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Old 12-03-10, 04:37 PM   #1
ftwelder
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camera help

My wife is looking for a new digital camera. It should be reliable and simple to use. We currently have a Cannon A95 AiAf that is 4 years old and beginning to falter (cover jamming/other weird issues. We don't need anything state of the art, just a good workhorse for a dirty environment. I do take a lot of photos and prefer to not use proprietary software for uploading. I am happy with the performance of the Cannon but have never used any other brand. Am I missing anything?

IMG_3843 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
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Old 12-03-10, 05:20 PM   #2
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I recently purchased a Canon S90, for biking, and am very happy with it. Why not head over to the dpreview forum and read some of the reviews for various compact cameras, and decide the size, price, and features you desire. One feature missing from the S90 is an optical viewfinder. This makes it difficult to compose shots with the sun behind you as it washes out the screen. Otherwise this camera is just fine for my needs.

Canon dpreview: http://tinyurl.com/6p3xs
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Old 12-03-10, 05:36 PM   #3
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What sort of money are you looking to spend? I picked up a Canon G11 for about $500 last year and it's a very competent piece of kit, although it has features a lot of people will never use.

The image quality is very good - Luminous Landscape did a comparison of the images taken by the G10 (the predecessor, which also hit the market around $500) and a digital medium format setup costing about $50,000. Under optimum conditions and printing up to about 11x19 inches the two produced results that professional printers and photographers struggled to tell apart.
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Old 12-03-10, 05:57 PM   #4
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Take a look at the Panasonic LX-5. Fast 2.0 lens, 24-90 zoom and relatively compact. I use a Nikon SLR with good prime lenses and in good light the Panasonic holds its own. I was choosing between the Canon S95 and the Panasonic an the Panasonic just felt better in my hand.
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Old 12-04-10, 05:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions, I think we hope to spend under $400 but you know how that goes when you start shopping.
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Old 12-15-10, 10:47 PM   #6
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I just picked up a Casio EX-Z750. It's an older camera but it gets smashing reviews everywhere you look (amazon, cnet, ken rockwell, dpreview). I also use an Olympus e-510 DSLR, some old 35mm P&S cameras that are fun, and a Minolta x-700 35mm SLR with many lenses.

The Casio is just too easy to take a long anywhere, anytime.
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Old 12-23-10, 04:26 PM   #7
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For dirty environments and cycling, I really like the Pentax Optio W-series -- waterproof, small enough to fit in a jersey pocket, the lens zoom and focus are all internal so there's nothing to stick or jam.

I currently carry the older W60 model, it rides in my jersey pocket every day commuting in Seattle rain.

Santa is leaving the new W90 under the tree for my wife, under $200 new at Amazon this week.

Pentax Optio W90
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Old 12-23-10, 10:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
I currently carry the older W60 model, it rides in my jersey pocket every day commuting in Seattle rain.
How are the picture quality and flash performance? Specifically, the chromatic aberration and flash balancing?

I have an Olympus 790SW and I desperately want to replace it. The 790SW has some of the most dreadful chromatic aberration I have ever seen. And the flash can either be used for x-rays or it doesn't light up anything at all. About the only thing this camera does well is resist the elements and take macro shots. But that is it.
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Old 12-24-10, 07:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by slide23 View Post
How are the picture quality and flash performance? Specifically, the chromatic aberration and flash balancing?

I have an Olympus 790SW and I desperately want to replace it. The 790SW has some of the most dreadful chromatic aberration I have ever seen. And the flash can either be used for x-rays or it doesn't light up anything at all. About the only thing this camera does well is resist the elements and take macro shots. But that is it.

You can find a lot of pictures from the W60 in my flickr stream,
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jputnam...7604840223489/

The flash is reasonably good for an on-camera flash only an inch from the lens -- light balance works well, but it's still nearly dead-on.
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Old 12-25-10, 09:21 AM   #10
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I too also have the Pentax W series camera and love it. Soon as you turn the power on you are ready to take a picture. No lens that extends and retracts.
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