I bought myself a Canon S45 Powershot for christmas and it is a great compact digital camera. Fits in my pocket, looks sexy (brushed alu = yum!) and does just about everything an SLR can do (except take other lenses).
However, the S50 is out now and its 5 megapixel instead of 4... Oh well, its just like PCs really - whatever you buy will be obsolete in 18 months. :)
The one truly authorative website for digital cameras is [dpreview.com...]
Whats the S45 like at indoor and Flash shots?
I've got the baby S20 and the flash is the only thing that lets the camera down
Basically its all good for a compact. Depends what you need it for.
The flash bulb is quite close to the lens so it can cause redeye (despite the red eye reduction mode) and theres no hot shoe so you can't just hook up an external flash gun.
It can be set to auto, auto with redeye, on, on with redeye, or off. Further control options offered in the menu are 1st/2nd curtain sync (for freezing action in a long exposure), slow synch, variable flash exposure in auto mode (-2ev to +2ev in 1/3 ev steps) and 3 power levels when in manual mode.
Faster shutter speed is 1/250 when the flash is on.
The Auto White Balance (AWB) usually copes pretty well. But for best results you can take a evaluative shot of something white and it will configure the white balance itself.
Check out the full review on that dpreview web site.
On my wishlist is the Nikon D100 - 6.1mp SLR - weighing in at a hefty $1700 (using froogle)... anyone here got one?
Ouch - slightly above my price range. :)
For the record, I paid AU$ 900 for my S45 (which is about 350GBP / 560USD). Bought it grey import from a bloke on eBay who shipped out of Hong Kong. Saved me about AU$500 on the shop price.
That was at christmas - so I expect it will be a lot cheaper by now (especially since the camera prices in Oz are very high).
Just seconding the high prices of digital cameras in Oz... *sigh* - so much hassle looking for US distributers willing to offer good prices and overseas shipping (and the warranty complications)
Aside: another wishlist item - Apple powerbook 17in: AUD5300 - apple.com, AUD7000 - apple.com.au?!?
I'd rather have 3-4 megapixels and a good zoom lens than a 5mp model myself. I don't plan on doing any prints large enough to require that size file.
(Then again, as soon as I buy a 4mp camera, I'll take a photo that I want to turn into a wall poster, hehehe)
>3-4 megapixels and a good zoom lens
At Boston PubCon the vikings purchased an Olympus Stylus 300 for general business use. I'd previously narrowed my own search for a smaller digicam down to that series and after seeing how well that camera is designed from the convenience standpoint, I went back and got one as well. 3x optical zoom is a little skimpy, but it supposedly goes up to 12x. I'm very pleased (or rather the wife's office is very pleased) with that one.
Olympus Stylus 300 got my backing really compact and what price was it in boston?
399 = camera, free case, 16m chip
130 = 256m chip
50 = extra battery
I picked up an Olympus Camedia 4000 (4MP) not long ago. It's bulkier than the Stylus (shaped rather like a cross between a rangefinder film camera and a mini-SLR - complete with a fat side for the non-existent motor drive), but has a ton of controls for manual and controlled automatic operation. Good size lens, too.
No complaints about picture quality. I find the controls have a bit of a learning curve - you can change anything, but you have to find the right button/menu/etc. to get at it. I'd say it's a good camera if you plan to do fairly fussy photos that require manual control. For more casual shooting I'd say the Stylus and Coolpix models are more pocketable and convenient.
One cool feature is the panorama mode. Shooting in this mode lets you combine multiple shots into a single panorama. As a test, I hand-held the camera for a few overlapping photos inside a room. I was amazed when the software somehow knit these together into a passable panorama. Seemed like black magic. I imagine doing this with a bubble-level tripod could produce some really amazing stuff.
I have a Dimage7 5.2 MP and it is really nice... but I would agree with gethan that Nikon D100 - 6.1mp SLR is the pro way to go.
|On my wishlist is the Nikon D100 - 6.1mp SLR - weighing in at a hefty $1700 (using froogle)... anyone here got one? |
although i am a nikon fan, I would rather go for the Fuji S2 Pro - takes nikon lenses and includes a PC socket for studio use(should you ever need that)
Nikon D100 doesn't have one - a bit of a bummer if you considering the cost.
I'm a Nikon man, but...Olympus is THE name is digital. Olan Mills is making the transition from film to digital currently...and going Olympus. Sorry, I don't know the model.
I bought my kids a Casio 3000EX after doing extensive research a couple of years ago. It had just about everything the Olympus had except the price tag...new on eBay for $280. Had problems with the flash, but Casio has a great and quick service department.
Be sure whatever you get has a micro lens...the Casio can focus at 8". I'd rate it easy to use, too. They, of course, have newer models now I'm sure.
|I'd rather have 3-4 megapixels and a good zoom lens |
The Canon S45 is 4 megapixel and has a 3x optical zoom.
The canon S50 is the same but is 5 megapixel.
|3x optical zoom is a little skimpy, but it supposedly goes up to 12x. |
How? digitally? Ignore any mention of digital zoom - its a complete marketing gimmick. Optical zoom is the only thing that matters, digital zoom is just the same as resizing the photo in an art package.
Minimal focal distance on the S45 is 10cm (3.9") in wide angle macro and 30cm (12") in telephoto macro. And thats without spending more money on 'special lenses' :p
>Optical zoom is the only thing that matters, digital zoom is just the same as resizing the photo in an art package.
Good to know, graham.
minimum macro on the 300 Stylus is 8 inches.
BTW, the salesman mentioned that canon was about to release their X3-chip model.
|canon was about to release their X3-chip model. |
Is that a full-size image sensor? Canon is currently the only manufacturer to offer one, but so far only in the new $8,000 model.
Forget long zooms, I need wide angles. And with most image sensors just two-thirds the size of a piece of 35mm film, I still find digital lacking. Having said that, we used it on four of our last five photo shoots, so I guess I'm learning to live with the limitations...
I can confirm that The olympus 300 is an excellent camera and we got it for a nice price.
You have to hold it still though otherwise the pics get fuzzy ;)
Is there any way to give the flash a boost on the smaller cameras, without a hotshoe can this be done?
|>I'd rather have 3-4 megapixels and a good zoom lens |
The Canon S45 is 4 megapixel and has a 3x optical zoom.
My definition of "good zoom" is 6x optical or higher... :) I like Fujis for that reason. They've got nice zoom functions.
I used to have a Sony with a 14x optical zoom. I miss that camera. Although you had to carry a whole case of floppy disks to take high res photos anywhere.
Right now, I'm thinking about the Sony CD-R cameras. After losing some photos at last London PubCon because my smartmedia card freaked out, I'm very interested in non-flash memory.
Sorry, I wasn't implying that 3x optical was a 'good zoom'. As someone else said, its a little feeble. Especially by SLR standards, but not too bad given the compact form factor. :)
I am looking into the D100, the S2 Pro, and the new Canon 10D. The S2 Pro interpolates the Super CCD sensor up to an advertised 12 MP, which in reality works out to about 9 MP (the other 3 are less intelligent guesswork). I plan on doing large prints, so I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than 6 MP.
However, I do use a PowerShot G1 at work (for now), which at ~3.3 MP is old, but good--and I hear the new PowerShots are also nice.
been looking for a digital with good zoom too. the Olympus C-740, and C-750 look pretty good. anyone used one, or know anything about them?
I bought an HP 850 (600 dollars here), and itīs a nice camera. Youīll find some pixels/artifacts when taking pictures at 1 Megapixel and medium compression (depending on the light conditions).
I just wished that there were other options other than just 1 MP or 4 MP (there should be a 2 and 3 megapixels option).
The optical zoom, is really good (8x), but the digital isnīt very useful, because the image gets very very small...
This camera comes with a 16 MB Secure Digital card. You better buy a 128 MB card. At 4 Megapixels, and maximum compression, the included 16 Mb card only holds 5/6 photos.
Nuno Oliveira (from Portugal)
I'll second the fuji, very happy with my 3800 3mp with 6x optical zoom.
I too had considered the sony with cd-r, i hear they are good but lack on zoom and that is why I went fuji, lots of bang for the buck.
|Minimal focal distance on the S45 is 10cm |
Not wanting to turn this into a contest but the Nikon range (Coolpix 9xx series and higher) can shoot macros at 2cm or so.
Not everyone needs it but they can take some amazing close-up shots.
I've had a couple of CD-based Sony's in the past, the CD300 and CD400 (3 and 4MP respectively). Good cameras, sharp lens and easy to use. The CD500 is about to hit the market soon. The only down-side of the CD series is that they produce higher noise compared to the flash memory ones, but for me that was only a problem when shooting in hot weather (heat produces more noise too). I've had the Canon G2 for a while and now I've moved on to the G3 which is very nice with loads of features, 4x zoom, hot-shoe for external flash, ND filter (better control of DOF in bright weather), intervalometer (taking a set number of shots at set intervals automatically), RAW capability and software to control the camera from the computer (although it does need some more work in my opinion!).
The digital zoom will take the total to 14x but as has been mentioned this is not very useful, unless you have no choice in which case use as less zoom as possible. The only difference with using the camera's zoom compared to PS or other software package, is that the zooming on the camera occurs before the JPEG compression, so you don't zoom the artefacts as well. On the other hand, if you shoot RAW, it would probably be better to use PS to do bicubic resizing, although I haven't done or seen any testing of that sort so I don't know if it's worth the trouble.
The one negative thing about the G3 is probably the focusing which is a bit slower than other cameras, especially in low light... but there are ways to get 'round it!
So, I can recommend the G3 as being a very good camera with loads of features and certain shortcomings. But then there is no such thing as a perfect camera. Maybe check out the Sony DSC-V1 as well. Looks promising, but haven't seen any reviews yet. I think it's supposed to come out in May.
The deciding factors when buying a digicam are obviously cost and type of use. For web-only use, a very high MP camera is probably an overkill. If you intend to get print-outs then you have to decide on the size. If money is not a consideration and you want a truly professional camera, then an EOS 1Ds is probably the best D-SLR out there at the mo. On the other hand, $400-$500 can get you a pretty decent prosumer camera.
Aren't CDs kinda slow?
Not got any experience of them in cameras, but it just seems like it would be.
I'll stick with Compact Flash for now - you can fit more on it than a CD anyway. And it fits better in my pocket :)
Canon G3 is very nice. Its the 'big brother' of the S45.
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