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help me pick between 2 dig cameras

Old 06-08-04, 11:33 PM
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help me pick between 2 dig cameras

so, i have finally narrowed it down to 2 digital cameras in my quest:
canon S500
and the canon SD 10

there is about $75 difference between the two. my question is, do i really need all the extra perks that come with the SD 10? i dont think the higher MP is really going to make much a difference since i would never blow anything up larger than an 8X10.

lastly, i just saw the images a family friend had from her minolta camera--no clue what model, just a 3 MP. i didnt even really look at minoltas--are they worth considering? anyone have any of these or any experience with them? thanks guys!

Last edited by krkuhl; 06-08-04 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 06-09-04, 06:42 AM
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The Canons have a great reputation and are reviewed quite well overall. That being said, IMHO, I've been disappointed in Canons from my personal experience.

I've tried the S400, S50, A60, A70, and A80. The thing that bugged me the most was the AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Auto Focus) that most Canon cameras use. Its typically a 9 point system where the system tries to identify the proper focus points in the frame that you're shooting. I often found pictures to be a bit out of focus because the AiAF chose the wrong focus points. This is not only in my experience but in owners of each of the cameras listed above (which I borrowed to try out).

I own a 3.1MP Kodak CX6330, which I bought strictly based on its low price that I got it for about 7 months back ($150) since I'm very much of a 35mm SLR user. I've been very impressed with the Kodak but wanted to buy something even more and was eyeing the Canon S400 for quite some time. I bough the Canon a bit back from Dell on a bargain and shot over 300 shots with both the Canon and the Kodak. After showing the shots to various people, it was clear that the majority of the pics from the Kodak were preferred over the Canon's by people that I had review them....including myself.

The Canon pics were a bit washed out, at times grainy, and color wasn't quite a bright and accurate. Focus was the other big issue on some of the shots due to the AiAF. You can shut off the AiAF but then there were limitations around that as well on the S400. The only downside on the Kodak I have so far is that I wish the flash was a bit more powerful. The Canon flash did better in darker situations.

Recently I just attended two weddings where I had another opportunity to hang out with my buddies with the Canon A70 and S50s. Getting home that evening, we compared pics on the computer and they commented on the quality of the Kodak pics as being overall preferable. Again, the Canons did well for lighting in shots such as the first dance and cake cutting...situations where we were quite some distance from the bride and groom and the flash on the Kodak didn't do justice....the rest of the pics however, were better on the Kodak.

Not sure if this really help you in choosing the camera but I hope that it gives you another thing to check out on the Canons before making the jump.

BTW, here's a very good site for reviews...note that on this particular page, under the 3MP cameras, you'll also find the CX6330 listed right along with the higher priced Canons.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/best_cameras.html

Also, here are some of the best review sites:

http://www.dcresource.com./

http://www.dpreview.com

http://www.steves-digicams.com/

http://www.digitalcamera-hq.com/
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Old 06-09-04, 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by ngp
I've tried the S400, S50, A60, A70, and A80. The thing that bugged me the most was the AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Auto Focus) that most Canon cameras use. Its typically a 9 point system where the system tries to identify the proper focus points in the frame that you're shooting. I often found pictures to be a bit out of focus because the AiAF chose the wrong focus points.
If something is out of focus, 99% of the time it's the user's fault. Especially with Canon digicams. Canons provide the user with a green rectangle indicating which of the 9 points the camera is using to focus. So if the object you're focusing on is not within the square, then you can center the object then move the camera to reframe then take the picture, which is something you have to do with all the other cameras anyway (the cameras that don't have the multi-point system).

Also, you can turn off the AiAF if that bothers you. Switch you camera to manual mode, press menu, go down to AiAF and choose OFF (this works on most Canon models).
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Old 06-09-04, 01:29 PM
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Re: help me pick between 2 dig cameras

Originally posted by krkuhl
so, i have finally narrowed it down to 2 digital cameras in my quest:
canon S500
and the canon SD 10

there is about $75 difference between the two. my question is, do i really need all the extra perks that come with the SD 10?
Something to consider:

S500
5 megapixels
3x optical zoom

SD10
4 megapixels
No optical zoom (digital zoom only which is worthless)


The SD10 is about 2/3 the size of the S500, and it is about 1/2 the weight of the S500.
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Old 06-09-04, 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by namja
If something is out of focus, 99% of the time it's the user's fault. Especially with Canon digicams. Canons provide the user with a green rectangle indicating which of the 9 points the camera is using to focus. So if the object you're focusing on is not within the square, then you can center the object then move the camera to reframe then take the picture, which is something you have to do with all the other cameras anyway (the cameras that don't have the multi-point system).
Exactly.

I found most of my out-of-focus pictures were due to moving such a small camera during the shot. Switching to mostly using "sports" mode where the shutter speed is faster helped a lot!
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Old 06-09-04, 02:19 PM
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Originally posted by X
Exactly.

I found most of my out-of-focus pictures were due to moving such a small camera during the shot. Switching to mostly using "sports" mode where the shutter speed is faster helped a lot!
I agree to some extent as most people don't focus properly with metering systems or without.

However, being aware of that, and being a relatively accomplished SLR user (including of manual focusing, metering, and center based focusing) I did try and refocus properly...the thing about the Canons was that each time, it still attempts to lock onto a target and I found myself trying several "positions" of focusing before a lock would take...by then, I wasn't getting the picture that I had intended to capture (e.g. of a baby smiling). If you're shooting a target that has similar colors (i.e. black/brown hair with medium to dark skin), locking on regardless of realigning the focusing was difficult. What I found in camras that just have a center based focusing system is that you focus on what you want and then reposition the camera to frame the pictures. This is how many of the film point and shoot cameras cameras work as well. In speaking with my Canon owner friends, they did admit that using the Kodak's center based focusing was easier.
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Old 06-09-04, 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by namja
Also, you can turn off the AiAF if that bothers you. Switch you camera to manual mode, press menu, go down to AiAF and choose OFF (this works on most Canon models).
In regards to this...at least on the S400, you can do it, but you had to have the flash fire all the time...it didn't auto fire based on lighting. This resulted in washed out pics.
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Old 06-09-04, 02:22 PM
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You don't have to use the AAIF. Canons do have center focus.
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Old 06-09-04, 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by ngp
I agree to some extent as most people don't focus properly with metering systems or without.
Actually, the metering and focusing systems are two completely independant systems.

...the thing about the Canons was that each time, it still attempts to lock onto a target and I found myself trying several "positions" of focusing before a lock would take...by then, I wasn't getting the picture that I had intended to capture (e.g. of a baby smiling). If you're shooting a target that has similar colors (i.e. black/brown hair with medium to dark skin), locking on regardless of realigning the focusing was difficult.
A dimly lit, low-contrast situation will be difficult for the vast majority of cameras, regardless of brand or focusing system. That's not to say that the Canon wasn't at fault or that the Kodak is better, just that you're describing a difficult situation for most cameras.
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Old 06-09-04, 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by danw
Actually, the metering and focusing systems are two completely independant systems.

A dimly lit, low-contrast situation will be difficult for the vast majority of cameras, regardless of brand or focusing system. That's not to say that the Canon wasn't at fault or that the Kodak is better, just that you're describing a difficult situation for most cameras.
Yup.

Your metering options (for most Canons) are: spot metering, center-weighted (75/25) metering, or evaluative (whole frame) metering. This is independent of AiAF focusing or center focusing.
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Old 06-09-04, 10:55 PM
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Common out of focus shots are results of not prefocusing, especially in low light and/or moving objects situations. Users often expect the camera to capture the picture the moment they press the shutter button. Ain't gonna happen that fast unless you go SLR route.
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