A640/540 vs Fuji F30. Points of view appreciated.

Started Nov 23, 2006 | Discussions thread
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DanielL
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A640/540 vs Fuji F30. Points of view appreciated.
Nov 23, 2006

Hi!

I'm looking for a new P&S camera to carry everywhere with me, I do a lot backpacking, hiking, trekking, I love the beach, etc so the new P&S is so I can feel more comfortable taking pictures in places where I would not feel safe or simply carrying my other camera is not an option (Pentax DSLR).

A few years ago I owned a PowerShot A40 and got excellent results with it, it was also my first digicam and my little sister still uses it and after more than 200K pictures taken and quite some beating (concrete kisses, sand, splashes, dust) it has never ever failed. I know Canon cameras are made to last.

And to be honest this is the only reason I come here to check out the new Canon P&S's. For some personal reasons I made a promise to myself that I would never ever buy a Canon product again, but I am considering braking my promise if I find a Canon worth it.

On the other hand I have never owned any Fuji equipment, but I do know they are fine cameras too and Fuji is known for being a brand that actually focus on making better picture taking machines by listening to their customers complaints and not just update the megapixel count and body aesthetics like most other brands do, so this generation of Fuji's P&S is a true improvement over the last one, which was already a good one...

OK, What I'm looking for in a P&S.

  • It Must be pocketable. Compact or even ultra compact.

  • I don't care much about Mpixels, as long as the P&S has at least 5 I'm OK.

  • It should have good battery life (+280 shots per charge).

  • It should have some degree of manual control (Tv, Av, flash exp comp, etc).

  • It Must have excellent image quality (color, contrast, tones, textures).

  • It should have good ISO performance up to 400 ON PRINTS.

  • CF or SD media is a plus since I have a lot of those, but definitely other media is not a deal killer.

  • As long as the zoom range starts at 35 mm and it has decent optics I'm OK, all I use with the Pentax are normal and short tele primes. I like to zoom with my feet, great exercise!

  • Maximum price tag: 400 USD. If somehow I manage to loose it or trash it at that price point I will cry a lot more for the card inside the camera than the camera itself.

  • I don't care about IS, over the years I became proficient on low light photo at low ISO with a slow lens (thanks to the A40!).

  • I'm not a pixel peeper, but I do recognize that the less noise to start with, the more freedom I get later on post processing in case I have to.

I like high contrast B&W photography too and tend to use the blue channel a lot while mixing channels in the conversion process and incidentally blue is more often than not the noisiest channel so that's why I need "decent" noise performance up to 400 ISO, on this aspect the F30 wins hands down, but the A640 is still very capable for my needs and the print sizes I usually do.

The main use for the camera will be street, people and some nature photography, day and night, in places where I would not feel comfortable taking my DSLR.

As an example, the new camera will see some heavy action between late Dec'06 and mid Feb'07 when I will be driving, then backpacking from Northeast Mexico all the way down to Bolivia and back. On this particular travel and given the places I will be going I expect to encounter super humid areas, super cold areas, super hot areas, areas where the DSLR might get stolen, etc... that's why I'm thinking small and easy to handle. P&S!

Which would you choose ? Why ?
Any other P&S I'm not considering ?

Thank you!

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