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Old Mar 1, 2004, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default S4i - Pictbridge? - Worth the Wait?

I have been reading and reading and holding off on purchasing on an S4. I had finally decided on the S4 over the Canon S400,
notwithstanding the general review consensus that seems to suggest that the picture quality is uniformly better on the S400. I realized that in most cases, the person behind the camera has a lot to do with it, and I plan on only taking family / vacation pictures and developing at 4x6 with the odd 8 x 10 and for those specs,
portability is likely more important.

Anyways, to make a short story, then the S4i was announced and after reviewing the features, yeah, it would be nice to get the larger LCD screen but what intrigued me the most was the reference to pictbridge. Can someone explain exactly what this is and whether it will become some type of de facto standard that a year from now I will be sorry I don't have? It seems as if many of the new cameras recently announced have this feature.

Also, when is the S4i scheduled to be released? My local photo chain has a $100 off promotion on the S4 which leads me to believe they are trying to unload them. (Good thing I waited!)

Thanx in advance.
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Old Mar 1, 2004, 6:06 PM   #2
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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...165439-5055962

Once you find out how expensive it is to print photo quality you might not think it quite such a good deal. I personally couldn’t imagine printing directly from the card without some work at full screen in an image editor. I always shoot with minimum contrast to get the best dynamic range the little sensors are capable of and minimum sharpening because that should always be done last. So I could never print directly from a card anyway. If you use the printer maker’s ink and paper it is pricier to print 4 X 6s than to just have Wal-Mart do it. The Wal-Mart prints done on the Fuji Frontier system are consistently good and won’t run if they get wet. If I wanted to do a bunch of 4 X 6s I would sort, crop and enhance them in the computer and write them to a 10c CD and let WalMart or Walgrens print them. They can do it a lot faster than you can and cheaper. I usually just print 5 X 7 or larger and prefer to have them right when they print.

As far as I can see most of the new stuff is gee-haw other than the great LCD. That is a feature to consider, but considering the current price and rebate I went ahead and ordered a S4. Mine was about $300 including shipping with the rebate taking it to around $270. I decided the larger screen wasn’t worth probably an extra $100 until they come down and wanted one soon. With my PDA and cellphone I decided my C50 is a little too big to carry everywhere.

Release was originally scheduled for Feb 04, so I guess it should be due out any day now.
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 9:39 AM   #3
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Thanx for the detailed post. I thought about it, and realized that I would probably print every now and then from my home printer, but one of the main things which has finally prompted me to jump into the digital camera market is the relative ease and low cost (recent, at least in Canada) with which I can get my photos printed commercially, either by uploading from the computer, dumping onto a CD or even just bringing in my SD card to a photo store.

After throwing all of that into the hopper and the recent $100 off promotion on the camera here in Toronto (now selling for CDN$399 which is about US$305 (there are no plans to offer the rebate in Canada) PLUS after talking to Pentax Canada who tells me that the S4i should be released to (Canadian) retailers in the beginning of April, I decided to buy the S4.

One thing I now realize, is that my home computer running Win98 (and older system obviously) may not be up to the task of manipulating such large images! While I saved on the camera, I may need to buy a new computer!!!
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 1:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
One thing I now realize, is that my home computer running Win98 (and older system obviously) may not be up to the task of manipulating such large images! While I saved on the camera, I may need to buy a new computer!!!
I used my Win98 P3 600 for quite a while with 5Mp images. What forced an upgrade more than anything else was the incredibly long times for my Dimage software to convert the raw images. My new computer is a lot nicer for Photoshop as well, but I got on OK with the 600Mhz processor. You might want to consider another stick or RAM for image editing though – it is cheap. Win98, despite a lot of misinformation to the contrary, handles up to a Gig of RAM just as well as XP. You have to limit the vcache if you go over 512Mb, but that is totally inconsequential. I just had 512Mb of RAM on the old computer and hardly ever had hard drive writes working with 5Mp images in Photoshop.
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 2:00 PM   #5
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I don't get the hype on Pictbridge. If you have a printer, then 99% chance you have a PC sitting next to it.

So I woudn't buy a camera just for pictbridge. its like one of those things that they use to jazz up the list of features , that about it....
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