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Old Jan 21, 2007, 6:15 PM   #1
lmn927's Avatar
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Seriously need some advice. After debating for months between the the S3 and Sony's H5 I finally bought the H5 a few days ago. I went with the H5 because of the HUGE LCD and the fact that it has an extra megapixel when compared to the S3. I have to say there are some things I don't like about it and I'm wondering if I should exhange.

The following is a list of what I don'tlike about the H5 -- for those familiar with the S3, please tell me if these gripes would be resolved with an exchange, or if I'm just going to experience the same with the S3:

1) When you press the shutter button, I'm not impressed with how fast it takes the picture. When taking multiple pictures in a row it takes forever for the flash to recover and be ready for the next shot. I'd say at least 4 seconds. How is the response time on the S3?

2) There's a red light that projects out from the front of the camera when Ipress the shutter button. It's blinding to those in the shot, and when photopgraphing my pets, they're more interested in chasing the red light on whatever it's reflecting off of than looking at the camera. Does the S3 have a similar light?

3) The LCD display has serious lag time when panning around the room. How's the S3 in this area?

4) When using the LCD to view / scroll through pictures already taken, they first appear as a "rough" image that's totally blurry.After a couple seconds, it clears up and comes into focus but this drives me crazy because I always think I've taken a bunch of blurry shots at first glance. Does the S3 do this?

5) The A/V Out panel that you open to insert the USB cable and the panel you open to insert the batteries feel cheap and flimsy.

6) The camera makes a constant whirling noise any time the power is on. This apparently is not a defect as other H5 owners have commented about the same noise.

7) These doesn't really seem to be a comfortable place to hold the camera in the left hand side.

I'd really appreciate it is any S3 owners can take the time to compare my issues with the H5 to their own experiences with the S3. Also, I'd liketo know if you've had any trouble getting the S3 to focus. My sister has an S2 and complains all the time about how hard it is to get it to focus.

If all the above issueswould be resolved with an exchange for an S3, I would seriously consider doing it. I'm just having a heard time giving up the extra megapixel and huge LCD on the H5....

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Old Jan 22, 2007, 9:42 AM   #2
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The H5 has only two NiMH AA batteries. That necessitates a significantly longer flash cycle time compared with the S3, which has 4 such batteries. I have a Powershot A710 - also with only 2 batteries - and have the same problems. Simply put, cameras with only two NiMH are not for people, who use the flash frequently.

The red light is the AF light. It is necessary for the autofocus, if there is not enough light. The A710 and S3 have also an AF light, but it is only used when necessary. The A710 and S3 allow you to completely disable the AF light. The same should be possible with your H5. However, then the AF gets slower and may not work at all if there is not enough light.

My A710 is quite silent and the S3 should be even more silent with its ultra sonic zoom.

If you review pictures on the A710, they are displayed almost instantly and as sharp as possible on a low resolution display. The same should be true fpr the S3.

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Old Jan 22, 2007, 11:42 AM   #3
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You know given that every review states the 2 battery/slow flash problem, its a wonder you bothered buying the camera at all if that upsets you so much.

Think about this

2 batteries powering a flash way more powerful than the canons, guess what that means ?

Yep, slow recharge.

What a faster recharge? Get out of auto mode and turn the flash down a couple of notches, or boost the ISO a little.. The H5 easily does ISO 400, 800 if you have any kind of skill at post processing.

As for the low hum, been discussed thousands of times in various forums, by people with 20k shots plus on the H5. Doesn't hurt the camera, so whats the complaint?

And whats with the whining about the AF light ?

Don't like it ? Turn it off !!

I mean did you actually read the manual ?

Guess what ?

It has abig picture with all the parts listed... Part 8 (front)self timer/AF light, see page 59...

And guess what page 59 tells you ?

Yep you guessed it !!!! YOU CAN SWITCH IT OFF !!!!!

As for the the left hand side, put the adapter tube on, and the fingers curl around the barrel , giving you excellent support and a stable holding position.

I mean honestly, the Canon S3 and the Sony H5 are both excellent cameras.

Both have strengths and both have weaknesses, so feel free to go Canon.

If you want to go down to the S3, go ahead, an extra megapixel means virtually nothing, even printing at 13x19 I doubt you could tell the difference.
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Old Jan 22, 2007, 8:59 PM   #4
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Personally, I'm not thrilled with the time it takes for autofocus to work. But none of the reviews I read said that the S3 takes any longer than any other model. I suspect the electronics are as good as they're going to get at this point, and since my previous camera was manual focus, this is quite a step up for me.

(1) Without the flash, there is some shutter lag, but many models have this problem I think. With the flash, recharge time really should be better on the S3 (because of the four batteries), but I haven't used the flash that much yet.

(2) The red lamp is green on the S3 and it can be turned off, as others have mentioned.

(3) The S3's electronics refresh the picture as best they can, but fast motion can be distracting for me too. All I can do is jerk the camera swiftly to the part of the room I want to shoot next, so the image will have time to "settle down" and refresh a few times so I can set up the shot.

(4) When playing the pictures back, no, there is no jerkiness (and no slowness as long as the LCD doesn't get too cold (32 deg. F, 0 deg. C). But all LCDs can slow down then.

(5) The battery door is pretty good on the S3, but the SD card cover feels okay -- not cheap, but not super-sturdy either. The USB cable socket is covered by a rubber plug that swings out of the way. It doesn't feel like it would be "rugged" AT ALL, so I treat it gently. <EDIT> I looked at Steve's pictures of the H5. The USB cover is NO better. <END>

(6) S3 owners complain about a "whirring" noise when playing their movies back, but I haven't noticed it. With still pictures, the camera is very, very quiet indeed. And you can turn off the shutter sound.

(7) I bought an S3 adapter tube (for filters) from lensmateonline. Supporting the camera with my left hand feels very "natural". If the Sony supports adapters, I'd certainly consider it, even without filters. Also (and I don't know about the H5), the tilting and swiveling LCD lets me position the camera where I want and still see the LCD to frame a creative shot. <EDIT> Steve's review says lens hood is included on the H5. Nice "extra", good hand rest, I hope it feels natural to you. <END>

You said something interesting -- the H5 has a bigger LCD. Does it have an optical viewfinder or a second (smaller) LCD inside the window? The S3 has a second, smaller LCD and my brain is not used to the lower level of detail it provides. If you are used to optical viewfinders, you may need some time to get used to it. <EDIT> Looked at review, the H5 has EVF too. But Canon has tilt-and-swivel LCD. I'd say the advantage goes to Canon here. <END>

Personally, I like the S3. If you can try one out in a store, I would recommend it. But I doubt it will be "supremely better" in all of these areas though.

I hope you'll be happy, whatever you decide. Please post back and let us know how the decision goes.

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