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legalaliens Feb 27, 2005 5:26 PM

Hi. I am in the market for a digi-cam. I will be using it, but my wife will probably be the primary user. It definately needs to take good pics in automatic mode - my wife wants simply to point and shoot. Indoor pics and outdoor pics. Good lighting and not so good lighting. Auto-focus in all lighting conditions is very important.

I have been researching cameras for the past few weeks. I'm not hung up on megapixels too much (probably 3 - 5) would be fine.

I have sort of narrowed it down to:

Canon S410/S500

Sony DSC-W1/DSC-W5

The Canon A510/A520 were tops on my list until the one review I saw stated they did not auto-focus at all well in low light. That's what led me to the S410/S500.

I was just about set on the W1 when I heard the W5 is now available. I would be set on either the W1 or W5 except for the occasional report of "blurred" pictures. I really need some help here!

virgil_dlv Feb 27, 2005 6:49 PM

If the slim size matters toyou, get the Canon S500.

If the 2.5" LCD or the unlimited 640x480 movie mode matters more, get the W5 when it comes out.

If you can settle for 4Mp, you can save a few bucks, but I'd recommend the 5Mp models so you can do a little morezoom - never know when you'll need it.

The blurred pictures boils down to learning the "limitations" of each camera, and compensating for it- everycamera designer has made assumptions on what it can take...

kimnicho Feb 27, 2005 7:11 PM

I have owned the Canon S410 and now own the W1 - both have its pros/cons/limitations. I will say that if you are looking for the "best" and most easy-to-use Automatic POINT and SHOOT - get the S500 (I think you should get a 5 Meg camera). The S410 took Great pictures but none that were STUNNING (in my opinion). Just so you know, I mainly take Indoor Portraits of my young children and their friends. One thing that bugged me about the S410 was how hot it got if you took more than 5-6 shots in a row. Not sure if the S500 is the same. As for the W1, it definitely has a bigger learning curve. But in my opinion, it is a better camera. I have had it only for a week or so but I have already taken some STUNNING pictures with it!

As for the notorious "blurring" issue, it is best summed up by "snapshot2" on cnet's camera forum:
"The W1 takes sharp photos and is a popular and good selling camera but it does have a quirk that you should know about. Under low light AND flash conditions, the camera in auto mode selects a slow shutter speed. This can result in blurred photos if there is any camera movement.
" OR MOVEMENT BY THE SUBJECT(s) like kids at a birthday party ! The default exposure is 1/40 - the best and simplest way to override this is to use MANUAL MODE and set it to 1/100. It took me a week to discover this quirk. But I have to say that the journey has been well worth it!

I also agree with the opinions of W1 user "bixbox" in another photo forum:
"In my tests I noticed that while the Canon was perhaps a little sharper using default settings, the Sony could be tweaked using the Contrast/Sharpness adjustments to match the Canon. Also, the Sony does not wash out photos like the Canon does since the sony steps down the flash power when not-needed". A lot of my pictures with the Canon were overexposed! Email me if you get the W1-I'll let you know how to change the settings as well :-)

legalaliens Feb 27, 2005 10:50 PM

Thanks for the responses. I really do appreciate the input.

One of the things I didn't like about the Canon S410/S500 is neither have "scene modes". I know my wife could really use scene modes, like "beach", "sunset", etc...where the camera automatically adjusts the settings.

Also, kimnicho, you suggested using "MANUAL MODE" to set the shutter speed to 1/100 to avoid "blur" in low light AND flash conditions. Will the MANUAL MODE also require me (or my wife) to manually focus the camera? A MANUAL MODE that only affects the shutter speed is probably no big deal - just set the shutter speed to 1/100 and point-and-shoot.

Thanks again!

kimnicho Feb 27, 2005 11:02 PM

No worries-you don't have to manually focus-just change the exposure setting and aperture (I haven't changed that yet). Btw, you can set it to 1/100 so that everytime she wants a faster shot, she simply switches to manual. As far as focusing goes, you just press half-way down and it focuses VERY QUICKLY. Btw, the automatic will work 95% of the time and result in GREAT pictures. When you first get the camera, just play around with the settings before you hand it over to your wife. You can make additional settings in "P" mode - increase sharpness, color vividness, etc.

***I just reread your post and if your wife will be the primary user, I might recommend Canon A95 instead and yes, it has scene modes! Whilst the W1 is an awesome camera, I will be the first to admit that it can be frustrating esp. for a beginner. I think you should get the W1 for yourself though:cool:

kski Feb 28, 2005 11:14 PM

I'd definitely wait for the W7! 7MP!!!


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