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[filmscanners] Compact Cameras


I know this question has been asked in the past (and slightly off-topic) but
times change so I'd thought I'd raise it again.

I recently read an article about a photographer who started out with digital
(Fujifilm S2 Pro) but then switched to medium format for colour and to an
Olympus XA for 35mm black & white.

The latter part caught my eye as I use an XA for its size and portability, 
with slide film.  I like the XA and its exposure is normally reasonable but
always feel restricted by the lack of manual exposure.  (I often use a hand
held meter with my "proper" cameras.)  Additionally, although I enjoy
occasional scanning - I have a Minolta Scan Elite - it is just too time

As a result, I have been seriously considering retiring the XA for one of the
latest generation of 7 megapixel digital compacts like the Canon S70, which
not only has manual controls but can also output in RAW format.

So my question is this: have digital compacts reached the stage yet where
they can give film compacts like the XA a run for their money on image
quality?  I'd be interested in hearing any experiences list members may have
on this.

(I can't really give a print size for a comparison as I don't always print my
slides but the scanner can produce images roughtly 3800 x 2500 pixels and
the XA lens is surprisingly sharp for its size.)

Al Bond

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