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new digital camera... maybe

One thing is for certain - my Olympus D-535 digital camera has definitely withstood the test of time and performed very well over the years. It has been with me through every state on the east coast and several states in the midwest - working like it should the entire time. It's never failed.

I originally bought the D in January 2005 brand new for $200.00. Did I pay too much for it? Probably, but this cam has been nothing but very reliable. And easy. And it takes awesome shots (as many people have told me).

My biggest gripes about the D are as follows:

1. Bad at night shots.

If you ever wondered why I don't post more night shots, it's because the 535 sucks at it. The cam constantly "thinks" about taking a shot for several seconds, and when it finally does it's completely out of focus. Setting it to "night mode" is worthless unless using a tripod - and I don't like using tripods.

2. No "raw" mode.

All photos taken are compressed even at the highest resolution setting. You can see artifacts (digital equivalent of "grain").

3. Close-up shots difficult at best.

When you set the cam to take a very close-up shot, if you're not holding it perfectly steady it will shoot it out of focus.

4. Cam sometimes "thinks" for seemingly no reason.

During broad daylight there are times when the 535 will pause for a long time before taking a shot, particularly (as stated above) with busy backgrounds. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

---

Those are my biggest gripes. For everything else it performs exceptionally. Just see my photos for an example.

If (and I'll explain that "if" in a moment) I get a new digital camera it's definitely going to be Olympus again. I like the menu system, the quality of the photos and the ease of use. This is one of the few cams I've used where point-and-click literally means just that. No guesswork. Find something, shoot it. Easy.

The model I looking at possibly getting is the SP-320. This cam has everything I want. It has full auto and manual mode, runs on 2 AA batteries just like my D-535 does, has 7.1 megapixels compared to my D's three, digital stabilization to combat shake and a whole host of other goodies.

My acquisition of this new cam will all depend on how well Pop does on eBay. He wants a new cam also and has a bunch of older Nikon stuff that I'm going to put online for sale. Some Nikkor lenses, an N70 body and a few other things. If I'm able to squeeze enough out of what he has, then I can score two SP-320's.

And if not.. well.. I'll have to stick with my 535 for a lil' while longer. 😉

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