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Old May 13, 2004, 10:12 PM   #1
ndi
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I just sold my Optio S4 to my brother to buy a Optio S40 because I wanted a
camera that could use AA batteries. The camera is well made and featured
and can do everything that the S4 can and then some (despite being cheaper),
but there are two things I find a bit disappointing:

1) The flash takes a few seconds to charge after it has been used and during
this time the screen is black and the camera inoperable. Why should this
be? The S4 does not do this. The S4's flash recharges instantly despite
only using a 710mAh battery and yet I am using 1800mAh NiMH batteries in the
S40.

2) The sound recorded for voice memos or movies on my S40 is much quieter
than on the S4 so that when I play back on my TV I have to turn the volume
right up which also increases hiss (turning up the playback volume on the
S40 causes distortion). And, if this is not bad enough, there are terribly
loud "pops" every time I zoom the image or select another image (in fact every time I press any button on the S40 while playing back on a TV).

Are these problems normal? Any Optio owners care to comment?
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Old May 13, 2004, 11:29 PM   #2
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The LCD is supposed to do that - afterall you cannot take pics while the flash is charging so they just make sure you don't try.

My problem with it is that mine will not focus. It seem to have a lot of problems in "low lighting." By that I mean a 100 watt light bulb in my bed room. I was trying to take a test pic of my cat in her bed and it refused to focus.

I have had the camera for about 5 hours and hate it with a passion. I am so tired of dealing with Pentax! I owned the S4i and it could focus on all of these trial shots without a problem, however its outdoor landscape shots wre too soft and I didn't like them.

I am fed-up I refuse to even look at another Pentax as I now have to replace this digital camera.
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Old May 14, 2004, 12:03 AM   #3
ndi
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Quote:
The LCD is supposed to do that - afterall you cannot take pics while the flash is charging so they just make sure you don't try.
Yes but why does it take so long? Or is mine faulty?

How long does yours take to recharge the battery?

Alsodoes yours have poor sound reproduction and "popping" noises or,onceagain, is mine faulty?

BTW - mine also struggles to focus in low light.
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Old May 14, 2004, 1:16 AM   #4
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Well, the internal memory Pentax uses is very slow - let me say again very slow - so if you are not using a memory card then the delay will be longer. Mine takes about 1.5-2 seconds to recycle the flash not bad IMO and the camera is basically dead at this time - even the zoom (don't like that). The sound was fine in mine but didn't tests much as I already boxed it back up and am just waiting for Ritz to open back up so I can get rid of it.

Thanks for agreeing with my assessment of the focusing - however I still maintain that a 100W incadecent bulb isn't lowlight.
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Old May 14, 2004, 1:56 AM   #5
ndi
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Quote:
Mine takes about 1.5-2 seconds to recycle the flash not bad IMO and the camera is basically dead at this time
Mine takes between 4 and 7 seconds so mine must be faulty.

Quote:
Thanks for agreeing with my assessment of the focusing - however I still maintain that a 100W incadecent bulb isn't lowlight.
I did some more tests with the focussing comparing directly with the Optio S4 and, no doubt about it, the focussing is unacceptable.In situations of low light indoors wherethe S4struggles a bit butmanages to focus3 out of 5 timesthe S40cannot focus at all. I can't understand why if the lens is the same. The S40 must use cheaper electronics.

On top of this, as I said before, the sound reproduction on mine is very disappointing.

I have contacted the people that sold the S40 to me and may return it. I am not sure if I will try swapping it for another S40 or buy something else altogether. I do require a camera that uses AA's.

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Old May 14, 2004, 4:31 AM   #6
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Guys,

Make sure you are using the correct AF range for your subject? The S4i normal AF range is 50cm to inf, for 20-50cm you must use Macro AF, and 6-20cm you must use Super Macro AF.

When it comes to sound, at least for the S4i, there is a special setting for audio output in the Settings Sound menu. The default position for this was very low. So make sure to turn it up to max, then I suppose you will have signal out on normal line out level.

The S40 is reported by others having very good AF capabilities.

Arne
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Old May 14, 2004, 5:58 AM   #7
ndi
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Hi Arne,
Quote:
Make sure you are using the correct AF range for your subject?
I did check to make sure that it was not because I forgot to get it off "self-portrait" mode or any similar "human error" but the fact is that the S40 does not even come close to the low light focussing ability of the S4 (which I had the opportunity to test it against and which performs well). I have tried it at a number of of focussing distances and even tried the "spot" focussing mode and nothing makes adifference.
Quote:
When it comes to sound, at least for the S4i, there is a special setting for audio output in the Settings Sound menu.
As far as sound goes, the default volume was indeed low and boosting it helps to a point after which it causes the audio to distort. But I just checked it again (on the TV) and my biggest complaint is that every time you push any control on the camera (eg zoom, go into a menu or select the next image) there is a loud "pop" from the TV speaker - the louder the TV is turned up the more alarming and distracting it is.

On top of these problemsthere is the 4to 7 second delay in recycling the flash.Very annoying - especially as the camera freezes up during that time. Surely your S4i doesn't take anywhere near that long?

I am waiting to hear from the supplier whether these problems are normal for the S40 or whether I have a lemon.
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Old May 14, 2004, 12:30 PM   #8
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I was so upset about he "low light" focusing ability I took mine back.I am glad that Ritz has such an easy return policy.

If you are looking for a camera that takes AA batteries then consider a Kodak DX model. I really like them, as they take nice pics and are fool proof - plus they have wonderful optics.
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Old May 18, 2004, 2:57 AM   #9
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Perhaps also the Pentax 43WR can be of interest? Uses AA batteries. I have read some reviews now and the picture quality is very good! Of course a little expensive, but hey, you can put it in your gold fish bowl!! :lol:
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Old May 18, 2004, 10:12 AM   #10
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Yes the 43WR looks very good on paper. It's not yet available in Australia andI haven't seen anyreviews yet (got any links to reviews?) but its predecessor, the 33WR, has had some good things written about it. I am definitely interested in the 43WR. The only thing about it is the "suitcase-like" styling - but I guess I could get used to that if it performed well.
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