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Old May 28, 2004, 11:18 AM   #1
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Well I've owned a S40 for all of 12 hours so far and have snapped about 100 pictures around the house. The camera has some definite strong point and one major annoying trait.

Strong Points:

-Great battery life so far. With my old Exilim I would be showing a partially drained battery after 100+ shots. Two 1800mah NiMH batteries and I have 100+ shots and the battery is still going strong. If I get 200+ shots out of the batteries I will be ecstatic. I have some 2100 and 2300's I can use too, but threw in the 1800's to get an idea for the minimum battery life.

-Control layout: The camera is VERY easy to use. I *LOVE* the "fn" button to quickly adjust EV compensation and picture size/quality. All the controls seem logically placed and well thought out. The camera is sized and controls are placed so it's very easy to use the camera one handed.

-Macro and Supermacro: I've gotten excellent results with the supermacro and macro modes. The only reason I wanted to upgrade from my Exilim S3 was the fixed focus camera did not offer a macro or supermacro capability.

-Flash: The flash seems stronger then my old Exilim. It's not going to light up the world but it seems to do a pretty good job as long as you realize it's limitations. The flash is useable in macro and supermacro shots too. I did not have any problems with overexposed, underexposed, of shadowed macro/SM images.

What I dislike:

-My main complaint is the charge time for the flash. It's VERY slow to charge and VERY annoying having your screen go blank while waiting on the flash to charge. I know my old Exilim took a few moments to charge, but having the screen do off really seems to highlight the charge time for the flash and is very annoying. If you start up the camera with the flash set to auto or on it takes longer because you have to wait for the stupid flash to charge. 2-5 seconds seems about average for the flash to charge.

-Barrel distortion at wide angle. I took some pictures of a brick wall and the fish eye effect was noticeable. It's not very noticeable on normal pictures but if you're taking pictures of lots of straight lines the distortion on the corners may be distracting.

-So far my camera wants to err on the side of overexposing everything. Most of my pictures so far have really benefited from a bit of photoshop work to fix the overexposure. I need to remember to EV shift more. In a situation where my Panasonic was using ISO50 f/2.8 and 1/8 the S40 was wanting to use ISO100 f/2.6 and 1/5, and I find that the Panasonic's metering system usually pretty spot on.

At first I didn't really like it but after 100+ shots and learning the limitations on what I can do with it, it's starting to grow on me. It looks like shot to shot time w/o flash is about 2 seconds in my unscientific hold the camera and push the button tests.

The two brick shots i adjusted the balance, while all the others are from the camera with the exception of resizing and adding jpg compression.

Shot inside the local Wal Mart. Good saturation and sharpness. This one was cropped to about 1000 x 1000 from a 3mp image and then resized.


http://home.earthlink.net/~deoredx/s40/butter.jpg



Macro shot of the bricks of my house. I was surprised to see that the S40 can do f/2.6.


http://home.earthlink.net/~deoredx/s..._s40_macro.jpg



The difference between the Macro and supermacro. The supermacro works really darned good. Again notice the soft corners in the macro mode.


http://home.earthlink.net/~deoredx/s...supermacro.jpg



In a poorly lit room the flash did a great job with this supermacro shot. I was expecting it to wash out against the reflective surface of the salt shaker.

http://home.earthlink.net/~deoredx/s...acro_flash.jpg



One more super macro shot (with flash). I just liked this one for some odd reason.


http://home.earthlink.net/~deoredx/s...acro_flash.jpg



There was surprisingly little noise in this ISO-200 night shot. I wanted to see what the camera would do when it was perfectly dark outside where the camera could not focus lock. I'm not sure if the camera forces itself to infinity or what... but the picture came out pretty sharp. Most of the artifacts are from the jpeg compression. The original is surprisingly clean and sharp.


http://home.earthlink.net/~deoredx/s..._flash_inf.jpg



While playing around with it today I found some very cool effects you can do with the built in filters. You can set a "Red + B&W" filter that will turn everything black and white unless it's a shade of red. It's a VERY cool effect that I'll upload some demo pics once I get home. It a heckuva lot easier to capture the effect on camera instead of photoshop. I'll try to get some outside shots (if the clouds ever clear) and some other demo shots to see what this camera can do. I didn't much like it at first but after playing with it a bit I'm warming up to it. The flash recharge is annoying but I may end up keeping this one in the long run.

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Old May 29, 2004, 12:07 AM   #2
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Here is an example of the "Red + BW" filter mode. Very cool!


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Old May 30, 2004, 8:55 PM   #3
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How are you finding the low light focus? Mine couldn't focus in conditions that an Optio S4 and an Optio 33 had no trouble with. I found that even if focus could not be achieved the camera will always fire the shutter if you push the button all the way down but this gives blurry photos.
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Old Jun 8, 2004, 5:47 PM   #4
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I had the same problem with low light focus. Mine refused to focus in my room with the light on (75W light bulb). I was so irritated by its inability to focus on my cat sleeping in her bed I took it back in a few hours and bought a Kodak.
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