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Jagg Apr 7, 2003 9:06 PM

S400 feedback please!!!
Just ordered one from dell and now may have buyers remorse.

Is the camera too small?? How are the pics?? Any general feedback would be great, just want a high quality point and shoot for the family. Thanks.

oscarj Apr 7, 2003 11:16 PM

:D Have 400 and love it. Had a 880 prior and it is a dream to use. Outstanding pictures. Great start to first picture time. Just so cool and convenient. Couldn't be more pleased.

cbtsmelb Apr 8, 2003 12:27 AM

I have one of these little beasties - Ixus 400.

Being new to both cameras in general and digital cameras, I can only say what I've seen so far - it's good..

If you have any questions, feel free to fire them at me - but be gentle. ;-)

The only comments I can make are those that I've found over the last 2+ days of using it (and please note, none of these are complaints, just comments):
- The button to take the picture is dual mode - it has a half-way function to check/set things like focus, and the full press which actually takes the photo. I personally, found this a little weird, and could imagine handing the camera to a stranger, and having him/her have problems with it. BUt maybe this is the case with all digitals?
- In movie mode, it does not adjust brightness, on the fly, so walking in and out of a dark room, leads either to over bright, or overly dark parts of the movie (but I don't see this as a problem, per say, just an observation)
- Its a bit heavier than I imagined, but is still very small.
- The speaker at the top is quiet, but once you hook the camera up to a TV, the volume is perfect. I am amazed at how much the tiny microphone picks up
- I'm playing with the different manual settings, so thats fun.. Coming up with some weird combos and results.
- Redeye is non existant. Quite amazing.
- I have a 256Meg CF card, and it's doing great. Knew the included 32Meg was useless. Had I not removed a bunch of "junk' shots, the 256M would have been filled up several times by now
- No focus problems.. Camera just focuses, and I shoot.
- There is a slight pause between wanting to take a photo, and the actual mechanism doing it, so if there is a moving target, I'm still trying to figure out the best way to capture that.. My attempts so far have seen the target move out of shot prior to the snap happening. But this is user error, I think, rather than the camera.
- The rubber cover for the USB and video/audio out is likely to break after a whiel, as its just rubber.
- Despite being such a novice, I've been able to take quite acceptable snaps. The camera's controls (at least as far as the basics) are extremely intuitive, although reading the manual to figure out what the icons mean, is a must.
- Still haven't hooked it up to my PC, and don't have one direct printers..
- The flash is fantastic. I am amazed at what it does to low light situations. Nothing looks washed out, or dull.
- I've tried the long exposure option.. err.. "slow shutter speed"(?) up to the maximum 15 seconds, and the images were excellent, especially considering, I was taking them manually whilst holding it, without a camera stand.
- The eye piece/viewer sees most of what you're taking, but not all. The LCD screen is essential for knowing exactly what is being snapped.
- Been running now for 2 days on single battery, taking movies, snaps, and various.

If you're curious, I purchased this, over several other noteworthy cameras:
- Konica Kd-500z: Pictures looked washed out, due to strong flash (everyone said you needed to put tape over the flash). But I would have preferred 5MP..
- Olympus Mju 300: My initial camera of choice, looked more stylish, but had no movie sound (I reckoned I'd use the movies a bit), only 3MP
- The other Canon "letters" (A50, S30, etc) were too big, I needed/wanted something (extremely) compact and easy to use.
- Olympus Mju 300 was recommended to me by almost everyone, and then came Canon Ixus V3. Mainly due to ease of use, features and size (Then I found out the Ixus 400 was being released)
- Had the Ixus 400 not been released, I think I would have gone with the Ixus V3
- Every other camera did this or that.. This was also one of the smaller units
- After comparing the multitude of web sites with sample photos, and reviews/previews, I felt this was about the best I was going to get, without becoming "excessive compulsive" on the subject. You can only research up to a point, and after that there is diminishing returns..

Anyway, hope this gives an honest view of the unit, rather than "its the best camera I've ever had" (which is true, but that doesn't say much, since I've never had any others).

Jagg Apr 8, 2003 8:06 PM

Thanks for the feedback, still torn with the A70, but i think i will give this one a shot.

lowtech Apr 16, 2003 6:19 PM

I have had the s400 for about 2 weeks now. I had the s110 prior to this one and loved it. The 400's controls are much easier to use and it takes great photos. It fits into a pocket or vest or purse with ease and is a delight. I think you'll enjoy it!

ardvark50 Apr 17, 2003 2:02 AM

If you just want a high quality point and shoot and don't plan to use manual features or add-on lenses, then the s400 is much better for you than the a70, since the s400 is a great no fuss point and shoot with an extra mp of resolution. Also, if you ever have the desire to use add-on lenses im sure already has or is making an adapter you can use to add on lenses.

mazeson Apr 17, 2003 10:21 AM

I've had an Ixus400 now for three weeks. My impression is mixed. First of all, the format of the camera is unbeatable, and very handy. The controls work well, even if it takes a while to get used to the exposure button.
The pictures are overall well exposed and the autofokus works fast and accurate.
What I'm not totally pleased with is the quality of the photos. There is a lot of noise, especially in the blue channel (which is the digital camera's weak point). When I compare Ixus 400 to my previous camera, a Nikon 995, with a 3.3 Mpixel resolution, the Nikon produce better photos with less noise.
Ixus 400 is a true point-and-shoot camera, and that is fine with me. However, I wished I could see the aperture and exposure time of pictures taken, but that is not possible. Well, you get this info recorded in the EXIF file, which you can read in your photo programme, after uploaded your pictures to the computer.
However , you can never get it all.

: 8)

Jagg Apr 17, 2003 9:23 PM

Thanks for the reply, I am going to try the Elph/Ixus. I do want a point and shoot that gives the best quality under typical conditions, indoor, outdoor, moving fast, etc. the S400 sounds like it has what i want.

I have been hearing about some problems with it though, anybody have any serious issues???

lowtech Apr 20, 2003 5:30 AM

I must revise my prior post: I have returned the s400; the photo quality was very inconsistant, especially for indoor shots and forget "moving fast" - often very blurred. I did a comparison with my much older s110 under similar conditions and the s110 won, hands down! How odd that Canon has "upgraded" the Elph/Ixus several times with great attention to everything, it seems, but image quality...the newer controls are much easier to use and there are many more user controllable options, but I like sharp, accurate photos with a minimum of fuss and adjustments (this is a "point & shoot" after all!) and, for this, my aging s110 isa still the best of this breed.


Originally Posted by Jagg
Thanks for the reply, I am going to try the Elph/Ixus. I do want a point and shoot that gives the best quality under typical conditions, indoor, outdoor, moving fast, etc. the S400 sounds like it has what i want.

I have been hearing about some problems with it though, anybody have any serious issues???

mazor May 6, 2003 8:03 PM

I have the IXY400 which basically an S400. This camera takes remarkable photos for its size. I never use the auto everything mode, as I like to have control on how my pictures turn out.

I instead use the "Manual" mode which has limited options but enough to change picture output. For instance, if the subject is relatively close and indoors, I will set the ISO to 50, which give a low noise result, hence better picture with flash set to on. If the subject is further away, use exposure compensation up to +2EV to brighten the overall image.

For fast moving subjects, setting the ISO to 200 or 400 can achieve sharp results, but with more noise, but at least the image does not motion blur.

When indoors in a large room, using the flash may not totally illuminate the whole room, so then I set the flash to off, ISO100, with +2EV setting. This gives good results for those with a steady hand. If a Tripod or static surface is available, ISO50 can be used, with excellent low noise results. I never use zoom indoors as it results in poor results, due to its F4.9 at 3x optical zoom.

For outdoor night shots of city scapes or stars in the sky, one can have full manual shutter settings from 1 - 15 seconds with tripod or static surface to sit camera on. When long exposure mode is selected, the cameras noise reduction circuit is activated resulting in excellent results. Using ISO50 and a longer exposure time is desirable. Where a subject may be present on the foreground, a fill in flash setting can be activated with long exposure.

Other options in manual mode included while balance control, Photo Effects, light metering methods and exposure locking and Flash exposure lock which is very useful for framing subjects off centre.

So as one can see there are quite a few options available in "Manual" mode, which can give the camera operator a variety of results depending on preference. The only manual features lacking in this camera is focus, aperture, and shutter speed control at speeds greater than 1 second.

The auto mode works well too as a point and shoot with suprisingly good results.

On comparing the IXY400 with my Sony's DSC-F707, I found the quality of the F707 to far surpass that of the IXY400, both in sharpness and brightness, but this can be attributed by the massive Carl Zeiss lens f2.0 lens and 5MP capable CCD.

Comparing the IXY400 with my IXUS V3 (S230 equilivant) focus and macro is sharper and speed of operation is faster on IXY400. IXUS V3 does take better movies though with 640 x 480 resultion. Build quality of both IXUS V3 and ISY400 is identical, but the IXY400 feels nice with the new Cerebrite matt surface. Battery life on the IXY400 is far better than the IXUS V3 thansk to the new DIGIC processor in the IXY400.

To conclude, IXY400 is very compact camera, feels good to hold, and can give suprisingly good pictures in most conditions when using manual mode. It does not produce professional postcard pictures, but on instances it may get pretty close. The new function button like the G3 works well and is easy to use. I would highly recommend this camera for its build quality being made in Japan, portability, and aesthetics.

Hope this helps

Mazor Serate

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