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Need some opinions please!

I'm shopping for a digital camera and was recommended the Sony W70 but I've read about the same # good and bad reviews on it. Also, I don't know what other cameras are out there that are similar but may be better.

Here's what's important to me:

1) compact - to put in purse,etc.
2) quality of picture - print and on computer (i email them to friends and family
3) long battery life - heard rechargeable ones instead of AA are better, is this true?
4) ease of use
5) optical view finder - heard this was important in case LCD is not viewable, is this true?
6) delay time in between pictures

Any recommendations??? I'd like to stay in the same price range as the W70 but am willing to spend alittle more if it's worth it.

Please help! Thank you!

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Sony W70

In reply to: Need some opinions please!

If you shop around, you can get the W70 for under $250.

I don't see any equivalent camera anywhere close to that price.

Battery life is more involved with camera design than battery type.
The W70 has a good battery life.

So many of the new cameras are dropping the optical viewfinder.
Sony and Canon are about the only ones left using them.
Maybe that is why their camera sales are good.
In my book, I want an optical viewfinder.

The biggest headache is shutter lag. The time from when you press the shutter button until the image is captured. The W70 has a short shutter lag (that's good).

I would say you have found your camera in the W70.

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Sony W70 vs Sony W100

In reply to: Sony W70

Thank you for your reply.

Would you say the Fujifilm F30 is comparable to the Sony W70 or W100? I read that the W70/W100 has trouble with low light pictures where the F30 does not? Do you know if that is true? So if F30 takes better low light does it mean it may not do so well with outside pictures? I mean is losing the optical viewfinder worth the ability to take better low light pictures?

You said you would want the optical viewfinder, may I ask why?

Also, do you think it is worth the extra $ for the W100 or is there not enough difference from the W70 to pay the extra $? Someone said that I would basically be paying for the increase in the ISO which might help with the low light picture issues. Your thoughts?

Finally, what is your recommendations regarding memory cards. Buy the most you can (I think there are 4GB out there now) or buy a few that add up to more storage?http://forums.cnet.com/5224-7593_102-0.html?forumID=58&threadID=221387&messageID=2337443
Submit Do these things break alot? My fear is that if I buy a 4GB and something happens I would be screwed. Your thoughts?

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optical viewfinder

In reply to: Sony W70 vs Sony W100

I had noticed that the viewfinders are just windows. they do not actually zoom with your lens. So, that made me feel that it was not worth it to have one. They are also placed in the middle of the LCD and makes it hard to look through without your nose smuding the LCD.

I am seriously considering the Fujifilm F30 as my next camera. It is between that and the Canon SD700 SI.

I want the Image Stablization, I think that is important and i want a camera that would do well in low lighting like at parties, weddings, inside shots are where i mostly take pics.

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Sony and Fujifilm

In reply to: Sony W70 vs Sony W100

All small digital camera have problems in low light situations.

The Fujifilm F30 has a low noise CCD sensor and it works better than the rest of the small cameras. An $800 DSLR camera does much better.

A lot of the camera makers are trying to compete with the Fujifilm F30 by offering higher ISO settings. But these come at the cost of very noisy photos. The tiny bit of difference in ISO settings between the W70 and W100 is a drop in a bucket. You will see no improvement.
The only thing that the W100 has to offer is one more megapixel.

I shot a F30 yesterday at an event in a restaurant and purposely used no flash most of the time. Many of the shots were at ISO 1600. You can see some noise but the pictures are very good.

I have taken outdoor photos with the F30 and get good results.
Here is a photo of the Audie Murphy statue.
He was the most decorated American soldier (WWII):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v159/randol9p9/DSCF0008CL.jpg

The missing optical viewfinder on the F30 is a disadvantage.
You can push a button and brighten the LCD for a few seconds, this overcomes the problem of not being able to see the LCD well in bright sunshine.

Advantages of optical viewfinder:
..Excellent view in bright sunshine. The LCD may wash out.
..Good view in very low light. Some LCDs do not automatically gain upward in low light and you can't see your subject.
..Trying to get an action shot by tracking a moving object. Try that with an LCD.
..With the viewfinder you can hold the cameras steadier, because the camera is pressed against your head. You head is steadier that two outstretched arms. Use the viewfinder and lean against a post, tree or wall and you can shoot 10X zoom without getting blurry images.

Do not buy any memory card above 2 gig.
Very few digital cameras can handle 3 and 4 gig card.

I don't buy any card larger than 1 gig.
Most of mine are 512 gig or less.
Too many eggs in one basket.
Memory cards are very reliable, but stuff happens.

Always (always, always) format a new memory card with your camera.
Failure to do so, can result in an unreadable card sometime in the future.

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Sony and Fujifilm

In reply to: Sony and Fujifilm

snapshot2,

I really appreciate all the input you've provided, it has definitely helped.

So would you choose to buy the sony over the fujifilm because of the optical viewfinder? Or would the low light ability outweigh having the optical viewfinder? I'm really stuck here.

How much better would you say fujifilm's low light picture taking ability is compared to sony? I mean if you had taken the same pictures at the event in the restaurant you went to with the sony instead how much more noise would you think there would have been? Is there somewhere I can find a side by side comparison? I'm sure I will need to use the camera at indoor function - this area concerns me because I think both take good pictures outdoors.

Do you know which of the two provide a better print quality?

Which of the two is known for a better overall camera quality (reliability, low maintenance, etc).

So if I decide on the Sony, I should just buy the W70 rather than the W100 because as you mentioned the ISO is not that much more different. How important is the additional megapixel? Will there be enough of a different for the additional $?

Thanks for the info on the memory cards, at least now I know my concerns are not crazy. I will definitely stick to buy on that is 1 gig or less.

Finally, would you buy an extended warranty for a digital camera?
Will the owners manual show you how to format a new memory card with the camera?

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I am interested too!

In reply to: Sony and Fujifilm

Hi Snapshot..

I am interested too in knowing if the Fuji F30 is a good quality camera compared to the Canon SD700 IS. The Canon has a viewfinder, does it have manual controls like the Fuji? Do you own the Fuji F30? Would you choose the Sony over the Fuji and the Canon? Thanks

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Fujifilm F30 - Canon SD700IS

In reply to: I am interested too!

None of the Canon "SD" series of cameras have manual controls.
Most of the Canon "A" series of cameras have manual controls
....(from A540 up to, and including the A710IS).

For finding out repair rates for cameras and other things, your best bet is Consumers Reports magazine.

My reason for buying a camera is based on what cameras I already have and what I am interested in, at the moment.

I do own a Fujifilm F30. I bought it out of curiosity more than anything else. So far, I have no complaints. It does what I expected it to do.

I own 6 digital cameras and 3 film cameras.
Brands?
Canon, Epson, Fujifilm, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Olympus

The Canon SD700IS, Sony W70 and Fujifilm take good sharp photos.
They each have something that attracts someone.
Any of the three will be a good choice.

Would I choose the Sony over the Fujifilm and the Canon?

I won't tell you, because my reason for choosing a camera will not be for the same reason you would choose a camera.

I prefer large cameras.
Something about the size and weight of a brick would be great.

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Sony - Fujifilm

In reply to: Sony and Fujifilm

I think you may be putting to much emphasis on the low light situation.

Most people use a flash in low light situations and that works fine on the Sony and Fujifilm

Teenagers and young adults want to take photos in clubs, bars, and special events and not use flash. They want to photography friends without them knowing they are being photographed and/or the establishment does not permit flash.

Most of these places are too dark to do that.
It may work at a concert if the stage lighting is very bright.

Most small digital camera do not perform well in low light (without a flash). The Fujifilm F30 has the advantage because it has a low noise CCD sensor. If the situation is too dark, even the F30 will not perform up to the standards that the camera owner may expect.
But it has the best chance.

Any digital camera will work well in low light if you put the camera on a tripod to prevent camera movement. But most people do not want to carry around a tripod.

Most people do not do low light shooting without a flash.
Therefore the F30 has no special abilities over the W70 for them.

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Printing.....
If both cameras produce a good photo, then printing a photo is equal.

If you take a photo that you will probably print, make sure you take the picture with the camera set to the highest size and quality settings.
i.e. If you have a 6 megapixel camera, set the camera to the 6 megapixel setting and if there is a setting for fine or normal, set it to fine.

Camera Company Quality
I am sure that someone has ranked the repair rate for various companies, but I have not seen it. Consumers Reports magazine does this quite often.

Is 8 megapixels better than 7.
For 99% of the people.....no
More megapixels are good if....
..you are going to print large poster size prints.
..you are going to do some severe cropping of the photo with software.
..you are going to make a slide show using the Ken Burns effect (pan and zoom).
..you are planning to use the "digital" zoom feature on the camera.
...Note..the digital zoom will result in a degraded image.

Extended Warranty
This has been asked and answered several times on this forum.
Each time, the results has been about 50-50.
No matter what you decide, half the people are with you.
So.....go with your gut feeling.

Formatting the memory card.
That will be in the Owner's Manual....however some might call it, "initialize" the card.
It is usually found somewhere near the instructions to erase a photo from memory.
Remember....Formatting a card also erases everything from the card.

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