"Excellent small digital camera"4.5 starson by Brons2
Pros: Great photo quality, high ISO settings, long battery life
Cons: Slider is easy to inadvertently set to movie rather than still photo
Summary: I'm a avid cyclist, and I needed a small digital camera that would easily fit in the back of my bicycle jersey on a recent bike tour in Colorado. I originally set a budget of $200 for camera and memory card. After reading many, many reivews and trying out several potential candidates at the local retailers, I decided on the SD600.
Some of the things that this camera had that others did not were: fast shutter response, fast picture save to memory (this was very important to me), lithum ion rechargeable battery, ISO800 mode, large LCD AND manual viewfinder. And of course mostly good to excellent reviews.
Bought the camera at Fry's as I needed it that day since I was leaving for Colorado the next day. Paid $346 for the camera, and also picked up a 2GB SD card that came free with an extra 512MB. So, 2.5GB for $69. With tax and everything it was $453 out the door. So much for that budget.
I have always bought cheap digital cameras in the past. I was immediately impressed by the vastly higher quality of shots I was able to take with this camera, even in low light situations. With lesser cams, low light pics are often pointless. Before leaving for Colorado I downloaded some of my pics to my computer and they looked stunning on my monitor (ViewSonic P225f, 22" flat CRT, 1280x1024 resolution).
Made a nice find at REI, a Timbuk2 carrying case that fit the camera perfectly and has a large vecro strap in the back. This allowed me to strap the case to the handlebars on my bike, making it easy to take on-the-fly photos.
The camera performed perfectly in Colorado. I was able to take many pictures while riding, although one drawback emerged. If you're not careful, the function slider can end up in movie mode instead of picture mode. I guess it probably slid over when I was taking it out of the case. I ended up taking at least 7 inadvertent movies on my 471 mile, 6 day bicycle trek. On the flip side, the quality of the movies is excellent when downloaded and viewed on the computer. With the 2GB card I could take up to a 16 minute movie, which is cool.
Battery life was great, I charged it the first day I had it, and then took at least 200 pictures in all lighting conditions before having to recharge again on the road in Colorado.
BTW, downloading pictures is a breeze. I haven't even taken the CD or the cable out of the box as the camera uses the same cable type to hook up to the comptuer that my blackberry does, so I just use that instead. You can look at all your pics in a folder in XP without having to install the software, so I don't know what all is on the included CD.
Overall I am really, really happy with my purchase. I am super glad that I did not cheap out this time. The difference between this camera and lesser ones is pretty noticable even for a novice like myself. If you want a small camera that takes great pictures with no unnecessary complications and no performance compromises, this is the one.