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Old May 12, 2003, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default Discrepancies about the S400

I'm a little confused about some of the negative posts on this board regarding the Canon Digial Elph S400. Every professional review I read has given this camera rave reviews -- including the photo quality in nearly all conditions (despite its size) -- yet a number of posts on this board have claimed significant flaws with the picture quality. What gives? Are you people really using the camera properly?

I purchased this camera about a month ago and have been utterly happy with my decision. For starters, I don't think there is a more ergonomic compact camera on the market (by "ergonomic" I am including both physical and the software/menu aspects). I didn't even need the manual to figure out how to take nice photos and play them back. And I'm no expert. Kudos to Canon for excellent industrial engineering.

The quality of the photos has been superb -- indoors, outdoors, close-up, and even with the flash. I've taken pictures of people, big objects, small objects, through glass (window) -- you name it. Red-eye is hardly noticeable (if at all) -- absolutely amazing for such a small camera. Clarity is excellent (with the exception of a few photos that I screwed up on the automatic focus lock). And the color is vivid.

Another very handy feature that is frequently overlooked is the integration to Canon printers (which are also some of the best in their category). Just hook up the cable directly to the camera and you can print photos right off the S400's LCD screen. This is far easier than even the memory-card readers built into some of the nicer printers. I have a Canon 530D printer and find this to be a VERY handy feature.

My only 2 gripes -- both minor at that -- are:

1) a slight shutter delay. But given that every other camera I tried (Canon S45, Pentax 430, Olympus C50, Nikon 4300) had the same or a longer delay than the Canon S400, I guess I'll just have to take that as a limitation of the technology and be happy it isn't worse.
2) weight -- for such a small camera, this thing is a tank. It sure makes it feel solidly built, but it's a little overkill!

Anyway, I'm really curious about those who have posted the negative comments about the camera. It just doesn't jive with the professional reviews nor my own experience. Yes this is no G3 -- ultra-high end and SLR camera will always take nicer pictures -- but for what it's designed for and what it competes against, I can't see anything major to gripe about.
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Old May 13, 2003, 10:57 AM   #2
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I have the S400 and love the quality of the shots. I have no complaints about them at all. I do have some trouble with low light situations but other than that they all come out great.

I do not regret the purchase at all.

Mike
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Old May 14, 2003, 7:31 PM   #3
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Hello I believe the S400 to be a fantastic camera too

Hey for low light conditions, switch to manual mode and set ISO200. U will be amazed the results, with or without flash. ISO400 of course will be even better, like for taking pictures in large halls, etc, but CCD noise is noticable.

Mazor
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Old May 15, 2003, 1:33 PM   #4
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How are your people looking at the camera or flash when you take the pictures. I'm having horrible redeye with almost any flash and people pictures.
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Old May 15, 2003, 2:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the useful tip Mazor,
when you have more post them for newbies like me.
bye
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Old May 17, 2003, 4:12 PM   #6
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For TonyT,

I have found the red eye to not be bad if the person is looking at the camera. If they are looking away you will get it. I just fix it in photoshop.
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Old May 19, 2003, 1:48 PM   #7
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Default S-400 only so good...

My exerience with the S-400 is spotty. When all is well, the pictures come out perfectly.

However, if there is ANY motion at all, the camera can not attain a focus lock and always results in a blurry photo.

Also, if there is even the slightest backlighting, the shadow detail and faces just turns nearly black.

When using fill flash, the loss of shadows is corrected but the fill flash will only work for 6 feet or less.

I have tried all different settings.

<< I want to add that about 1 in 4 exposures with my S-400 are truly throw-aways -- unusable >>

My conclusion: the S-400 is a fine little camera that is extremely well built and very high quality. But, there are definitely exposure problems, depth of field problems and focus problems with this camera.
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Old May 19, 2003, 2:22 PM   #8
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A review I read said that the redeye reduction on the s400 was great. That's one reason why I ordered it. I'm still waiting for it to come in though.
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Old May 19, 2003, 10:19 PM   #9
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wblynch, one must use the manual mode to change the way the exposure metering is measured. There are two modes in manual which I find very functional in backlit situations, spot metering, and centre weighted. It also has an exposure lock, which is very handy where the subject is out of the centre frame.

For backlit flash situation, one can flash exposure lock. Also to get longer range flash, set manual ISO to 200 or 400.

As for blur pictures when people are moving. This is not necessarily a focus problem, rather a slow shutter problem. Unfortinuately with cameras with small lens, f2.8 is not very fast. To compensate and get "bright" pictures the camera automatically compensates and slows the shutter speed down, thus more exposure. To get best results with moving subjects, set ISO to 200 or 400 for real fast moving objects. Use a flash where apporpiate and also set the -2EV so the shutter will operate faster. The auto everything is not appropiate for moving subjects or high backlit subjects.

Hope this helps


Mazor
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Old May 29, 2003, 11:00 PM   #10
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When someone says a camera has "a slight shutter delay" what does this really mean? If it means what I think it means, that is bad news. I had a Sony P1 3.2 mp cybershot and everytime I click the button to take a picture, it took a good 1 second before the picture actually took. This was even after pushing the button half way for focusing. I would miss a lot candid shots because of this. So does shutter delay mean the same thing here? I certainly hope not. Thanks,

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