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Old Jun 28, 2007, 10:43 PM   #1
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So I played around with the new W30. Pretty compact and very nice looking cam.

Here's some impressions, I will focus on what I didn't like, but please don't say i'm RiceHigh (For the record, i don't know why everyone hates him. His k100d review was more informative than stupid dpreview's.)

Negatives:

Speed: Not so hot.

Focusingis acceptably quick in good light and pretty bad in low light (no af illuminator). Nowhere near as fast as the Canon SD600 though, but focus is very reliable.

Shutter lag: one of the great things abour the SD600 is that is cancels whatever the hell it's trying to do as soon as you release the shutter button. If you PUNCH OUT in the middle of the w30 hunting for focus, it'll keep hunting until it achieves a lock, or fails. This is moderately annoying.

Files: Write and access speeds are tolerable but still much slower than SD600, but they get around this in an interesting way. As soon as you snap the pic it writes to buffer then immediately gets dumped to the card. As a result, you can take another pic basically immediately. if you try to go into preview mode, there is a 1-3 second delay where it says "data being recorded". Not a big annoyance by any means.

White balance: Slightly... wierd. AWB is kind of strange indoors and even late-day/dusk conditions. Indoors under compact fluorescent bulbs, I could not get a white balance (even by measuring) that produced a pleasant image. This was fixed by selecting auto and cutting down saturation, which produced the nicest images.

Outdoors @ dusk, the preset for shade worked very nicely as did the measurement function. (punchy, warm colors) AWB did ok but I found the colors kind of drab and grey.

Exposure: Generally very good but there is a slight tendency to overexpose (clearly to return acceptable detail on the shadows that ma & pa would never know how to fix in PP.) In my shooting conditions (early dusk), I found -0.7 to be very good.


Positives:

Features: Excellent. The camera has some features I wish the SLRs had.

-Green button can be mapped to any function in the menu, up to 4. So in my case, pressing it once, I get EV, another time for iso, another for exoposure mode, and another for white balance.

-Menu items == 100% re-orderable

-Genuinely useful focus modes (AF, Inf., Macro, Panfocus (ultra-quick tracking af), and possibly the best MF implementation I've ever seen in a P&S)

-Has the soft flash (aka slow sync) and it works very very well.

-Perfectly smooth zoom

Ergonomics: By far the best ever.

If you're reading this, then you own a Pentax DSLR. If you do, then you will be instantly familiar with the way the 4-way controller works. It puts every other menu system/interface to shame with its amazing, beautifully elegant simplicity.

4-way controller coupled with the green button make controling the cam a breeze

Waterproofness: It works and it takes good pictures under water. What's not to like. Impervious to drunken outings at the beach.

Image quality: Like all P&S models, this camera is a real POS above iso 400, and a slow f/3.3 lens with no SR makes it just about useless for indoor available light photography.

That being said, it EXCELS underwater and in good light. Very clean, sharp images with beautiful color rendition. Much better than my promptly-returned Fuji Finepix Z2.


Anyway, less talking, more pictures:
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 10:44 PM   #2
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Number two, slightly camera shake-ey
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 10:44 PM   #3
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3
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 10:45 PM   #4
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4... magic hour is about to begin
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 10:49 PM   #5
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Underwater. All the other pictures were of my ugly mug making funny faces underwater. I'll save you all the horror unless you REALLY wanna see them.
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 10:59 PM   #6
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LOL! A friend of mine bought one to use surfing (maybe snorkling or low diving, but not very deep). He loves it and it really does work well underwater.
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Old Jun 28, 2007, 11:39 PM   #7
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Toy indeed, those photos aren't half bad at all and waterproof as well
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Old Jun 29, 2007, 5:03 AM   #8
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Wrong forum or not, I still want one.

Ira
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Old Jun 29, 2007, 5:40 PM   #9
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Monza76 wrote:
Quote:
Wrong forum or not, I still want one.

Ira
Me too!

So what if it suffers from noise above 400ISO, it is waterproof!!!!

Although why anyone would need a waterproof camera in the UK beats me. I mean, even if the sea was clear enough to take photos it would probably be too cold. And it never rains here either :-)
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Old Jun 29, 2007, 6:03 PM   #10
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This little guy does time lapse! (pic taken with k100 and FA43)


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