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Still Crazy
You say you want resolution? The whole world is watching these digicams.


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Old July 22nd, 2007, 12:23 AM   #1
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Great Pocket Digicam

I've been a still photographer a lot longer than I've been in the motion business. One of the painful things for many of us has been trying to find a small rangefinder or p&s that takes pictures good enough to actually use. For a long time, I've simply sidestepped, using contax g2's and old canonets because film is still film. Recently, I got tired of using 35mm film when my work cameras are all digital (or 4x5). Someone mentioned a fuji, a brand I'd never considered for a camera, and I can honestly say it was a fantastic investment.

Fuji f31fd

It's a small and pocketable p&s that still allows shutter or aperture priority, and shoots CLEANLY up to 800 iso (not so clean up to 1600). It's "only" 6 mpx, however in test prints I made before buying the camera, I lined up shots from the canon G7, A640, the Nikon p5000 (which has a great feel, great interface and horrible image quality) as well as various sonys, casios, and the Ricoh gx-100 (which was the camera I was about to buy). In every blind print comparison, I picked the fuji as the best, sharpest, and most "photographic." Spec-wise, it seems like it should fall far behind, but in reality is certainly does not. Obviously, it's no Dslr...but its literally as close in quality as you can get on a small camera - take my word for it, I compared everything out there.

The only drawbacks: it uses xD cards... get the faster cards and a dedicated reader..which is hard to find. There's no optical vf...but the lcd does a nice job of gaining-up so you can at least frame in dim situations. In super high-contrast areas, it sometimes has a purple fringe, but the photoshop fringe-remover takes care of that very easily. A non-issue in my mind, especially when you compare it to anything else.

There is a newer model, the f40fd which is actually the upgrade to the lower-spec'd f20fd, NOT this particular camera. Avoid it! It has higher res and significantly worse prints. The f20fd has the same sensor and electronics as this, but no manual control. Fuji really hit the sweet spot on this cam, it'll be a shame when they replace it in the megapixel race.

If you're looking for something small to throw in your camera bag (or pocket), something that can actually make prints that stand up to Dslr prints, get it! And even at iso800, the pics are very very nice. Oh, and with rebate its just over $200~!~~~~~!!!

(Disclaimer - I'm a Canon guy, always have been. I have a LOT of canon glass and bodies..it pained me to blindly pick a fuji over a canon, but I've been extremely happy!)
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 02:59 AM   #2
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A small 6.1 meg Kodak is being flogged locally for $99 CAN. Canadain Tire has them along with X-Cargo. I think a few other stores have them too for this price.

My wife has the Contax G2. It's a nice camera; but since I am posting here I might as well write that it needs a digital back. :-(
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Old July 24th, 2007, 02:18 AM   #3
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I agree with you Jason. My F31fd is always out for reccees with me and the image quality is just fabulous. Im a serious Canon DSLR user but am just put off by their P&S cameras. The Fuji's low noise did it for me.

Cheers

WeeHan
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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #4
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I hear the Canon 850 is a nice pocket camera, too. I'm having a lot of fun with my D40x, but I'm thinking by the end of the year, I may either buy a new pocket cam or just work a bit with my old Canon A60.

Btw, I learned about Canadian Tire and their Canadian Tire dollars a few weeks back from Tim Dashwood. We were on a movie shoot together (he was DP, I was line producer). I wish we had something like that in Florida.

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Old July 24th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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I'm saving up for a Canon SD800IS. Probably more than I should spend, but it seems like a nice camera that I can just keep in my pocket all the time.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 08:40 PM   #6
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PowerShot SD800 IS: wide-angle lens, high ISO, image stabilized, VGA movies w/sound at 30fps. It's what's in my pocket.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #7
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Ken Rockwell likes the 850 (and 700):

http://kenrockwell.com/canon/compacts/sd850/index.htm

Links to the other cameras, too (800, et al).

heath
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Old July 26th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #8
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I think the wide is more useful to me than the long. You can usually move closer to something or crop, but a lot of times you can't move further away.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
PowerShot SD800 IS: wide-angle lens, high ISO, image stabilized, VGA movies w/sound at 30fps.
This is a third vote for the SD800 IS. I wouldn't own anything else for a pocket camera at any price. You couldn't pay me to give it up (well you could but not for less than $2000).

What Jeff says about wide angle goes for me too.
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