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03-20-2007, 06:23 PM   #1
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Recommend a good P&S to me

I am looking for yet, another camera. This time a point and shoot. My fiancee lost our Canon Powershot A710 IS over the weekend at a hockey game and some lucky fan got a crap camera, a nice 1gb card, rechargeable batteries, a USB cables, and a Crumpler Bundle bag. Oh well I say, it is their loss My fiancee thought I was going to be mad since I just gave it to her after getting my K10D. But I was not mad, in fact I was happy that the crappy camera was gone.

Please, can anyone recommend a good point and shoot camera that takes sharp photos at all ISO even high ISO. Has easy auto settings, and some manual control too. I would prefer it to have SD card since that is what we have and her laptop has it too.

I have been looking at these cameras:

1.) Fuji F30, Fuji F31fd, or Fuji F40 (Fuji super CCD for sharp pictures) (ideally F30 if I could find one).

2.) Pentax A20 or A30 (not sure about how sharp these are).

I am staying away from the Canon crap...thankyou very much!!!

03-21-2007, 05:23 AM   #2
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Why not give her a K100D body and let her shoot on "AutoPict" mode, which is practically P&S. You two can share lenses and you can help her expand her abilities to fit the DSLR's capabilities. Or, if she's not interested in expanding, at least you always know where you have a compatible back-up body to borrow if your K10D is in the shop or something.
03-21-2007, 06:18 AM   #3
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Mike Cash's suggestion is a good one. But if you are set on a certain budget, read on.

My friend has a Pentax A10 which was quite nice. If you do find one of these make sure to do the firmware update. It fixed up low light AF issues big time. I imagine they fixed these issues with the A20 and A30 - I think these models sported a 8 and 10 MP sensor, respectively, otherwise should be almost the same camera. Max ISO would be 400 I imagine but a little soft. up there.

I tried the Fuji Finepix31fd and the 30 in a store. Both are outstanding little cams I forget the iso capability on these...think it was 1600.

If you don't mind the bulk, the Fuji S5200 is a steal at its current price. Despite the 5MP sensor, you've got decent manual controls and more optical zoom than the models above - she can grow with the camera. ISO max 800 IIRC.

Hope that helps.
03-21-2007, 06:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alvin Quote
I tried the Fuji Finepix31fd and the 30 in a store. Both are outstanding little cams I forget the iso capability on these...think it was 1600.
The F30 and its brethren can do ISO 3200, actually.

QuoteQuote:
If you don't mind the bulk, the Fuji S5200 is a steal at its current price. Despite the 5MP sensor, you've got decent manual controls and more optical zoom than the models above - she can grow with the camera. ISO max 800 IIRC.
It can go to ISO 1600, but there is a fair amount of noise at that setting. The 10x zoom is very nice, but keep in mind its only 38mm (in 35mm terms) at the wide end.

Both cameras are great choices.

03-21-2007, 06:36 AM   #5
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RB - thanks for the corrections. I knew I was going with what I thought was usable (me pixel peeping), hence the understated ISO's.
03-21-2007, 08:35 AM   #6
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Thanks for your recommendations! I asked her if she wanted a camera like mine (k100D), but she said it would be too big and she wants something to put in her pocket. She just wants something that will take good photos on auto mode with the ability to go into some manual modes as well. She told me that she wants to learn how to take better pictures and has thought about taking a photography class.

This is why I am looking at either the Fuji F20, F30, F31fd, or F40fd line. Or the Pentax A20, A30 line. Like I said, I am done with Canon since the photos above ISO 200 were noisy. The cameras I listed have the 1/1.7 " or 1/1.8" Type CCD whereas all the other point and shoot cameras have 1/2.5" sensor. This is where the noise really shows like in the A710 I had. I had a Canon powershot A75 with 3.2mp that took better pictures than the A710. Then again it was 3.2mp vs. 7mp.

Her birthday is in April. Does anyone know when the Pentax A30 comes out? I am going to wait and see what the reviews are on that then make a decision. The Fuji F20 is cheap though right now.
03-21-2007, 08:53 AM   #7
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Hey wild, the A30 was just announced a few weeks ago, so I don't imagine it will come out until a couple months from now. Really late April, mid-May?
03-21-2007, 09:20 AM   #8
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I bought a Casio Exilim EX-600 for Christmas. It is very thin, compact and
6MP in her favorite color "Blue".

I has good features and, as far as I can tell, takes good photos.

03-21-2007, 09:24 AM   #9
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F30 is a really good buy right now; but it will be all gone soon. Act now if you want one.

I would choose F30 over F20; even if you don't need the aperture or shutter speed priority, the much larger battery and higher resolution screen make significant difference.

F30's indoor shots, flash shots and available light shot really put it head and shoulder above all other P&S, including Pentax (its A series cameras have always been a bit sluggish compared with competition).
03-21-2007, 10:35 AM   #10
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Consider also the Pentax W20. I bought a W10 that was on clearance. I figured if I got a p&s it may as well have some handy & unique features.

It's waterproof, dustproof (take it rafting or canoeing, wash it when it's dirty). It is internal zoom so the lens doesn't project out when turned on (less to get damaged). It's small and discrete. Great macro feature. A handy accessory is the silicon "skin" for $20 that makes it easy to grip in wet or cold. Has dog and food mode... what more can you ask for?

The highest ISO setting is a bit noisy and it doesn't take AA batteries. But I bought a couple of extra LiON batts from orphanbiker on flea-Bay for around $10. Plus I haven't found that I needed the highest ISO setting; the auto ISO usually defaults to 200 for indoor shots and it's pretty good.
03-21-2007, 11:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
F30 is a really good buy right now; but it will be all gone soon. Act now if you want one.

I would choose F30 over F20; even if you don't need the aperture or shutter speed priority, the much larger battery and higher resolution screen make significant difference.

F30's indoor shots, flash shots and available light shot really put it head and shoulder above all other P&S, including Pentax (its A series cameras have always been a bit sluggish compared with competition).
I like the F30 but it is sold out everywhere. I don't like the fact that it is xd since I would like to stick to just one, that being the sd card but can live with it.

Do you think the Pentax A30 would have high ISO shots comparable to the Fuji F30? I know it doesn't do ISO 3200, but she and I can live with clean ISO 1600 shots for those times they are needed. Also it is a Pentax so I would be familiar with that and plus it uses sd cards.
03-21-2007, 12:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WildSioux Quote
Do you think the Pentax A30 would have high ISO shots comparable to the Fuji F30?
No way. Fuji achieved this result by their proprietary SuperCCD HR sensor. All other compact cameras (including Fujifilm's own A series cameras) uses conventional CCD technology, and the results are not comparable.

Marketing forces dictate all new P&S to sport a high ISO settings, all use very heavy noise reduction. Despite this, the result is abysmal. And one new Olympus P&S even has a ISO 10,000 settings!!! So do you really believe it can achieve something that even the newest Canon 1D Mark III cannot?

Yes, xD card is a PITA. In that case, you can consider the newer F40 (a F20 replacement, not F30 replacement), which I think can use SD card. But since it's newer, you have to pay more.

Last edited by nosnoop; 03-21-2007 at 12:38 PM.
03-21-2007, 06:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
No way. Fuji achieved this result by their proprietary SuperCCD HR sensor. All other compact cameras (including Fujifilm's own A series cameras) uses conventional CCD technology, and the results are not comparable.

Marketing forces dictate all new P&S to sport a high ISO settings, all use very heavy noise reduction. Despite this, the result is abysmal. And one new Olympus P&S even has a ISO 10,000 settings!!! So do you really believe it can achieve something that even the newest Canon 1D Mark III cannot?

Yes, xD card is a PITA. In that case, you can consider the newer F40 (a F20 replacement, not F30 replacement), which I think can use SD card. But since it's newer, you have to pay more.
I kind of figured that the Pentax A30 wouldn't match up to the IQ found in the Fuji f30 series. I have heard that the one Olympus camera goes to ISO 10,000. Not sure, but I am sure it is at a reduced megapixel and reduced picture size along with heavy in camera sharpening resulting in some aweful detail loss.

I have given it more thought. I am not going to wait for the Pentax A30 or even the Fuji F40. They are both good cameras on paper. But both have more megapixels which will result in noisy images. Why do manufacturers have to cram more and more megapixels into these small sensors. If the general public knew more about this myth of more megapixels is better then maybe the market would dictate these higher ISO figures in the smaller more refined megapixel cameras like the F30.

I am going to try hard to find a F30. If not, then I will get a F31fd. Either one will be great for what we need it for and will come in handy for when I don't want to haul around the K10D. I will have to live with the xd cards. But then again, she will have one type card and I will have the SD in the K10D. I found out that her laptop has the built in SD/MMC/XD... reader.
03-21-2007, 06:57 PM   #14
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WildSioux

You may also want to consider the Panasonic FX07 or the TZ3. These are both very capable and easy to use cameras. FX07 has a 28mm-105mm focal length. The wide end at 28mm really makes a big difference for happy snaps of groups of people. The TZ3 is a superzoom but with a wide 28mm-280mm. It replaces the TZ1 which was 36mm-380mm. What Panasonic did was make the sensor just a tab bigger to get the wide 28mm on the TZ3. The TZ3 has a 3" LCD. Both handle SDHC as well.
03-21-2007, 08:17 PM   #15
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Well funny thing is, I was perusing the B&H website earlier this evening looking at the F20, F30, and F31fd. The F30 was out of stock of course but I did hit the "notify when in stock" button and entered my email. I was serisouly considering the F20 basic kit or just the F31fd alone. I just checked my email and BH has the F30 in stock!!! So I jumped on it and ordered one with a 1gb xD card. I will let her pick out the bag, more than likely another Crumpler bag since she loves them.

Thanks for all the recommendations and I look forward to giving this highly rated p&s camera to my fiance.
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