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Old Feb 6, 2003, 1:25 PM   #1
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Default Mode Dial on the S-404

I'm looking to buy the S 404 . I was at the camera store looking at it and every time I tried putting it in it's pouch the "mode dial" would drag and turn it on. Any comments on this problem would be appreciated.
I like the idea of the 4x optical zoom but was concerned it might cut down on the lens light for normal shots. Any comments?
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Old Feb 6, 2003, 8:08 PM   #2
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For myself, I have not found the mode dial to be a problem. I found if you place the S404 in your pocket (or case) wide end down, that tends to hold the mode dial in the off position.

The speed of lens (f3.0) isn't as fast as some, but it hasn't been a problem. Also the S404 is faster (f3.6) at full zoom than many.

I have a web site http://www.ericksonbird.com/s404 with some sample pics and some FAQ based on my use of the s404 since last March.

Hope this helps,
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Old Feb 8, 2003, 12:50 AM   #3
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The mode problem is irritating at times and Richard's solution does seem to help but not completly eliminate it.

Like Richard, I've been using a Minolta S404 for less than a year and have been generally very pleased with it. I used to use a HP Photosmart 315 and actually still do on occasion. I am still a believer that photography is in large part more influenced by the photographer than the equipment. A great camera will never make a lousy photographer take great shots, but a great photographer can take some great shots even with so-so (not fllawed) equipment.

Richard's site does a great job in pointing out some of the S404's short comings such focussing problems which is true of many digital cameras, and limited macro capability. Add to these the fact that it has difficulty rendering blue's accurately in relatively low light making them look slightly purple and Minolta should have backlit the top LCD status panel. It's a dog to see in low light.

With a little bit of creativity you can just about overcome most of these shortcomings. Unfortunately, most of the posts have been devoted to the Minolta 7 series and the S404 has been neglected. I like it and I've taken over 4000 pics.

You can see some of my pictures at:


Oh, one other thing. The camera is very durable. I've dropped mine twice and it has survived without any apparent damage other than a few scratches on the case from some lava rocks.
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