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Old Feb 21, 2004, 4:06 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the replys but I'm going to wait for the Canon A75. I like the smaller size of the A70 and the what I really like about it are the bright photos compared to the S414, So the A75 should be all that and then some.
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Old Feb 21, 2004, 5:26 PM   #12
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.......I like the smaller size of the A70 and the what I really like about it are the bright photos compared to the S414, So the A75 should be all that and then some...........

Yes I tried the A70 and A80 before I bought a S414. I wanted something that was a bit more compact than my Fuji S602, cheap enough for party stuff BUT comparable on pic quality.

I discounted the A70/A80 real quick on CA and blue colour casts in dull daylight (white bal errors). However, at first look I admit the Minolta pics did not look as 'bright' as the Fuji - but they did look more natural.

Now the curious thing about the S414 is it's extremely conservative on levels (is this a Minolta trait?), but noise is low enough up to 200 ISO to get the look you want afterwards. Unlike other cams that are running whites into the clipper and oversaturating to give more noise in colours. I've now discovered that applying some 10-20% extra colour saturation , put the whites into the clipper in photoshop, I can make the S414 as 'bright' as the Fuji. But I'd rather have the latitude, than have the camera peak for max smoke and get it wrong.

The S414 does have offer a custom choice of natural or vivid colour and at least you can see something of the histogram on its display - unlike the Canon A's!. VOX
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Old Feb 22, 2004, 3:22 AM   #13
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I own the earlier version of the S414 which is the S404. The camera is great, very durable, excellent rapid shot, a nice piece of glass lens and many other features too numerous to mention.
The 414 improves on the 404 by creating the shots in standard color space and a few other changes apparently not too obvious.

As much as I like it and it was my main camera for over 10,000 shots

http://www.pbase.com/selvin

you should be aware of some quirkiness. Incidentally, I would suspect all cameras have a certain amount of quirkiness.

1) Minolta needs to fix the damn on/off switch. Getting it wrong once in the 404 was forgiveable but they used exactly the same design in the 414. It is too easy to turn the camera on accidentally. There are workarounds but after one version they should have done something better.

2) The strength of the flash fades after 9-10 feet very rapidly. It is much better than the HP I used to have but from what I've read, the strength of the flash is still not one of their strong points. I now also own an Olympus 730UZ and it clearly has a stronger flash unit.

3) Battery drain is about as close as you can get to "it sucks" with being there. Yes, the advent of 2000+MA NIMH batteries just about solves that problem though.

Actually the three points I stated above aren't fatal flaws they are primarily inconveninces that I was willing to live with because the unit took really good pictures. Some can be seen on my web site.

Aloha
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Old Feb 22, 2004, 4:58 PM   #14
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........) Minolta needs to fix the darn on/off switch. Getting it wrong once in the 404 was forgiveable but they used exactly the same design in the 414.......

I'd agree with everything. BUT the worst thing on the 414 was they seem to have picked a WB for flash, which isn't daylight! If you're outside and leave the flash on auto and the light level drops, your WB gets screwed 'cos the flash kicks in with its own preset WB. I always use preset daylight WB now for flash and keep the auto flash off!

I fixed my 414 by cutting a piece of plastic shaped like a doughnut with a 'V' slot in it. Slipped it under the function rotary switch. Nice bit of increased friction, been working great for 3 months. VOX
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