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05-13-2007, 05:11 PM   #1
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Can't decide which P&S to get...

I have an *ist DS with several lenses but recent trips have tought me that having a decent point and shoot may be the way to go when travelling, especially by air. Trips to both the East and West coast (in Canada) has offered us some rather wet and nasty weather. And although I love my Domke bag and all it carries it can be a bother going through security when they swab and sniff every friggin' lens, filter and flash. Then last trip we got caught in a downpour in St. John's and I ended up wrapping my jacket around the camera bag so I wouldn't get my DS and lenses all wet. Meanwhile, I was looking like a drowned rat!

So I am thinking of getting a small but decent P&S camera for carrying on trips and at work. I have sort of narrowed it down to a few choices; 1) Olympus 770SW; 2)Pentax Optio 30W; or 3) Canon SD800 IS (or it's most recent replacement the SD850 IS).

The Olympus 770SW is rated simply the best bad weather and sturdy P&S digi - bar none. But the bad side is that it takes just average pictures and lousy movies at 15 FPS. I am not a diver but the ruggedness does appeal to me. Also, it uses xD media and I perfer SD, same as my *ist DS.

The Pentax 30W is in the running because it is also waterproof and takes decent pictures for similiar cameras (6MP). The bad point of purchasing it is that I feel Pentax is going to abandon the P&S market in the near future and I don't want to get stuck with a dud.

Lastly, the Canon SD800 IS is not weather proof but gets great reviews for taking amazing pictures. In the end I truly like taking quality pictures and could solve my moisture problems with a decent weather-proof carrying pouch.

If someone has used any of these cameras I would appreciate hearing any feedback. Also, if someone could offer a suggestion for another brand or model I would definately pay heed.

05-13-2007, 08:03 PM   #2
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The Canons Are Nice

The 800IS is a nice camera....I puchased the SD650 for my spouse and it shoots great pics AND video. The SD900 is currently on sale at Costco and elsewhere for about $359, ($100 less than its original asking price). The SD900 lacks the IS and wide-angle...but has a very cool titanium body!

All of these cameras are MAC friendly too (if youre a mac-geek). and take great video as long as you dont do a lot of zooming in and out....

I would select any of the Canons...though the Pentax Optios are popular in japan and there are some good samples of pics from the W30 which is nice if you are near the water.

The Pentax PS cameras use DIvX which is less MAC friendly (you have to get the DiVX codec)...but you should be able to make it work.

Again, my vote is for the 800IS or the 900. If you're on a budget, you can get an SD650 pretty cheaply. The new SD1000 series have a square sharp body and arent as stylish.
05-14-2007, 03:45 AM   #3
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Hi J.Scott

I have been thinking about getting a P&S just in the last few days too and for the same reason (travel). I have narrowed it down to either Canon PowerShot A630 or A640, depending on the price. The factors that I have looked at in reaching this decision are:
- bigger sensor (1/1.8" rather than 1/2.5")
- manual exposure control (PASM)
- swivel LCD + optical view finder (not too sure how good it is though)
- uses 4xAA (faster flash recharge rate + last longer) and SD cards
- good IQ
- not ultra compact (I cannot take photos properly with slim cameras)
- hot shoe for external flash

The only things I wished they have are image stabilization and weather proof! Oh well, I guess you can't have everything!

cheers
Kenny
05-14-2007, 07:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! It looks like Canon is pulling into the lead in this horse race. My wife carries around a Canon Powershot A85 which takes lovely pictures, uses rechargeable AA's and has, as kjao pointed out, an optical viewfinder. I find it annoying to hold my camera out at arms length just to take a picture; I like 'normal' viewfinders. Also, the Canon allows for shutter priority or aperture priority choices - which is a a big seller for an SLR-familiar photog.

Anyone else have a suggestion?

05-14-2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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Hi J.Scott

Kenny here again. Someone has suggested Panasonic LZ3 in a thread on dpreview.com. LZ3 is a good camera with a couple of caveats that I mentioned in the thread. Here is the link:
P&S Suggestion: Pentax Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

cheers
Kenny
05-15-2007, 12:30 AM   #6
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I'd either go for the Fuji f30 or the Fuji s6000fd/6500fd.

Check their reviews over at pbreview.com. Fuji's sensor is excellent in low light.
05-15-2007, 04:43 AM   #7
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The Fujis F30/F31fd (and to a lesser extent F40) have the best low-light IQ in all compacts, and they are quite fast too. The only "downside" is that until the F40 (which accepts SD cards), they used xD media exclusively.

BTW the S6000, while a seemingly excellent camera, is far from a compact.
05-15-2007, 05:25 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote

BTW the S6000, while a seemingly excellent camera, is far from a compact.
He's asking for a p&s, which doesn't have to be a compact :P.

05-15-2007, 07:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I didn't necessarily ask for a compact P&S as Deni pointed out. I am a big man with big mitts; the tiny credit card sized cameras may take nice pictures but I am afraid I'll fumble it or crush it or something worse. That said, the Fuji 6000 is a bit too large for what I had in mind. It is not far off the size of the *ist DS I already own. The Canon A630 and A640 seem like a decent size to me.

Keep 'em coming; I am reading up on each suggestion and have not made a decision yet.

Last edited by J.Scott; 05-15-2007 at 07:57 AM.
05-15-2007, 12:05 PM   #10
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If you are looking to save a few dollars, the Fuji F10 can be found online (often refurbished, not a biggy for me, but others may have issues) for a song. Reading user reviews of the F10 vs. the newer f20-30, many state that they actually preferred their F10. I recently found one for under $100 and have been amazed at how well the pics have turned out, especially the afore mentioned low light shots...not alot of control options for the f10 though...
05-15-2007, 05:09 PM   #11
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I was looking at the F20 too as it is within my price range and quite impressed with the high ISO performance. However the lack of manual exposure control, and to a lesser degree, use of XD card and lithium batt, deter me from that option. I would look at the F40 though as it can use SD card and has a bigger sensor (1/1.6").

cheers
Kenny
05-16-2007, 01:12 PM   #12
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Well for pure P&S (no manual settings) I currently have the Pansonic DMC-TZ1 - things that were important to me were SD card , video capabilites and something I could hand to the kids without too much concern.

It has a 12x Optical zoom (but focus takes a while at full zoom) and the pics are pretty good. The video is great - it wil take video until you run out of memory and you can use the zoom for vidieo (again slowly cause it has to refocus) ! LCD screen is huge ! (albiet no view finder so in bright light can be an issue)

My daughter took it to Italy on a school trip and came back with some great shots. Might be a little small (I have big hands as well) - but I have no desire to look for another one ...yet ..... hahaha
05-18-2007, 09:21 PM   #13
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Can't decide which p&s

I too am looking for a small p&s since I sold the Canon A620 that I had for about a month last year. I hated the menue system and just could'nt get used to it. I was at Dons Photo a few weeks ago and checked out the Canon G7 and the Nikon P5000 both I thought took absolutely great pictures. Its hard to tell sometimes how all the features will work out once you get the camera home but there in the shop I was very impressed with both cameras especially the Nikon because it was smaller and it would actually fit in a shirt pocket. They also both use SD cards. Good luck in your quest. ken
05-23-2007, 11:46 AM   #14
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my post may be late but if you haven't bought one yet, why don't you check Panasonic Fz7 or Fz8. it has x12 zoom, manual focus and best of all it has leica lens.
05-25-2007, 02:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cruiserlan2000 Quote
my post may be late but if you haven't bought one yet, why don't you check Panasonic Fz7 or Fz8. it has x12 zoom, manual focus and best of all it has leica lens.
Thanks for the comments. No purchase yet.

Another thought is that I love bass fishing and sometimes my work sees me out on the many lakes and rivers in this area. I just refuse to bring my *ist DS for fear of getting it dunked. In the very first post I was looking for a camera to withstand nasty weather but along the way my thoughts have strayed a bit. If it came down to buying a weatherproof P&S camera there are few choices; either the Olympus 770SW or the Pentax W30. As far as I know there are no others in this niche market.
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