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-   -   Looking to replace my S400: What modern sub-compact is bett (

Me Sep 13, 2005 6:38 PM

Hi guys. I bought a Canon S400 a couple of days after it was released several years ago, and have happily taken thousands of photos with it ever since. It takes remarkably good photos by any consumer-level standard, but especially for a digital sub-compact. Unfortunately, it is starting to get buggy on me. It'll randomly tell me I have a "memory card error" and not let me take or review any pictures. Later it'll be fine again. It happens with any combination of batteries and memory cards I have, although it is more prone to happening when it is cold.

Anyway, I can't depend on this camera anymore, so it is time to get something new. I already have extra compact flash cards and batteries, so i was thinking of staying with this model. You're also hard pressed to find another subcompact with so many features and such good quality. I also might up the MP and go with the S500 instead. Still, this camera has been out for almost three years, so it seems like there must be something better out there.

I was going to go for the Canon SD series, but I hear their reliability problems are even worse. Their lens isn't supposed to be as good, and the LCD is supposed to be particularly susceptible to damage. I'd prefer to have at least as many features on my new camera as with the S400 (ISO controls, many white balance and flash options, exposures of several seconds when need- up to 15 on the S400, 3x zoom, panoramic mode and automatic picture orientation sensor). The Sony P200looks close, but the pictures really don't look any better in a lot of ways (unless you do big enlargements). I also don't like the proprietary Sony memory. I still haven't ruled that out yet though. Has anybody had them both?

Have any S400 users reading this made upgrades? What did you get, and what comparissons would you make?

Thanks for the advice.

speaklightly Sep 14, 2005 9:39 AM

After reaping in all those wonderfully laudatory reviews, why not take a look at the Canon SD-550, the sucessor to the award winning SD-500.

Sarah Joyce

leon3536 Sep 15, 2005 3:47 AM

Maybe it's your memory card that is aging (yeah and those things do age!) Environmental factors will make them age faster so I suggest you try a new SD card for now. You can get 512 for about 25 dollars if you scoop around or

SD400 is a very good camera. If you buy a new one such as SD450, the image quality won't improve at all, and it's just a tad bit lighter. In a few month it will be a"worn camera" andyou won't feel it wouldhave beenany different if you just used your SD400. It's definitly not worth an upgrade if you camera is fine.

Basically, it's the same paradim, don't bother with upgrades yet.

speaklightly Sep 15, 2005 9:08 AM

That is excellent advise, Leon.

Sarah Joyce

Me Sep 15, 2005 9:19 AM

This is the S400 (not SD-400), with the compact flash cards. I bought a new card after the problem started. It didn't help. I've even traded cards and batteries with friends who have the same camera- no change.

I was looking at imaging resource, and I found the photos from the new SD-series Elphs to be somewhat disappointing in comparisson. I hear they are also prone to LCD damage.

To see for yourself, go here...

and compare the S400 to the SD400. Look at the house picture (full size) and compare details in the bricks and foliage. The older S400 is clearly and undoubtably the superior camera. Frustrating that the newer versions aren't better. Originally, that is all I was going to do was upgrade to the new SD series, but after finding out they were even less reliable and took poorer quality photos I was left hanging. That is why I'm wondering what modern ultra compact can compare to my S400/S410.

KOPIER Sep 16, 2005 9:18 AM

I am in the exact same situation! I have a Canon S400 and I needed to upgrade. With the birth of our first child two months away, I wanted to get something new, smaller and lighter. I ended up Preordering the SD450 This unit has replaced the SD400 becouse of all the lcd issues on the SD400 the new lcd design is 2.5" vs 2.0" this new SD 450 and SD 550 product is supposed to replace the SD 400 and SD 500

they are supposed to be much more reliable! these new units are supposed to be Canons answer to the problems with the older units. They still do not give you alot of manual options but are better in the image quality and reliability (no real tests as of yet). Anyway theSD550 is pretty nice. go check it out.


Me Sep 16, 2005 11:48 PM

Cool! seems like they may actually be awknowledging the problem. Have you tried the links I posted to compare the two? Hopefully the new dash50 series will have even better image quality than the S400, because I've really been very happy with this camera for the most part.

Hopefully it'll calso cure some of the S400's shortcomings, like slow focus time and poor video modes.

I can't wait to see the test. I wonder how it'll compare to the Sony P200?

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