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Old Jun 12, 2004, 1:40 PM   #1
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I am buying a new digital camera next week. I already have a Canon Ixus 300 and a Sony DC-U20. This Sony is a really small camera, which I have in my pocket all day. Perfect to have a digicam with me everywhere. Overall picture quality is pretty good considering its small size (the flash is not so good, and movies are small and without sound). I have bought it manly for its ultra compact size to have it always with me. If I have the intention to go out and take better pictures (or create MPG movies with sound), then I use my Ixus 300. I whish that this one would be smaller, so I could take it more with me.

That Ixus 300 is the one I would like to replace with any of the aboveā€¦

- I want a smaller camera then my current Ixus 300. It's just a bit too big and too heavy to take with my a lot. It weighs 240 grams.

- I want a minimum of 3 mega pixels and more is not absolutely necessary. More pixels are not a big buying argument for me.

- I want really good picture quality and still a very portable compact camera. Size does matter for me

- I take a lot of party pictures (low light situations), so I really like the Focus Assist light of my current Canon Ixus 300. This creates mostly sharp pictures and faster focusing in low light. With my Sony I have a lot of unsharp pictures in Low Light and always red-eyes with the flash. Red-eyes are also a lot better with my Canon, where this Focus Assist light also works against red eyes.

I hear you thinking; if you like the features of your Canon Ixus 300 so much then buy that Canon SD 110 or S 410.

Why am I considering the other cameras? My current Ixus 300 has a 3x zoom and the Canon S410, Pentax Optio S4i and Minolta Dimage XG also. The Canon SD 110 only has a 2x zoom lens and maybe I am going to regret that sometime (on holidays, etc)? The Minolta and the Pentax are also smaller then the Canon SD 110. That Pentax is so nice in size. The Canon S410 on the other hand is bigger in size then the SD110

- I switch a lot between Fill in flash, flash off and red-eye flash. With my Ixus and the normal and M mode this goes fast. How is this with the other cameras?

- Which one has the best overall picture quality?

- Which one takes the best picture in low light, and how is the flash (red-eyes)?

- Does the Pentax or the Minolta have a Focus Assist light?

If the quality is OK; I personally would lean towards the Canon SD 110?

Many thanks,

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Old Jun 13, 2004, 11:52 AM   #2
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I can speak only for the Pentax.

It doesn't have a focus assist but low light focus is acceptable in most cases. Might not be the best choice for very dark situations.

It has a dedicated button for flash modes.

You can anticipate red-eye by measuring the distance between the lens and flash. They are close on the S4i and red eye is a problem. It will be a problem with any pocket camera. The focus assist light does reduce it if the person is looking at the camera, but I find a focus assist light inhibits spontaneity.

I keep a Photon 3 on my watchband. It works as a focus assist out to about 12 feet and I don't have to turn it on if I don't want it. It is a little geeky but doesn't show up that much on a black velcro band. And at my age I don't care much what people think anyway.

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Old Jun 13, 2004, 8:35 PM   #3
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I know how frustrating the choice of DigiCam can be. I am in the midst of acquiring one. I have had a SiPx for a year that I got at an auction for $50.
I have an Olympus SLR and a Canon Elph APS now, and so quickly zeroed in the Canon S410 then used Steve's site to zero in its the compact competitors.

I looked hard at the Minolta Dimage Xg but finally decided that the questionable image quality and hand holding problems ruled it out.

I liked the idea of unlimited video offered by the the Pentax S4i. I also stumbled upon the Casio EX-Z40 which uses the same Pentax lens system.

I really like the docking station of the Casio - it recharges the battery and connects to the computer simultaneously for uploading on the press of a button.
Although it is slightly bigger than the Pentax, itprovides double the photos per charge and 180% more photo storage. So now I am down to the two.

The Elph is over 40% heavier than the Casio, and 20% thicker, and I consider weight and size as crucial. I get the impression that the Elph is much more tightly coupled with the PC, whereas the Casio is more stand-alone in its approach.
Its battery life is over 20% more photos than the Casio, but then you have to take out the battery to recharge, whereas the Casio will sit on its stand overnight.
If you are going to run with two batteries, then the advantage goes to the Elph with its external charger. For me, 360 pictures is plenty for one day. But if you are going to do serious video capture, then the extra battery would be the way to go.

I think I will get the Casio but I am open to further discussions.

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Old Jun 13, 2004, 8:45 PM   #4
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One other thing about the Casio, it can record voice onto its card then upload a .wav file. I have used a microcassette recorder for this but then had to transcribe the tape to text. Now I can just upload the file and attach it. Often I do this after a business cell phone call to capture the key agreements and actions while driving.

I am not sure about this but it presents some interesting added potential usage. No other camera offers this. Along with its internal speaker, maybe it can take on the cell phones???
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