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Old Mar 1, 2004, 9:35 AM   #1
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Default Minolta S414 vs Canon A70

I am a first time buyer of a digital camera and I am torn between the two cameras I have listed. Which one do you think I should get and why? Thanks for your comments.
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Old Mar 1, 2004, 11:37 AM   #2
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The 414 is considerably larger and heavier. I do like the 4X optical zoom and especially the continuous focus on the 414. Vox says the 414 is a bit of a battery hog and the continuous focus mode compounds that, but you are going to have to buy a charger and NiMH batteries for either and spares are cheap and easy to carry. Only one of my cameras doesn’t have continuous focus and it harder to use for rugrats and people moving at gatherings compared to my cameras with continuous focus, which will focus right to shutter release.

On similar discussions Steve has shown a preference for the A70.
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Old Mar 5, 2004, 12:45 PM   #3
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Jayman,

I went through the exact same decision a few months ago, read a half dozen reviews of each (often conflicting) - and eventually settled on the S414 and I've been very happy with it - for me at least it had a better set of features and the size issue was not important to me - in fact, some of the digitals are getting so small that it's hard for me to handle them effectively - I've not had an issue with battery life - but then I don't have the experience with several different models in order to compare. I just bought a Maha charger and a couple of sets of batteries and it's never been an issue for me. Good luck on your decision - both cameras are very good cameras - for me the Minolta just had more of what I was looking for and I was able to find a very good price on it.
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 9:46 AM   #4
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I think you should compare 414 to A80 instead of A70 since A70 is only a 3 megapixels DC ! But even so I will choose A70 ! S414's operating speed is too slow ! And even they both use AA batteries, A414 consume batteries much more than A70 ! About the photo quality, I think S414 may be a bit (but not much) better but for faster performance and a AF assist light I will choose A70 !
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Old Mar 6, 2004, 11:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
I think you should compare 414 to A80 instead of A70 since A70 is only a 3 megapixels DC
The 414 is in the price range of the A70 and not the A80. It is a bargain in a 4Mp 4X zoom camera.

Quote:
S414's operating speed is too slow
Shutter delay at wide is about the same and reasonably fast. Projecting the zoom range it appears the 414 would be about the same at 3X with both being slow.

The 414 shutter delay is fast in manual focus. That is what one would probably use in dynamic situations that wouldn’t allow pre-focus. The A70 does not have that option.

Most manufacturers recommend pre-focus as normal shooting technique. Both cameras are fast in shutter delay with pre-focus with the 414 being just a tad faster.

Shot to shot cycle times are a little faster on the 414 and it has a bigger buffer so you can take more in sequence before waiting for a card write.

The 414 takes about a second longer to be ready after switching it on.

Quote:
A414 consume batteries much more than A70
The 414 is a battery hog with the LCD on all the time. The status panel lets you shoot without the LCD for settings, and battery life is fine with the LCD off. No reason to turn it on with the status panel except to review images already taken. You have to buy a charger and NiMH batteries for either camera and spares are cheap and easy to carry. Thomas Distributing gives you a little battery carry case with their PowerX batteries – which are excellent batteries.

Quote:
About the photo quality, I think S414 may be a bit (but not much) better but for faster performance and a AF assist light I will choose A70
The 414 pictures are larger in pixels but I wouldn’t say they are better except you can frame a little better with 4X. With the manual focus option for dynamic situations where you can’t pre-focus I would consider the Minolta the faster camera the way I would use it. Focus assist lights are a nuisance IMO. Some cameras focus in low light fine without them, unfortunately the 414 doesn’t appear to be one of them. I have found several ways around that with my FZ10 that has poor low light focus and am happy it doesn’t have an assist light.
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Old Mar 7, 2004, 8:30 AM   #6
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I personally won't suggest S414 mostly because it is too bulky ! Also it seems that comparing a 4 megapixels DC with a 3 megapixels DC seems not fair ! I am not try to argue with you which one is better, but when you see that why A70 is much more popular than S414 in the world (At least in Asia), then you will know why !
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