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Old Apr 28, 2005, 10:02 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 28, 2005, 10:37 PM   #2
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If you can afford it, you might consider the SD500 instead of the S500. I would much prefer the SD because of it's larger lcd and more powerful flash...

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Old Apr 29, 2005, 12:06 AM   #3
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Have you looked at the Fuji E550. Has the creative side you like in the A95, but uses only two AA's. I take mine with me everday. Fits OK in a coat pocket. A little bulky for pants pocket. Takes a great picture IMO. Priced under $300 US. Very fast start up and taking pictures. Flash will not lite up a room but good close up.

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Old Apr 29, 2005, 10:29 AM   #4
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The problem with the E550 is the slow flash recharge time, its means that shot to shot with a flash it'll take about 7.1 seconds... In other aspects its faster than the A95, most not by a mile... The other big problem with the E550 is its generally poor features for low light... Besides the ISO 800 which is good, just about everything about the E550 isn't great in low light(or worst than A95):
- LCD useless in dim light
- No AF-assist lamp = poor low light focusing
- Slowest shutter is 3 seconds(bad for night shots of scenery and the like)

On the other hand, it shows very interesting things, such as a 4x zoom lens, starting at 32.5mm, which is great...

I, on the other hand, prefered the A95... I find its not so hard to carry around, it takes good pictures in P mode(haven't really tried the scenes) and its fun to learn and use the more manual modes. I'm sure its not as easily carryable as the S500, but it really depends on you. If you'd carry the S500 more often than the A95, then you're more likely to miss a shot with the A95, thus making the S500 a better deal. Now for me, that isn't a problem.
Here are a few of my pictures: http://nicolas7894.fotopic.net/c341553.html
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Old May 1, 2005, 1:39 AM   #5
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Well I figure I'll end up ordering either the A95 or E550 from Walmart.com and return the cam if I don't like it. Just what sort of low light conditions is the E550 autofocus ineffective at? I won't exactly be taking pics in pitch black. I really like the movie mode, quick startup / pic refresh time, and 2 x AA batteries instead of 4, however the only things I seem to dislike about the E550 are:

no AF lamp
xD cards seem to be 512mb only
slow flash refresh times

At least if I get the A95 I'll have an idea of what it'd be like to carry around either of these cameras all the time, so that would cut my decision in half. Right now I have E550 vs A95 for the larger, more manual cams, and the SD400 vs S410 for easy to carry ultra compacts (S500 seems to have noisier pics).

Problem I have between the two smaller cams is this: the SD400 is terrific aside that it's just a tad too small for my large hands. I feel like I'd definitely end up dropping it or somehow breaking it because it's so tiny and there's basically nothing to hold on to. The S410 is a little on the slow side but its just about a perfect size for an ultra compact with my hands. I wish there was an Sxxx with DIGIC II in it D:
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