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Old Nov 23, 2003, 8:48 AM   #1
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Default Best picture quality in sub-compact?

Optio, Elph ,Dimage...?
We have an Olympus D550 that is bulky , but takes fine picutures.My wife wants to carry a tiny camerea, but poor picture quality will not be acceptable to me. Ease of use and size are most important to her.
Of these three, does one have considerably worse picutures, where I will be shocked by picture quality.
Which takes the best picture most consistently ? Thank you.
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Old Nov 23, 2003, 9:10 AM   #2
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Probably the best approach would be for you to look at the sample pictures from the reviews of each.

Picture "quality" is, to a degree, a subjective thing. I have the Pentax Optio S and the Canon Elph and actually see little difference in the overall image in terms of color rendition, sharpness, noise, etc. They are different approaches and the feature set differs, but both have strengths but the "weaknesses" associated with relatively tiny cameras.

When cameras are designed to fit into an Altoids can or carry easily in your shirt pocket, there are certain compromises in several areas. First there is lens quality. These tiny cameras will, by virtue of the design, have lenses with slightly more distortion than larger instruments. Then there is the issue of "flash power". Tiny cameras have tiny batteries and there are limits to the amount of energy available which must be shared between the capture, processing and flash. Engineering for a reasonable number of images per charge means sacrificing a bit on flash power. This means you won't get those 25 foot shots you get with a larger camera indoors in poorly lit environments.

Noise levels on the tiny sensors are a bit higher than on larger sensors with identical pixel counts. All in all, having the convenience of a tiny pocket camera requires a modicum of sacrifice in other areas. If you are willing to accept these conditions, then any of the three produce quite acceptable images.

Of the two we have, my wife prefers the Optio S for its features and ease of operation. I like both equally, but give the nod to the Optio S for better macro capabilities which are pretty impressive.

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Old Nov 23, 2003, 10:11 AM   #3
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Although not as small as the Optio S, you may also want to look at my latest camera, the Konica KD-510z. It's being sold in the U.S. as the Minolta DiMAGE G500.

You can find some photos from mine, along with links to my user review of this model in my pbase.com album at http://www.pbase.com/konica_kd510z

You may also want to look at these albums, which included the Konica KD-510z. It's small enough to fit in a pocket, with excellent photo quality, and it's low light focus ability is outstanding, too. It's flash as also quite powerful. This was a big consideration for me, when comparing pocketable cameras, since I like to take lots of photos at family gathering, parties, etc., and the flash range of most pocketable models is "optimistic" (rated at Auto ISO).

The Minolta G500's range is very conservatively rated, at ISO 100.





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