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Old Dec 21, 2003, 3:03 PM   #1
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Default New subcompact camera, which one????

I am looking at getting a new digital camera. I like the Canon S400 but want a camera that can use the SD cards I already had. How does the SD100 compare to the S400, how are the different other than the memory they take. Also how does the Minolta G500 compare, as I have seen a lot of recommendations for it. Are there other cameras I should be considering. Thanks for any help.
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Old Dec 22, 2003, 9:44 AM   #2
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Between the Canons, the S400 is the better choice. It's got a 4MP 1/1.8" Sensor, as well as a 3x Optical Zoom Lens.

The SD100 is an upgrade to the older S230. The main difference is that it uses Secure Digital versus CompactFlash.

As for the G500, I bought this camera in mid-July (about 2 weeks after it started shipping in Japan at the end of June). Mine is the Konica KD-510z (but it's the same camera as the Minolta DiMAGE G500).

Konica and Minolta merged to form Konica-Minolta. They market this camera under the Konica logo (as the KD-510z) in Europe and Asia; and under the Minolta logo as the DiMAGE G500 in the U.S.

Other than the labels and model numbers, they are the same camera.

You mention having Secure Digital Media. However, if you purchase this model, be aware that some Secure Digital Cards are not compatible.

There are 3 manufacturers of Secure Digital Media: Toshiba, Panasonic and Sandisk. Other manufacturers are simply using "rebranded" media from these 3.

In sizes up to 128mb, any should work. However, in 256mb size, only cards made by Panasonic or Toshiba are considered compatible. In 512mb size, only cards made by Panasonic are considered compatible.

Here is a compatibility chart. Note footnote 8 on Sandisk 256mb cards (and they are the OEM supplier for some other brands, too):


I have seen users of Lexar "high speed 32x" SD with no problems in the camera. I've also seen users of Simpletech 256mb media with no problems in the camera.

BTW, PC World just compared 10 popular camera models on December 9th. The new Minolta G500 was compared to the Nikon Coolpix 3100, Canon Powershot A70, Canon Powershot SD100, Kodak DX6440, Pentax Optio 555, Sony Cybershot DSC-P10, Fujifilm Finepix F700, and Minolta DiMAGE XT.

It's image quality was rated as Very Good (the best image quality out of all models tested).

The comparision included comments like "highly impressive images" on the main review page showing the 10 cameras compared; noting "The G500 performed very well in our image-quality tests, earning the best marks overall in this round of point-and-shoot models"

In an explanation of how they tested Image Quality, they said this:

""To gauge picture quality, we take a series of shots, with and without flash, at 640 by 480 resolution and at the camera's highest resolution. We photograph a complex still life and a mannequin to see how well each camera captures details and subtle colorings such as skin tones. A panel of judges reviews the on-screen and printed photos and assigns image-quality scores; we then average those scores. "

It was not the best rated camera overall (because they also factored in things like battery life, ease of using menus, support hours from the manufacturer, etc.).

However, they failed to realize how customizable the menu system is, and the battery life actually tested pretty darn good. They got 213 shots, or an hour and 14 minutes (which was 25% below average). From my perspective, that's pretty good battery life for such a small battery!

The bottom line is image quality with a camera, and it was the only camera to receive a Very Good rating out of all the cameras tested, using a panel of judges to examine both the on screen and printed photos.

All of the other models received ratings from Fair to Good.

As for the menu system, if you customize the 4-way controller, as most of us that have used the camera for a while know; this gives fast access to features used most often (EV Compensation, Fixed Focus Choices, White Balance, Flash Modes, AE Lock, AF Lock). This takes all of about 30 seconds to setup -- and you never even need to access the menus to set these values.

I think it's the best subcompact camera on the market, and I wouldn't trade mine for any other subcompact model (of course, I'm biased, since I really like the camera).
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