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£200 Camera - advice please

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by gadget, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. gadget

    gadget Member

    I'm looking for a camera with good quality optical zoom and a fairly decent lens size for around £200.
    The Fuji S3500, Kodak DX6490 and Kodak DX7630 are the ones I have been looking at. I would welcome your suggestions as to which of these 3 would be the best, or would you recommend another one?
    I want to take the camera on holiday so don't want anything too bulky, but do want good quality images.
    Any comments welcome.
  2. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    No camera really gives bad quality output these days but it would help if you define what you mean by good quality. Do you simply mean 'sharp with good colour balance and contrast' or do you mean 'capable of being blown up to exhibition size with no loss of quality'.

    Unfortunately, quality means different things to different people. Some people are perfectly happy with images I would throw away.

    Also, 'a fairly decent lens size'. I am guessing that you mean you want a zoom and the 'decent' is the widest range possible.

    There are three elements to the traditional choice triangle - good quality, well-specified and low cost. You can have only two. Which two?

  3. gadget

    gadget Member

    Thanks for your post.
    I am looking for images that would mainly be used on the computer but if I do print them, they would only be 6"x4".
    I'm not particularly worried about brand name, so I guess the answer to your "2 out of 3" question would be well-specified and low cost. A decent optical zoom and preferably XD storage too.
    Which camera would you say would suit my budget?
  4. Stevet

    Stevet Well-Known Member

    David, I presume you are holding back because 7dayshop no longer seem to have any Canon Powershot A80's in stock, but they do have A75 @ £125, A85 @ £154 and A95 @ £213

    They also have 512Mb CF cards @ £29.99, so an A85 with 512Mb card would still give £16 change from a £200 budget to put towards a carrying case!

    As you have stated in the past, these have manual controls in addition to automatic modes and pack a lot of features into a small robust body.

  5. Chris Cool

    Chris Cool Retired

  6. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    The A95 is the one I'd go for but the reason "I held back" is that I didn't want to rush in and recommend something without fully understanding the user's requirements (you know - systems analysis type of stuff). Often, by questioning somebody to get more detailed answers, they end up answering their own questions. I am also curious when they come up with their own choices saying 'what do you think of these?' Is it because their local shop has them in the window with a Sale sticker on them or because they know friends with these cameras? It's a bit like me saying 'what do you think of the Renault Clio, the VW Polo and the Toyota Yaris - which would be best for me or do you have other thoughts?'

    Our poster, gadget (no idea if a 'he' or 'she' as no bio filled in as usual), expressed an interest for XD storage. I am curious why - is it for compatibility with some other device? I use CF for compatibility with all my cameras also knowing that the cards aren't small enough to easily get lost like some other formats.

    Also, gadget's second post was a little contradictory with his/her first. In the first post, the word 'quality' was used twice and 'decent' once. In his/her second post, specification and cost were more important. I think he/she misunderstood what I meant by 'quality' and it seems that he/she mistook it to mean a well-known brand.

    However, I'm being far too analytical here (for the best of intentions). I would concur with you and go for the A85, a camera more than capable of giving fine results in the desired print size and the price gives room for a decent-size memory card and a case.

    The only thing that gadget might be disappointed with is the size of the optical zoom. In this price range, there isn't going to be much in the way of lens choice and he/she would have to pay 2-3x to get into the bracket where a very large zoom range is provided.

    I hope gadget returns and gives us some feedback.

  7. gadget

    gadget Member


    The reason I have no bio filled in is 'cos I can't remember which login I needed for the AP forum so created a quick blank one in order to get a question answered for a work colleague of mine who is going on holiday shortly with the requirement for a new camera.

    Incidentally.....male, 34, real name Alex, live in Herefordshire, technical support engineer for a large local firm, and a keen traditional optical photographer....hence I know bugger all about digital cameras!!! ;-)
    It would have helped if my colleague hadn't changed his mind too....as you noticed between my two posts!!!

    He seems fairly keen on one of the Kodak camera's I mentioned in my first post because he likes the 10x optical zoom (having been told by everyone he's asked that optical zoom is superior in quality to digital zoom)
    Personally I love Canon's and have 2 EOS 1V HS which I can't fault for their speed and accuracy, but that won't help my mate with his £200 burning a hole in his pocket and the desire to have a digital unit that is fairly compact, unobtrusive and doesn't make him look like a member of the papparazzi!

    Thank you all for your comments and links, I'll see which one he's keen on after having seen the 2 Canon units you guys mentioned.

  8. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    " A decent optical zoom and preferably XD storage too."

    Morning Alex,

    If you want the "XD" cards along with a decent zoom I would say take a peek
    at the Olympus C-740 (3MP/10X Optical Zoom/4 AA batteries) which sells over
    here for $475 CDN, albeit a tad over your budget, or the Fuji S5100 which has
    the same (basic) features except for the fact it is 4MP.



    Life is a Photo-Op
  9. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    Thanks Alex. It helps enormously to know that we are taling to somebody who knows about cameras.

    To be honest, I don't know much about the Kodak offerings exceot that they are quite bulky for waht they are and are quite middle-of-the-road.

    Yes, optical zoom is far better than digital zoom but it's relative. If we are talking only enprint size then one of the Canon's mentioned here will produce a perfectly acceptable enprint if you only took a quarter of the image area. In other words, up to 4x digital zoom will have no or minimal effect on image quality at enprint size.

    Having had experience of the Canon digitals, I would thoroughly recommend one because of their sheer usability and image quality and forego the 10x zoom that they haven't got knowing I can make up for this with cropping the image.

    Then again, as with most buying decisions, it is down to personal preference and your friend might prefer the look and feel of the Kodak. I suggest that he/she goes to see them in his/her local dealer and tries them out. What is a great camera to us as photoholics may not be a great camera to somebody who just wants holiday snaps.


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