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Cannon PS A700 vs Fuji F30


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#1 davephdv

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 12:40 AM

I'm looking for a really compact camera for when I don't want to use my D2X. Mostly for top side shooting from boats and my kayak; but an UW housing as a very small back up to my main rig is also desired.

I've narrowed my search to 2 cameras; The Canon PowerShot A700 and the Fuji FinePix F30.

Mostly based upon reviews in DPReview.

The Fuji has the fastest shutter-lag in a digicam they ever measured. It also has by far the best low light functioning due to it's sensor.

It is a 38-108 zoom with mediocre macro mode

The stats on the Canon are not as good though it apparently has good low light function and a fast shutter time

It is a 35 to 210 zoom and has an excellent macro mode.

Both apparently have very good AF with some problems with the Fuji up close. The Fuji uses a contrast AF system. Very useful UW. I couldn't find out what type of AF (IR or Contrast?) the Canon uses.

Fuji makes a housing for their camera. The Fuji is similar to their F10 model which Ike makes a housing for. So I'm hoping he will make one for the Fuji F30 as well.

Canon doesn't list a housing at this time but Ike lists a housing for it in August. It is shown under "what's new" on the Ike web site.

I prefer the Ike housing. I have an Inon macro lens so I'm not too worried about the macro mode if an Ike housing is available. Also you could get a wide angle lens. Neither camera has much in the way of wide angle.

A very small, light weight housing, is important as I hope to use it from a kayak for shooting whales, dolphins and otters. The telephoto end of the zoom is therefore also valuable. The telephoto end of the camera's lens is probably more important than it's UW use for what I would probably shoot with this camera. Note the Canon's telephoto is almost double that of the Fuji.

The UW functioning of the camera is less vital as it would only be an emergency backup to my D2X housing. But if it is functional then I could carry it as my only backup.


Any thoughts or experience with these cameras? Any other cameras I should consider? I'm only interested in small fairly new models. Shutter lag is very important. I'm use to the D2X and anything other than "very fast" will not be considered. No offense to anyone but the only opinions on shutter lag I'm interested in are those from people who are primarily using a dSLR. They are use to no shutter lag and would know what I might find acceptable.

Thanks for any input.

I know this question has been put forth before; but the answer changes every 6 months and these cameras are fairly new.

Edited by davephdv, 30 July 2006 - 06:16 PM.

Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

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#2 anthp

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 02:09 AM

The sensor on the F30 is unequalled, particularly in low light. The shutter lag is minimal. I think those two specs pretty much answer your question. I would choose the F30 over the canon every time. I have used it myself and numerous friends already own one. I'll probably buy one too, but I'm waiting to see if Ike brings out a housing. Good luck with your choice.
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#3 james

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 08:09 AM

I agree that the Fuji F30 is an excellent camera, and if I were purchasing one today for the needs you specified, that's what I'd get.

But I also wanted to ask - are A and S modes important to you? If not, I recommend taking a look at the Canon S700IS. It's a point and shoot digicam but it has an excellent IS system which may be very useful for you on boats and kayaking. It has an underwater housing too.

Only downside is that it's probably not as fast WRT shutter lag as the Fuji and the IQ is not as good..

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#4 Drew

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 11:34 AM

The S80 housing is the WPDC1. Digideep lists the WPDC80 will work too but that's for the SD550 so it might be an error. Haven't seen it yet.
I'm not sure where you go the idea the S80 has excellent macro. It's at best ok. But the A700 is better. In fact you have the S80 mentioned in your post but the subject sez A700?
Finally your choice comes down to use. If you use strobes and accessories, then the Canon is it. For more flexibilty but fewer accessories (Inon eg, supports Canon but not the Fuji), the Fuji is awesome esp topside.

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#5 davephdv

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 12:51 PM

Yes, you are right. I meant the Canon Power Shot A700, NOT the Canon S80. I have been looking at the S80 and mixed them up.

I consider Aperture priority essential for any camera you might even dream of taking UW. That is why I rejected the S700IS. I think you have to have Manual or Aperture priority. But the metering displays are too weak on any digicam I ever looked at so I think of an A mode as essential.

Any other user reports on the AF speed (especially in low light) with the Fuji F30?

Thanks again.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

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#6 davephdv

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 12:56 PM

Does anyone have any user reports on the AF speed of the Canon PowerShot A700? Especially in low light situations?
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

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#7 anthp

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 03:38 PM

Finally your choice comes down to use. If you use strobes and accessories, then the Canon is it. For more flexibilty but fewer accessories (Inon eg, supports Canon but not the Fuji), the Fuji is awesome esp topside.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not quite right Drew. I couldn't attach the pdf, but I got a screenshot of the Inon D2000 system chart. It shows an AD mount support for the Fuji F30 housing, so you could add lenses or a D2000 strobe. It may not be available outside Japan however...
I still reckon better high ISO performance would be more useful than IS even for kayaking. Now if we could only get manufacturers to combine both in the one camera.... :D

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#8 DesertEagle

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:02 AM

If you want to use a separate strobe, the A700 has the advantage of full manual control. You'd be shooting low ISO, so the F30's sensor advantages would be minimized. However, wide angle support just isn't there for the A700. You would have to buy a Sea & Sea bayonet adapter and have it machined to fit the Canon housing.
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#9 ce4jesus

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:59 AM

One more thing you might want to consider - recycle times. Set both cameras to a full dump of the internal strobe and the highest possible resolution then see how long it takes each to be prepared to take the next picture. After playing with a variety of point and shoots in the store, most have very little shutter lag with store-lighting conditions. I haven't got a chance to play with the F30 but the Canon's always seem to perform well in the shutterlag department.
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#10 alo100

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:01 AM

These are the reviews, hope it helps.
I pulled up the A620, although 700 is new, but a lot of people still choose to use A620. Have you seen the 700? It's smaller and also a bit lower in battery capacity (400 shots for A700 vs. 500 for A620), if you need to use the camera internal flash to trigger the external strobes, this is something to think about...

I am having a S60 and on my way to pick up the S80 to upgrade, I saw F30... After reading some reviews, I tried several cameras and compare them with F30. Next time, pick up a F30 and pick up a camera of your choice, A700 for example, choose ISO 400, press the tele buttom until you cannot zoom in anymore. Take a photo with each camera on some charaters or images with thick lines at the far end. After you got the photo's, magnify the chars/thick lines as big as possible and observe the thick line boundaries.

Tell me what you think after the above test, ok?
Sometime ago, when we use film, the ISO gives us an idea how the overall granularity is like, inspite of our cameras. Nowadays, when our cameras show us a reading about the ISO, we don't actually know until we take a picture and find out.

http://www.dcresourc...pix_f30-review/
http://www.dcresourc...ot_a620-review/
http://www.dcresourc...ot_a700-review/

#11 randini

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 02:40 PM

It's smaller and also a bit lower in battery capacity (400 shots for A700 vs. 500 for A620), if you need to use the camera internal flash to trigger the external strobes, this is something to think about...

I'm also looking at the a700. I'm between it, the a540 (pretty much thesame camera but w/ 4x OZ and there is a housing for it from Canon) and the Casio EX-Z850 (no housing). The a700 looks awesome & is my favorite, except for the housing. I noticed that in that review of the a620 it said that the camera uses 4 AA batteries while the a700 uses only 2. If that is correct then the battery life on the a700 actually got better since it's using a lot less power. But useful "undewater operational time"will be less.

And the Ikelight housing for it is now out. LINK. It seems kind of huge to me for such a small camera. Anybody know of someplace that might do a smaller custom one? The main reasons I'm looking for something smaller is that probably 80% of the time I put it in a housing I'll be in stomping ound on intertidal rocks or maybe snorkelling.
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#12 ce4jesus

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 12:35 PM

The below is a big drawback in my newbie mind.

The FinePix F30 does not support the RAW or TIFF image formats.


Gary
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