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Old Jul 30, 2004, 1:00 PM   #1
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I Have just decided to order a Canon S410/IXUS 430, despite the lack of manual controls. Having read reviews, it seems that image quality is better than on the A80. I'm just confused as to why manufacturers omit manual controls, when I doubt it would add extra cost. I understand that the mode dial on the IXUS isn't like that on the A80, but surely they could make things accessible through the menus. It's the auto stuff that probably uses more silicon/processing power, so it can't be an impossible feature.

I am just wondering if someone more knowledgable might know if it would be feasible for Canon say, to release a firmware that could include more manual controls. After all, you're only asking the camera to do *less* work.

Just a random ranting thought. I might end up returning the IXUS if I can't get that nice waterfall blur too easily and swithchi it for an A80 (the purple fringing scared me off). Or maybe wait until I can get hold of a used S60.
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 1:45 PM   #2
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The reason you don't find manual controls on a POS...er, P&S is the same reason you don't find a surfboard on the back of a bicyclie: people who are buying that specific model aren't looking for that functionality.
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 1:50 PM   #3
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Of course, I understand that. But does it hurt to have it included , while being hidden away? Bit like all the optional features in Windows. You don't need to touch them, but you can if you want.
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 3:06 PM   #4
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There are several reasons why many compact cameras do not have manual features.

1. It is a selling feature that differentiates the camera. This is called stratification. Cheaper camera are geared towards people who only want to point and shoot. More expensive cameras will start to give you manual modes. These cameras are geared towards Prosumers (I dislike that term) to professionals.

2. A lot of people...probably the majority...could care less about f stops let alone shutter speeds. For these people, manual modes would be confusing to them. So, many people shop for a simple camera that won't get them into trouble. Because this market segment is so big, the camera makers are more then happy to accommodate them.

Actually, manual modes and program modes aren't that much different as far as work goes for the camera. there was a time when all you could get was manual mode. I remember when program mode came out, and the price was high to get it on a camera because it was a technological advancement. Today, everything is done via electronics...so it is just as easy to give you program modes, as it is for manual modes these days.

The more "features"a camera has, the more you will pay. So camera companies like to "stratify" their collection so that there is a camera out there for everyone. They believe that if your serious and know enough to want manual mode, then you will be willing to pay the price of admission to get there.


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Old Jul 30, 2004, 10:15 PM   #5
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Chako wrote:
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The more "features"a camera has, the more you will pay.
That's just it, it does cost more to add the controls and the complexity to the camera...many people don't want or can't handle all those control...they just want to litterally point and shoot.

It's great now that we HAVE the choices of P&S or being able to control every setting...the first electronic still cameras were all point and shoot.

If you really want manual controls you will be dissapointed with your choice of a P&S.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 2:57 AM   #6
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I notice most of the P & S are much cheaper in price for this reason. Most people buy one because they are cheap andproduce a fairly good auto shot. If you want a Canon with the extras, go for the A80 or a G5 or G3 if you can find one. The bottom line is that if you want the manual settings you pay more.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 2:59 AM   #7
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by the way, My parents have an A80 and Ive never yet seen much of the purple fringing. I have a G3 and a drebel and yes they do get a little of the purple fringing but only on certain backgrounds, nothing you cant edit out.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 12:34 PM   #8
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I had always assumed that if Canon listed a manual mode it had one. You are right – manual on the Elph/IXUS is the same as program mode on other cameras. I'm a little disappointed that Canon would do that. Fuji does smoke and mirrors stuff but not usually Canon.

I went back through the Elphs and it has been that way throughout the series. I suppose they could add a manual mode with a firmware update, but don't hold your breath.

I doubt it would cost more money to add a manual mode and some advanced auto modes like shutter and aperture priority. But the menu system gets cluttered with more stuff people don't understand and they move on to a simpler camera they can understand. They could easily have added an "M" to the mode dial. Marketing probably has as much to do with the design as engineering, and marketing likely feels the camera will sell better if they keep it simple.

The one feature the A80 has that is necessary for your waterfall is a filter adapter. A polarizer acts as a neutral density filter and will usually cut your light about 3X. That gives you some versatility in slowing the shutter speed. Steve lists the A80 in his best cameras and Dave over at Imaging Resource has it in his Dave's picks. Steve often recommends the A80 on the forums here. I seriously doubt that they would have recommended a camera so highly if CA was that bad. This is from Dave:

410: "Optical Distortion
: Average geometric distortion, some problems with coma and/or flare. Optical distortion on the S410 is about average at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.7 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I measured only 0.09 percent barrel distortion there. The S410's lens has some problems with coma and/or flare in the corners of the frame though, with a fair bit of softness evident, particularly along the left side. That said, chromatic aberration doesn't appear to be all that strong, as there's only fairly weak color visible on the fringes of the target elements. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)"

A80: "
Optical Distortion: A good lens for a midrange camera. Optical distortion on the A80 was slightly less than average at the wide-angle end, where I measured an approximate 0.7 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I measured only half a pixel of barrel distortion, a level of about 0.03 percent. Chromatic aberration was low, showing about five pixels of very faint coloration on either side of the target lines. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) Overall, a good-quality lens for a mid-range camera - not up to the level of the lenses on the G3/G5 series, but quite adequate for enlargements to 8x10 and even 11x14."


I don't get the feeling he agrees with you that image quality is better on the 410.

If 4Mp is good enough for you on the 410 I'm curious why you would wait for the new S60 to come on the used market when there are S45s and S50s there now. You might wait for a while for used S60s to hit the market.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 12:46 PM   #9
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Look a film P&S cameras. Most have no manual control at all. Where as most digital cameras, even P&S, have a couple of manual features.

The camera makers want to make cameras easy to use for everyone. If you want manual controls, buy a DSLR. Can't afford it, buy a higher end "ProSumer" P&S camera. There are options.
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