Old 6th February 2006, 03:44   #1
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New camera?

Been thinking about getting a new camera lately. If I do get one, it'll probably be after I move, but that shouldn't be long from now (hopefully). At any rate, I have some pretty specific criteria for a camera, and I can't find one that meets all of it. I've found a few that come pretty close, though, and I'd greatly appreciate everyone else's opinions, comments, and suggestions.

Here is my ideal set of criteria for a new camera:

- At least a 5.0 Megapixel effective resolution.
- Large CCD/CMOS. (1/2.0" or larger for 5.0Mp to 6.2Mp, 1/1.8" or larger for 6.3Mp and up.)
- Uses standard batteries. (AA, AAA, etc. No proprietary battery packs.)
- At least 10x optical zoom. (Digital Zoom optional.)
- Large LCD. (2.0" or larger preferred, 1.8" minimum.)
- At least ISO 800 at max res. (Preferably ISO 1600.)
- Fast startup time. (1.4 seconds or faster.)
- xD media card compatible preferred.
- Must have USB cable included.
- Must save images in standard file formats.

Everything else is pretty negotiable. I'd prefer to stay away from dSLR cameras, but I'm not shutting them out completely as an option. I really like the case style/design of most dSLR cameras, but I prefer to be able to use the LCD to take pictures most of the time. I might consider a dSLR as long as the viewfinder has digital information superimposed on the actual reflected image, though. I hate the really high prices of most of the cameras that I've come across, but that comes with wanting a good quality camera. I'm not looking for anything professional, but I want something with better quality than my point-and-shoot digital camera. I know that it's probably impossible to find a camera that fits all of my criteria, but I'm open for suggestions.

I looked at a few different models from a few different manufacturers. I was checking out Kodak and Canon, but it looks like all of their cameras use battery packs. I refuse to buy a camera that doesn't use standard batteries. The closest thing I've found to what I'm looking for so far is the Fuji FinePix S9000. It's an SLR-like camera, so the LCD can be used for taking pictures, but it's smaller than the LCD on my E550. The CCD is a decent size for the resolution, but I'd have preferred it to be a little larger. I was also looking at the Olympus Evolt E-500 as well (edit: That is, until I realized that it uses a battery pack). This one is a true dSLR. The weird thing is, this one has the larger LCD. Wtf is up with that? You can't use the LCD to take pictures with a dSLR. This screen should be on the Fuji. Still though, it's a very nice camera, and I'm seriously considering it as well. The total resolution is a little lower than the Fuji, but its CCD is a little bigger. That should mean that its pictures should be sharper and less noisy, I'd hope.

I don't know a huge amount about digital cameras in general, but I know a little. I'm always open for suggestions and knowledge that anyone's willing to share. I will NOT, however, consider buying a Sony product.
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Old 6th February 2006, 16:59   #2
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If you decide to go with DSLR, I'd suggest the Nikon D 50.. cheap (for a DSLR) and pretty damn good.
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Old 6th February 2006, 18:32   #3
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first of all i would stay away from dslr cos they arent capable of making videos.
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you just should "borrow" a camera from japanese tourists
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Old 6th February 2006, 18:36   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by ASD5A
first of all i would stay away from dslr cos they arent capable of making videos.
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Old 6th February 2006, 20:49   #5
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Meh, the E-500 is nice, but what about the E-330?

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Old 6th February 2006, 21:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by ASD5A
first of all i would stay away from dslr cos they arent capable of making videos.
DSLRs are for pretty serious photography hobbiests. And serious photography hobbiests aren't going to use their camera to take videos. That's what camcorders are for.

Good cameras have a variety of functions, including still photos and video recording. Top-end cameras are most often specialized for one function only...still photos.

That's true of many types of products. Multi-function products are usually "middle-of-the-road" quality. Top-end products do just one thing...very, very well.

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Old 6th February 2006, 21:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by ASD5A
first of all i would stay away from dslr cos they arent capable of making videos.
Quote:
Originally posted by baafie
Yea....
...and what Scor said
I'll carry my camcorder for those upskirt shots.
/throws away my Canon SLR because it doesn't make Veal Parmigiana.
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Old 7th February 2006, 01:45   #8
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The Nikon D50 looks pretty damn good. I love the APS-C sensor size to pixel resolution ratio. Very nice. The screen is the same size as the LCD on my point-and-shoot, so that's decent. Of course, I hate the fact that it doesn't use standard batteries.

The Evolt E-330, on the other hand... THAT'S a sexy beast. The CCD is a little small for the pixel resolution compared to the D50, but it's still way better than the ones I was looking at. The live-view 2.5" LCD is awesome. That alone might be the selling point for me. Again, though, the battery pack thing just kills me... but the Olympus models have an optional adapter that allows the use of CR123A batteries, which are actually available at some stores. I'd hate to think of how much rechargables cost, though. And then having to get a battery charger as well. Ugh. Otherwise, it's a very nice setup.
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Old 7th February 2006, 01:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElChevelle

/throws away my Canon SLR because it doesn't make Veal Parmigiana.
Throw it a little farther north, I won’t mind, really.
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Old 7th February 2006, 01:54   #10
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Old 7th February 2006, 01:55   #11
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http://www.dpreview.com/articles/olympuse330/
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/

This site's reviews seem to be pretty good.
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Old 7th February 2006, 02:53   #12
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Thanks for the links.

Quick question: Does the E-330 have any digital information superimposed in the optical viewfinder, or is it just strictly optical? Reason I ask is because, if I use the viewfinder (like you have to do with all other SLR cameras), then I'd want to have information displayed in it (number of frames left, ISO rating, focal point, shooting mode, etc). That way I wouldn't have to switch between using the viewfinder an the LCD for getting that info.


[edit]

Nevermind. It does.

From Olympus' site:

Viewfinder information-
AF frame, Shutter speed, Aperture value, AF confirmation mark, Flash, White balance, AE lock, Number of storable still pictures, Exposure compensation value indication, Metering mode, Battery check, Exposure mode, Record mode

[/edit]
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Old 7th February 2006, 06:07   #13
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I dont know what exactly your looking for but the cannon powershot G6 won the advanced camera thingy in PCworld..

http://pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,124502,00.asp

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Old 7th February 2006, 06:11   #14
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My bro is really happy with his D50 and I played with one a while ago that I borrowed from a friend to do a wedding. It gets my thumbs up.

Another camera that caught my eye is the high end Fuji Finepix models. These guys have a really good movie mode..... almost as good as a digital camcorder.
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Old 8th February 2006, 01:53   #15
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The PowerShot G6 looks pretty decent, but the ISO ratings are a bit low. They're lower than the Fuji E550 that I already have, in fact. I didn't see a listing on the Canon site that specifies what size or type the CCD/CMOS is, either. The LCD on it is the same size as my E550, and it's got the same amount of optical zoom as well... 4x. The maximum shutter speed is the same, and it doesn't use standard batteries, either. So basically, the only real advantage the G6 has over my current point-and-shoot is the effective megapixel count. The G6 is 7.4Mp while my E550 has 6.3Mp. I can't justify a new camera that isn't any better than what I've already got. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

And yeah, the D50 is really nice as well. Along with it, Canon's EOS 5D, 20D, and Rebel XT are all serious considerations. I haven't really looked at the prices on those four yet, but I know they're a pretty penny... I'm almost afraid to see what the Evolt E-330 is going to cost, though. But so far, the Evolt E-330 looks like it's still the best out of the bunch for me. I'll keep comparing features and specs, though. Of course, if the E-330 turns out to cost more than my left testicle, I won't be getting it, so it's always best to have all the info I can about other options.

[edit]
Yeah, the CCD in the G6 is even smaller than the one in my Fuji.
[/edit]
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Old 8th February 2006, 04:27   #16
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nikon coolpix 4600

that's the point and shoot I have .. It's very nice can record in quicktime video just no audio .. the one model above it, the 5600 can record quicktime video with audio and after trying one out it's not that bad ... it's easily converted in iTunes to play on the gen5 iPod. both the 4600 and 5600 use AA size Ni-MH rechargeable batteries so that's a plus .. you also get a battery charger with both

My coolpix 4600 has a 4x optical zoom and a 3x digital zoom. You can take a continous shot which in the end gives a kind of flipbook effect. BSS or best shot selector takes 10 pics in a row and gives you the one it thinks is of the best quality. If you don't like it you can browse through the other 9 of the 10 taken to find the one you like. It has a panarama assist .. you take a picture with this setting enabled and for the next one it gives you an overlay to line up the sequential shots so when you put them all together(there is software that comes with the camera for this and it works quite well imo)all the pics are lined up and it looks as it should.

it has color tone settings like cyanotype which looks a bit blue, sepia and straight up black and white which I do use on occasion. at the highest 4 megapixel setting I get a picture that's at least 4000x3000. You can also change the exposure setting from -0.7 to 0.7. It doesn't sound like much but you can tell the difference between 2 pictures taken, one at -0.7 and the other at 0.7.

It does feel a bit heavy on the right side with the batteries in but seeing as how the shutter button is on the right side of the camera it does help me balance the camera in my hand a bit better. Speaking of that if the camera is shaking when you hold the shutter button down halfway to turn auto-focusing on, you get a small blinking hand icon in the lcd monitor telling you the picture taken as is will be blurry .. with this camera as with most it helps to have a tripod but a steady hand will do just fine.

I usually take pictures using the auto setting which automates AF(auto focus) and exposure settings and does give you some really nice looking pictures but after some experimentation I've found that setting the exposure to 0.4 for interior shots looks the best with poor/minimal lighting.

Hope this helps!
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Old 8th February 2006, 08:08   #17
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I've got the pentax optio 43wr, and it's farily good - takes 2xAAs, or 1xCRV3 rechargable lithium.

Startup time is good very good as has internal zoom lens, it is waterproof (though can't be turned on under the water, you need to go for the WP model for that).

Pictures are saved in very high qality jpeg.

It takes SD cards, and at the moment I've got a 1GB one in there, which is good for a few hundred pictures....
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Old 8th February 2006, 16:15   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
I'm almost afraid to see what the Evolt E-330 is going to cost, though. But so far, the Evolt E-330 looks like it's still the best out of the bunch for me. I'll keep comparing features and specs, though. Of course, if the E-330 turns out to cost more than my left testicle, I won't be getting it, so it's always best to have all the info I can about other options.
$1099 is the retail price for the E-330 with an included lens. The body itself is $999 (retail). So how much, exactly, does your left testicle go for?

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Old 8th February 2006, 16:28   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
$1099 is the retail price for the E-330 with an included lens. The body itself is $999 (retail). So how much, exactly, does your left testicle go for?
Sarge is still a young man with a future of procreation, so his testicles are each worth much more than $1099.

I, however, am over the hill and my testicles have seen enough action for more than a lifetime. They're worn out, and don't have much resale value left. I'd let one go for a crisp fiver.

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Old 8th February 2006, 17:07   #20
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I'd comment on that but have used too many genital whips lately
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Old 8th February 2006, 18:32   #21
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Re: New camera?

Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
New camera?

NO!
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Old 9th February 2006, 00:33   #22
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@ STanger & c2R:
Thanks for the info on your cameras. After looking around even more last night, I've come to the conclusion that point-and-shoot cameras just don't have what I'm looking for, though. The Fuji point-and-shoot that I've already got is about as good as I can ask for in that category. What I'm looking for, it seems, it's going to be quite a step up from what I've got. It looks like dSLRs are where it's at. Thanks again, though.

Quote:
$1099 is the retail price for the E-330 with an included lens. The body itself is $999 (retail). So how much, exactly, does your left testicle go for?
Wow! I could rebuild the engine in my truck for less than that. Of course, it's still way cheaper than some of the models I glanced at... GLANCED at. (Think: Fuji S3 Pro, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, Nikon DX2, etc.) The E-330 is compatible with a nice array of lenses, too.

@ Scor & Chev:


@ Phyltre:
Why?
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Old 9th February 2006, 04:15   #23
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I have a Canon Digital Rebel. I have taken over 17,000 photos with it. Its a great camera.

It sounds like you may have outgrown point-and-shoot cameras. If so, I feel a DSLR is the way to go. Excellent pics, flexibility with lenses, as easy or complex as you want it to be.

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Old 9th February 2006, 04:44   #24
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I've been reading an article on dpreview.com about the Fuji S3 Pro. If I had about $2500 to drop on a camera, I'd probably get that... But I don't, so I won't. :P

Realistically though, I've been kinda narrowing it down a bit. I've got it down to just a few models (of course, I'll still be open to suggestions until I actually do buy a new camera ). Right now I'm looking at the Nikon D50, Canon Digital Rebel XT, and Olympus Evolt E-330. They all look like great cameras. They all have large CCD-to-Mp ratios, especially the Nikon. The Canon has the smallest LCD (1.8"), the Nikon is in the middle (2.0"), and the Olympus wins this category with the largest (2.5" with tilt and live view). The Nikon uses SD media cards, the Canon uses CF (I/II), and the Olympus wins again with its dual memory card slots (xD and CF/MD). They all use battery packs, but the Olympus has an optional adapter pack that allows the use of semi-standard CR123a batteries (that's a plus). They all have a good selection of lenses, options, and features... but so far, the Olympus still looks the best. I'm going to stick with that until I come across something better, or until someone convinces me that theirs is better.
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Old 9th February 2006, 05:37   #25
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I've got two cameras (both do things better than the other cant). Both are under $250, so they're not really the "good" cameras.

Nikon Coolpix 4800:
4 megapixel
SD card slot
8.3x optical zoom
2 sec maximum usable exposure
Almost no adjutability
No lens attachments

Canon PowerShot A520:
4 megapixel
SD card slot
4x optical zoom
15 sec max exposure
Manual mode that allows for damn good control
Allows for lens attachments


I use the Nikon for macro shots, as it does them better than my Canon. I use the Canon for long exposures, given that my Nikon can't do them.

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Old 9th February 2006, 07:58   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
@ STanger & c2R:
...

It looks like dSLRs are where it's at. Thanks again, though.
For digital SLRs the big six hundred pound Canon body looks good... I've got the film version of that (I tend to use the digital when hillwalking, as it is very cold, very wet, and prone to shock damage, something I don't really want to expose a SLR to).

Havign said that, the film version takes two small lithium battereis, that I've not seen rechargable equivalents of - and I think that unfortunately that's going to be the case with a lot of them...
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Old 10th February 2006, 01:00   #27
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Well, digital cameras naturally use more power than film cameras, SLR or not. Basic film cameras that don't have flash or automatic film advance don't even use batteries, so you can see why digital cameras have to have rechargables. The manufacturer's "reason" to why they use proprietary battery packs for their high-end models is because they say that "users prefer the ease of just replacing a single dead battery pack with a fully charged one so that they don't have to waste time fumbling around with multiple standard batteries." Of course, we all know what the real reason is: They want to make as much money off of the consumer as possible. If your set of rechargable AA batteries finally kicks the bucket, you can easily go down to the nearest store and buy a new set really cheaply. But if your camera's proprietary battery pack goes 10-7, then your only option is to order a new one from the camera manufacturer for a hefty sum. That's really my only turn-off towards them.

Quote:
I use the Nikon for macro shots, as it does them better than my Canon. I use the Canon for long exposures, given that my Nikon can't do them.
Luckily, my Fuji FinePix E550 does really well in an all-around sort of way. It's not the best at any specific functions, but it's really good at everything it does. As a point-and-shoot, I'm quite pleased with it.
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Old 10th February 2006, 05:52   #28
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http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/re...amera_EN1.html

How about the E900 9 megapixels 800 iso.

I like these Fuji cameras. I had a Finepix S7100 that was really good.

About $400. The higher end Fujis feel like equipment. I played with one at Walmart. I think it's cool. Sometime in the future.

Fuji makes excellent CCDs, no matter what the camera.

I think this is the "bang for the buck" camera now. And your xD card wish is so. And normal AA batteries.

Last edited by rockouthippie; 10th February 2006 at 06:09.
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Old 10th February 2006, 13:35   #29
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I was considering buying that new Kodak V570 camera with the two lenses... still not decided yet. You might want to look at it too

here's a link: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/V570/V570A.HTM
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Old 11th February 2006, 05:50   #30
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The Fuji E900 is nice, but I don't think it has much to offer that I don't already have in my E550. The only real difference between the two is that the E900 has a slightly larger CCD, but with that, the megapixel count is also higher, so I seriously doubt there would be much improvement in image quality. My E550 can take 12.3Mp pictures already (interpolated, of course), so if I just need to get a HUGE picture, I can get one with that. Fuji's CCDs are definitely good, but their HR series aren't as good as the SR series. Of course, the SR series CCDs are what you'd find in things like the S2 and S3 Pro dSLR cameras.

While I like the E900, in reality, it's just a slightly updated version of my E550. There are only a couple lenses that are available for them, and even those are just extension lenses that require an adapter ring in order to fit onto the cameras. Except for the new CCD, all the other specs are identical between the two models.

The Kodak V570 is a really unique camera, but it's just not what I'm looking for. This one doesn't have any options to mount different lenses, so you're limited to the zoom that's built in (only 3x, which is even lower than my E550). It's a very cool camera, though. If I were going to get a new point-and-shoot, that'd be pretty high on the list.
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Old 11th February 2006, 11:38   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
... but so far, the Olympus still looks the best. I'm going to stick with that until I come across something better, or until someone convinces me that theirs is better.
The Olympus E300 and E500 did suffer from higher noise levels though*, the E330 has a new sensor but whether it's better...

*compared to other dSLRs, compared to point and shoot cameras they're still a lot better
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Old 12th February 2006, 05:44   #32
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It can only get better, I'd hope.

I managed to stop by Best Buy today and look at their cameras. They only had three dSLRs on display, but they were all previous considerations of mine. They had the Nikon D50, the Canon EOS 20D, and the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. I only got to really try one of them, though, because the other two didn't have batteries in them. I believe it was the 20D that had the battery pack in it, so I played with that one a little. The LCD is a little small, but the AF feature is incredible. I didn't particularly like the incrimental diopeter adjustment, but it was fairly accurate. The manual zoom was nice and smooth, but the lens just didn't feel like it was a $200+ piece of hardware. All three cameras were nice and sturdy, though. I really wish I could have tried out the other two, but I guess I'm just lucky that the one I did get to use actually had a battery in it.

Another thing I also noticed... With all the other dSLR cameras, the OVF is directly over and behind the main lens (as is required by the nature of the design of SLR cameras). This made it kind of difficult to use because my nose kept pressing up on the LCD of all three of the cameras I was looking at in Best Buy today. The Evolt E-330, since it has an offset OVF (because of the Live View CCD in it), I can use it without my nose pressing up against the back of the camera. That's a big plus from a usability standpoint. It looks to be about the same size as the D50, 20D, Rebel XT, etc, but it's not quite as tall because the popup flash is set into the body instead of being a forward extension of the OVF bulge. That'll probably make it a tad easier to put into a carry case, too.

I do have to admit, though... The Canon dSLRs that I saw today did impress me. Hopefully it won't be long before the E-330 makes it to the stores...
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Old 12th February 2006, 11:28   #33
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The camera I want is the Canon EOS 20Da. It's specially designed for astrophotography, but a filter can be gotten for it so that it can be used for normal photography. Get that camera plus the filter, then you'd be set for the best of both worlds.

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Old 12th February 2006, 17:18   #34
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Yeah, but it's still about a thousand dollars more than I was planning on spending. And since it was released in Japan only (afaik), will it even have an English menu system in it?
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Old 12th February 2006, 17:38   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgtfuzzbubble99
The Evolt E-330, since it has an offset OVF (because of the Live View CCD in it)
[nerd]The E300 has the same offset viewfinder. It's actually an old construction orignally developed for the Pen F half-format SLR (and also used by Minolta in their APS SLRs)[/nerd]
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Old 12th February 2006, 20:21   #36
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Yes, but the E-300 was taken off of my consideration list when I saw the E-330. All the other dSLR cameras that I'm considering have a normal in-line OVF. I think I'll take the Nikon D50 off of my consideration list as well just because the CCD in it is made by Sony... I hate Sony, and I won't buy the D50 just because. :P But it has nothing to do with Nikon's quality, because the rest of the camera is very nice. I believe the CCD in the E-330 is made by Kodak, but I'm not entirely sure. I'd have Kodak in the list of possible candidates, but I only saw two "performance" cameras on their website, and neither of them were true dSLRs. They were really nice, but not quite what I'm looking for. So now, Olympus and Canon seem to be the only ones left that I'm seriously looking at (as of now, anyways). Everything else is "SLR-like," or are far too expensive (ie. serious professional cameras costing a couple thousand dollars or more).
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Old 12th February 2006, 21:36   #37
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The sensor seems to be made by Olympus themselves this time.

(and it's an NMOS, not a CCD)
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Old 13th February 2006, 04:02   #38
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Ah, ok. On the review site I saw the D50 and E-330 on, they were both labelled as CCDs.

Btw, does anyone know if CR123a batteries come in either Li-Ion or NiMH rechargable versions? I haven't been able to find any.


[edit]
Woo, found one. But damn is it expensive... HiTech CR123a Li-Ion Rechargable Battery.
[/edit]
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Old 13th February 2006, 17:16   #39
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I was just checking out lenses, and I was curious about something...

How can this lens have a maximum focal length of 180mm if the entire unit itself is only 78mm long? I understand how digital lens focal lengths are related to their 35mm film lens counterparts, but this just doesn't make sense to me. Either way, if I get the E-330, I'll probably be getting this lens with it. I was considering this lens until I saw the price tag. Sorry, but I won't be buying a lens that costs five times (!) as much as the camera.

And why doesn't the E-330 have a DC power input jack? Even my little point-and-shoot has one. I wouldn't mind it not having one if the camera used standard batteries, but it doesn't. Granted, if I do get this camera, I'll be buying an extra battery pack with it, but how long could I expect them to last. Even rechargable batteries eventually die. And when they finally do give up, will Olympus still be manufacturing this particular battery? If they're not manufacturing this battery pack any more by then, then I'll be stuck with a $1,600+ camera kit that's useless. If it had a DC-in, at least I'd be able to hook it up to an outside power source...
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Old 13th February 2006, 17:39   #40
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180mm is the focal length if the lens really were only one glass lens like a mgnifying glass held in front of the sensor (same thing in wide angle mode btw: due to the mirror housing even its rear element is always more that 18mm away from the focal plane).
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