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Old Apr 28, 2005, 10:12 PM   #1
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Well I guess I can basically answer my own question but I would like some other people's input/advice anyway.

I've been doing tons of research and have basically narrowed it down to the Canon S500 and the Canon A95. I am a novice at photography, but since my girlfriend has taken photo classes the past three years I have been able to learn a little about aperture and shutter settings by helping her with projects, and things like that. This all was interesting and so as I've been looking into a new camera, the A95 really interested me.

However, both my parents and my brother have S500's and they take really wonderful pics and are really quick to use. This, coupled with the size, is very appealing because my main reason for a camera is just to bring around with me every day to take pics of whatever I want, at the spur of the moment.

This is why I'm leaning more toward the S500 right now, because it's hardly noticeable at all in my pocket, and because I don't really want to have to set up my simple shots of me with my friends.

Do I have the wrong idea about the manual features of the A95, or am I correct in assuming that it's geared more toward the creative side of photography than the "capture the moment" side? I realize it also has automatic / pre-set settings, but its size makes it less of a carry-every-day camera and more of a nice medium between the carry-every-day cameras and the SLRs.

I have no doubt that the A95 is a really great camera, and it's disappointing that it isn't smaller (but I understand why, because of the 4 AA batteries - which help the refresh time on the flash be much quicker than the A510/520 btw). I did also consider the A520 because it's more compact, but the recharge times on the flash were far too hideous, since my settings are often in lowlight (indoor) areas where I'll need flash, not to mention the general shot-to-shot without flash, regardless of what I read in reviews, was unusually slow also.

Anyway, can anybody here share their input toward my situation - do you carry your A95 every day and find it a good camera to just pull out and snap a shot? If you have an S500, are you ever disappointed with your camera's ability or images?
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Old Apr 30, 2005, 4:06 PM   #2
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I don'treally have any advice for you as I feelthat I am inthe same boat as you. I do want to ask you, why you would be considering the olderS500instead of the newer SDs?


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Old May 1, 2005, 2:21 AM   #3
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At some point, smaller starts getting to be too small. The SD series is getting very close to that. I thought the SD400 would be a great little camera to own until I handled it. It's just too small. The Digital Elph "S" series has some advantages, especially if you're someone like myself who owns Digital SLR's and wouldn't want to invest in a separate set of SD cards for my digicam. I already own 5 GB worth of CF cards and the S500 would use all of them since they are all type 1 cards. The "S" series of Elphs are about the best made digicams in the Canon line, and are one of the few non-DSLR lines still made in Japan for those who put stock in that type stuff.

About the only thing that might sway me to the SD line would be if they could actually focus indoors, as most of Canon's digicam line pretty much stinks in the area of indoor focusing in normal to low light.
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:54 PM   #4
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The SD series are just too damn small. I like their improved movie mode (despite its huge video files) and processor power, but it's just too damn tiny for my big hands. I know I'd end up dropping it or breaking it. The S410/500 are a perfect size for me, or even an A520. I'd definitely get the A520 (nice manual features, great size) if the damn flash recharge wasn't 8-9 seconds.
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Old May 3, 2005, 3:10 PM   #5
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The flaw with the S500 is the small LCD size. I would avoid getting a small camera with such a small LCD nowadays (unless you are really on a tight budget--but in that case, I would look at cheaper brands like Casio and still get a big LCD)...

As far as manual features are concerned, nearly all cameras have full auto mode. Some are more user friendly but overall, I don't think this is a big issue unless you are scared of cameras
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Old May 6, 2005, 2:33 PM   #6
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I just went through this exact dilemma. THis is my sixth point and shoot. First, congratulations on the choice of Canon. Canon and Nikon are hands down the best finished machines. I prefer Canon's interface though. As far as the s500 v. a95, the s500 is finished much better. Of course the a95 has all those features(including flash exposure compensation which I miss from my s100!) I just hated how plastic it felt. I love the fold out screen though. You have to examine closely what kind of photography you do. Photography is all about compromise, whether it's deciding which f stop or which camera. I am a wanderer looking for urban landscape almost always without flash. If I want to take nice balanced fill flash portraits, I'll lick a piece of white paper napkin and stick it over the flash(since I can't dial down the flash on the s500) The point is, are you going to carry the thing with you and use it if it's bulkier or do you have to have every feature?
They both are capable of great photographs. Just don't get sucked into
the more than 5 MP myth. 5 is perfect unless you get a bigger chip.
Good luck, and hope this helps.
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