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Old Nov 10, 2004, 11:49 AM   #1
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I know this is the Pentax forum, but I'm just curious to know if any of you have a gut feeling as to which is the all around better camera? I realize that the S5i can almost fit into an Altoids box, but after reading Steve's conclusions about the two, I have the impression that he liked the EX-Z55 a bit better. Any thoughts?

thanks,

Ran
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 11:06 PM   #2
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Digital Camera are funny beasts. It is not merely a matter of Image Quality alone but what you are looking for in regard to features and price. Otherwise we all would be buying large DSLRs.

My first Digi was Nikon 995, a 13ozCamera that was one of the best of its time. And yet it had its faults (even discounting its common size) at the time (e.g.poor low light focus and no wireless remote etc).

Digicam are a question of Equal parts Preferences and budget and involve trade offs. 1) Cost 2) Features: Size, weight, image quality, Macro range, wireless remote, tripod mount, LCD Screen size, LCD screen res, LCD screen quality, Image Resolution, Optical zoom factor, Video Out, Battery life, Battery type, image noise under various conditions, Flash range, flash hot shoe, Image sharpening/compression, non conpressed image options, Ease of operation, etc. etc.

Heck even the Best DSLR can not take a great picture if your either not carrying it or don't want a whip out such an obvious camera.

In the smallest cameras, Pentax 4si/5si has a unique set of features; Altoid size, 4oz Camera, wireless remote, video out, good macro, Large LCD, Tripod mount..... e.g. my wife wanted virtually the smallest. And so we own an Optio S4i and we both think its great... The 5Si is quite similar....

The Casio trades the Remote and I believe the Video out for a little bit bigger size and longer battery life. And If your willing to look in the 5 to 7 oz range there are a million choices.

The Casio EX, Sony W1, TheLittle Canon's etc., etc. are great. The Pentax/Casio rap is that there a bit of softness in the corners (read don't frame to tight [somthing true of many a small digi]). I have not noticed this with s4i because I tend to crop after capturing at full res and quality. The 5si with 5mp and cheap 1GB SD memory for under $75 dollars and you have plenty of storage space and cropping space.



Good Luck



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Old Nov 11, 2004, 11:24 PM   #3
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Anthlover,

Now THAT was a beautifully well written reply! Thanks ever so much.

After weighing all the pluses and minuses, I think I'm going to wait til when the Casio get video out. As you can tell, miniature size is a very important part of my decision making process, but after reading Steve's review, I'm getting the impression that the Casio has the battery life and ergonomic advantages all over the Pentax. Don't get me wrong...I really was gonna get the Pentax, but reading between the lines of the review has swayed me in the other direction a bit. Video out is also very important. The ability to plug the cable into the tv and show slides at family get-togethers is totally cool, so unfortunately, it looks like I'm gonna have to wait just a bit longer for a Casio Z65???...ugh.
Also, I don't like the location of the Pentax on/off button and the propensity for turning it off accidentally.

Thanks again for your opinions....very much appreciated.

Ran




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Old Nov 12, 2004, 7:34 AM   #4
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I would not wait. And certainly buy from a shop that has a return policy e.g. Amazon or http://www.ritzcamera.cometc. The 4si/5si are great, The Canon sd300 really great. Check out the sony W1 too. There are also the Option sv and OptioX. The former is basically an i with 5x zoom and the X is a split body i like nikon 9x and similar.

The Battery on the Pentax is great I have never run it down even after taking 100+ pictures (that said you can carry a spare for 14.95 e.g. http://store.yahoo.com/semsons-inc/cambat.html).

Yes the Casio has an even larger battery, but that is where some of the weight and size went.

Video out is also really useful for Family portrait framing where you want to be in the picture too, then just grab the 15 dollar remote and click ckick.

Good Luck



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Old Nov 12, 2004, 8:57 AM   #5
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Many thanks again for your input. After a bit more thought, I may just take you up on your advice, but I've gotta check the size of your other suggestions. I really wanted the size of the Casio to be the largest of my choices.

Have a great day,

Randy
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Old Nov 12, 2004, 10:01 AM   #6
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oh geez....just spent the last half hour checking out the Canon SD-300..awesome specs, looks, and most of all, INCREDIBLE film recording capability!!!
It's also only 10% larger than the S5i, which is great!
Unfortunately, the ONLY feature that's a big turnoff is the fact that the stupid camera can't download to a Mac...waaay stupid. Just about every little camera out there lets you download to both...ughhh!!! I don't think there's anything I can do about it, right? I suspect that if I run my Mac in Windows emulation mode, everything will be waaay to slow when dealing with pics. This SUCKS!!!!

Anyway, just about everything seems great about the Canon except for maybe its lack of the S5i's panorama and 3D modes. Out of curiosity, do you ever use the panorama or 3D modes, and if so, do you likey?

Great suggestion!

thanks,

Randy

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Old Nov 12, 2004, 1:52 PM   #7
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Hmm I'm a Machead too. Thought Canon did Mac..

**** Really though you do not need PC or Mac to Camera capabily.

It is much faster to jam the SD card or memory card in question into a $15 dollar card reader. This also saves ones batteriesfor taking pics.

Good luck




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Old Nov 12, 2004, 2:31 PM   #8
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yeah, I came to that card reader solution shortly after my last post.

As you may surmise, I'm a complete newbie when it comes to digital cams and just wanna make a good decision. Since I want really small and don't need more than 4 mp, the three top contenders have turned out to be the Casio EX-Z55, Optio S5i, and now Canon SD-300. I've read some mixed reviews on the pq of the SD-300-bad red eye that can't be corrected inside the camera and moderate to severe edge blurriness that was also reported as an S4i problem. I think I probably need to drop by a photo store to check them both out, don't ya think?

I think I've eliminated the Ex-Z55 from contention due to the lack of video out.

Ran
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Old Nov 12, 2004, 10:53 PM   #9
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Digicams are great. They pay for themselves, if you ever used a film camera with any regularity. Film, processing, printing, it can take you to thepoor house, and you do not even know if you got the shot/s until its too late and you lay out all the money and time. With a Digi you know what you have in a blink

Yes when ever possible Test drives are good. Ease of use isdefinitely on the varibles list too. Within the Pentax line I would not eliminate the 4si either about $350 vs. $399 for the 5si. Virtually no other difference except some extra unneeded resoultion.

For me/IMHO i think it also important to have a remote option, butinultra small digi very few do, mostly self timer and in some cases at least the video out.

***** In the end no matter what you choose you will be tickled pink.

After a year or two or three etc., of taking great pics you could always buy another wondeful camera.

Good Luck

One more thing you will probably email a lot of pics. For printing you want to use one of the many photo on line services e.g. shutterfly.com one of the best.

Do not buy a color printer, oops you try in paper and ink costs, even if you do not print often.

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Old Nov 28, 2004, 10:36 PM   #10
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The Optio S5I is the better unit. I tried both.

Optically they are nearly the same, but the processing appears different. I think the Pentax delivers better color. The Pentax also has more control over shooting. The Pentax has a 20 dollar remote which is REALLY nice. The Pentax has video out. The Pentax screen is smaller, but just fine. The Pentax has a VERY small but VERY usable optical finder that works GREAT. The Pentax is SMALLER. The position of the shutter button next to the power button was a problem for about 30 minutes. Train your fingers!



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