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Old May 11, 2004, 8:06 AM   #1
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hello, just bought a new pentax s4i and after seeing the review and reading people

thoughts it doesn't look good.

just wanted to know 2 things:

1. how can i know if my camera is defective? what should i check?

2. i was wondering which brand of SD card to buy? and also someone told me that i don't need to buy the ultra versions because the camera is slower then what they offer. is that true?


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Old May 12, 2004, 4:15 AM   #2
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I also am "worried" after reading the negative reviews. Before purchasing the S4i I read what was availavble, and that was 99% positive reviews. But users are different, some zoom the picture up to original size and really inspact and compare with other cameras, while others again just want those small prints and if their OK their happy.

Well, we have purchased a small digicam, but the question is: what can we really expect? Pentax claims that S4i should have superiour quality compared to their own S4, and when tests show that this is not true for some, one starts wondering if (i) Pentax is lying, or (ii) some S4i's are badly assembled or have defective parts.

I recommend you to do some test shots in different environments and shooting distances. I have discovered that in all modes excpet "night mode" the camera refuses to use longer shutter time than 1/8s. Can'r find this documented in manual?! If the ambient light conditions needs longer shutter time, the aperture and shutter time are displayed in red (organge), not green!!!! If you shift to night mode then you will get the longer shutter time. In flash mode I have noticed that 1/60s is a "normal" shutter time for the S4i (and most other automatic cameras), use night mode to get balanced ambinent light on your pictures if needed: conclusion beging that "night mode" is useful for pictures taken indoors and in dim environment: notice taken of course to hold the camera steady!

I have also noticed that "auto sensitivity" uses only ISO50-100, not ISO200 or ISO400. Well, probably this is good, since the noise at those ISO setting are noticable.

The lens gives somewhat soft corners and some vignetting (the corners are a bit darker than the centre). This is normal. You should inspect the centre of the image and look for areasat focus distance *not being in focus*: if you find such areas your S4i might be not as it should. I find MY S4i to give better quality than Steves result I think, but I have not tested yet to shoot those high-frequency pictures that he has.

When it comes to SD card, I bought the cheepest 256MB card I find. The *** JPEG quality pics uses 2-3 seconds to record: it does not bother me. I do not know how much faster an ultra SD would be.

Speed is in concern more for digital SLRs I think. I am waiting some more years I think before purchasing the digital SLR, seeing the prices drop more hopefully.

Happy shooting!

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Old May 12, 2004, 7:24 AM   #3
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I am quite happywith my 4si.

I have taken 100s of Picutres and not noticed the softness Steve mentioned. I do not know if it is his Sample or somthing else. There are in this forum people who got good results and submitted thier picutures in this forum. One for example titled earting good in Maui

I have taken Macro Shots of Orchids, Portraits, Scenic etc., all good.

As far as an SD card (e.g. 256MB)they range from about $65 to $100 Delivred (not counting rebates). That will get you 85 picutures Max Quality4MP and quality set to *** (HIghest). At lower res. you would get more pictures.

I bought a Dane Elec one from Newegg.com and I bought and returned a San disk Ultra II card from Radio Shack for a test. I was hard pressed to tell the difference in some non sci entific testing. I hammered the Camera 10x shots in a row with each card. I also took pictures with both cards.

My goal was never to see writing to memory card... That message seems to come up randomly. e.g. I would take 10 Pics at 4MP and quality set to *** (iIghest) and no wait. Then I would take one shot at another point and get that message.

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Old May 26, 2004, 12:17 PM   #4
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Re "how can i know if my camera is defective? what should i check", there was an old movie starring Marilyn Monroe. She walked into a liquor store and asked for a bottle of champagne. She told the storekeeper to make sure that she got the best stuff he had because shewouldn't be able to tell the difference! :-)
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