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Old Oct 1, 2003, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Help with A-80 vs the Powershot S400

I need help with comparing the Canon A80 with the S400 Elph (Ixus400). I realize the A80 isn't available yet at least not to my knowledge but the specs are. So this would mostly refer to feature and operational differences between the S400 and the type features found in the A70 and A80. For one thing, the A80 has a flip-out LCD. Can anyone speak to the likely differences in pics between the two? I find myself in a situation where I can get the S400 with employee discounts whereas I would have to just pay the going rate for the A70 or A80. Therefore, the costs would be rather close and so all three are under consideration. I know about the obvious differences like the special case on the S400 and I think it has a better LCD but I am still having trouble interpreting the rest of the differences. Thanks
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 12:27 PM   #2
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The ability to take add-on lenses is a big benefit to the A80.

It also offers more manual control.

Of course, the biggest downside to the A80 is pocketability. That's why the S400 is such a popular model (you can easily carry it anywhere in a pocket). The A80 is a little larger.
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 2:04 PM   #3
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I was having trouble quantifying the manual control differences between the two.

I can definitely see that there would be a size difference but it might be worth it if A80 is better in some ways than the S400.

I have reviewed about 50 user feedback reviews at DPReviews and am finding a thin thread of concerns about sharpness with the A70. A few complained about CA but I think that is fairly common with the small lenses in most cams from what I am seeing. The camera still seems well liked by nearly everyone and gets generally high marks, same for the S400 and slightly higher marks.

I am tryingto determine if the A80 has any significant advantages over the S400, even though they are not exactly in the same classification -- maybe they are, I dunno.
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 2:57 PM   #4
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The biggest advantage you'll see with the A80 is versatility due to add-on lenses.

Using the optional Filter/Lens adapter, you will be able to purchase a close up lens (for closer macro focusing), teleconverter lens (to add zoom range), wide angle lens (to increase wide angle capability/field of view), or filters for various purposes -- like a polarizer filter to reduce reflections and bring out blue skies better, etc.

As for the manual control department, you've got full manual exposure (setting of aperture and shutter speed), as well as aperture and shutter priority modes with the A80.

This can be very useful. For example: at a sporting event, you could set the shutter speed to a fast enough setting to freeze the action (depending on available light), and then let the camera pick the aperture for correct exposure.

Or vice-versa --- use Aperture Priority to set the aperture to either a wider aperture/smaller F Stop Number for less depth of field/faster shutter speeds), or to a smaller aperture/larger F Stop Number (for more depth of field/slower shutter speeds).

Aperture Priority can be useful for either making sure more of a photo is in focus, or for blurring backgrounds (often desirable in portraits).

The A80 will also have manual focus capability. Considering the mediocre performance of the S400 and A70 in the low light focus department (especially, considering that they've got focus assist lamps), manual focus could be a useful feature -- taking the cameras autofocus "out of the equation", in situations where the focus assist lamp is not strong enough to work well.

The lens performance between these two cameras appears to be about the same, but the filter/lens adapter makes the A80 more versatible -- along with more control over aperture/shutter speeds used.

The new tilt out LCD should be great too --- allowing you to get photos that would be impossible with the S400 (holding the camera over your head and framing -- waist level framing without stooping down, etc.

The downside is that the A80 is a little larger -- making it less pocketable.

We'll have to wait for the reviews to see how it really "stacks up" against the competition.

I've got a feeling that it will do well (especially considering that it will use the larger 1/1.8" (.556") CCD -- as used in the S400, which takes great photos.

I am not a fan of the smaller 1/2.7" CCD used in the A70 (although, considering it's smaller size, it's a good performer).
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 3:52 PM   #5
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To add a little to that
the a80 has a little closer macro focusing abilities
the a80 has adjustable apature while the s400 only has a single apature range
The a80 lists a broader flash range which leeds me to believe that it has a more powerfull and more capable flash adjustment. My a70 has a variable power flash so I would assume that the a80 does. I am not sure about the s400 but if it is variable it cannot be turned down as much as the a80 for closeup work, or up as high for distant work.
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 9:01 PM   #6
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All this is great, stuff I didn't know! I can stare at the specs like a cat stares at the TV -- a lot of it doesn't necessarily sink in!
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 10:43 PM   #7
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Default Ixus 400 (Elph) Noise problem?

According to Digital Ixus400 (sender) they rattle just a bit. Some fellow contributors seem to substantiate this. Not that it's a problem, this is probably just the picture rotation sensor like one person suggested. But a whopping 420 passers-by took a look at this interesting contribution in the "Canon" thread. Everyone wants to know whether to return theirs to the shop or not!
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