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  1. #1
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    Question Looking to go Partially Digital

    After my experience in Brazil I am considering purchasing a high end digital (non SLR) camera, :blush2: along the lines of the Canon SX 20 IS, however the brand is not the most important consideration. I want a high ratio zoom, high shooting rate, view finder, capability to use SD cards, and the capability to use both rechargeable and standard batteries. Of course the quality of the images and build quality are the most important factors. I will be using this camera as a daily carry along and as a backup / supplement to my film gear.

    I would appreciate recommendations from the members of the forums, as there does not seem to be a large number of reviews for this type of camera.

    Thanks,
    Bill,

    Feel Free TO EDIT My Photos, But Please Tell Me Why
    I have gone over to the dark side, no more film.
    Canon T2i, 18-135 IS
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  2. #2
    drg
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    Re: Looking to go Partially Digital

    Two or so of your requirements, viewfinder and 'regular/disposable' batteries are going to limit the choice a lot. When mentioning 'high shooting rate' is that in fps or shutter lag? Again both provide restrictions in the normal p/s categories or are all but not available.

    The Panasonic DMC ZS7 has one of the best reported shutter lag specs that I have seen. The Panasonics also have some of the fastest AF in the compact/ultra market as well. Image quality in the compacts though may not be what you are seeking. Panasonic has the DMC-LX3 that sports some serious specs and lens. Not a lot of optical zoom however.

    The Canon Powershot G11/Powershot s90 duo are some of the best small sensor image producers that have come along for awhile. I must admit prejudice having owned several in this series (both the good and bad!) and they are some of the best built as well. The G11 even has an optical viewfinder.

    The Canon SX20 IS fills most of your requirements if an electronic viewfinder is acceptable, but has the prime drawback of not shooting in an uncompressed or RAW mode. Less image control in the end. Maybe not that important. The Image Stabilization aids in producing much better photos in this size/category of camera.

    Sony is making a lot of compact/ultra cameras with very good lens including some branded Carl Zeiss. Their, Sony's, G lens are quite good and the Bionz processor produces some very good images at a quite reasonable cost. There are a few super-zoom compacts from them including the 20:1 optical zoom HX1 Cybershot. The HX1 even has an EVF. This is one I'm seriously considering after having used one for part of a day recently. I like the features on the Sony's even if the controls are lacking. The Sweep Panorama seems gimicky, but now that I have used it, I find it a really usable new option. Not SD card and uses a proprietary Li Cell, but most cameras have their own batteries now!

    Have you considered the EVIL cameras or Micro 4/3rds or even the Sony NEX series as a small compact carry along camera? Much more like a (d)SLR but at a lower weight and size penalty. Best Images for camera size. Hampered by lack of view finder though they all have some sort of add on like a RF or such excellent screens that the VF become almost moot. I will admit I do like the VF and it also dictates my camera choices!

    The standard/disposable battery issue is one of the biggest problems to overcome. The viewfinder or electronic viewfinder limits the choices a lot. The cameras the have these features are amazingly close in size to the m4/3 and other EVIL's with no where near the flexibility and image production. The super zoom(8-10+ I would guess you are looking for) also cuts down the options.

    Hope this is a start. Check the Camera News section for several of the cameras as the writeups their include other links!

    Good luck and hope this is a small start.
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  3. #3
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to go Partially Digital

    Have considered the new range finder high end cameras like the Olympus pen or the new Sony with interchangeable lenses?
    GRF

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  4. #4
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    Re: Looking to go Partially Digital

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr
    Have considered the new range finder high end cameras like the Olympus pen or the new Sony with interchangeable lenses?
    Why do you call them 'rangefinders'? - Terry
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  5. #5
    drg
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    Re: Looking to go Partially Digital

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr
    Have considered the new range finder high end cameras like the Olympus pen or the new Sony with interchangeable lenses?
    Those are the EVIL and Sony NEX cameras I suggested.

    They are not rangefinders by any means. The m4/3rds offer an add on viewfinder similar to those of a RF camera but not the same. The other alternative for some of them is an add on Electronic viewfinder that sits in the flash hot shoe or an accessory bracket.
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to go Partially Digital

    I understand why he calls them 'rangefinders', even though thats technically not what they are called, they are a lot similar in design and even sort of a throwback to that rangefinder design. I think 'Rangefinder' is a better name for them than 'Evil', anyway.

    I'll also reitterate the sentiments towards those cameras for your use. Although 'high zoom ratio' isn't really met by those cameras as well as it is in say the Canon SX20 you mentioned.

  7. #7
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    Re: Looking to go Partially Digital

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the information, now to digest it and come to a decision. The first one has been made and that is to eliminate the Canon SX 20 IS and similar cameras due to the small sensor size. At this time the prime candidates are the EVIL / rangefinder types but I think I will wait until Nikon and Canon bring out their competitors later this year, and see if prices come down, and or they have more features.

    Of course if you will all contribute to the cause I could go with a D3s or D1s MK III. :lol:

    Again thanks for all the input. 3 X :thumbsup:
    Bill,

    Feel Free TO EDIT My Photos, But Please Tell Me Why
    I have gone over to the dark side, no more film.
    Canon T2i, 18-135 IS
    Digital Point&Shot - Canon Powershot A470

  8. #8
    drg
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    Re: Looking to go Partially Digital

    Quote Originally Posted by w.slayman
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the information, now to digest it and come to a decision. The first one has been made and that is to eliminate the Canon SX 20 IS and similar cameras due to the small sensor size. At this time the prime candidates are the EVIL / rangefinder types but I think I will wait until Nikon and Canon bring out their competitors later this year, and see if prices come down, and or they have more features.

    Of course if you will all contribute to the cause I could go with a D3s or D1s MK III. :lol:

    Again thanks for all the input. 3 X :thumbsup:
    You may be waiting a while for CANONIKON to release anything that is competitive in this market. Note that they still haven't signed on to the 4/3rds or micro4/3rds in a meaningful way. They might try to re-invent the wheel but at this point I can't see an advantage for them to do that. They'd need to up the ante in some fashion that wouldn't be cost effective, at least for the first couple of camera generations.

    Sony has stepped out on a big limb potentially with NEX . . . no not really as their 'evil' plan has been revealed with this all being part of a larger scheme with new prosumer video cameras as part of the package. Now to see if their glass choices become meaningful.

    If you want pocketable, none of these are really that easy to stuff in anything less than a good sized jacket pocket or backpack.

    You could just buy an entry level DSLR and a good/great (24-70mm) mid range zoom. Plastic bodies are quite light and incredibly durable. I've seen Cannon digital Rebels take huge abuse and survive unscathed.

    One word of advice and caution. The digital may suddenly become your primary camera before you know it. They've come along way in a very short time and each gen is getting better and better. My now antique or nearly so 1Ds MkII's surpassed film several years ago.

    We'll look forward to your decision!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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