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LETTERS

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the review you did at one point, and took the time to search, with the help of Google, the Latitude archives. I found quite a bit of helpful information, thanks, and then went to the tech world for detail. The key to all this was your guidance in identifying the criteria most important to those of us who would shoot under such extreme conditions on the water. Given the state of the digital camera world now, it got pretty easy — color and shutter lag — and my history with a collection of Nikon screw-on lenses made built-in optical zoom really attractive! As you prescribed, Fuji color is definitely one part of the solution. Further, their shutter lag time is far better than average. The Fujifilm E550 is certainly one of the best deals out there, but I suggest going one step further and taking a look at the Fujifilm S5200. With a shutter lag of 0.4 seconds, and cycle of 0.7 seconds, it shoots faster than I can find the frame. And the built-in 10X optical zoom really makes my results reflect much greater skill than I possess. This may be the next level for the gifted amateur. John McNeill San Francisco

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Latitude 38

• August, 2006

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John — We checked out Steve's Digicam, a digital camera review site we hold in high regard, and this is a highlight of their review of the S5200: "Fuji has struck gold with this winning combination of versatility, great image quality, and robust performance. With a street price of $399 or less, the S5200 offers an excellent value for an SLR-style 'super zoom' model . . . whether you've expecting the typical 4x6-inch print or a massive 13x19-incher." In our estimation, the S5200 has two drawbacks worthy of mention. The first is that the widest angle you can shoot is 38mm — so if you going to want to take a photo of a cockpit full of people, you won't be able to easily get them all in. A somewhat lesser complaint is that the camera is almost SLR size, and therefore won't slip right into a pants or shirt pocket. Where the S5200 would excel is at being an all-in-one camera for shooting boats sailing the Bay, as its optical zoom is an astonishing 380mm. The 'problem' with the most recent digital cameras is that they are all so incredibly good that we hesitate to recommend one over the other. The thing to remember is get a camera that was released in late '05 or '06, so it benefits from all the latest technology, and has all the features you need. For many folks, the conveThe post-World Cup mess at Vieux Port, Marnience of a slipseilles, was easily captured without a flash by a in-your-pocket modern-day digital camera. model — such as an E550 — is preferable to a bulkier S5200-like model, which has a much longer focal length zoom and less shutter lag. For others, the reverse is true. But as long as you buy a recent model name brand, it's becoming almost impossible to get a bad digital camera. ⇑⇓A CURE FOR SHUTTER LAG Regarding shutter lag of the Fuji E550 digital camera re-

Profile for Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 August 2006  

The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.