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Phil Ryan, CNET digital imaging editor LIVE!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 21, 2007 8:44 AM PDT

Ask the Editors Live!

Snapshot cameras live chat event with CNET senior editor Phil Ryan starts Thursday September 6th at 11 a.m. to noon Pacific / 2 p.m to 3 p.m Eastern. Where Phil will be answering your questions on snapshot cameras, ranging from buying advice, to explanations of features, to shooting tips. Get your digital camera questions ready and see you at the event!

Click here for upcoming Ask the Editors Live events and past transcripts of events.

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Fire Away!
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 3:55 AM PDT

Hello, and welcome to CNET's live chat about compact digital cameras. I'm Phil Ryan and I'll be taking your questions for the next hour. If you want to ask a question, please use the box on the right hand side of the page. If your question doesn't show up after you submit it, or if it looks strange and garbled, try refreshing your browser and that should (hopefully) solve the problem. Newer answers appear at the top, so if you want to read through from the beginning of this chat, start the from the bottom and work your way up.

If you're going to ask what camera you should buy, please include some information about what kind of photography you like to do. For example, if you just like to take snapshots of your friends at a barbeque, or if you want to capture images of your child playing soccer. Of course, providing a price range also helps.

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wich would you recommend?
by Difatality / September 6, 2007 4:01 AM PDT

I Want to Know Wich point & shoot camera you would reccomend me? i am a Cybershot fan so it will definitely be a sony.

I am strugglin between the W55 and W80? is the price difference worth it?

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I'd go with the W80
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:06 AM PDT

Given that the W80 has Sony's newer processing engine, a slightly more pleasing menu system, and a wider available range of ISOs, I'd spend the extra cash for the W80.

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(NT) Sony DSC-T100
by vixer03 / September 6, 2007 4:09 AM PDT
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no question?
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Sony DSC-T100

vixer03- it looks like the body of your question didn't come through. Please submit it again, or else I'll be forced to just start riffing about the T100, and I don't think anyone wants to read that.

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Compact cameras that have fast follow up shots
by sbaxter / September 6, 2007 4:15 AM PDT

I really don't want to get into dSLRs, however I do want a snapshot camera that can shoot as fast as dSLR camera. So I can get shots of my kids in action while playing sports.

Is there such a camera that have extremely fast followup shots like or close to dSLRs?

Please advise. Thank you Phil.


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dSLRs are the way to go
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:21 AM PDT

If you want really fast, reliable burst shooting, you can't beat a dSLR. While some compact cameras can shoot bursts faster than 2 frames per second, these models often eschew the greater level of controls you get from a dSLR. Plus, the shorter shutter lag times that come with dSLRs make it easier to capture sports action even when not in burst mode.

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Any good pocket sized point and shoot cameras?
by noevalleyjim / September 6, 2007 4:24 AM PDT

I am currently using a Casio' EXILIM EX-S3 which is very convenient, but doesn't really take that great pictures. What would you recommend for a very small camera?

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Canon SD1000
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:26 AM PDT

If small is what you want, then I'd point you to Canon's SD1000-- not only is it small, but it also takes very nice pictures and has an optical viewfinder, which can come in handy when shooting in tight quarters.

Here's the url for our review...

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by vixer03 / September 6, 2007 4:24 AM PDT

Phil, what is your opinion on the T100 from Sony. I'm thinking on buying this camera for my girlfriend. I believe this will be strictly amateur photo shooting. Do you think this camera is well balance for daily use. Basically, the camera will be use for vacation, family gathering and night event. What do you recommend or another product you suggest?

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The T100 is very nice
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:30 AM PDT
In reply to: DSC-T100

The DSC-T100 is currently our top pick for ultracompact cameras, so yes, it should do the trick if your girlfriend doesn't mind the fact that it doesn't include any manual exposure controls (as most ultracompacts do not). Since it includes optical image stabilization, that should help some when shooting night time events.

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Which Camera to buy?
by linamos / September 6, 2007 4:25 AM PDT

I am in the Market for a New Digital camera(Non-DSLR).
Cost Range- $100-400
Usage - Standard usage for taking pics of family during travel/Vacation
Criteria preferences
1.Good Picture Quality
2.Good picture quality in low light(pics during evenings/night time)
3. Battery lasts a long time
4. Style/coolness not important
5. Video capability- Not required

I would probably prefer a compact to Sub-Compact
There are 100's of choices based on the above criteria.
What would be your top 3 recommendation?

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Here are a few choices
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Which Camera to buy?

If you want something fairly small, you can try the Canon SD800 IS-- it has a wide angle lens (good for group shots), and optical image stabilization (helps with low-light-night-time shooting), and has a rugged metal body, which should help on vacation.

The Canon S5 IS is toward the top of your price range and maybe too expensive or too large physically, but it's long zoom lens might be helpful and versatile on vacation...

The Sony T100, mentioned below would also make a nice choice.

Ultimately, for night shooting, noise at higher ISOs will be your biggest enemy and is probably the biggest problem faced by non-dSLRs right now. But the above choices should be among the best of the bunch right now.

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continue--fast compact cameras
by sbaxter / September 6, 2007 4:25 AM PDT

Thanks Phil, so if dSLR are the way to go.

Is there a simple dSLR where I can just point and shoot and not have to fuss with any setting. I want something as simple as a snapshot camera if possible and affordable. I know dslr can run high in price.

Any models suggestions, that I can look into.


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Canon SD1000
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:44 AM PDT

Here are some safe choices...

Canon Rebel XTi

Canon Rebel XT (I prefer this over the XTi)

Nikon D40x

Nikon D40

The D40 is very similar to the D40x, but is lower resolution (though it should be plenty unless you want to print your images extremely large).

Another nice, low-cost camera is the Pentax K110D, which includes sensor-shift image stabilization in the body...

Also, Sony's Alpha DSLR-A100 is good, but a bit more pricey than the ones mentioned above. You can find some old KonicaMinolta lenses on eBay that will work with it though...

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 2
by longleggedblonde / September 6, 2007 4:33 AM PDT

Hi. I have a Canon EOS 30D. I have continually up-graded my Canon Camera since the 1st Digital SLR came out. Each time I would buy another camera I would always receive a bundled package that came with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.
Unfortunatly, we have moved several times, and somehow my copy of Photoshop, or rather my several copies, have gotten misplaced.
I just recently had to re-format my hard drive, and cannot install the copy I had mblem is ade of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2, as (dumb me) forgot to write the s/n # on the disk. I am registered with Adobe, so that was where I started as they keep records of what software you have registered. Mine wasn't on their list. What do I need to do to prove that I had a licensed version of my software? I have the receipt of my Canon EOS 30 D. Please advise. Thank you! Linda Sinclair

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Best bet is to contact Canon
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:53 AM PDT

Since Canon bundled the disc with the camera, and you have a receipt for the camera, your best bet is to contact Canon and see if they will replace the disc. As long as you didn't buy a grey-market 30D, they'll likely replace the disc.

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Memory cards for compact snapshot cameras
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 6, 2007 4:35 AM PDT

Just curious. Do memory card speed matter?

Some cards say "utlra high-speed" or "high speed", will these make any difference when using them in my compact camera vs. using just a typical "non-high speed" memory card?


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Here are a few choices
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:52 AM PDT

You will likely see very little difference in a compact camera.

The speed of a memory card refers to how fast the camera can write to (or read from) the card. The main area you'll see a difference is how fast the camera recovers from burst shooting. Once you fill the camera's buffer, the camera has to write the images you shot to the card before you can take more. This should be faster with a card that's rated faster, but the difference will be very minimal.

Occasionally, a camera will require a high-speed card in order to record higher-resolution video--many of Sony's compact cameras require a Duo-pro Memory Stick if you want to get the most out of your camera's video capabilities. We typically mention this in our reviews, so if we don't you should probably be ok with what ever card you buy.

You should note that the higher-end, higher-speed cards, often come with a better warranty from the card manufacturer, and are often rated to function in more extreme temperature ranges, which is a better reason to opt for a high-speed card.

If you are using a dSLR, the rules change and high-speed cards can affect the camera's burst performance more directly.

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Canon digital XT
by new england / September 6, 2007 4:37 AM PDT

Phil, does it make any sense to upgrade my XT to the new XTi? I have had it about 2 years and I am wondering if it makes sense to trade it in for an XTi with its new features. Your thoughts?

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Do you want the new features?
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 4:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Canon digital XT

I personally prefer the Rebel XT over the XTi. I really like the fact that the XT has a separate LCD display for the settings such as shutter speed, f-stop, etc.

The XTi does have the automatic sensor cleaning, but if you're careful when you switch lenses (point the body downward) then that shouldn't be a major issue. Also, Lori Grunin didn't much like the way the XTi exposed for backlit subjects.

Personally, I'd stick with the XT that you have and see what the next version of Canon's Rebel brings to the table.

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Picking and ultra-zoom
by ironhulk / September 6, 2007 4:52 AM PDT

I'm looking at the Canon S3 & S5, the Sony H7, and the Panasonic Lumix FZ8.

They all have their pro's and con's, including price. I love the S5, but for the price I'm considering the other ones.

Is there one you like more than the others? And as a related question, how does 6mp compare to 8mp, should that be a big factor in my decision?

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Don't worry too much about megapixels
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 5:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Picking and ultra-zoom

Unless you regularly print larger than 11X17, I wouldn't worry about the megapixels.

If you're leaning toward the S5, you're leaning in a good direction.

The Panasonic has some issues with noise at higher-ISOs that weren't nearly as bad on the other cameras you mentioned. You may be able to save some cash with the Sony H7, but the swiveling LCD on the Canon is a feature I really like in a camera and that gives the Canon S5 a bit of an edge in my book.

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HQV Reon VX chip
by loyacni / September 6, 2007 4:55 AM PDT

If you have a a/v receiver that has the HQV Reon chip (Onkyo 875) is it nessasary to buy a Blu Ray player that has the chip as well? or can I save the money and get the next lower Blu Ray unit and still get the same quality video

Nick in New Orleans

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Hey Nick (loyacni)
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 6, 2007 5:01 AM PDT
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Thanks for joining me
by Phil Ryan / September 6, 2007 5:04 AM PDT

Our time is up and I've got to get back to writing and editing reviews and Crave blogs. Thanks for all the great questions. I hope my answers helped. If you want to re-read the chat, or need to reference one of my answers in the future, you can check back here where the chat will be archived. Don't forget that Michael Kanellos will host a chat next week, Sept.13th starting at 11am Pacific or 2pm Eastern Standard Time.

Topic: Green cars -- answering your questions on clean cars: biodiesel, ethanol, and electric cars, and when--or if--you can get one.

Use the following url if you want to join Mr. Kanellos next week...

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