PowerShot A95 Digital Camera (5.0MP, 2592x1944, 3x Opt, 32MB CompactFlash Card) Strengths: High quality 5MP pictures, Camera feels great in hand, swivel LCD screen, best bang for the buck camera. Weaknesses: Included 32MB CF card is too small. Summary: This camera is awesome. I upgraded from a Canon A70 and it was well worth the money. The Canon A95 uses 4 AA bateries, but it eats through normal alkalines way too fast. I highly recommend getting rechargeable NiMH AA batteries and a quick charger.The swivel screen is a major plus, it's 1.8" compared to 1.5" from the Canon A70. The screen is also higher resolution than the A70.I have used the camera for 3 weeks and printed about 50 pics so far. The pics look great and I even cropped to zoom in on some pictures and you couldn't see any sign of pixelation. I love the manual flexibility with this camera, plus the automatic modes make it easy for anyone to use.The camera has a nice solid feel to it and fits well in the hand. I prefer the Canon A95's size rather than the ultra compact cameras like Sony's T1 because you can easily hold the camera in one hand and take pics. But if you have an ultra compact camera, you have to hold it awkward and it my easily fall from your hand.I highly recommend this camera to anyone looking into getting a 5MP camera that's affordable, flexible, and normal size.
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Cyber-shot DSC-W1 Silver Digital Camera (5.1MP, 2592x1944, 3x Opt, 32MB Memory Stick)
Strengths: Size, LCD, AA batteries, movie mode and black & white modes are GREAT - use 'em all the time. Weaknesses: Flash is weak, zoom inadequate at times. Summary: I spent a LOT of time investigating digital cameras online -one would think I was buying a car or something. Anyway I am a novice camera user and remain very impressed with this little guy. I would certainly recommend it. The movie mode is great for 'vignettes' or small movie snapshots. I also use the black and white a lot. I also didn't think the LCD would matter very much, but it does: I never use the viewfinder. I appreciate the large size of the LCD when passing the camera around to friends to view pictures and movies.Hint #1: Immediately jack up the megapixel resolution to 5 so that you can capture moments in the best resolution possible. Then, bypass Sony's ridiculous profit margins- for memory cards buy SanDisk instead. The 512 MB is fantastic - you will get a lot of memory space. I saved $75.00 this way - $150 vs. $225. The 32 MB is inadequate for daily usage. I use it as 'emergency' memory when my 512 has filled up on me and I need an extra pinch of memory to get me through the moment.Hint #2: Do NOT buy the Sony camera case. They charge a ridiculous price for a shoddy version. Go for a Lowepro - I paid ten dollars and it is very sturdy - also has a nice inside pocket to keep memory cards.Hint #3: Buy a separate set of rechargeable batteries you can swap on the go. The AA battery format is a huge plus.Picture clarity is great for the size and price of the camera. The camera and case are small enough that I WILL take it anywhere, and have. In other words, it is a convenient model.I did find that for indoors the flash was inadequate at a distance. The zoom could also have been 4x or 5x.All in all I am quite happy with this model - but stay away from buying Sony brand 'peripherals' unless you like spending money.This camera fulfills my needs. The only reason it does not get five stars for the above drawbacks. Otherwise, a great job by Sony and their third-party peripheral competitors!
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FinePix E550 Digital Camera (6.3MP, 4048x3040, 4x Opt, 16MB xD-Picture Card)
Strengths: Well priced, 6+mp, all features including raw image Weaknesses: This camera uses 2 AA cells in a hurry Summary: As a professional digital camera lecturer, I must admit that the Fuji E-550 was a very pleasant surprise for me. Priced at about $340, this digital camera produced digital photos that were much sharper, more detailed, and more excellent than I, frankly expected.I found the digital camera very easy to use right out of the box. While this digital camera does have a 12mp interpolated image size available, I found the 6mp native image size to have more contrast, detail and resolution.As you might expect in a consumer digital camera, the digital camera's flash is not very powerful. At 200 ISO it will produce excellent exposures out to 13 feet. By adding a supplementary slave flash such as the Sony HVL-FSL1B and a bit of flash compensation, I was able to extend the effective flash range out to 25 feet, making the Fuji E-550 useful for indoor photos of large groups.The Fuji E-550 does an equally amazing job with macro or close-up digital photos. It will focus quite close making it very effective for photos of small items and jewelery that might be photographed for sale on auction sites such as www.ebay.com.The strongest suit for the Fuji E-550 is it ability to record a great deal of detail with extreme sharpness and clarity while being handheld. The Fuji E-550 is also very capable of taking excellent night photos when it is placed on a tripod.All in all, I was extremely impressed with the Fuji E-550. I received a lot more digital camera than I expected for the samll price of $340. For those who like to use the raw image format, you will understand that you can essentially re-take the digital photo all over again right in your computer. This is a huge advantage.Of course, being a Fuji digital camera, the Fuji E-550 uses the somewhat more expensive XD electronic data chips. However, the Fuji E-550 is very speedy. From power on to being ready to take the first digital photo takes 1.4 seconds. This digital camera is equally as fast in writing your digital photo to the XD chip.The newer Fuji digital cameras are marketed to compete dollar for dollar with the Kodak line of digital cameras. Therefore, they tend to be very competitive with Kodak and offer in most cases, a lot more features.There is available for the Fuji E-550 an adaptor as well as both a wide angle and a telephoto (1.9X) supplementary lens. The supplementary lenses are very fairly priced and readily available through Fuji's own website. This is a pleasant contrast to the accessories offered by Sony, through their own website, whose wide angle and telephoto supplementary lenses are unreasonably high in price.
Conclusion: The Fuji E-550 is a top quality digital camera. It more capable than most might expect. In addition, it is quite small and pocket sized, extending its appeal to many more digital camera users. It is worthy of your attention. The digital photos produced by this digital camera are amazing and compare most favorably with much more expensive consumer digital cameras. I would happily purchase this camera again.I will be very confident in introducing the Fuji E-550 to the attendees of my workshops all over the world. It is a digital camera that I can point to with a lot of pride, simply because it gives the digital camera user many features and excellent digital photos for a very resonable price.
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