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Old Nov 17, 2003, 1:16 PM   #1
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Default Canon or Pentax

Can anyone offer any advice on the choice between the canon Ixus 400 (powershot S400) and the Pentax Optio S4.

The camera will be used for general pictures.

What is the worst and best bits of both cameras, and what is likely to sway the decision.
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Old Nov 17, 2003, 2:08 PM   #2
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The Canon will have superior photos, thanks in part to it's larger (1/1.8" 4 Megapixel Sensor), compared to the smaller, denser 1/2.5" 4MP sensor used in the Pentax Optio S4. As a result of the smaller sensor, the Pentax will have higher than average noise.

The Canon's startup time is also faster, so that you don't wait as long on the camera, when a photo opportunity arises.

From a low light focus perspective, both are actually not too bad.

In better light, the Pentax is a little faster from an autofocus perspective.

From a resolution perspective, the cameras are a close match, but the Canon's lens has less distortion at wide angle.

From a shot to shot (cycle time) perspective, the Pentax S4 now benefits from a larger buffer.

From a flash range perspective the Canon is better (but it's increasing ISO speed to get the range). The Pentax seems to prefer using ISO 100 (which is understandable, considering it's higher noise level, compared to the Canon).

There are other things to look at (features, etc.), and each has it's pros and cons.

From an overall image quality (distortion, color/white balance accuracy, noise levels), the Canon is the better performer, IMO. Others may have a different opinion.

You may also want to consider a camera like the new Minolta DiMAGE G500. I also wanted a pocketable camera, and after looking at the available options, I had a Japanese Konica Revio KD-510z "in my hands" within two weeks of it beginning to ship in Japan.

I chose this model, even though I do not have a U.S. warranty, because of it's superior image quality, flash range, features, etc., compared to the other models I could find. Thanks to the Konica-Minolta merger, you can now buy this model in the U.S. as the Minolta DiMAGE G500, at bargain prices for a 5MP model, with image quality matching or exceeding much larger cameras.

You can see some photos from mine at http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/konica_kd510z

If you check my pbase.com forum (underneath the photos on the main Konica album page), you will also see links to comments from users who have owned both the Canon S400, and the Konica KD-510/Minolta G500.

The both prefer the G500 (better, faster low light focus, better color, less chromatic aberrations, etc.).

See the 3rd entry from the top in the forum on my album page for the links to comments from users of both models.

BTW, this 5MP Pocketable Model (Minolta G500, a.k.a., Konica KD-510z) is now selling for a little over $300.00 from most online vendors.
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