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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Nikon Coolpix 5400, Canon G5, Fuji S7000
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05/20/2004 01:22:51 PM · #1
I'm considering all these cameras and leaning heavily toward the Coolpix. I went to Ritz yesterday and talked to the salesman (who my husband noted bore a strong resemblance to Christopher Walken in his manner of speech---I wish I had paid more attention!) and he said they were all good. His preference was for the Nikon as well. He said Fuji makes a great camera but the memory is very new and a lot of folks don't buy them for that reason. My printer is compatable with the format, however so that isn't a major issue. I didn't actually check out the Fuji but I may go back.
Instinctively, I liked the feel of the controls of the Coolpix. That is likely because I already own a Coolpix, although they are miles apart in terms of features. The body is remarkably similar. I didn't like the feel of the Canon as much but this could be something I could get used to.

I read a few user reviews that liked the Coolpix overall and gave it top ratings but complained that it is difficult to focus for night time shots.

Your two-cents are appreciated.

Melissa
05/20/2004 01:30:08 PM · #2
You can compare all 3 cameras side by side at //www.dpreview.com
05/20/2004 01:34:23 PM · #3
The G5 is not good at focusing in low light either. I had one before I bought my 10D. You should be able to get excellent results with either one. The 5400 also has a wider zoom. I looked at both the Canon and the Nikon when I was shopping for my G5, but I chose the Canon because I liked the way it operated better than the Nikon or the other cams I looked at.

I did not look at the Fuji cams.

Get whatever is the most intuitive and easy for you to use. Then shoot, shoot, shoot.
05/20/2004 01:40:12 PM · #4
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

The G5 is not good at focusing in low light either. I had one before I bought my 10D. You should be able to get excellent results with either one. The 5400 also has a wider zoom.
Get whatever is the most intuitive and easy for you to use. Then shoot, shoot, shoot.


The wider zoom was definitely another selling point for me. I'm probably going to go with the Nikon in the end since it is what intuitively felt good to me. How are you liking that 10D? :-D
05/20/2004 01:44:01 PM · #5
Originally posted by doctornick:

You can compare all 3 cameras side by side at //www.dpreview.com


Thanks. That's actually where I read the brief reviews but that was just based on a quick Google search. I had forgotten about this site's side-by-side comparison feature. I used way back when I bought my Coolpix 700 in '99.
05/20/2004 01:45:22 PM · #6
The Canon includes a neutral density filter, intervalometer (time-lapse), remote control, auto-focus illuminator and other features that might factor into your decision. Canon cameras also tend to be easier to use and come with better software, but if you're already familiar with Nikon, that may not matter. Note that among the members here, there are 1152 Canon G-series owners- those are very popular models.

You can directly compare similar shots taken from any two cameras here.
05/20/2004 02:20:24 PM · #7
I've just been reading the glossary at dpreview.com and learning a great deal about the terms that leave me scratching my head when I read camera reviews. I won't embarress myself by mentioning those terms but I think I will be taking some better shots with my old Coolpix 700 in the future. :-)

Thanks again for that link!
05/20/2004 03:24:59 PM · #8
Those three were among the finalists when I was shopping a few months ago. All good cams, you can't go wrong with any one of them. I'd also reccommend you take a look at the Minolta DiMAGE A1. It has a longer zoom (7x) than any of those three and with the Anti-Shake feature the long zoom is usable in a wider variety of conditions; it's good in low light situations; has a larger LCD with tilt; excellent battery life; and more manual controls than you'll need. The images are top notch but generally need more post processing than some simpler digicams but the software that comes with it is very complete. The Fuji will probably give the best images straight out of the cam if you are not into doing much editing (don't be put off by the xD memory format, it works fine in my sister's Fuji 3800). I spent many, many hours doing research on the web, reading reviews and forums. Also about a half dozen visits to camera shops to get the hands-on feel of them. I don't think I'll outgrow my A1 until I'm ready to move up to a DSLR. It has come down in price a lot since I bought mine becasue of the introduction of the 8mp A2. B&H has it for $649 but you may find a better price than that. GL whatever you decide.
05/20/2004 03:46:52 PM · #9
I'll second what MinAlex said. At the price range you're considering, the Minolta A1 is definately worth a look. I'm thrilled with mine. It has a great sharp lens and I've never noticed any purple fringing with it, even under pretty extreme conditions. The manual zoom is a pleasure to use, and it's so nice to be able to change settings by clicking a couple of knobs rather than hunting through lots of menus. Plus, the anti-shake is wonderful - it really works and is a big help when you don't want to (or can't) lug a tripod along.
05/20/2004 04:10:30 PM · #10
Hmmm...you've given me something to think about. I hadn't considered a Minolta (no particular reason accept perhaps that I haven't noticed them as much among users on this site). Actually, my first camera purchase when I was a kid was Minolta (x370 if I'm not mistaken--I'm really bad with model numbers and I worked in a stereo store LOL!).
I definitely like that the A1 has the 28-200 optical zoom. The macro focus range doesn't compare to favorably to the Nikon (13 cm vs 1 cm) but I'm not sure how much macro work I'd be doing, truthfully. I'm a bit disappointed in the maximum focal lenth of the Nikon by comparison to the other two models (and the Fuji). I do like a long lens option (one thing I miss about using my 35 mm Minolta). I prefer the flip and twist LCD of the Nikon and Canon because I tend to do over-the-crowd shots at concerts. I also like the compactness of the Nikon and Canon models. The Nikon has a bulb exposure up to 10 minutes, which I'm already envisioning using, although the 30 seconds Minolta offers is a pretty long exposure. According to the side-by-side chart, the Canon doesn't have a bulb setting. The Minolta's fastest shutter speed (even if it is a typo, 1/16000) blows the other two away but I'm not sure I need something that fast. I can't imagine a photographic situation I'd be in that would require freezing that much action. I actually like a certain amount of motion blur.
Basically, I'm thinking 'out-loud' at this point. Fee free to offer any suggestions, though. :-D
05/20/2004 04:47:12 PM · #11
1/16000 is not a typo, but they knocked the fastest shutter speed back to 1/4000 in the A2 so maybe it's not all that useful or needed. If you do long exposures be sure to enable the in-camera noise reduction feature, it will do a (very noticable) dark frame subtraction. However, this doubles the time the sensor is working and it will heat up and induce more noise. My rule of thumb is to turn the cam completely off for twice as long as the exposure between shots whenever I do more than about 2-3 seconds; this shutdown is after it finishes writing the file to the memory of course. I think it also has the fastest burst mode in this group at 2 fps for 5 frames in RAW, but it will then need about 35-40 seconds to write those 5 before you can shoot again. It literally turns heads when people around you hear that rapidfire click-click-click-click-click coming from such a small cam, lol.
05/20/2004 05:11:26 PM · #12
Originally posted by MinAlex:

I think it also has the fastest burst mode in this group at 2 fps for 5 frames in RAW, but it will then need about 35-40 seconds to write those 5 before you can shoot again. It literally turns heads when people around you hear that rapidfire click-click-click-click-click coming from such a small cam, lol.

The side-by-side shows Nikon as the fastest but it doesn't say which mode this is in.

Canon Powershot G5 = 1.5 fps, 2.5 fps (max 8 frames) Minolta DiMage A1 = 2.8 fps, max 3 images @ Fine Nikon Coolpix 5400 = 3 fps, max 7 images.

I recall that was a feature I liked about my Coolpix 700, back in the day. It takes 1.5 frames-per-second at full-size. It actually has various continuous settings -- a regular continuous shot, 16 frames shot, and VGA sequence. My daughter was fooling around with the 16 frames setting the other day. It makes kind of an interesting "Hard Day's Night" sequence accept the motion blur is a bitch. That's the problem I have with the continuous shot settings because the flash doesn't operate in this mode and the maximum shutter speed on the Coolpix 700 is 1/750. I imagine this is a better feature with the newer models' overall faster speeds. I remember when I first got the camera, using this mode outdoors in the daytime to photograph my dogs with their pups but a lot of the shots were to blurry to even consider using.
05/20/2004 06:05:40 PM · #13
I suppose you could look at most of my rfile for examples of what's possible (given my personal limitations, naturally) with the 5400. that said, if it were my money you were spending, I would seriously be considering the Fuji S7000, having used and loved the 602z before it was stolen.

The 5400 is capable of recording the stuff you want, and it has that wonderful Nikon habit of depth of colour and tone, but boy is it hard work sometimes: exposure options are limited (annoyingly so); detail in images can be almost randomly absent, low light focussing is impossible - even medium light focussing can be tricky, preview manual focus is apalling (as with all digi compacts). That said, in auto it is possible to point it at a subject and get remarkably usuable images straight from the box, and as you will see I've done OK with it over the past nine months or so. The wide-angle lens is worth a fortune though, compared t other cameras in its league.

when I was considering it, I found it a nightmare decision, and even after all this time, i'm not sure I've made up my mind.

Ed

The 5400 dpc page
05/21/2004 12:05:21 AM · #14
Originally posted by e301:

I suppose you could look at most of my rfile for examples of what's possible (given my personal limitations, naturally) with the 5400.


Actually, I did and I was pretty impressed. Almost all the highest rated 5400 photos were yours. :-D
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