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Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Olympus Stylus 850 SW on 02/13/2008 06:42:37 MST Print View

I was in the market for a new camera, and picked this up yesterday after reading some positive feedback on it. I know this isn't a photography site, but the members here are thorough with all their interests and I value their opinions...so, what do people think about this? It is replacing a Canon that I purchased a few years ago that decided it wanted to sleep for the rest of it's life.
I don't get involved in alot of the features, but here are my reasons for the purchase.
1) Small/Light
2) Shockproof/Waterproof
3) Panarama function
4) Positive reviews on the internet

The panarama function on my Canon (aka Stitch Assist) was the greatest discovery for me. I can't imagine living without it...therefore, it was a prerequisite for my next camera - that's why i didn't go with the Optio.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 02/13/2008 06:44:06 MST.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Olympus Stylus 850 SW on 02/13/2008 10:25:36 MST Print View

Hi Steve,

Congratulations on your new camera. Have fun with it and do post some photos for us to enjoy (and so you can brag about your new toy :-)

Note: as with other Olympus cameras, you'll need an Olympus-branded xD card to access the panorama function. It'll cost a bit more than a generic equivalent, but does give you access to this neat feature. Honestly, I'm hoping for the day when Oly joins the rest of the planet and switches to SD cards. Same goes for Sony and their infernal memory sticks.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
lightweight/smallish feature rich camera? on 02/13/2008 12:30:14 MST Print View

I'm equally frustrated by manufacturers that try to lead an industry standard, or simply enslave customers, with proprietary solutions.

So, in the search for a lightweight, compact, feature filled camera what have you found and would recommend?

-Michael

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: lightweight/smallish feature rich camera? on 02/13/2008 13:49:29 MST Print View

I recently got the Canon SD800 and I really like it. It has numerous features: image stabilization, video capture, panorama stitch helper, face recognition, macro setting, optical viewfinder, 3.8x zoom, 7.1 MP, wide-angle lens, colorful 2.5 inch LCD screen. It weighs about 6 oz(w/ battery, SD memory card, and strap) and it has good battery life (rated 270 shots w/ screen on but I have gotten like 500 shots). Its only downside (and this could be a deal-killer for many) is that it is not shockproof or waterproof. I have found it durable enough for my needs, but I am usually very careful with it.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: lightweight/smallish feature rich camera? on 02/13/2008 13:52:05 MST Print View

Hi Michael,

"It depends" is a terrible answer, but...it depends on your needs and wants, since there are so many to choose from. My leading candidate is the Ricoh GX100 with accessory finder.

It has a true wide angle lens (24-72mm eq.), RAW file format, ability to use AAAs in a pinch and is small and light, at 250g with battery and strap. Has active image stabilization and an intervalometer for time-lapse photography (a surprisingly rare feature). It's made of metal, not plastic and you know it the moment you pick it up.

Downsides? Expensive--as much as an entry-level dslr kit. Not waterproof.

If you're after maximum image quality and can dispense with a zoom, the Ricoh GRDII or the forthcoming Sigma DP1 are the only show in town. If you don't need wide angle, the Canon G9 would be a good choice. If you don't need RAW or a viewfinder the floodgates open up, although they quickly slam closed again if you want wide angle.

And in four months, the list will change again!