Hmm, won't let me edit the above post again...I forgot, image stabilization is something I'd like too..
The manual control is important. I eventually want to get a DSLR and/or a beginner's traditional camera (like Rebel G), so call me an enthusiast I suppose...I want this camera to act as a primer for those eventualities...
Have you tried using the search on this site? http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp.
Check out the Canon S570http://vette74.smugmug.com..
Hmm, won't let me edit the above post again...I forgot, imagestabilization is something I'd like too..
The manual control is important. I eventually want to get a DSLRand/or a beginner's traditional camera (like Rebel G), so call me anenthusiast I suppose...I want this camera to act as a primer forthose eventualities..
This might come as a bit of a surprise, but keep the 4040. It doesn't have a review here, but if it's anything like the other x0x0 Olympus cameras it's a VERY NICE camera..
The 4040 has a 1.8 lens. This means it's FAST - it can reasonably take photos in much darker conditions than other compacts. Since it cost 800 as new, the lens will probably in general be a lot better than anything you can buy for 200 now..
As for the resolution difference: the increased amounts of megapixels in newer cameras do not really add that much. They increase noise and limit the dynamic range (meaning shadows and bright light become worse). The resolution starts to be limited by other factors after 6 megapixels. Also, I've printed four megapixel images successfully to small poster size - do you really need more?.
To sum up: I think it's perfectly understandable that you want to get a new camera. However, be well aware of the fact that there is no camera with the performance of the 4040 on the market, and certainly not for 200$..
Wow, I had no idea it was such a nice camera. I asked my parents and they said they paid about $650 for it at Best Buy in 2001-2..
The reason I wanted higher resolution was due to my experience so far with it...I've been taking photos of outdoor winter scenes, and though they look pretty nice, when printed on even a 4x6 I can see pixellation of the blades of switchgrass and small branches on trees (when I look closely)..
I'm guessing that sort of thing is probably more due to my inexperience than the camera. Am I right, or would I need a higher pixel count to avoid that kind of thing?..
Wow, I had no idea it was such a nice camera. I asked my parents andthey said they paid about $650 for it at Best Buy in 2001-2..
Yeah, those older digicams can sometimes be a lot better than one would expect. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that dSLRs were really expensive back then - it was either a compact or nothing for most people..
The reason I wanted higher resolution was due to my experience so farwith it...I've been taking photos of outdoor winter scenes, andthough they look pretty nice, when printed on even a 4x6 I can seepixellation of the blades of switchgrass and small branches on trees(when I look closely).I'm guessing that sort of thing is probably more due to myinexperience than the camera. Am I right, or would I need a higherpixel count to avoid that kind of thing?.
Hmmm, hard to tell. Real pixellation probably shouldn't show up at all on such sizes, but the picture could be having other problems..
Are you sure you're using the highest quality JPEGs? You should have it set to something like SHQ - this was a bit hard to do on at least one Olympus from 1999 that I've used..
Another thing - are you using TIFFs? The same Olympus from 1999 had demosaicing problems in TIFF - doesn't matter much what that means, but the result was that diagonal lines became jagged - this could very well be what you refer to as "pixellation"..
So, if you haven't tried the highest quality JPEG setting, try it and see if it works..
If you have already tried it and the prints aren't working for you, getting a new camera is probably a good idea. Your current camera is wonderful in many ways, but the most important feature of a camera is that it works for one's needs.http://flickr.com/photos/iskender..
Of the cameras you mentioned, the Fuji S700/S5700 is the best of the bunch..
10x optical zoom, 7 megapixel.nice camera for the money!.
J. D.Colorful Colorado.
Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..
If you're going to the Southwest, you might want true wide angle, i. e. 28mm equivalent..
I have a Canon SD870 IS which serves me perfectly. It is close to $300 and lacks manual settings..
The Nikon P50 is one of the few 28mm equiv in your price range. But, the Canon A570 IS is a better camera in nearly every regard except the wide angle...
For outdoor shots, the Canon A570IS and A720IS are very good. I agree with the poster who recommended the Fuji S700 - an excellent camera but larger than the 2 Canons - more like a small SLR..
If optical zoom is very important to you, the Fuji has the most, followed by the A720 and then the A570..
All three cameras have an option for full manual controls...
Using your parameters, I'd go with the Canon A720IS. It does have more zoom than you need, so you can probably back down to the A570IS and bring out close to the $150 end than the $200 end (the A720 sneaks just under $200 at B&H)..
I'm not sure anything in that price range will help you with distant wildlife but since you're considering a 4x zoom you probably know that..
The only area where you'd be losing a little bit would be on the wide end. But I'm not sure if you'd gain more from a camera with a 28mm wide end vs. just stitching together some images in post processing for a panorama..
A correspondent I work with has the Fuji you mentioned. While it's OK, I haven't seen anything to knock me out. It would give you more reach for wildlife but to me it wouldn't be worth the tradeoff..
Good luck with your choice and have fun on your trip..
'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..