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View Full Version : Who owns a Canon A640 or Fujifilm F31d or Casio Z850?



Princess
17-01-2007, 12:24 AM
Hi everyone and Happy New Year! :p

I have been 'researching' - reading a variety of online info, forums, reviews and checking out sample images for a range of digital cams. Have pain stakingly narrowed down to 3 choices as above.

Not prepared to go to Digi SLR at this stage. Preferring to go for something a little easier to carry around.

Have been to local retailers to view several cameras but it's not always easy or comfortable to test the cameras as I feel rushed in the stores!

I started off set on the Casio Z850 for the options it has with best modes etc. Some major retailers don't stock the Casio cameras for various reasons. The Fujifilm F31d was also a recommended camera for it's low light shooting performance.

I like the design and ergonomics of the Canon A640. And think the articulated LCD screen would be very useful as well as good for protection against scratches.

Opinions from forums and reviews vary, favouring this and that - picture samples also vary, one site having very convincing dramatic pics whilst another may have fairly objective pics!

I'm at a stand still now, and would like to get some opinions from members or guests who own or have experienced the above cameras.

Is having a digital camera with an Optical Image Stabiliser a must?

Not ready for digi SLR yet, just want something that can take clear photos, macro, low light, action etc. Video isn't a biggie to me. Good battery life, flash, and manual options great too. Room to grow would be an advantage. Start up speed to shot and shutter delay is important too.

Welcome your views regarding this thanks :help:

winmacguy
17-01-2007, 06:58 AM
You would be one of the few people still wanting to stay with film for a camera even for a high end professional camera. With the release of the latest versions of Aperture from Apple and Lightroom Beta from Adobe as well as the speed accuracy and definition from today's cameras film has become a thing of the past. The photographer who took our wedding photos last February shot using a professional digital camera. Being a bit of a photography enthusiast myself is was very interested in the outcome of the photos. I can say that both my wife and I and our families were delighted with the results.

If you want top notch advice from the pros, drop into the Photo Warehouse either in Queen St or New North Road and talk to the guys in store. I am shore they would be happy to help you out with any uncertainties or questions.

Rob99
17-01-2007, 09:33 AM
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_a640%2Cfuji_finepixf31fd%2Ccasio_exz 850&show=all

winmacguy
17-01-2007, 09:36 AM
Hi everyone and Happy New Year! :p



Welcome your views regarding this thanks :help:

What sort of photography would you be using the camera for?

jermsie
17-01-2007, 09:45 AM
I used my Canon EOS 350d for my father's wedding photos. Very good imo. I would always go toward SLR cameras as I like to have full control of the image.

winmacguy
17-01-2007, 10:27 AM
Agreed.

Greg
17-01-2007, 10:53 AM
Is having a digital camera with an Optical Image Stabiliser a must?Yes, if you want a camera that takes long range high definition images.

Greg
17-01-2007, 10:54 AM
What sort of photography would you be using the camera for?Duh. What does anyone want a camera for? :rolleyes:

winmacguy
17-01-2007, 11:22 AM
Well apart from the obvious Greg, I was enguiring as to whether the poster was an amature snapper or looking more towards a professional setup.

Biggles
17-01-2007, 11:36 AM
Yes, if you want a camera that takes long range high definition images.

[engage rant mode]

Can I say Bah Humbug at this point?

Honestly, you'd think no one ever managed to take decent shot before image stabilisation came along. Grant IS is beneficial at dampening down shake when in high zoom, but IS is a technology solution to a problem long solved by photographers using technique -- keep the shuuter speed up. Nothing wrong with IS as a techo a solution, but if you check out the photography forums around the net they are full of people who

a] think IS is absolutely neccessary in situations when it just isn't
b] increasingly rely on the camera to compensate for their poor technique and then end up blaming the cameras when it can't.

IS isn't "necessary". It tmight be beneficial to you if you'll spend a decent amount of time in situations where it can help -- low light, long zoom -- but if these situations aren't dominant why pay more for the feature?

Greg
17-01-2007, 11:51 AM
why pay more for the feature?Why not pay the same price for a camera that includes this bling feature as opposed to one that doesn't.

Nomad
17-01-2007, 12:14 PM
I would also ask what sort of photo's are to be taken?
Afternoon, snaps, low light inside or inside museums, night photog cityscapes, night sports, daytime sports, macro ......

If you are wanting for action or sports your probably better without IS but get a higher ISO because IS does not freeze motion, higher shutter speed does. IS just minimise vibration from long camera speed. Such as a sunset photo or a photo inside a museum or military bunker (tourist attraction) or inside a nightclub or opera or jazz show. Obviously there are limits, even with IS you should be able to use it at a "slow" fraction of a second camera speed but if you are wanting to get night photo with the mirror image on water or car streak light trails or star trails or fireworks, then IS still arn't able to do it "properly". You need a tripod. Of course you may get away with a use 1/15 handheld usable photo but the fireworks won't look at good nor the city scape.

Some cameras may have closer focusing than others ie.. ideal with macro.

Since IS is so cheap for pocket cams and its free in the bundle of features, I would just get it "now days" and if you are taking a photo inside a museum or art gallery or someone's birthday event it there, for stationery objects you can also wack down the ISO and its less grainy.

Depending on your object it will depend a diff lens as well, most pple probably be happy with a 3x zoom, some may want 8x for sports, some may want 12x for wildlife. It all depends.

In the photog world, the compact that gets raved around is the Fuji F30 or such series. For its low grain. If you need a bit more features the Panaonic Lumix is pretty good but not as well in the grain. One more step from that its really the dSLRs unless you don't want the SLRs then the higher ended non SLRs but the price of those and their size makes them less attractive.

Edit. I don't think the cam selection matters that much as new cams are always coming out. Its not like you will be printing larger than A4. If they all do the job for you then there is not much diff. But if you do hunt around the forums, pple will go to all lengths critiquing the obtainable under controlled conditions, taking pictures of resolution charts ... but is the avg person going to do that .. is the avg person even going to compare one pix to the next camera they bought along to the same location. They probably wont email the same 2 pix or print the same 2 pix. I think the impt is get a camera that fulfils your task, if you do sports make sure its ok for that, if you like low light get it for that, if on the other hand you need to use 1sec or longer camera speed then consider a tripod. If one person talks about beautiful photo's I don't think a low light at cityscape is one if its ISO 800, IS. IS does provide something but its not the most ideal in terms of quality. If you are at a busy place and if tripods were prohibited then ok or if its really not your style.

Princess
17-01-2007, 12:57 PM
You would be one of the few people still wanting to stay with film for a camera even for a high end professional camera. With the release of the latest versions of Aperture from Apple and Lightroom Beta from Adobe as well as the speed accuracy and definition from today's cameras film has become a thing of the past. The photographer who took our wedding photos last February shot using a professional digital camera. Being a bit of a photography enthusiast myself is was very interested in the outcome of the photos. I can say that both my wife and I and our families were delighted with the results.

If you want top notch advice from the pros, drop into the Photo Warehouse either in Queen St or New North Road and talk to the guys in store. I am shore they would be happy to help you out with any uncertainties or questions.


Thanks for the reply, excuse me if I have misread your response. But the camera models I have titled are infact digital cameras and not film cameras:confused:

winmacguy
17-01-2007, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the reply, excuse me if I have misread your response. But the camera models I have titled are infact digital cameras and not film cameras:confused:

Sorry I misread your post.:( :badpc:

Although I am still interested to know what sort of photography you are interested in. :)

Nomad
17-01-2007, 01:05 PM
Just had a look of it.
The Casio does not have IS. It has Anti shake which is different. ISO wacks up to 1600 so cam speed goes up. ISO 400, bit less IMO when you go travelling. Or else ISO 400.

The Canon does not have IS from what I can tell. ISO 800.

The Fuji. If its similar to F30, its the same ISO 3200, at 800 or under one of the better in terms of grain. No IS however. 15 sec so great for photog hobbies.

IMHO it would be the Fuji or a Lumix LMC-LX (with IS). Both compact size. Lumix has a wide screen format as well, and a 28mm wide lens, its also a 3x zoom like the others. Looks like the Lumix is more grainy .. hmm... for the avg person I think I get the Fuji from the bunch as the other 2 does not have "real" IS anyway.

Nomad
17-01-2007, 01:31 PM
From my little work. A compact camera that is excellent is hard to come by.

Fuji F series look good but no IS.
Lumix LX look good but grainy at ISO 200+
Canon S3 look good with IS but may be too large for you.
Canon G7 look good, but maybe too expensive and large, it just scraped in with a "highly recommended" rating.
I don't suggest Nikon or Casio that much. Nikon's compacts arn't that good. Casio is like a yoyo a good one comes now and then. I think in the past Casio has been the one to get for a ultra thin camera. Difficult to assess Olympus b/c they don't have reviews often.

Any of the SLRs by Nikon and Canon are good.

Princess
17-01-2007, 01:38 PM
Thank you all for your responses :D I've been trying to respond to more queries, but the forum keeps logging me out (when I submit response).

The models above don't have OIS (optical Image Stabiliser), I just wondered if it was vitally important to look at models that have this feature.

As quoted from original post - digital camera requirements for the following:



Not ready for digi SLR yet, just want something that can take clear photos, macro, low light, action etc. Video isn't a biggie to me. Good battery life, flash, and manual options great too. Room to grow would be an advantage. Start up speed to shot and shutter delay is important too.

I want a point-and-shoot digital camera that has the added features to take macro photos of shells, flowers, my children, animals etc. Portraits, group portraits. I also like to take pictures of trees, landscapes, sunsets etc. Low light shooting/Indoors will be used often (i.e. parties, get togethers).

Initially I went to purchase a Digital SLR camera to cover all aspects of photography, but found I'd need to get a smaller camera for portability (as well) to the kids functions and outings etc.

The idea was to buy a smaller camera first and work toward the DSLR. What seems to have happened is I have tended toward finding a smaller camera that has all the practicalities of portability as well as extra features to tip closer toward a DSLR camera.

That said. Of all, the Canon seems the steadiest to hold, as the Casio and Fuji I tried are very compact. The Casio I have read in forums has had complaints from people saying they've returned the camera for faults with the lens assembly? It also concerned me abit that major retailers don't stock many Casio. The pics on one website I went to for this model though were outstanding. The best shots feature also lures me.

Any tried and true experiences from owners of these digicam models? Would love to hear your views :2cents:

Thanks again everyone :thumbs:


p.s. sorry I posted in the wrong place. Also here are some of the websites I have been to:

consumer.org.nz
steve'sdigicams.com
dpreview.com
imaging-resource.com
flickr.com
photographyblog.com
fotki.com
digitalcamerainfo.com
photo-forums.com
pbase.com
digitalcamerainfo.com

some websites let you compare images from one model against another, which is great (also shows the settings used to capture each image).

KiwiTT_NZ
17-01-2007, 01:45 PM
Princess. I am a little like you, researched the web, being to the stores, I got friends recommending Panasonic, Canon or Sony. Not really sure what I wanted.

Do I really need 10-12x Zoom ? Once I make this decision. My choice will be between the Canon G7 or the Panasonic FZ7 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_g7%2Cpanasonic_dmcfz7&camuser=canon_g7&show=all)

Biggles
17-01-2007, 01:48 PM
Why not pay the same price for a camera that includes this bling feature as opposed to one that doesn't.

True, true. I guess I'm just sceptical of some buyers over-valuing this feature and under-valuing other features.

For example, lets take two fictional (non-DSLR) cameras, both at the same price point.

Camera A has a 10-megapixel sensor, built-in IS and 10x zoom.

Camera B has a 8 megapixel sensor, no IS and a 10x zoom.

Which camera is Joe Consumer going to be immediately attracted to? Camera A. But what Joe Consumer doesn't know just looking at the specs is that the sensor in Camera A produces more noise than that in B due to packing more photo sites on to the same size sensor, and that that extra 2 megapixels gives little real advantage. And that in practice, that IS feature that attracted him so much he ends up using about 10% of the time.

I'm not dissing IS, but I do think it is being over-hyped as a feature that is crucial to have and that consumers are over looking more important features such as the quality of the sensor.

winmacguy
17-01-2007, 01:50 PM
Sounds like you take a lot of photos. You could try using a Tripod if you need image stability when shooting models. Depending on what your going to be using the photos for afterwards say for commercial printing or just for portfolio works my suggestion would be for a Digital SLR especially if your going to make a career out of it. You could or should also take a look at Lightroom from Adobe for PC and Mac. It may be still available as a free beta download. Aperture is the Mac equivalent which is ideal for pro photographers who are dealing with 100's of images from a photoshoot.

Nomad
17-01-2007, 01:57 PM
If you really wanna get into it and forsee a SLR down the road, and you want to use for action, school sports, stage performances I think get something more than a 3x lens which is the 3 cams you listed.

I would seriously consider the Canon S3. 6MP with IS. Many SLR pple use this on travel without the bulk.
The 2 by KiwiTT_NZ is also good but I don't wanna fork out for the G7 when you compare to a dSLR.

Problem is that the Canon S3 is around $380USD and the Nikon D40 (SLR) with a lens is $550USD. Sure the D40 doesn't have features as D70/80 but still ....

From the looks of it the S3 has a rotating LCD thingy that maybe protected from scratches.

bonzo29
17-01-2007, 02:03 PM
Princess,

You will get as many different opinions as there people but if I could add my five cents worth.

Cameras that take AA batteries are the most versatile. If the rechargeables run out then you can slip in alkaline ones in an emergency.

Optical viewfinders are also useful. Bright light can sometimes the lcd screen difficult to see clearly.

Some Canon models have both of these

KiwiTT_NZ
17-01-2007, 02:19 PM
What attracts me to the G7 strongly is the

1: Latest electronics, when compared to the S3 IS
2: Optical as opposed to Electronic viewfinder
3: 10 Megapixel as opposed to 6 megapixel. If I need to Zoom in, I can simply cut a section out of the picture and enlarge it on the the PC, and with 10 megapixels as opposed to 6 megapixels this should be quite easy.
4: 6x Zoom should be sufficient. What will I use 10 or 12x Zoom for ?
5: Canon is a good brand name.

Winston001
18-01-2007, 04:25 PM
Princess,

Cameras that take AA batteries are the most versatile. If the rechargeables run out then you can slip in alkaline ones in an emergency.

Optical viewfinders are also useful. Bright light can sometimes the lcd screen difficult to see clearly.

Some Canon models have both of these

Well said - a model with AA or AAA batteries is a good choice. And personally I wouldn't buy a camera without a viewfinder.

I also think a 2.5 inch screen is the minimum having started with a 1.6 inch screen (almost useless).

I have a Canon IXUS 55 which I use all of the time. I only wish it had better than 3x zoom. Not so good for flash photos though. Very portable and ultimately a camera which you can take anywhere is more valuable and useful than a DSLR which you leave in the car because of weight, bulk etc.

Having said that, I'm still seduced into considering a "better" high zoom camera and quite like the Canon S3 IS. However I think the screen is only 2 inch and am content to wait for newer models - or a price drop.

In fact I'm coming to the view that buying an old model like the Fuji S5600 for about $350 is a good interim step and get a decent DSLR in a couple of years.

KiwiTT_NZ
19-01-2007, 10:34 AM
BTW: The G7 has a flash hot shoe.

I have now held it in my hands and it is a wonderful quality construction.

Nomad
19-01-2007, 10:52 AM
If one compares the price and the size, its no brainer to get a SLR. If you cannot stand a viewfinder but need a active LCD then you can get a prosumer cam. SLRs the real time LCD does not work, its only for review.

But I guess if you need a cam with super zoom and you don't mind the extra expense a prosumer and then a SLR is still alright.

An issue is that I assume the dSLRs uses the latest model speedlights for compatibility and even if you are going to use it on a prosumer camera, one would like a similar model so they are compatible, these flashes do retail for around $500/600+

pinkygirl
19-01-2007, 03:15 PM
I recently bought a sony compact digital for $250 on sale. It isn't the slimist in regards to the other sony ones but has basically all the features of the higher end models in the compact range.
My theory is that there is no point spending big dollars on a compact digital camera especially if you will be up-grading in 3 or so years time. Would rather spend the $ on a digital SLR which will be doing in the near future.
Also the AA batteries are great i have two sets of rechargelbles and they last for ages.

Princess
19-01-2007, 10:36 PM
:p Thank you everyone for your responses:p

Well, I bought the Canon A640 after much, much thought, and I'm very pleased with it. Have already taken alot of pics to try it out and as soon the weekend hits tomorrow, will no doubt 'test it' some more!

The articulated LCD sreen is fantastic, I can capture pics of my kids and I without someone else taking the pic. Of course I know that can be done with a timer etc, but with the rotational screen, I can see how we are aligned for the shot. Love the clarity and the power up speed is extremely fast! Shot-to-shot delays aren't a concern, that is with or without flash.

For anyone else who may come across this thread when looking at buying a camera - whilst I may recommend the camera I've purchased, all in all, you will have to weigh up what is important to you and your choices etc. There is a wealth of information and definitely 'conflicting' reviews of digital cameras out there - so check things out for yourself in stores, online and from friends etc who have digicams.

Better yet! Talk sales staff down for a fantastic price.

Cheers everyone :p