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lunarboy Sep 24, 2003 11:34 PM

Which is more "rugged"? A70 or S400?
I'd like to buy a digital camera for my wife. Let's say she's a little clumsy sometimes and will likely drop any camera I buy her.

Which Canon will take its licks and keep on ticking? The A70? The S400 (which according to Steve is quite durable)? Or something else?


richardh Sep 25, 2003 3:45 AM

Canon cameras have proven to be pretty resiliant to taking a fall (reguardless of model). There are a couple of other things to consider though. I assume that you have taken into acount that the s400 has more megapixels. Another thing to be aware of is that the s400 has a larger sensor too, so less noise. In that reguard it is more comparible to the new a80. There is of course the fact that the s400 is smaller while the a series has many more features and capabilities (you pay a price for the size).
That being said, at least acording to posts I have see, there are two things that seem to kill canon cameras when they get dropped. One of course is dropping it in water with it powerd on. Short of a waterproof case (which seems pretty extreme and is pretty expensive), you drop a camera in water with it powered on and you kill it. You drop it in water and then try to turn it on, you will probably kill it too. I would suspect that would be the case with other brands of cameras though If I am not mistaken, there are some that are specifically designed to be water resistant.
The other thing that seem to kill them is if you are lucky enough for it to land with the extended lens down and the lens takes the impact, I have heard of that causing the lens to begin to malfunction. Luckilly, if you anticipate her dropping it, there is inexpensive protection. The a70 is designed to take add on lenses. With the lens adapter (20$) and a hoya uv filter or comparible(10-15$), the most you have to risk is a broken filter, not a broken camera. I'll warn you in advance, the adapter will obstruct the flash. If she leaves it on when not using flash, it defanatlly add an extra measure of protection. You can get a 52mm lens cap and leave the adapter and filter on all the time but you will have to account for the size when selecting a camera bag. She would just have to push a button and give a 1/4 turn to the adapter to easilly take it off for flash use. You can take the whole assembly off (lens adapter, filter and lens cap) all together as a unit, or just remove the lens cap for shots with the filter on.
The s400 was not originally intended to take add on lenses. There is an after market adapter avalable. It is basically a plate that threads to the tripod mount that extends out to the front with a tube for filter/lens attachment. If you were to leave this on all the time though, you are defeating the advantage of having a small camera though, so why give up the features? This adapter is about 50$.
The a80 takes an adapter just like the a70. Another note on the a80. It has a swivel out lcd. While this is a nice feature, it is something sticking out to break off if dropped.
I hope this helps some.

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