Digital Camera dilemna- advice please

Feb 10th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Digital Camera dilemna- advice please

i am stuck going back and forth on this. buy a very small camera that needs proprietary batteries and lacks some special control, but is feather light (ie elph,exilm). or get a canon a70/80 and carry a bit more bulk (more features), but be able to use AA batteries...that is the dilemna. i do love to travel light, but any ideas of the happy medium.
ucsun is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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I have the canon a70 and find it still to be very small. It easily fits in my purse (without a separate case) and is not terribly heavy.

I don't know the actual weight of both cameras when loaded with batteries/cards but I'm sure you could find that online. It would seem to me that the difference would be minimal compared to everything else you'd be carrying.

Plus, I find the a70 very easy to hold, but I'm not sure anything smaller would be comfortable.
Feb 10th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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I purchased the Canon A70 last summer for a 2 week trip ti Italy. Can't say enough great things about the camera. Bought a 256 MB card along with a 128MB card. Took over 350 photos on the 256 card. Bought 3 sets of digital photo batteries at Target and only went through 2 sets.

It's a great camera and does not feel bulky or large to me. I keep it in my purse at all times.

kjl is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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I bought a Canon A80 a couple of months ago. Like you, I was going back and forth about the smaller ones and the Canon, and decided on the Canon. I love it. Gives you the option to go fully auto or take over with manual settings. I was worried about the size based on some comments I had read, but when I got it I couldn't imagine that anything smaller would be easier to use. The AA batteries do make it a bit heavier, but it's still light relatively speaking. It's a great camera.
almesq is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Don't be afraid of proprietary batteries, if they're rechargeable. My Minolta Dimage is smaller than a cigarette pack and I just love it. Yes, the battery is proprietary -- it's the size of a postage stamp; the entire camera weighs about the same as 2 or 3 AA batteries. It has a stand that it sits in to recharge, no problem at all, especially if you have 2 batteries.
Anonymous is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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i am a male, so i don't carry a purse and most of the times don't carry anything if i can help it. guide book in the back pocket (AAA spiral guide takes care of both map and guide) and i wear a jacket. i love feeling light and unrestricted. i last went to london and paris with a kodak easyshare 2mp, which i borrowed from my friend and it was bulky. small enough to fit in my front pocket, but not what i'd consider light.
ucsun is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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So souless, yes they're easy, cheaper to run, good results, but no passion.

How can you sacrifice the click of the shutter, the loading of the film, the developing, the feel of the camera for some digital version. Purchase a Leica, this will last for years, and is visually attractive, beautifully tactile, superb!
m_kingdom is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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You can, of course, get rechargeable AA batteries, which also have more power than the single-use ones. But I agree with Anonymous - don't hesitate to buy a camera that uses the proprietary rechargeable batteries. I have three Canons - the G3, S45, and D400 (all pretty much the same 4MP camera in three different packages) They all use proprietary batteries and they each have been excellent in every respect. That said, I understand the A70 and its clones are also very good, and a lot less money.
FlyFish is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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the battery issue is one, but when you drop down in size u also start losing picture quality and manual features (shutter speed).
ucsun is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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The Canon A70/80 weighs about 14oz with batteries.

Get rechargeable batteries and a charger. Recharge overnight in the hotel.

We brought 3 128MB flash cards for 3 weeks. I took 1090 pix, brought home 850.

Anything over 3mpxl is for professionals who want enlargements of greater than 8x10. The quality of the lenses is more important.

I have a Canon A60. I am very pleased with it.
ira is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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UC - yes, the smaller cameras do have to sacrifice somewhere, and the manual features are the first to go. With regard to picture quality, I haven't had the D400 long enough to comment, but I used the G3 and S45 interchangeably on a trip last year and honestly can't tell which camera took which picture. I know the G3 with its larger lens has an advantage in certain situations, but for vacation snapshot type pictures I don't think there's much practical difference.
FlyFish is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 02:28 PM
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You may also want to spend some time at this site: It has some of the best and most detailed reviews anywhere of the various digital cameras available.
FlyFish is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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I did the same dance a couple weeks ago. I finally settled on the Canon G5. I will be taking it on a 2 week trip of Ireland and the UK, and spent many hours reading the specs on the G5 and the S50. Durability was a factor, I don't like moving parts on the exterior of the camera. If the camera has a sliding door or pop-up flash, you can be sure that will be the first thing to get dust in it and break.

I also used the site, it was fantastic. Very straight forward and detailed reviews.

Spend some time in the store (if there is no power supplied to the camera or the battery is dead, ask the sales person to get some power for it. I played with both versions and found which was more comfortable to manipulate and hold steady.

Remember that the higher the MP the fewer picts you can store on a card. Also, I would assume you would be using the camera after the trip, so think of the features you might want later, after the trip.

Happy camera shopping!

p.s.- one cool feature of the G5- a little remote control, great for taking group or self portraits!
mouseonthemove is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 12:02 AM
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Europe voltage - 220. Batteries are available almost everywhere. Buy the best camera you can afford! Weight and size are almost inconsequential. Don't neglect a carrying case..ziplock bag will do for casual protection from water.
GSteed is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 01:07 AM
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The A70/80 are tiny.
RAR is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 03:03 AM
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I agree with m_kingdom in some respects... there's a use for each type. personally, for the 'real' pictures I wish to blow up and frame, I use my old clunker. manual focus, it has auto speed and aperture but I'd just as soon set it myself. it takes fabulous photos.

I also love my little Canon S400 Elph (or whatever they call it now?) 4 MP, tiny, fits into my purse easily.

I'd advise getting something like what I have - very very small... and try not to use the LCD as much (although this does defeat the purpose of having the digital camera). get a separate download card thingy to preserve the batteries on the fly, and the standard charger it uses can be adapted easily. use the LCD to review later, not take pictures. and don't pass the camera around to show everyone. download and show them. I used up a lot of batteries by showing everyone my trip while I was still on it!
flygirl is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 03:06 AM
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ps. m_kingdom - I HAD a Leica and I agree... however it won't withstand a galloping horseback ride along the Pacific in Peru... and falling into the surf. not that I know this PERSONALLY or anything.. ;-)
flygirl is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 03:46 AM
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One issue with electronic cameras and traveling.

Unless you have gobs of storage media, how do you download the photos to free up more storage. I hate lugging my laptop along with me, for storing the photos. I would imagine some folks know a way to download them at internet access "cafes" around the world.
Is that something that people have found out how to do?
ekellyga is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 04:57 AM
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I know what you mean - there's times when just a front pocket sort of deal would be good and other times you'd like to have it all. I think I'll probably end up with both the small digital (we have a DiMage now which is great but not that small) and a digital SLR that I like as much my old Pentax. Personally, I wouldn't make the choice based on battery. If you use the viewfinder, it's going to grind on battery life. Actually, it's probably easier to find replacement AA NiMH than it would be to find proprietary, but if you bring spares anyway, then it's a wash. Pick the nicer camera that suits your priorities.

And as far as digital vs film. I agree, film is still better. But only if your typically means of storing them is the old photo album. If you're setting them up on a website, emailing them, or anything electronic, then you might as well use digital. You're usually going to lose that depth on the scan anyway.
Clifton is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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For storage you can usually take it to a photo shop and have a CD burned. Or just take enough memory cards for your trip. They are dirt cheap now. If your proprietary batteries go dead in the middle of the day, you are pretty out of luck.
Gretchen is offline  

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