UZ Digital Cameras - S1 IS vs 5060WZ vs Dx6490

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by MictXP, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. MictXP macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hello all,
    I am about to purchase a digital camera. I've long been looking at the Digital Rebel for all of the obvious reasons, but decided against it because of the price and lack of portability (not only is the camera huge, but I would need to lug around the proprietary battery charger as well), among other reasons. After looking around some more, I've narrowed my search to three cameras -- the upcoming Canon S1 IS, the Olympus 5060WZ, and the Kodak DX6490.

    The S1 IS is everything I want in a camera, minus three things: first, it uses EVF instead of an Optical viewfinder. Then, it is only 3 MP, which seems small when considering that it is to be released in the following month. Finally, I need the camera by mid-May -- if this isn't released until April (or May, as Amazon says), I'll end up paying full retail ($500), since it won't have a chance to drop in price.

    The 5060WZ solves all of those problems, but it has some of its own -- there is no image stabilizer on it (meaning low light would require a tripod), and, more importantly, it uses proprietary batteries. The movie options are not as impressive as the S1 IS. And it does pretty poorly with red-eye. But it has a really innovative histogram feature, which I might use. Plus, it's been out for a little while, and can be found for $435 compared to the $700 retail price tag.

    The DX6490 is also a nice camera that covers the issues I have with the S1 except the EVF, but again, uses proprietary batteries. And again, it does not have the image stabilizer, which is a feature I would use. It also seems too simple to use, but still has the advanced features I would like. And it is currently going for $389.

    So my questions are -- how important is MP (3 vs 4 vs 5) -- this will primarily be used to make 4x6 prints, though I will make some 8x10. How horrible/nice is EVF? How horrible/nice are proprietary batteries (I currently have huge stock in NiMH batteries)? Are ultra zooms blurry/would the image stabilizer be worth the extra money? Any experience with the cameras mentioned? I will primarily be taking portrait shots, though this camera will also function as a point-and-shoot camera, as well as taking night shots, and movies if they are decent. Thank you!
     
  2. MictXP thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #2
    I guess I am also looking a little on ebay. I've seen the Olympus E10 go for $400 -- not bad for a pro level camera!
     
  3. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

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    #3
    have you considered the A2??

    If you originally considered the EOS300D, I guess your budget is not that limited. Then that's why I would say the Dimage A2: It's got a good zoom (optical 7x), a high res electronic viewfinder (I've tried it and the difference in quality with other EVF is enormous), and the 8MP, while a bit over the top, is good enough to last you for a while. Feature-wise, there is no contest with other cameras.

    What do you think?
     
  4. Xero macrumors 6502

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    #4
    if you were willing to save up a bit more money, and spend a bit more, id say wait for the Nikon D70, no doubt about it. but to try to answer some of your questions:

    EVF are usually a plus, with non-SLR cameras, as long as they are high resolution, because usually you get all the nice readouts from the back lcd right in the viewfinder.

    i havent read much about this image stabilizer so i cant help you much there...

    As far as batteries go, i wouldnt be to worried about proprietary battery types... as long as they are LiIon batteries and not NiMH. you will prbably be better off just not worrying about the battery type in the new camera, because as long as its LiIon, you will be better off than with NiMH, and the battery will last a lot longer.

    if you havent already, check out www.dpreview.com . they have some great reviews of digital cameras. i htink they only have a preview of the S1 IS right now though.

    EDIT: also, with 3, 4, or 5 megapixels.. id say 3MP is perfectly fine, as long as you dont go over 8x10 prints, thats about the maximum for 3MP.
     
  5. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

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    #5
    Hmm, I'd say that 3MP 'limits' you to 4x6 prints, because 3MP is about 2000x1500-ish (ratio 4:3), which you need to crop for the 3:2 ratio of usual prints and that gives about 330dpi which is just about enough for good quality prints. You'll probably be ok on 8x10, but just about.
     
  6. MictXP thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I did look at the A1 and the A2, and decided against them for some reason. Now that I look at the A1 again, it is a rather nice camera, and it's within my price range.

    I'd like to stay below $500, and unfortunately, the lower is better. I was going to get the Rebel by opening an education loan at an Apple Store, and pay it off within 6 months. If I get a different camera, I don't have that option. That's why my budget is now limited, whereas I was looking at the Rebel before.

    Tough choices to make.
     
  7. ultrarad73 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 22, 2004
    #7
    Olympus C-5060WZ

    I purchased the C-5060 a few weeks ago from buydig.com and I couldn't be happier. I, too, was really confused when it came to which camera to purchase and whether it would be obsolete in a few months. My aunt, who is a web instructor and graphics teacher told me a few things that everyone should think about when buying a camera. They are:

    1. When it comes to lenses (of any type), remember that Olympus has been making them longer than anyone. They were the first company to create large telescope lenses and the continue to create high quality optics today.

    2. Remember that your camera is another tool. As with any kind of tool - they break or need to be maintained. When purchasing your camera research which cameras last the longest and have good reliability. According to my ex-roomate (who used to work at Wolf camera) - Olympus and Canon make excellent 35 mm cameras. According to her, Olympus cameras were NEVER broght back to the store for the year that she worked there. In my opinion, this information was key to my decision to buy the Olympus.

    3. The battery issue doesn't need to be an issue if you think ahead. I was going to purchase the C-5050 because it used four-AA's - I finally decided that this wasn't really an important part of the entire digital camera experience. The proprietary battery in the C-5060 is amazing and lasts forever. One day, last week, I was taking pictures on and off all day long (with the LCD) and when I plugged the battery in to recharge that evening - it was done in a little less than thirty minutes (the charge time is rather long at 6 hours)

    4. I guess, in the end, if you ever want to make 8x10's I would go with a 5MP camera or above. I know from experience that with a 5MP camera you can crop the images and print them at 8x10 and with a 5MP camera you can film record (*take digital and make slides) with ease.

    5. With respect to your three choices, I think the Olympus has the most amount of control over the pictures you take. If you really enjoy photography and want to advance in the next few years, get a camera that has ALL of the photographic features you desire. Don't buy a camera because it is $50 less - buy the more expensive one because it's the one you want. Also - go get a feel for the three cameras you like. Whatever you do - DO NOT purchase a camera if you aren't happy with the way it fits your hands. I have so many friends that have done this and they regret it. Your camera becomes an extension of you and your personality. I know this sounds corny, but it really effects the way you take pictures.

    (Other positive C-5060 attributes)

    a. the lens is threaded and I have purchased various 40.5 mm filters that fit perfectly on the end.

    b. the lcd rotates up and around making self portraits a snap

    c. there is a bulb setting for long night shots

    d. there are numerous attachments for this camera - perfect for those that want to evolve

    (positive Canon attributes)

    Canon's software is hard to beat. Their remote capture feature is amazing if you plan on doing any still photography (jewelry, etc.)


    I hope this helps - if you want, feel free to email me and ask me any questions. aa757pilot@ev1.net
     
  8. ultrarad73 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 22, 2004
    #8
    something i forgot

    I forgot to mention I paid $467 for my camera at Buydig.com (it arrived in three days - free shipping, too)

    the Olympus lens (and almost 95% of other digital camera lenses) have a maximum aperature of f2.8 - this is rather slow (with respect to the amount of time needed to capture a scene). If you are only buying this camera because of low light shooting, you might want to consider the older C-5050 (f1.8), the Canon G5 (f2.0), or the new Olympus C-8080 (f.2.4). I didn't wait for the C-8080 because of the high price and that almost all new 8.0 megapixel cameras are using Sony's 8MP sensor. Why would I want to buy an Olympus camera with the heart of a crappy Sony.....

    chat at you later.....
     
  9. MictXP thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Thanks for the info. The Kodak camera was only a brief consideration -- it can technically do everything I want it to do, but my main choices are between the Olympus and the Canon.

    The three things I like about the Canon over the Olympus is that the Canon has the image stabilizer -- this makes the f2.8 work more like a f2.4 or f1.8 -- something I know I'd use. Also, the movie mode is hard to beat -- 640x480 at 30fps up to 8 or 9 minutes, with sound and optical controls during recording. I don't have a camcorder and have used my movie mode function in the past. Finally, the proprietary battery -- I would still like to use my NiMH batteries just because I travel a fair amount, but this is becoming less of a consideration the more I hear about it.

    The three biggest things I like about the Olympus over the Canon is that it is 5.1 MP -- why can't Canon fit a larger CCD in their camera? The histogram option is just wicked cool -- I don't know if I'd really use it or not, but it seems like something I would use. Finally, the Olympus has been around longer, so more people to review it (versus no reviews on the S1), and the price has had a chance to drop some (even if I had to pay the same amount as the S1, I would pay $200 less than retail, versus full retail on the S1). I guess the Wide lens is something else I like about the Olympus over the Canon.

    The rest -- everything else -- the cameras are about the same to me. Both have the flip display, both have attachments and threaded lenses, both are small enough to be portable, both seem to be comfortable in the hand (though I'll need to actually test the S1, it looks like it is comfy), etc. I think I'll wait until the S1 is officially released just so I can hold it before deciding.
     
  10. ultrarad73 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 22, 2004
    #10
    juast a f.y.i

    If you are really interested in video from a digital camera - i noticed that Olympus is going to make one of its new 4 MP 10x zoom cameras with MPEG-4 video - in a month, or so. It sounds pretty cool for something that can do many things at once. Just a thought......
     
  11. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

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    #11
    It's the C-770 UZ. Go check out dpreview.com.
     
  12. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

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    #12
    I don't think you will find enormous differences between the reliability of those brands. Unless one is known to have a poor build quality (and reviewers will tell you that), you're better off making sure that you get an extra year or 2 of warranty.

    I couldn't agree more with those 2 points.
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    While I wouldn't consider the 5060 Wide-Zoom an ultra zoom camera, it has many features and seems to work well, as do most Olympus cameras. The price is decent for what it is. I was thinking about the 8080 when I thought a high spec consumer camera might work for me and there are plenty at the $999 price point but it wasn't enough camera for me. It doesn't really matter whose CCD is in the camera, just how the information from it is used.

    The ability to add a flash is a great thing, especially if the camera uses the auto focus assist lamps from the flash, as the more expensive Olympus cameras do. If you consider that most built-in flash units give up at 12-13 feet, an external unit is worthwhile, especially with a long zoom. Olympus currently make two flash units (FL-20, FL-50), but the FL-40 should be compatible as well. The FL-50 costs about the same as the camera.

    You might want to take a look at http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com as they just reviewed the camera in the February 2004 issue.

    I'm on my 3rd Olympus digital camera since 1997 and have found them to be progressing nicely, even though the company got into digital cameras late. They've been extremely reliable for me as their 35mm cameras are.
     
  14. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

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    #14
    It's definitely not one. It's better to look at (if you are married with Olympus) the C-765 or C-770 if they are available. Early signs (from what I have read) point to the 8080 not being that good.

    At the $999 price point, either the Minolta Dimage A2 (my preference so far), the Nikon Coolpix 8700 or the Canon Pro1 would take my money. I'm just waiting for more reviews (I've got a Canon PowerShot G2 and looking to upgrade).
     
  15. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #15
    Well, I ended up with an Olympus E-1 with a lens the price of the 8080. The cameras at $999 are quite interesting though. The idea of an electronic viewfinder was revolting. The Coolpix 8700 would probably have been the one, even though Nikon is a second choice for me, behind Olympus. However, spending $999 on one of those just seemed a waste of money for me. I would not be satisfied with the compromises although many people would be able to use them well and get great results.
     
  16. MictXP thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    While I do enjoy the thought of a $1000 budget, my wallet does not. Unfortunately, I am constrained on both time and money. Since time is money, I am constrained on money squared :mad:

    So I am looking at about $500 cameras. I'm going to at least wait until the S1 IS is officially released before making my decision, though I think I will go with that camera. It's small enough for what I require, and can still do many advanced features. I might change my mind in a month, though, and end up going with the 5060WZ.
     
  17. Frisco macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Is the C-770 fully compatiable with iPhoto and iMovie? It looks like a really nice camera/camcorder. I noticed it is USB2 and not FireWire.
     
  18. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #18
    From what I've seen, no digital still camera is compatible with iMovie. Any digital still camera with USB (1.1 or 2.0) or FireWire should be fine with iPhoto.
     
  19. NicoMan macrumors 6502a

    NicoMan

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    #19
    But you can still get around it and import the movies recorded by your camera. It won't be as easy as plug-and-click-import, but you can.
     

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