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Old Nov 28, 2003, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Best place to buy Canon A70 or A80?

Hi all,

I have frequented this site a lot, and would like recommendations on a good place to purchase a Canton A70 or A80. I am still deciding on which model to get, but I am leaning towards the A70. Would also be interested in any comments between the two... This will be a christmas present for my GF, who is a graphics design student.

Also, what about an "extras" bundle, are there any sites that have these at a good price? I have been nosing around E-bay, but not sure if that is a good idea... :roll:


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Old Nov 28, 2003, 1:21 PM   #2
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Most people seem to do OK on Ebay with used or refurbished equipment. Not sure I would recommend it as you could be the odd man out that gets a bad camera and a lot of hassles. I’m just saying most people do OK.

I like the price search engines. I usually find as good or better a price here and they have a good number of reseller reports: http://www1.dealtime.com/xPC-Canon_P...t_A70~S-6~PG-1

I’ll pay a little extra to go with someone who has a large number of ratings along with good ratings. I also read some of the ratings posts. I also do a last crosscheck at: http://www.resellerratings.com/

Have a look at the Minolta 414 also: http://www1.dealtime.com/xPC-Minolta..._S414~S-6~PG-1 I like the continuous focus. It focuses right up to shutter release which avoids blurred shots when people move during shutter lag and lets you pre-focus to reduce shutter lag in more situations. It has a very fast 0.1 lag if you pre-focus. The A70 is equally fast with pre-focus but without the continuous focus it is not as practical in a lot of situations if anything or anyone is moving. It is also 4Mp + 4X zoom and around the same price as the A70.

From the Imaging-Resource review:
“The improved image processing and shooting speed are excellent enhancements, and the new live histogram display is a bonus as well. The most important bottom line is image quality though, and the S414 delivers some of the best-looking images I've yet seen from a Minolta digicam. Overall, the DiMAGE S414 is one of the best bargains in the market, an excellent choice for anyone looking for a solid performer with good image quality and plenty of options. Highly recommended.” http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/S414/S414A.HTM

From Steve’s review:
“The DiMAGE S414 is an incredible deal (steal?) at just $399 (or less.) Most other 4-megapixel cameras are at least a hundred dollars more expensive. Few of the competing cameras offer a durable aluminum body and even less have 4x optical zooms. This is an excellent choice for the advanced user or the beginner who wants a camera they can grow into. It has plenty of image resolution to make photo-quality prints up to 13x19" size. They should sell as well as the S404 did last year so grab one now if you want one -- they could go very fast.” http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_reviews/s414.html

I don’t find the extras bundles to be a good deal. Your GF should buy a charger and some NiMH batteries for either camera. He will also need a bigger CF card.
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Old Nov 28, 2003, 2:53 PM   #3
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I bought the S414 as a cheaper option against both the A70 and A80 which I tried. The S414 is hefty on power, weight and needs driving to get cracking pictures. The S414 consumes about 1200mA with the lcd display on and about 420mA with it off. So you get a bigger display you can read, but you don't keep it on long! I really like the realtime live Histogram though.

The A80 I thought had a nice swivel lcd, but I didn't like the blue fringe, CA or auto WB in low light which tends to blue.The A80 has the post view Histogram - but you can't read it easily on the 1.5" lcd. The A70 seemed to not suffer the latter problems so much and you should realise the lens and ccd on the A70 is not the same as the A80. Unfortunately I was swapping these cameras and never had all of them together at the same time - so check this out yourself.

If I was really after compactness and lightweight I'd give the A70 more of a second look. I don't belive the extra 0.8mpix is worth it if edges are sapping up sharpness with CA fringing I saw on the A80. I also thought the A70/80 had more flash range than the S414. But playing around with EV settings and metering options I can get a bit more from the S414. I think the optics are better on the S414, although it's a slower lens than the A70/80.

The S414 seems very conservative to underexposure, whereas most cams are pushing the limits towards white clip. So at first, the S414 might seem less sensitive - but I've shot stuff against sky and hardly ever see blown highlight. This is important when judging noise. The S414 seemed noisier at 400 ISO, but when you reset exposure to drive highlights just on clip, I thought it was about the same as other cams.

Sadly, I felt the S414 is let down in the Flash auto white bal area. They've preset a balance in firmware which tend to give yellowish pics on flash and daylight fill. Whereas I found using the programme mode preset for Daylight WB gave a more faithful colour. These were just a few of my observations not a review, so please try these out for yourself.

Overall, I bought the S414 for image quality and when driven and enough batts, I can get pics as good as my S602, less vivid colour,slightly more natural and it's a bit more pocketable or rather 'carryable'. Good Luck. VOX
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