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Old Jul 27, 2005, 7:52 AM   #11
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i bought one and im no expert but its a great camrea.

especially like then quick shutter option where you can take photos without autofocus,combined with the almost non-existent shutter speed ul never miss a moment.

lovely looking pictures aswel.all in aitny package.only bad point is that its a bit pricey,but you get what you pay for!
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Old Jul 27, 2005, 2:21 PM   #12
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I took the plunge today. I ordered a White Casio EX-S500.

I owned a Casio Z750 for about 25 days. (Buy.com has a great 30 day return policy. They were excellent to buy from but don't yet carry the S500. ) I had the "lens error" problem. In combination with that problem, I had a complete failure of the auto focus. I believe the two problems were linked. Too many problems, too quickly made me lose faith in the camera. Hopefully Casio does the right thing and fixes the problem.

So why try another Casio?

Well, I had my heart set on the Kodak v550. It seemed to do everything right and has a much higher resolution LCD than the Casio. But Steve's review of it wasn't glowing and the movie mode, which is my biggest reason for buying a new camera, wasn't to my liking. It had noticeable grain and artifacting in the dogs coat. Yes, yes this is a still camera with a bonus feature of video. Why so picky? Because what was truly amazing about the z750 was the quality of the video in the normal setting. The HQ 4.1 Mbps movie was even better. The biggest failure of the z750 as a video camera was not the video performance, but the audio. It has a very sensitive microphone. But so foolishly place, in my opinion. the mic is right on top of the camera. So every video I took had pronounced breathing sounds. It sounded like Darth Vader was shooting the video.

My previous camera was a Casio EX-Z3. It was a great durable little camera. I took 1700 shots with it over 2 years. The autofocus was never its strong suit, but it eventually got there. Great battery life and so tiny. I forgave some of its weaknesses because of its diminutive size. I sold it on ebay to pay for the z750. I miss it a little.

So now I picked the S500 over the v550 because of 2 features. One, Past Movie mode. Brilliant feature. I used it to film a kid in a dunk tank at the ice cream social. I didn't want to catch him just sitting there, I wanted the action. So as soon as he fell, I hit the record button. Grabbed exactly what I wanted. Two, the size. It's just so tiny. I can take it everywhere.

A buddy of mine was bragging about the fantastic Nikon D-something he had. We ran into each other at an old car show. As he boasted about all of its wonderful features, I took pictures. I even took a couple shots of his kids with the Z3 as he talked. I asked him where his camera was. "Oh, at home. It was really expensive and its kind of heavy to carry around. Didn't want to mess it up out here."

I emailed him the pictures of his kids. He was glad I had a camera with me. He never gets "shots like that," he said. Not if the camera is in a drawer!

Oh and to finish my blather.... I ordered the S500 from Broadway Photo. They had the best price, but the catch was I had to call in after I had ordered on the internet. They tried to up-sell me into a new battery. Said the one that comes with camera only lasts "20 mins". "Really" I said, "it's rated for 80 mins of continuous video. "
"No you should buy an extended life NP-20 battery. Usually $99 but if you buy now only $49."
"No," I said.
"How about $29? That's my cost, " he said.
"Well, you should buy your batteries from me. I just found on for $12.49 with a quick Google search." I said.

He said my order would ship tomorrow and hung up.

Be on guard with this company. And from what I can tell, there is no Extended Life NP-20. Radio Shack sells one called that, but its mAh rating is slightly less than the one that comes with the camera.

I'll report on the camera and how successful my purchase was.

-Mike
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Old Jul 27, 2005, 11:37 PM   #13
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I am a Kodak V550 owner. Like you, I struggled painfully in choosing between Casio & Kodak, during the selecting phase. And hence did a lot of research on both DCs.

1. But if you are talking about the aritifacts of V550 video due to MPEG-4, the S500 are using exactly the same MPEG-4 technology i.e the same artifacts would appear in S500 also.

2. For the "granular" problem of the movies, my personal feel is Z750's video is much more granular than V550.

3. Plus Casio's MPEG-4 would have a "rainbow ripple" pattern when shooting video of dense black/white stripes. See the "windmill" sample video of Casio official website for Z750. Ripples of rainbow are radiating out from the center of the windmill body. I am not sure if it is lens, or CCD, or compression algorithm bugs.

4. Optical Zoom during Video of V550 is a very strong feature when taking video of (a) faster moving (b) very distant, subjects. If you cannot accept the very slight noise during zooming, you simply don't zoom, but its useful that the DC provides you such feature as an option. NO other card-sized DC on the market do offer Optical Zoom during Video.
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Old Jul 28, 2005, 12:23 AM   #14
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That Broadway Photo place has a bad rating on resellerratings.com. Sounds like they like to pull that battery scam on many of their customers.


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Old Jul 28, 2005, 4:38 AM   #15
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I am fairly convinced that the Casio z750 video "rainbow ripple" artifact, may be a result of the "purple fringe" effect of the Casio Lens.

This is because the densely black/white stripes of high contrast willinduce purple fringes in large scale. And as the stripes move, they are just like ripples of rainbow sliding/radiating out.

Several of my friends using "toy" DCwithlow-quality lens also see the problem when taking video, no matter M-JPEG or MPEG-4 i.e. independent of video compressions/formats.
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Old Jul 28, 2005, 7:23 AM   #16
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Mike P, I hope everything goes well from Bwayphoto but that is definitely a company I would never do business with. I would keep in touch with them to make sure their next move is not "Sorry, it's out of stock" even though they said it would ship. I would also advise reading up on them at

http://www.resellerratings.com/seller1995.html



Good luck...from what I see these days it looks like an online "black hole", nevertheless I did have a successful purchase from them many, manyyears ago, so who knows.
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Old Jul 28, 2005, 5:33 PM   #17
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hey guys, Iwas searching around and came across the casio, it is really a neat camera, andreading and watching the vid. I rather see true footage than yahoo ad or casio ad ofa bulldog skating. If you get the chance a vid link would be nice?

as for broadway photo, I am laughing becasue here in the Big apple if it is the same webstore page , I woud be very cautious , rather take my bussiness to a trusty site, but B and h is anothr big camera outfit that you must bargain , real hard to ge a penny less.

Good luck with your purchase guys. like to se some nice on hand reviews.
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 10:25 AM   #18
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A short google revealed some interesting posts on BWAY:

http://www.photo.net/neighbor/view-o...ghbor_id=90620



http://www.photo.net/neighbor/view-o...hbor_id=156864
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 2:16 PM   #19
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I'm looking for the EX-S500 in Meister Gray. Does anyone know where can I order it?

P.S. Anyone have experience with the new Panasonic LUMIX DCM-FX9
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 2:37 PM   #20
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Big_Potato,

I read your review of the v550 with great interest a few weeks ago. Your review was one of the few available after extensive searching. I like review sites, but I also like to hear what everyday folks think of the camera. Your review was what made the v550 so compelling.

As far as MPEG quality goes, I won't dispute your claims. The Kodak seems to do a fine job. My experience with my z750 left a very favorable impression as well. The Past Movie mode of the Casio is a great feature. It eliminates shooting a clip you didn't want; only to have to find it and delete it.

I was really tortured by the decision. I've stopped talking to my wife about these sorts of decisions, I drive her nuts with my over-analisys of what are mundane facts to her. After I returned the z750 I studied and thought about which to purchase for 3 weeks. I really wanted to the Kodak to win the battle. I even own Kodak stock. I'm thrilled with this new v550. It has the right look and size to be a winner.

I'm a Mac user. The Casio was a pain to deal with the files. Now with the EX_M4S2 codec for QuickTime the Casio is a viable option again. I also like that I could fit an hour of good quality video on a 1GB card.

The micro size of the s500 sealed the deal for me. Now all it has to do is work well. And fingers crossed, no "lens error".

-Mike
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