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Old Nov 29, 2003, 11:43 AM   #1
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Default does a compact camera with manual controls exist?

Hi Folks,

I've had a canon s330 for some time. It's truly a great little camera, but i'm getting to the point where 2mps just doesn't cut it any more. Thus, I would like to get a 4 or 5mp camera. The only caveat that I have is that I love the small size of my camera (albeit the s330 isn't that small compared to canon's s400 or pentax optio S4) . I don't want to get a camera that is larger, I want my new one to be smaller in fact and very pocketable. At the same time I am looking for a camera that has full manual controls a la canon s40. The funny thing is that if you hook up the s330 to canons direct capture program you can manually set the shutter speed and aperture (although there are only two settings for that). For me having the option of setting the shutter speed on the camera would probable be enough. I don't know if such a camera exists, but I am hoping that one of you can help me out.

Thanks a bunch,

(I wonder if canon comes out with an s500, a 5mp elph, if they will give it some more manual controls)
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Old Nov 29, 2003, 12:04 PM   #2
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take a look at the Canon A80. it has 4 MP and full manual control.
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Old Nov 29, 2003, 12:31 PM   #3
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Check out the new Konica Revio KD-510z (being sold in the U.S. as the Minolta DiMAGE G500).

All you need to do with the KD-510z/G500, is press the menu button, and scroll until you find a Manual Exposure On choice. This particular menu choice is simply a Toggle. So, with another press of the Menu Button (or right Arrow), it automatically engages manual exposure mode, and Exits the Menu Sytem at the Same time.

This makes is extremely fast to engage (or disengage). The Konicas remember where you were in the Menu System last. So, when you want to go back to Autoexposure, it's just as fast. You'll already be at that menu choice, so by simply pressing the Menu Button twice, it will disengage.

If you want to go back to Manual Exposure again, press menu twice again (once to enter menu system, and again to Enable Manual Exposure, and you'll be back in Record Mode using Manual Exposure (since you were already at that menu choice).

When in Manual Exposure Mode, as soon as you half press the shutter button, the EV display is automatically enabled. It will stay enabled after that (this takes a meter reading, based on you choice of metering).

You can then select the Aperture with the Up Arrow (from the two Available Choices, which vary depending on Zoom Settings), and the Shutter Speed, by using the left and right controller keys.

It "flies" through the choices (15 seconds to 1/1000 second), VERY fast, if you hold down the left or right keys. You can watch the EV display until you're desired exposure is met (showing how your choices impact exposure with the EV display: -2.0 to +2.0 in 0.3 EV increments.

It's simple and fast.

Typically, I'll verify my settings (in case light conditions changed any), with another half shutter button press (which remeters the shot), prior to taking the photo.

I find it very useful for closeups, but otherwise have little use for it.

This is because the Depth of Field from the smaller sensors and lenses in consumer cameras is already very great. So, it's mostly useful for closeup work, since when you're close to your subject, DOF becomes more controllable.

So, two aperture choices are plenty, since you're either looking for more, or less Depth of Field.

This model uses the Sony 1/1.8" 5 Megapixel CCD (same sensor used in the Sony DSC-V1, Nikon Coolpix 5400, Olympus C-5050z, Canon G5, and some other compact 5MP models).

Indoors in lower light, the Autoexposure is going to select the widest Aperture from the two available choices anyway, to keep shutter speeds higher to prevent blur. But, for macro work (where you are going to be using a tripod in lower light), you can then select a smaller aperture, for the best DOF for your closeups.

It's a very nice design, simple to engage and disengage -- no external light meter needed.

BTW, even though the Aperture is limited to two choices (which vary, depending on the amount of zoom used), it's a true Aperture Choice.

Some camera models (like Canon S400) use a Neutral Density Filter to simulate Aperture (which does nothing to control Depth of Field).

You may also want to know, that I'm aware of two users that have owned both the Canon S400, and the Konica KD-510z (Minolta G500). They both prefer the Konica. You'll find links to their comments in my Pbase.com album.

You can see some photos from my camera here:


You'll also see links to my user review of the camera, along with lots of comments in the album forum (underneath the photos).

It's a real bargain now, at a bit over $300.00 discounted for a 5 Megapixel "pocketable" camera, with an excellent feature set and image quality. I carry mine with me everywhere in a pocket (usually my right front pants pocket). It's rapid (1.3 second) startup time, also makes it easy to take a photo "on a moments" notice.

It's flash is also very powerful for a pocketable model (it was rated very conservatively using ISO 100). I've gotten well exposed flash photos at 14 to 16 feet from the subject at ISO 200 at full wide angle. It also "throttles down" the flash strength very nicely at closer ranges -- making repeat shots MUCH faster, since the flash can recharge faster at closer ranges.
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Old Nov 29, 2003, 7:18 PM   #4
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P.S. -- You may also want to look at the brand new Konica KD-420z (being marketed in most areas as the Minolta DiMAGE G400).

It's got a new hybrid focus system that should be extremely fast.

It's also got some extra features, not available on the G500, like Aperture Priority (in addition to full manual), Exposure and Focus Bracketing, a new 3 shot burst mode, and more.

It's also a slightly thinner and lighter camera. It's 4 Megapixels versus 5 Megapixels, and has a weaker flash (but users have reported that it's more powerful than advertised, as it was conservatively rated at ISO 100).
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