can see I'm a bit out of the loop as far as P&S cameras go but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance though.

    P.S. This would all be so much simpler if Leica ( or someone like Cosina Voigtlander) would offer a small digital "street camera" priced like a prosumer dSLR for the hobbyists.

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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    To even begin to suggest anything first a few questions;
    Is RAW an absolute requirement?
    How portable?
    What, if any, zoom range?
    How important is hi ISO performance?

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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    RAW isn't absolutely necessary anymore but more of a great bonus. Zoom range of at least 3x Optical would be fine (which kinda rules out the DP1 now.) High ISO isn't super important since some of the noise reduction software is getting a lot better. I would like it to look at least decent though at ISO 400 (and up to ISO 800 if possible for web prints) since a lot of trade shows tend to be subdued when it comes to lighting in certain areas. Again I realized the perfect camera for me may not exist yet and if I NEED to go a little bit higher I'm prepared to do so but I'm trying to stay under $400 if possible as I want to get a new bedroom LCD HDTV (and save some money) as well with my bonus.
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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    Full manula exposure controls or would auto with exp compensation work?

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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    Either honestly as I plan to invest more into a system camera later (or maybe just upgrade all my Canon stuff to a newer model once some of the newer stuff trickles out.) Full manual would honestly be nice to have but it's not absolutely necessary either I'd say.I was looking at going Micro 4/3 later or maybe something else as the "real camera."

    Right now I just need a good P&S with good IQ more than anything else for under $400 if possible. I looked at the Panasonic FX35 and the Fuji S100fd online. Are these some of the better ones in the price range? Is it really worth going up the the $500-800 bridge cameras to get more of the features I desire?
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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Either honestly as I plan to invest more into a system camera later (or maybe just upgrade all my Canon stuff to a newer model once some of the newer stuff trickles out.) Full manual would honestly be nice to have but it's not absolutely necessary either I'd say.I was looking at going Micro 4/3 later or maybe something else as the "real camera."

    Right now I just need a good P&S with good IQ more than anything else for under $400 if possible. I looked at the Panasonic FX35 and the Fuji S100fd online. Are these some of the better ones in the price range? Is it really worth going up the the $500-800 bridge cameras to get more of the features I desire?
    Do you mean the Finepix F100fd or the S100fs?
    The latter is Bridgecam, DSLR size, 28-400mm-e zoom. 1kg

    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...ew/index.shtml

    The former is a very nice but full auto only compact, 28-140mm efl zoom.

    http://www.pbase.com/arn/fuji_f100fd

    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...ew/index.shtml


    I think the F100fd is a better camera IMHO
    I am *this* close to buying one myself 'pink' banding not withstanding
    Last edited by Lili; 26th September 2008 at 16:41.

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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    I meant the Finepix F100fd compact. I got confused with the model fo a second. What's this about a pink banding issue?
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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    Does the camera have to be a new model ? For instance the Olympus C 5060 ,C 7070 and C 8080 wz....I have the Olympus C 8080 wz IMHO the IQ is as good as anything I see coming from newer p.s cameras or at least it still holds its own considering it came out in 2003 ...If you are going to invest in a more expensive system later why not buy something that is is still a very good camera yet has already depreciated in value .... C8080 WZ cost about $900.00 when it first came out ..I think I paid $400.00 for it three years ago
    I also have a GRD2 which I absolutely love ..... the lack of zoom is a plus as far as I am concerned ... very fast camera to use and fits my style of shooting perfectly...
    You can get the GRD1 within your price range .... any way just another point of view ....I usually research the best of the best from a few years back ... save some money and try out some nice equipment ..... sell for close to what you paid ....
    I bought the GRD2 new because this was exactly what I wanted .... no hesitation and now that I have had it for a while ... no regrets - this camera is with me everywhere .
    Anyway just some thoughts even if they don't apply to your current camera decision dilemma ; )

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusc8080wz/

    http://www.flickr.com/cameras/olympus/c5060wz/

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/olympus8080/pool/

  9. #9
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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    I fully agree with ShiroKuro. Those Olympus cameras are fantastic indeed. Excellent optics too. You might also want to check out older Canon G-series cameras. You could save some money on buying an older high quality P&S, and save money for a new or upgraded system.

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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    Charley is right about the Oly, however it IS bigger than what most think of as compact these days
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...us-c8080.shtml
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olym...80wz/page3.asp
    It is in the size range of bridgecams like the Fuji S5200 or S6000, save the lens retracts somewhat.
    They have really fast lenses, excellent sensors (2/3" 8mp), and do RAW.
    I have read of at least one photojournalist that carried them in war and praised them mightily.
    Of course he carried two so that while one was writing RAW file he could shoot with the other.
    Also the LCD is a bit small by todays standards but it does tilt and the electronic viewfinder is hi res and quite useful in really bright light.
    I use the lower res one on my Fuji S6000 a lot.

    Wouter has an excellent suggestion in regards the Canon G's
    They too are a bit on the large size, but the G2, 3 and 5 all have fast lenses and many manual controls and can all be got for under 400$ with some shopping. Do not get stuck in thinking you need a ton of MP BTW.
    Unless you want to print billboards 4-5mp will do pretty much anything you want.

    My best advice would be search out reviews on any cameras you do come across or are recommended.
    Last edited by Lili; 27th September 2008 at 07:57.

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    Re: Small Sensor Camera Help

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    I meant the Finepix F100fd compact. I got confused with the model fo a second. What's this about a pink banding issue?
    On some examples of this camera, longer exposures (1/4 sec or more) at iso 400 or more, with a dark background may show a pinkish haze along the left side border. It is said to be due to heat from the battery affecting the sensor.
    It is mentioned in the reviews I posted links to, also DPReview Fuji forums have many threads on it.

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