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Old 05-29-2009, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Check out the Samsung NV24HD, $210 on amazon: Amazon.com: Samsung NV24HD 10.1MP Digital Camera with 3.6x Optical Ultra Wide Image Stabilization Zoom (Silver): Electronics

Keep in mind, I don't know what it's like, I just spotted it as it met your requirements for being widest angle possible for under $200. Well, it's $210 but I didn't think you'd complain about an extra $10. I can't find anything truly under $200.

This looks like a thorough review but I haven't read through it: Samsung NV24HD Review - PhotographyBLOG

Also try: Samsung NV24HD Review | Digital Camera Comparison |

If you're willing to go a little higher, check out the Samsung HZ10W: Amazon.com: Samsung HZ10W 10MP Digital Camera with 10x Schneider Wide Angle Dual Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD (Black): Electronics

List price is $299 and was only released in Feburary so it's probably not much lower than that.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skippy upwood View Post
What are your priorities?

1. Under $200
2. Reasonably reliable
3. Greater than 5 Mega Pixels
4. As wide as angle as possible.

Basically the widest angle possible given 1, 2 and 3.

Design, compactness and the lack of viewfinder are not really priorities. If it doesn't have a noticeably wider angle than my Samsung Digimax D73 then I'm prepared to wait for another six months or so.
That will limit your options by quite a bit, assuming picture quality is also a requirement. I didn't see a requirement for manual controls either, in which case, you could consider Panasonic Lumix FX and FS series cameras. I have a Panasonic Lumix FX12 (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0507/Panasonic/panasonic_fx9backfront-001.jpg - broken link) for pocket camera, I believe its lens goes from 28 mm to 104 mm with 7.2MP. Pretty good quality for what it costs and its size. In fact, my entry for Home State contest for this month was taken using it.

If you want a relatively small camera (not quite pocket sized) with a versatile lens, a camera I've been playing with lately, Panasonic Lumix FZ50 is pretty good too (10 MP). I believe bibit612 owns one as well. Its got 35 mm-420 mm Leica lens, with pretty good image stabilization program. Even at full zoom, the lens doesn't protrude at all, the zoom is manual (not motorized which I hate in many cameras), and so is manual focus ring. You may be able to find a pretty good deal on it since it has been around for couple of years or so, if you can find one!
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