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[APD] Re: Digital cameras

It really depends on how much you have to spend. Nikon doesn't need any
introductions and the 4500 is a great camera, olympus and minolta both have
somewhat better or bigger lenses. I purhcased the A70 a month ago and have
taken some shots with it, you can see them here:

Important features for me are custom white balance, wide exposure range,
good lens and full manual control including manual focus. The A70 has it all
at the lowest price but is obviously not as good as some of the more
expensive models. The A80 just hit the market too with 4MP and histogram
functions! Also important is the possibility to use add-on lenses and
filters. Some of the features that are nice but not essential if you have a
little patience for DIY jobs, remote shutter, this is rare on some cameras
these days, I use the self timer which on the A70 can be set to 2 seconds or
10 seconds. Remote flash requires removing the sensor from the slave flash
and taping it to over the flash on the camera, ugly but works well :-) (the
Nikon I believe has the hot shoe for the flash) The A70 can also be remotely
controlled via the computer including remote shutter and timed shooting
which I'm playing with at the moment to try some time lapse photography. I
also bought a cheap set of closeup rings to increase it's macro ability, the
photo of the pearling glosso was taken with these rings. I've always enjoyed
macro and find that no matter how good a camera is at macro, the rings are
so cheap that it's not a big factor for me when deciding on a camera to buy.
It also has a focus assist lamp which can be useful in dark situations, it's
a rare option these days.

The A70 is still the best bang for the buck at the moment that I can find,
even the nikon equivilent doesn't offer all these manual settings. But if
you're willing to spend some more then take a look at the others, the
Olympus allows you to save manual settings, that's the main thing I miss on
my canon. Minolta uses an apo lens.

Hope that helps, I think you'll be happy with any of the cameras mentioned
so far.
Giancarlo Podio

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