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Compact digicam centre If you have a question or an interesting point to make about digital camera that isn't a DSLR, post it here.

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Old 31-10-06
billbirchall billbirchall is offline
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Compact Digital Camera

I am buying my wife a camera for her birthday and she wants something that is 'good and simple' to operate. I want to get her something that has a basically simple operation but also features that she could use as she gets more experience. An essential feature is the compactness as she wants to be able to slip it into her pocket. I have looked at the Casio Exilim range and Sony Cybershot W50 which both seem to have good reviews but I would like to hear from any users of Compact digital cameras as to what they would recommend and why. I am looking to spend c£200 and would like this to include, say a 1gb memory card.

Thanks

Bill Birchall
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Old 31-10-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by billbirchall View Post
I am buying my wife a camera for her birthday and she wants something that is 'good and simple' to operate. I want to get her something that has a basically simple operation but also features that she could use as she gets more experience. An essential feature is the compactness as she wants to be able to slip it into her pocket. I have looked at the Casio Exilim range and Sony Cybershot W50 which both seem to have good reviews but I would like to hear from any users of Compact digital cameras as to what they would recommend and why. I am looking to spend c£200 and would like this to include, say a 1gb memory card.

Thanks

Bill Birchall
Hi Bill and a very warm welcome to the DPNow forum!

Your question is a bit like asking how long a piece if string is!

In the UK you should not spend more than about £15 (US$27)on an SD-type 1GB memory card and some discounters are now down to under a tenner. So the card is under ten percent of your budget.

I have to mention the Fujifilm FinePix F30 - it's around the £200 mark, typically, so might be just outside your budget, but it's a camera that punches above its weight. xD cards, which are required for this camera, are more expensive than SD cards too, so a 1GB card is more like £25, discounted.

I'm testing a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 at the moment. This is around £180, takes SD cards, is very stylish and easy to use, good picture quality and has the added bonus of image stabilisation for less shaky low light pictures.

The HP Photosmart R727 (which we're giving away this month in our prize draw) is a nice compact camera that stays compact as the lens doesn't emerge - you should be able to get one for under £180.

There are others, but these are the first three that came to mind, though I feel the F30 is worth the extra.

Ian
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Old 31-10-06
billbirchall billbirchall is offline
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Hi Bill and a very warm welcome to the DPNow forum!

Your question is a bit like asking how long a piece if string is!

In the UK you should not spend more than about £15 (US$27)on an SD-type 1GB memory card and some discounters are now down to under a tenner. So the card is under ten percent of your budget.

I have to mention the Fujifilm FinePix F30 - it's around the £200 mark, typically, so might be just outside your budget, but it's a camera that punches above its weight. xD cards, which are required for this camera, are more expensive than SD cards too, so a 1GB card is more like £25, discounted.

I'm testing a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 at the moment. This is around £180, takes SD cards, is very stylish and easy to use, good picture quality and has the added bonus of image stabilisation for less shaky low light pictures.

The HP Photosmart R727 (which we're giving away this month in our prize draw) is a nice compact camera that stays compact as the lens doesn't emerge - you should be able to get one for under £180.

There are others, but these are the first three that came to mind, though I feel the F30 is worth the extra.

Ian
Ian
I realised that it was a very difficult question!! However you have already given me 3 new options though you did not comment on the Casio or Sony Cybershot. Do you rate them?
Thanks for your speedy response.

Regards

Bill
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Old 31-10-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Bill

Don't know if you know of the following review site, but it's one that gets mentioned on various forums.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html

If you have a look at the cameras you like the look and sound of then have a look at each review, it gives a look at controls, lens quality, file sizes etc including pictures of the camera itself. plus there are sample shots taken with each camera.

Hope this helps some

Stu
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Old 31-10-06
billbirchall billbirchall is offline
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

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Originally Posted by Goatsmilkuk View Post
Bill

Don't know if you know of the following review site, but it's one that gets mentioned on various forums.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html

If you have a look at the cameras you like the look and sound of then have a look at each review, it gives a look at controls, lens quality, file sizes etc including pictures of the camera itself. plus there are sample shots taken with each camera.

Hope this helps some

Stu
Goatsmilkuk
Thanks for that excellent site!! A pity it is not in £ but great images and detail.

Regards

Bill
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Old 31-10-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

I have a Casio Exilim EX-Z1000 here on test. My main complaint with this model is that the screen produces a very soft view. ISO speed range is limited, in normal use, too. Full test results yet to come, though I did see that resolution is good at low ISO.

Also have a Casio Exilim Card EX-S770 here - it's a very eye-catching camera and super-slim despite having a telescoping lens. Testing hasn't yet started on this camera as it has only just arrived.

I've not looked at any of the recent Sony compacts - so can't comment at the moment.

Ian
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Old 31-10-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Ian
What do you mean by 'the screen produces a very soft view'? My Kodak DX4530 has an appallingly bad screen and I want my wife's screen to be clear. I notice that that model does not have a viewfinder. Is that normal with Compact Digital cameras?

Regards

Bill
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Old 31-10-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Most compact digital cameras have done away with a separate eyelevel viewfinder these days. The EX-Z1000 has an unusually soft display when showing images, for some reason. Menus and other on-screen graphics are fine though.

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Old 31-10-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by billbirchall View Post
I am buying my wife a camera for her birthday and she wants something that is 'good and simple' to operate. I want to get her something that has a basically simple operation but also features that she could use as she gets more experience. An essential feature is the compactness as she wants to be able to slip it into her pocket. I have looked at the Casio Exilim range and Sony Cybershot W50 which both seem to have good reviews but I would like to hear from any users of Compact digital cameras as to what they would recommend and why. I am looking to spend c£200 and would like this to include, say a 1gb memory card.

Thanks

Bill Birchall

Hi Bill,

One camera make which I wouldnt discount are the canon compacts.

I will always bow down to Ians expertise as he get the oppertunity to compare like for like. But my wife had the Canon A75, which produced beautiful pictures, and I have recomended its replacements to freinds, and a number of colleagues, alll of which have been over the moon with the results they produce.

I think the Canon A95 is the current model, and it has a little pop out screen.

Afreind of mine purchased one of these a few months back on my recomendation, and they love it. It also has the ability to accept after market lenses, such as a wide angle, and 2x tele converter.

Heres a website with in depth reviews.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canona95/

Good luck!
Ben
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Old 31-10-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

I've not tested one of the recent Canon compacts, but they have usually been competent in the past. The A-series models are not usually particularly compact, though and Bill did specify pocketability. The Canon Ixus models are compact but they do carry a bit of a price premium.

Ian
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Most compact digital cameras have done away with a separate eyelevel viewfinder these days. The EX-Z1000 has an unusually soft display when showing images, for some reason. Menus and other on-screen graphics are fine though.

Ian
I've just compared the S770 and the Z1000 side by side and the S770 screen is decidedly more crisp than the Z1000's.

Ian
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Old 31-10-06
billbirchall billbirchall is offline
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Thanks Coupekid/Ian,
Ian got his reply in before me but his comments are spot on! A) The Canon does not seem to be particularly compact and B) at £250, is a bit more than I want to spend.
Thanks anyway.

Regards

Bill
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Old 09-11-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

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Originally Posted by billbirchall View Post
Thanks Coupekid/Ian,
Ian got his reply in before me but his comments are spot on! A) The Canon does not seem to be particularly compact and B) at £250, is a bit more than I want to spend.
Thanks anyway.

Regards

Bill
Bill, did you take the plunge yet?

Ian
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Old 09-11-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Ian
No still looking! My wife likes the look and feel of either:- Panasonic Lumix FX01( which looks a good spec but possibly end of line) or Sony Cybershot DMC W70. Both appear to be around the same price level. The Panasonic has a 28mm lens versus Sony's 35mm. I am unsure of the relative merits/ demerits of this. One could ask why hasn't other camera manufacturers tried the 28mm? The Sony also has a viewfinder and the Panasonic doesn't. My wife is probably more used to having a viewfinder but no doubt could get used to using just the screen. I read that the Panasonic screen carries far more pixels than most other compacts in it's price range, how significant is this?
It is a real minefield for the layman. Someone in Jessops was pushing the Panasonic but whether that was genuine advice or they wanted to clear an item that was going out of stock, is an imponderable.
Perhaps you could lift some of the 'fog'. If so, my wife and I would be very grateful!

Regards

Bill
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Old 11-11-06
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Re: Compact Digital Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by billbirchall View Post
Ian
No still looking! My wife likes the look and feel of either:- Panasonic Lumix FX01( which looks a good spec but possibly end of line) or Sony Cybershot DMC W70. Both appear to be around the same price level. The Panasonic has a 28mm lens versus Sony's 35mm. I am unsure of the relative merits/ demerits of this. One could ask why hasn't other camera manufacturers tried the 28mm? The Sony also has a viewfinder and the Panasonic doesn't. My wife is probably more used to having a viewfinder but no doubt could get used to using just the screen. I read that the Panasonic screen carries far more pixels than most other compacts in it's price range, how significant is this?
It is a real minefield for the layman. Someone in Jessops was pushing the Panasonic but whether that was genuine advice or they wanted to clear an item that was going out of stock, is an imponderable.
Perhaps you could lift some of the 'fog'. If so, my wife and I would be very grateful!

Regards

Bill
Not sure what you need to know, Bill? It's technically more difficult to make a wide angle (28mm) lens, which is why these are rarer. Wide angle is good for fitting in larger scenes close up, for example. I think the bit about screen pixels is a bit of a red herring. The FX01 screen is good, but not really superior to its better rivals. Bottom line is you won't regret the FX01. I haven't tried the Sony, so can't judge it personally.

Ian
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