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Old Nov 23, 2004, 4:20 PM   #1
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I currently own a Cannon S410 and i really like the image quality on it. But it is rather large to carry around in my pocket all the time. So i am looking for a small camera.

I saw the Pentax S4 and i love the size! Then i saw that there is the S4, S4i, and S5i now... but i read after hours of research that the newer ones dont have that great of quality...

I am looking to take pictures of people... landscapes... occasional macro-shots... and night-time shots are important too.

I would prefer a camera which allows me to mess with the shutter speed... (like the Minolta G400-G600... but smaller like the S4)

So i am wondering... what camera do you think i should get?

thanks in advanced for the help!!

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Old Nov 23, 2004, 6:28 PM   #2
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Canon Ixus40 (SD300) should fit the bill
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Old Nov 23, 2004, 8:16 PM   #3
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I personally tried a Pentax S40 and S50 before returing them. Bad quality photos. Unuseable in Low light and slowwww..
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 2:48 PM   #4
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I was also gonna get the Pentax compacts but after much research, a lot people did find the images were below average quality (mainly corner blurriness). So I looked into the Canon SD300 and again the image were not great and were similar to the Pentax (corner blurriness, and above average purple fringing, look at steve's sample picture!).

I think for compacts the Canon s410's picture is the best out there! That's the trade off for the ultra compactness.

Don't know if you looked into the Olympus Verve? It's just slightly smaller than the s400 and fits into your shirt and pants pocket comfortably. I just got it the other day so I could let you know how it turns out.

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Old Nov 24, 2004, 3:09 PM   #5
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The corner softness isn't something that affects pictures unless you are copying papers or the like. The old time photographers would slightly blur and darken the corners to give the shots more punch. Look at the sample photos. It is hard to find the shots with corner softness because there is usually nothing there, or you can't tell whether the foreground corners are just out of focus because they are close to the camera. It isn't really a problem with any of the shots I have taken.

I would recommend the S4i over the S4 only because of the larger LCD. You have to make all the settings on the LCD and bigger is better IMO. For the S5i it comes down to whether you need the extra pixels. I have a wide format photo printer and 4Mp doesn't cut it for 13 X 19 prints. It is also a consideration that the optical finder shows only about 80% of the shot, so you really have almost a Mp less when using the optical finder unless you compensate.

The S4/5 takes nice pictures and is hard to beat for the size. I agree that the SD300 has some advantages over the small Pentax cameras if you don't mind a little more size and weight. The purple fringing is evidently more of a problem than the S4/5, but otherwise I like the features better on the Canon.

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Old Nov 24, 2004, 3:48 PM   #6
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It's not just the blurriness in the corners with the Pentax but some times patches of out of focus areas which was noted for the first camera Steve reviewed, and it was better with the second one he got again because of intial blur pictures .

And that's the thing with the compact Pentax, there seems to be poor quality control, for a given model some would be good and others would be bad. It's just very strange. So ask about the store's return policy, and try the camera out and if there doesn't seem to be any problems with the image quality then keep it!
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Old Nov 25, 2004, 4:23 PM   #7
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Well i've been after a digicam for ages now. decided this xmas was the time. had my heart set on the S4i for ages, the size was just unbeatable. then the S5i came along and i thought great, new sport mode and better image quality. also in the uk when checking internet camera prices for some reason the 5i was maybe only £10 more if that than the 4i so my choice was made.

then canon released the IXUS 40 (sd300) and i was thrown. had considered the 410 but it was too big. so to cut an even longer story short i opted for the ixus 40 over the pentax. canon just had a better name and i'd heard various complaints about consistency of image quality with the pentax, build quality issues etc that i thought i'd play safe and get the ixus 40. hasn't come yet so i dont know if i made the right choice!! wait and see.

the pentax had a certain alure being the 'original' mini digicam, or whatever!! and also with all its different modes and gadgets, but when the kid in me got calmed down by my reasonable side i thought this was maybe a show and the canon eventually won over. the argument being that it doesn't need flashy modes to produce good images, who actually wants a special mode for taking pics of food anyway!! the canon also seems much faster, with the pentax making you wait nearly 4 secs between shots! the canon shooting at 2.6 fps! the canons menu system also seemed easier to navigate, with the pentax having that many modes it confused even itself!!

to conclude then, if anyone's actually read this far!! i just thought the canon was the more sensible option, with a better name and hopefully less chance of disappointment. after all its image quality and usability that count.

hope this helps.

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Old Nov 25, 2004, 10:20 PM   #8
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I have the Pentio S40 and WISH I had been smart enough to return in. It's totally useless in indoor, low and flat light situations.3x zoom is worthless and sucks out even more light. I bought it for the size, and that's all I got: small!
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