I'm new to this forum but love your website. I have been searching for the "perfect" ultra-comapct or compact digital camera with manual overrides, 28mm lens minimum to about 100mm equivalent for years, with 3x optical zoom. I shoot mostly landscapes and since I hurt my back 8 years ago (disabled, former art teacher) I can barely walk to see nature and can't carry more than 12 ounces tops, 1/2 lb is more accurate. (Don't advise those wonderful DSLR's. I have a beautiful Nikon F3 with lenses that I haven't used in years because of the weight).
Your website motivates me, yet makes me jealous of what I could do before my injury. I use to paint plain air landscapes, but the days of hiking, mountain bike riding, taking long trips and carrying around 50 lbs. of art supplies and camera equipment are over. I've been using my boyfriends Sony Cybershot DSC-P1 3 mega pixels and I'm frustrated over trying to stitch large landscapes when I have no manual control over the exposure and the widest angle is about 38mm equivalent. (I use to cut and paste before they made digital because I didn't like the distortion of super wide angles for cut and paste panoramic views. Ė Not quite professional, but captured what I wanted at an affordable price) I've been using Adobe Photoshop Elements, play with controls to try to get the photo color and clarity information that I want. Trial and Error basically. And it doesn't always seems to be quite what I want. I've never used RAW format, but if someone could direct me to a place that I can download some images in RAW format, understood the circumstances that they were shot in and then played around with the software on my computer I might be able to decide if RAW format is what I would like and am missing (among other things). I do have access to Adobe Photshop 6.0.
Although, I'm not a professional photographer, I expect quality. I also like the higher quality video mode on the S80, cause I can take figures in action and find the one poise that I like best to save the image to paint people from or play creatively digitally. I'm also much more into natural light, than straight front flash for artistic reasons. Some good advice and direction would be appreciated, because living on a low paying disability check and affording medical insurance and prescriptions, I can't keep buying a lot of cameras and softwares. I don't think a difference of 7 or 8 mega pixels will make it or break it for me, but I definitely don't want to go below 5.
Also, is there a way to set up the controls on the Canon s80 and a software program that can convert it to RAW? Or something like that. Youíre probably all LOL. But sometimes, I believe a technology doesnít exist, expect an LOL and told I'm wrong, that it does exist. (I did understand your explanation of RAW format).
If there is another camera out there, that I missed (remember canít really carry more than Ĺ lb., 12 ounces tops, then tell me. Iíve been experimenting with digital software on that (yuck Sony), so I donít know if I can get just as good results with Canon Powershot s80 as s70. I hate losing too much information in highlights or shadows. Tell me if what I really need is RAW or just learn a method (other than trial and error) to adjust with histograms, gamma controls, brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, unsharp mask, mask, etc. You get the idea, quit laughing at me and please help me. Iím about to buy the s80, but it might be out of ignorance of never using RAW and listening to people that say you donít need RAW. (In fact I was printing out the entire advance manual for the s80 while reading your entire website but I didnít get to download anything from your website. Thatíll be another night.) By now you have figured out Iím one of those neurotic, artistic types. Hope you'll still talk to me.
Goldilocks (real name Linda)