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manualfocus Jan 25, 2005 10:39 AM

What are the criteria to estimate the likelihood of a camera having its firmware updated to be able to shoot in RAW?

I am thinking of buying the Canon Powershot A75 which presently only shoots JPEGS.


manualfocus Jan 25, 2005 1:07 PM

Well, while I'm waiting to hopefully receive replies to my original question, I'll put my question in a bit larger context.

First off, I must emphasize that I am a newbie, but a passionate enthusiast at that. I've never shot with an SLR. I've spent close to a year shooting the hell out of my Olympus Camedia D540, which has served me well, but whose lack of manual control is extremely frustrating now.

As luck would have it, the D540 had a hardware problem, and I am able to return it where I bought it. I'm thinking of updating to a Canon Powershot A75. It sounds fine for my needs, but I wish that it shot in RAW. Hence my question about the possible firmware update.

To complicate matters further, I've become aware of the discount on the Nikon Coolpix 5400. One hundred dollars separates them in price.

But it sounds like the Nikon has a bit of trouble in low/ambient light, where the Canon doesn't. I like shooting without a flash.

This is outweighed perhaps, by the fact that the Nikon can shoot in RAW.

If the Canon might be updated at some point to shoot in RAW, I'd forego the Nikon's other advantages and bite the bullet with the Canon.

But for now, I'm stumped. :?:

Any help would be much appreciated.

Stevekin Jan 25, 2005 2:49 PM

It appears that the Nikon Coolpix 5400 can, as you state, shoot raw, but only after a firmware upgrade. Which leads me to believe the possibility of the same for the Canon A75. Whether that will or can happen I don't know. Up to now it seems there has been no such enhancements in any upgrade to date. As you are considering the Nikon, take a look at the Canon Powershot S70 the big brother of the S60. Both of these shoot raw and are similar in price to the Coolpix 5400.Check Steve's review, see what you think.



manualfocus Jan 25, 2005 4:29 PM


Thanks very much for your reply.

I would love the S60 or the S70, but they are waaay above my budget. The only reason I can even consider the Coolpix 5400 is a result of the $200 mail in rebate, which reduces the final cost to about $300.

As for the A75, I'm wondering if Canon would ever consider a RAW firmware update for what is not seemingly part of their 'prosumer' line? Unlike the 5400 which Nikon promised a RAW firmware update for a long time?

These cameras change so fast! Frankly, if money was not an issue, I'd buy a Leica M; it's at least free to dream. :)

Stevekin Jan 25, 2005 5:24 PM

Sorry, didn't mean to tease you. I wasn't aware of how much the rebate was. But just in case, found an S60 for $409.84 at,

Just add to cart to see the price. I know, another $100 or so, but at least you have raw without upgrading firmware, nor the slight failings of the Coolpix.

Just a thought, if you're not getting your camera yesterday, try emailing Canon. If you find out for definite that they are not planning it, at least that's that one out of the equation.



manualfocus Jan 25, 2005 6:46 PM


Again, thanks for your reply.

Your post re: the S60 is intriguing.

I used to think that buying a computer was a difficult choice. It pales in comparison to a digital camera! There's always this dyanmic of "only [x] amount of money will get me [y] more features."

While I wrote that I would dream of getting a Leica M, that's not completely accurate. In fact, I'd 'settle' for the Epson RD1:

and would 'risk' incompatibilities with future technological firmware updates. ;)

Frankly, I would love a fully MANUAL camera.

Stevekin Jan 26, 2005 4:03 AM

Keep applying the dynamic of "only [x] amount of money will get me [y] more features.".......................eventually you could justify the outlay on the Leica M :G


Wildman Jan 26, 2005 6:45 PM

Unless you're really interested in picture quality and spending a lot of time post processing them, JPG works fine. Totake advantage of RAW mode, you have to be more than a casual photographer. Some folks really need those advantages. I generally don't. I like the ability to adjust white balance after pressing the shutter button, perhaps the best thing about RAW mode.

I'm sure Canon won't ever update the A75, even if it could be done. The A75 is a great little camera. I bought one for my son (looking for grandkid pix ;)). When my wife saw it, she liked it so much I bought her one. It fits in her purse and she carries it everywhere. No camera can take a picture if you leave it at home. It ain't no DSLR... I have a 20D. Nowthat's a camera! Actually, it's a mid-range DSLR, tho' a great one.

Both have advantages in picture quality, mobility and price. Canon has mastered covering the market like a blanket.

I really like the A75 as a snapshot camera. But that's what it is. For the price, it's a terrific camera.

manualfocus Jan 28, 2005 12:04 AM

Wildman, interesting. Your wife must have a decent sized purse, [chuckle] - the A75 is hardly tiny.

Be it JPEG, RAW, or other, I'm just sorry that the industry does not standardize a lossless file-type for ALL cameras, even the low-end ones. As it is, digital feels kind of...transient...for lack of a better word. I guess it's the absence of those timeless negatives.

And while I'm not a pro, nor enjoy doing it, I do try to optimize my shots with post-shot production, in PS or equivalent. It would be nice to be able to do that, without thinking about what detail I am eroding, each time I do so.

And while I'd like one day to own a Canon 20D or equivalent just like you, frankly, an Epson RD1 interests me much more. For me, THAT'S a real camera.

Oh well, by the time I can afford it, the prices will hopefully have dropped 600000000000000000000%.


P.S. I had to laugh today when I visited a camera shop - a big one here where I live. Anyway, I asked the guy why they don't sell Leicas. He said, "Well we can't sell everything...we have choices to make." Fair enough.

Then I said, too bad you don't sell the Epson RD1.

He kind of sneered and said: "We only sell cameras from camera companies."

"I see," I said. And then asked him if he could show me the equivalent of the Nikon 5400, at which point he took me over to the SONY (!!!) counter.

There really seems to be this disdain for this idea of a camera without all the presets, and digital indicators, and bells and whistles. For someone like myself, who is new to this world of photography and cameras without a vested interest either way, it really is quite the interesting divide and dynamic.

Wildman Jan 28, 2005 1:11 AM

Manualfocus... The A75 is about the size of a pack of cigarettes... it fits in a shirt pocket (or my wife's purse). It even comes with a neat little case. If you get one, buy a couple of sets of rechargeable AA batteries and a charger.

The A75 isn't as small as a Digital Elph, but is sure a handy little snapshooter.

The R-D1 looks like a good first step as the first digital range finder camera, but at $3000, it's pretty expensive and I wonder if it's really a great deal. Most folks in the higher end market invest most of their money in lenses and replace their camera bodies every three or four years as new developments come along. Technology marches along, but good quality glass holds its value.

DSLRs are really gaining market share and are improving with each new model, but older (compatible) lenses can be carried forward. The 20D is pretty fast (not as quick as the Pro line of Canons) and will shoot about 20 JPGs (or six RAWs) in a burst at 5 frames per second. It sells for half of the R-D1. The Canon Pro cameras go for up to about $8000 (gulp)... lenses extra. Some have full frame (35 X 24 mm) sensors vs the 1.3 or 1.6 crop sensors of the consumer level DSLRs. The 20D's sensor is about 62% the size of a full 35mm frame.

The "temporary" nature of digital files isn't really a major problem. Everybody can read and write JPGs, though RAW files are manufacturer specific and have to be converted to TIFF or JPG to be processed. Photoshop has become a de facto industry standard for processing picture files. I wouldn't sweat it.

Sounds like your camera store "expert" needs to study up on his product lines.;)

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