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Old Apr 12, 2004, 3:17 PM   #1
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Default Canon A80 v.s. S400

Hello, I want to buy a new Canon digital camera. I am interested in either A80 or S400. Can anybody tell me what's the major difference between the two? I care about price, as well as picture quality of course. I also want to have more manual control over the camera. Any answers will be deeply appreciated. Thanks.

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Old Apr 12, 2004, 9:35 PM   #2
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Major differences:

1. Size and weight:
S400 is much slimmer than A80. It is kind of personal preference to decide.

2. Battery type:
A80 use 4x AA NiMH while S400 use slim Li-ion battery. But surprisingly the rechargeable AA battery in A80 now works longer hours than the Li-ion one in S400.

3. Swivel / Flip-out LCD:
A80 has a flip-out LCD that is great for composing your photos, including self portrait.

4. Ability to use addon lens converters:
A80 can use addon lens converters such as wide, tele, fisheye, macro very easily. S400 has no mounting for such.

5. Shooting modes:
A80 has P (Program), A(Aperture priority), S(Shutter Priority) and M(Full Manual mode), while S400 only has P mode and a very limited manual function for controlling extra long exposure time. On this point A80 is meeting your evolving need for learning photography as a long time hobby.

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Old Apr 13, 2004, 12:47 AM   #3
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Default A follow-up question

Dear friend,

Thanks a lot for your explanation. Now I know A80 will serve my needs better. A follow-up question: do you think A80's manual functions will be good enough for a photographer (I'm amatuer level but would like to use my camera for more creative photographying experience). Compared with the traditional SRL cameras, is A80's manual control function just as good or sort of too simplified?

Appreciate any input. Best regards.

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Old Apr 13, 2004, 1:47 PM   #4
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I hate to genralize on all digital cameras- I have used a Canon G3, S45, owned a Minolta D7i, a Minolta S404 and currently own a Canon S400 and gave up on manual focus on all of them- although the D7i had a fairly usable manual focus (well ok the 400 has no manual focus). The rest weren't worth the effort.

I don't think the LCDs on cameras are accurate or high enough resolution to manually focus by. I don't think push button manual focus is usually sensitive enough even when you think you have a good guess. It's far too slow to be useful in almost every situation. I spent quite a bit of time with the S404 and the G3 practicing- taking manual shots then autofocus shots of the same subject- and no matter how many times I thought I nailed my manual shot- the AF one looked sharper. The D7i was a little different because he had a decent (although still not great) evf and a real manual focus ring. Still, in all but the worst lit scenes- the AF was more accurate.

Until I move to a DSLR, I doubt I even switch to manual focus on a digital camera on.
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