Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 2, 2003, 8:31 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 30
Default I am calling upon your vast knowledge: What cam do I want?

Hello all,

I'm currently looking for a new digi cam and am having a difficult time trying to narrow it down between a few models. First off, I'll let you guys know what I'm looking for and what I use my cam for, that should make it easier. I take pictures of about everything. From landscapes, to people, to zoomed shots, to macros, b&w, and everything in between. I really need something that is a jack of all trades. It needs a good zoom, and I really value good macro performance, but it's not a necessity. The cam can be a compact or not, I really don't mind. It will spend just as much time on a tripod as it will in hand. What I value most is ease of use and image quality. I currently own a Canon A40 (first cam) and a Nikon 950, which I bought for the excellent macros. However, I'm not satisfied with the quality of these 2mp cams, I need more. Also, I never use the manual modes in either of these cams, I have yet to learn about ISO and all of the other various settigns that can be adjusted. When I finally get a cam that I am satisfied with, I will take the time to figure these things out so I would like a cam that offers good manual features. Price is another issue. I don't want to go over $500 and would really prefer to keep it close to $400. So, now that that's out of the way, here's the cams I am considering:
Nkion 4300, 4500 -I really like my Nikon

Canon S50 -seems to have great image quality (is it as good as a G3?)and good manual features. But only a 3x zoom and how is the macro performance?

Canon S400 -same as above, good as G3? Macro?

G3 -should I just bite the bullet and pay the price for one of these?

Any other recommendations? Also, are there any cams coming out soon that I should take a look at? Thanks for the help
dylan_d is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 2, 2003, 9:23 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

IMO, the G5 is not as good as the G3 (more chromatic aberrations, higher noise -- thanks to the smaller 1/1.8" 5MP CCD). Both models have some Chromatic Aberrations. With the G3 it's more noticeable at wider apertures, dissapearing with smaller apertures. With the G5, it doesn't seem to reduce as much with smaller apertures.

IMO, the Canon S45 is a better camera than the S50, too (Canon upgraded the sensor, without upgrading the lens).

The Canon S400 is well liked, but it's not going to give you the macro capablity of your Coolpix 950. It will also have some Chromatic Aberrations (although it's a well liked little camera, takes nice photos, and is very pocketable).

None of these will have the macro ability of your Nikon 950 though.

If you really want great macro capability, and don't mind the size, I'd go for a refurbished Nikon Coolpix 4500 (it's actually a smaller camera than your Coolpix 950).

Ritz has 'em for $349.99 while supplies last. See this link:

http://www.ritzcamera.com/webapp/wcs...1&cmCat=SEARCH

BTW, it also has more features than your Coolpix 950 (scene modes, Panaroma Assist, longer zoom, and more), with much lower chromatic aberrations (purple fringing), too. Nikon finally "got it right" with the lens/ccd combination in the 4500.

I understand that Nikon is no longer manufacturing this model (although you may be able to find one on a dealer shelf somewhere).

So, I'd get one while supplies last. No other digital cameras "out of the box" can come anywhere close to the macro capability of the swivel bodied Nikons (Coolpix 950, 990, 995, 4500) -- not even other Nikons.

I hope that Nikon decides to continue the swivel bodied tradition with a newer model after the 4500.

I've owned two of these Cameras (Nikon Coolpix 950, 990; and I still have the 950).

BTW, I've personally purchased a refurbished Nikon before. It arrived in perfect condition. I was unable to distinquish from a brand new camera in any way (camera, packaging, manuals, etc.).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2003, 9:27 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 30
Default

Macro aside, does the image quality of the 4500 match that of the 4mp Canon's?
dylan_d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2003, 9:40 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

If I were going to choose between a G3 and a Nikon 4500; I would go with the 4500 everytime time.

Why? Lower Chromatic Aberrations (purple fringing), longer zoom, and some features like BSS (Best Shot Selector) unique to Nikon.

Others may go with the Canon (faster F2.0/F3.0 lens -- better for available light shooting without a flash), and a focus assist lamp.

Personally, I don't like focus assist lamps (IMO, they "spoil a shot" since it's harder to get a candid shot with one).

I have also come to appreciate the Nikon Swivel Bodied design. Others may prefer the Canon's LCD (which accomplishes the same thing).

BTW, I also like the Nikon build quality. Nothing flimsy about it.

There are pros and cons to both.

If you already have any lens accessories for your CP 950, they will also work on the newer CP 4500.

P.S. -- IMO, the 990 was a big improvement over the older 950 (I've owned both); and I think the 4500 is the best one yet.

I recently bought a "pocket camera" myself (Konica KD-510z/Minolta G500). Given the great price on the 4500; if I could afford to spend the money on a second camera, I'd be tempted (just because of the great swivel bodied design I've found to be great for getting shots at parties, etc.).

I can't count the number of times I've held one of these Nikons over my head in a crowd and was able to get shots that would have been virtually impossible with most other cameras.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2003, 10:09 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 30
Default

Well, you've reminded me about all the things I love about my 950. The swivel, BSS, and macro performance has spoiled me The choice seems pretty easy now, especially at that great price. I'd still like a ultra compact like the S400, but that can wait.
dylan_d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 2, 2003, 10:44 PM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

I know the feeling. I struggled with a new camera decision not long ago myself.

I ended up comparing lots of pocketable cameras, and bought a Konica KD-510z. This one is being marketed in the U.S. as the Minolta DiMAGE G500. I really like it.

It's nice to have a camera that I can take with me everywhere in a pocket, and don't underestimate how great that really is. There have been lots of times that I left my larger cameras at home. Now, I always have a camera with me.

But, I do miss some of the Nikon features like the swivel body and BSS (but I still have a Coolpix 950, too).

There are too many cameras out now (with lots of good ones too).

It's too bad I can't afford to buy several.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 4, 2003, 12:55 PM   #7
mik
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 13
Default

hi

i have used a cool pix 4500-one prob, the colour interpretation of the camera has disappointed me, pinks look a bit brown, whites a bit yellow. does not show true colour.

it alos takes quiete a long time to focus when you go close up

the cool light is not very good.
mik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 4, 2003, 2:00 PM   #8
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mik
hi

i have used a cool pix 4500-one prob, the colour interpretation of the camera has disappointed me, pinks look a bit brown, whites a bit yellow. does not show true colour.

it alos takes quiete a long time to focus when you go close up

the cool light is not very good.
LOL

Any camera is going to have it's strengths and weaknesses. Given that the previous user already owns a Nikon Coolpix 950, I think he'll be very pleased with the improvements that Nikon has made in color accuracy in the newer models -- especially if he has never upgraded his Nikon's firmware.

Nikon almost always improves the performance of their models via firmware upgrades (but they don't always advertise everything that was improved). There are firmware upgrades available for the Coolpix 4500, too.

I've seen signficant improvements in color accuracy from firmware upgrades in the Nikon models I've owned in the past; and I suspect the same is true for the firmware upgrades available for the Coolpix 4500.

Also, it's white balance accuracy in natural light is superb. In other lighting, you also have the option of using Manual White Balance.

I think he'd be quite pleased with the 4500, especially considering that he likes the features of his existing Coolpix 950.

The Coolpix 4500 also has less Chromatic Aberrations (purple fringing), compared to it's competition in the same class -- thanks to an excellent match between the lens and sensor.

As far as focus speed, I'd much prefer a camera without a focus assist lamp, because the lamp can change facial expressions of a subject, and can be quite annoying.

Each camera has it's own set of strengths and weaknesses, and IMO, the Nikon's strengths, far outweigh any weaknesses -- especially considering how full featured it is, giving the user a wide choice in image processing parameters -- including white balance.

A camera is a tool. You must learn how to use it effectively, to get the best results, and it's flexbility and image quality is far greater than most models you'll find.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 2003, 12:01 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 30
Default

Hmmm, I haven't upgraded my firmware, I'll go check into that now. Thanks for the help Jim. I've been browsing around and you really seem to be a very helpful and knowledgeable guy, thanks again
dylan_d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 2003, 12:16 AM   #10
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

No problem. BTW, you don't have to use the serial cable to upgrade your firmware. Steve posted a procedure to do it via the CompactFlash card a long time ago.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/nikon990_pg3.html#firm

I've used this procedure personally on a Coolpix 950, and it works fine (if you have a CompactFlash reader to use for copying the upgrade to).

I'll find the link for the latest firmware and post it for you. Give me a few minutes. There have been numerous improvements made to the Coolpix 950 via firmware upgrades!

Edit/Update: Follow the links for firmware upgrades here:

http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php...roductNr=25043

BTW, I just looked at the latest instructions, and it now looks like Nikon is officially supporting the upgrade via copying the firmware to the CompactFlash card now (they originally only supported it via a Serial Port Connection).

P.S. Bryan Biggers has a great web site for more information on your Coolpix 950. As I mentioned previously, sometimes manufacturers don't always tell you everything they fix/improve in the firmware upgrades, too. If you look at the Firmware upgrade Summaries on this page (1.1, 1.2, 1.3), you'll see everything that was improved for the CP 950 (scroll down, and you'll see the summaries):

http://webpages.charter.net/bbiggers...tml/cp950.html
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:09 PM.