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2.3 Res 3.1-4 MP

The G2 is 4.0 Megapixels, and 3.8MP effective. Right now, it costs as low as $440 on some online merchants.

On the G2, there is a full automatic mode where the camera handles ISO speed, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and white balance. If you want to be more creative in your photography, you can switch it to program mode, aperture override mode, shutter override mode, or even manual to get full control of your photo snapping experience. Going even further, there is an array of white balance controls, and AE settings to help you get the most accurate picture.

My experiences with the G2 have been very positive. The camera is able to take very crisp shots when moving outdoors, and is capable of taking well color-balanced photos indoors, even without a flash. The camera is very customizable in terms of what you want it to do for you, and what you want to manually control.

Some features of the camera include:

•Sensor speed as low as ISO 50
•Macro mode for very clean up-close pictures
•An AF (Auto Focus) assist lamp for when the camera does not have enough light to focus in dark situations
•Detailed EXIF information embedded into each picture
•3x optical zoom

Pros:

•Very solid handling, you can grip it with your whole hand
•For the most part, well placed controls for easy access
•Foldable LCD screen protects it from scratches when not needed
•Adjustable diopter in the viewfinder
•Very crisp pictures at ISO 50
•Excellent battery life, will last weeks on end under normal use

Cons:

•Manual focus is very tedious, you must hold the poorly-placed MF button while using the directional buttons to focus the camera in MF mode
•AF is very slow at times, and sometimes inaccurate
•The viewfinder is quite small
•The lens takes a while to extend and retract when turning on and off
•Manual control mode does not allow much flexibility for creative aperture/shutter combinations
•The grip could really use a rubber coating
•Battery indicator is not very accurate
•Optical zoom could be better


Camera tips:

1. If you are not fully into manual controls, use Aperture override or Shutter override and find out which one you are more comfortable using, and stick to using it until you learn more about the camera's manual controls.
2. If you want to store more photos without losing excessive quality, lower the resolution instead of increasing the compression
3. Buy an extra battery to have around for swapping when battery #1 goes dead
4. Get the adapter tube, such as the Tiffen 43mm lens adapter, and buy a UV Filter to protect your lens. You can also consider a Circular Polarizer for enriching your colors and eliminating bad reflections.

Whether you are into quality point and shoot pictures, or into taking full control of your camera's manual settings, the Canon PowerShot G2 is a very nice camera. The bottom line is that most of the bugs that I mentioned have been fixed in Canon's newer model, the PowerShot G3. For example, it has a rubber coated grip and a 4x optical zoom.

If you would like some sample pictures, you can take a look at my Pbase Gallery or other's G2 shots at PhotoSig.

by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-05 15:57:15

Fuji FinePix 3800:
List price: $449.95/Fuji's website

Also see a review at Steve's Digital Camara Review

The 3800 is a "point and shoot" 3.2 Megapixel digital camera. Some of the features include four different shooting modes. Manual, Scene Position, Auto And Video w/sound. An EVF (Electronic View Finder) and LCD display are also included. On board flash w/ variable flash strength in Manual mode and Lens Adapter tube for 55mm lens are a nice touch. There are way too many features for me to list here.

What I'd like to do is give you a more subjective review of this camera. Please click on the above link for a more technical review of the 3800.

I've used this camera for about a month now and have found it's ease of operation and quality of picture to be very good. It suffers some what for low light operations. The EVF has a hard time displaying images in low light levels. An alternate source of light works very well when operating in these conditions. It does offer a setting for night pictures in the Scene Position mode. I've played with this a little and while the EVF wasn't bright enough for display of the target, the camera did pretty good in capturing the shot. A note: A tripod is a must for "night" shots!!

The options selection for each mode is accessed thru buttons on the back of the camera and is displayed in the EVF. This works well for me. I can select options with out removing my eye from the subject.

The style of the camera body is one of the major reasons I purchased this camera. It's "handle" on the right side fits my hand pretty well and has been a great plus in reducing "camera shake". The feel of the camera in my hands is solid and stable. I know I'm holding a camera and not a box. A problem I've had with my HP215 is the fatigue I get with the "box" style shape.

As a novice photographer, I've been very happy with this camera. While it is some what limited in it's manual focus abilities it's point and shoot style is very good.

For a novice or beginner this is a good camera. I feel that it's at the upper end of the "Point and Shoot" type of cameras and a person who would buy this would be some one who is not too worried about exact photography. It's a fun camera to have.

Please check the links above for more features available with this camera. I've only lightly touched on features here. I've only given a subjective review of the 3800.

by HeyDriver See Profile edited by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2003-07-06 18:52:55

The Kodak DC4800 is a 3.1 megapixel camera with fully automatic mode and some limited manual settings. For a complete review of the features, take a look at Steve's Digicams for this model.

In general, this is a very good camera for outside photos and inside photos under good lighting. The colors are bright and realistic, and the detail on medium (4-5 ft) to close (1 to 2 feet) photos is excellent. Action shots are also good under fair to good light.

Unfortunately, under low light conditions and at night, the performance is nothing short of terrible, with photos too dark or far too grainy, either in automatic or manual setting mode (tested under a variety of manual settings). In addition, infinity shots are not as sharp or as detailed as I think these could be (compared to other camera model shots I've seen).

The DC4800 serves well as a workhorse business camera for outside shots, but as a more versatile, all around camera, especially under low light conditons, I wouldn't recommended it.

by mikeky See Profile edited by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-05 13:35:06

Toshiba PDR-M65
•3.3 Megapixels
•SmartMedia (8MB card included)
•USB connection and RCA to TV
•4 AA batteries

While this camera doesnt have any large problems, I wouldnt recommend it. Its a 3.3 megapixel camera, and takes pretty nice shots, but its lack of more advanced features is an oversight. Macro Mode works excellent, and it has 3x optical zoom and 2x digital. It also has a few flash settings such as red eye and night flash. You can set ISO 100, 200, and 400, also Black and White, although I dont know why you wouldnt just take color and desaturate the picture because the file size remains the same. It also has a nifty 16 frame burst mode that creates a picture with 16 frames on it.

One problem is the file type. It lets you choose between 3 compression states and 2 resolutions: Half and Full. This lets you take pictures from about 120 K to about 1 MB. The only problem is they are all saved as Jpegs, no Tiff or RAW format.

Also, although it has a "manual" mode, all it does is let you overexpose/underexpose and set white balance. No aperture or shutter controls.

The other problem is you must depress the shutter halfway before you take a picture, or hold the shutter down. While holding the button makes sure almost all of your pictures are in focus, it prevents you from taking those instant shots when you need to.

While I love this camera and it hasn't given me any problems, leaves me wanting more. If you are just taking a picture and printing it, this is fine. But if you like advanced features and want to edit your pictures, the lack of shutter/aperture controls and an uncompressed format should make you look elsewhere.

by robofalcon See Profile edited by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2003-05-04 18:17:28

Minolta S414 is a very nice camera for beginners or novice users in the price range of $329-$399. You can take full control of the camera by switching from Auto to Manual. You control shutter speeds with half step increments from 1/1000 to 4 seconds, apertures, change from auto focus to manual focus and adjust focus approximate distance from subject, which is displayed at the bottom of the LCD.
Auto mode allows hassle free operation, you can control flash modes, frame advance, and exposure compensation, and all other options are fixed.
Shoot continuous frames with a maximum rate of 1.6 fps. Number of frames varies from approximately 6 to 53 frames depending on size and quality; this feature does not work in the TIFF quality.

Approximate file sizes:
	2272x1704	1600x1200	1280x960	640x480		
TIFF 12MB 5.7MB 3.7MB 1.0MB
Fine 2MB 1.0MB 720KB 320KB
Standard 1.2MB 650KB 460KB 240KB
Economy 750KB 430KB 330KB 190KB


Approximate number of images on a 16MB memory card
		
TIFF 1 2 3 13
Fine 6 12 17 34
Standard 11 19 26 42
Economy 17 27 33 48


Continuous Advance
						
Fine 6 10 15 33
Standard 9 16 23 43
Economy 14 24 31 53


Pros (More features than listed)
• Crystal clear LCD monitor helps you see if you want to keep or trash the photo
• 4X optical zoom for zooming in on those hard to get to places or do not want to move to spoil the shot (Equivalent to a 35-140mm zoom on a 35mm camera, Digital X2 zoom equivalent to 300mm)
• Image sizes from 2272 X 1704, 1600 X 1200, 1280 X 960, or 640 X 480.
• 4 quality settings of TIFF, Fine, Standard, or Economy.
• ISO settings are Auto, 64, 100, 200, and 400.
• White balance settings are Cloudy, Daylight, Tungsten, or Fluorescent
• EXIF information embedded into each picture
• Movie recording with sound can be recorded up to 60 seconds
• DPOF version 1.1 Digital Print Order Format allows direct printing by taking CompactFlash card to a photo finishing service or insert in compatible printers.
• Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

Cons

• Strap ring gets caught in side door. (Attach strap)
• Camera interface might not work well with WIN98 (Purchase card reader)

Final Thoughts
If using WIN98se get a USB CompactFlash card reader, or even for any OS, Saves batteries and is super fast. Battery life is approximately 2 hours, I recommend getting rechargeable batteries and charger. Purchase an additional 256MB CompactFlash card. Any bad photos are probably user error and not the camera. I am happy with mine and would purchase another Minolta product based on the quality of this unit. If youre looking for a 4MP camera, this one is tough to beat.

This review has been re-published at the wishes of the original writer, and the name kept undisclosed.

by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2003-08-26 10:22:02

Canon S1 IS $300 - $350 depending on where you buy.

See a review of this model at Steves DigiCams

The S1 IS is a point and shoot digital camera which features image stabilization, and yes the image stabilization really does work! It also has a very generous 10x optical zoom, no need to rely on digital zoom anymore. Accepts an adapter that lets you add two additional lenses, a wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens. Combined with the telephone lens, you can basically achieve 20x optical zoom.

Features include:

Video mode achieve near mini-dv camcorder quality with 640x480 movies
Multi-Angle LCD screen you can tilt the screen to your liking, or dock it in the back of the camera.
Built in Pop-up Flash
Multiple shooting modes
Self-Timer
Photo Effects

I have had this camera for about 2 months now, and I have nothing but good to write about it. I first picked up the A95, but due to me shaking the camera, the pictures turned out blurry (no fault of the A95). This is when I decided the S1 IS was for me. I had several pictures from the A95 that featured 5 mega pixels and now this one, which features 3.1 mega-pixels, and you cannot tell a difference in quality. I have sent in pictures for on-line processing all the way up to 8x10 so far, and they are superb.

The movie mode on this camera is awesome, if you need to shoot a 5 minute movie or so, and do not want to bring your camcorder along, this is up to the task. The only thing is, when recording at high quality, it will eat your memory card very quick. My 512mb card will fill up at high quality with about 6 minutes of video.

I recommend a high-speed memory card, with it, the camera processes pictures really quick, and you can be ready to shoot more in under a few seconds if that.

I would recommend this camera to anybody that wanted a high-end camera that featured IS, or even if they are looking for a camera with something that has a high optical zoom.

by fire100 See Profile edited by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2005-01-14 15:33:01

There are several extremely detailed reviews of this camera out there including the one at Steve's Digicams: »www.steves-digicams.com/2004_rev···400.html

I can't compete with their technical knowledge and experience. I'm also not qualified to offer any opinions as to which other cameras out there might be of better value. Having said that, I paid $169 for mine (with FedEx to Hawaii) in January 2005 and I have taken several thousand shots with it in the 3 weeks I've had it so far.

In general, I'm very happy with this camera. It's small enough to fit in my pocket, takes decent pictures in most situations and is very good with batteries. I'm using a high speed 256 MB card and average about 150+ pictures at full resolution and lowest compression. For transfer, I remove the card and use a dedicated reader attached to my PC.

Some specific observations...
-medium lighting: use of flash is almost required. The assist lamp does its job well but shutter speeds (only auto available) seem too low... images come out with a little too much exposure and there's far more motion blurring than I think is called for. (It's worth noting that this problem is not unique to this camera.)

-9-point autofocus: A selling point, I think, but I prefer not to use it. I get more "control" over metering and focusing using the center spot. It's still auto, of course.

-noise/grain: this camera is somewhat noisy... even in broad daylight at ISO 50. However, I find it tolerable. For 4x6 and 5x7 prints, it's not really noticable and light use of software, such as Neat Image, cleans it up very effectively.

-tone quality: colors without flash are simply gorgeous. In situations that require flash, though, things look a wee bit off. As mentioned, some difficulties arise with medium light (see above) so there are times when it's hard to decide what to do. I usually opt for the flash since colors are easily corrected.

Would I buy this camera again? Yes and no. If I wanted an effective and inexpensive point-and-shoot, I would buy the A400. However, I find I'm wanting a camera with a lot more in the way of manual controls and add-on lenses, etc. This class of camera simply is not what I need for that. Perhaps in a year or two, I'll get around to buying a DSLR.

by pog4 See Profile edited by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2005-01-26 19:30:51

The 4 Megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ10 has a 12x optical zoom with a Leica lens. Leica is a legendary maker of lenses. There is also a 3x digital zoom which makes for an effective 36x zoom (editors educated opinion: The digital zoom should not be a factor when buying a digital camera)! This camera has a Mega Optical Image Stabilizer that uses motion sensors to detect the slightest movement of your hands and keeps your image sharp even when taking a telephoto picture. Lag time between shots is very fast. There is a 2 inch TFT color monitor which can act as a viewfinder or you can use the eye level viewfinder. Macro shots can be taken as close as 1.9 inches. The Fluzie (as it is affectionately known) also takes Quicktime movies. It has a pop-up flash and an external flash hot shoe. Although you can take this camera out of the box, charge the battery and shoot great photos with all controls set to Automatic without reading the instruction manual, there are Manual adjustments such as Manual Focus, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Exposure Compensation and many more that the camera enthusiast will love. It comes with a 16MB Secure Digital Memory Card but you will probably upgrade to a larger card to hold more photos. All of the features on this fine camera can be found at Steve's Digicam at »www.steves-digicams.com/2003_rev···z10.html.
For more owner opinions of the FZ10 go to »www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_op···_dmcfz10.

I have carried this camera around my neck all day without any problems with the weight. Battery life is very good with the proprietary battery but I carry a spare if I'm going to be shooting a lot. Maximum resolution is 2304 x 1728 which is fine for an 8x10 photograph. This is a great camera for the novice or the enthusiast because of both the automatic and manual controls. Expect to pay $350 to $450 as of 2/6/2005.

by Lone Wolf See Profile edited by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2005-02-06 22:57:39