Jurong Point: My original idea of cam was obv. Canon IXUS 50 ultra-compact. Cool looking, 3x Optical Zoom, and 5x Digital Zoom. I initially checkedout Harvey Norman -> "just enter and find everything double priced" shop. You can get this cam at $699 with 2 256MB SDCards; and tripod. Anyway, not my choice of shop.
Funan IT Mall: I had heard abt this shop in Funan, John which is on 2nd level I believe. A very small shop with long cameras, very long tripod stands, and a amazingly cheerful guy Sam("they call me John"). Prices were quite nice. The same cam he was giving for $650 along with other stuff like a leather case, 256 MB SDCard, tripod stand. well! here I get an advantage. I came out quite cheerful; deciding to buy asap. But, then! there is this place in singapore you can never leave. Hence, my way to Bugis.
Simlim Square: Enter simlim; make a student "dun have any money" look; dig them up with ur info abt the products; and talk low, at the end where no other customer is -> Simlim prices will stun you! The second shop I went into, I met this elder shopkeeper; and he introduced me to the outside of ultra-compact world with a new name -> Ricoh.
Ricoh : Model -> Ricoh Caplio R1V 4.8x Optical Zoom, 5x digital zoom, wide lens, amazing startup speed; and seemingly got singapore's best award. Made in Japan.
Anyway, that time I was not interested in any crap he tells me; I wanted a deal on old friend ultra-compact Canon IXUS 50. So, here's the deal -> will give you a leather case, a 256MB SDCard, a tripod, and software that's all for $450. emm... did I hear you right???
Ya! shop #01-35. Meet this guy and you can finalize a cool looking IXUS 50 for yourself. Kick those Harvey Norman f*ers.
Went a bit more here and there. Till now, 4.8x optical zoom had started ringing in my head. Next shop, compare both of them. 4 out of 5 shops I asked; Ricoh is Obv. the best to them. "And it got award also!" The old guy was saying it right! The 5th shop didn't have Ricoh; and obv. it was the most weird thing they had ever seen.
Went arnd; and checked for more Ricoh's. By now, I knew how to impress them by my knowledge on Ricoh. I started entering into deals.
Ricoh Caplio R1V
#01-43B : $550
#01-25(Simlim Entrance): $500.
Got to pursue them for some time; and stand there staring; till they suddently type something on their calculators and the figure stuns you. One piece of advice: Never go off the shop too soon. Hang arnd!
Did I buy Ricoh? No! I came back to check out what net has to say abt it. Got quite some links.
Ricoh Caplio R1V review
I liked the black body of R1V though I didn't see it in Simlim.
Well, I am after quality. I didn't really like the body of Ricoh, but, its image quality and its speed was very nice. Its got the world's fastest shutter speed; with amazing startup time. You have got to see it urself to believe it. I am carrying a bag pack; and can put the stuff inside it anyway! So, can compromize on ultra-compacts. The single most imp. thing I want is nightview of buildings. There is nothing better than that in a cool place like singapore. And, I am for ricoh, till I find a better one.
Btw, my research told me that the newer version of R1V is out, its called R2. Got the same features; but, has got 2.2" LCD display in comparison to 1.8" LCD in R1V. Also, has got a better look in terms of buttons; got more buttons, more shortcuts. Easier interface and all. Probably, can check that out, looks better than R1V. Here's it...