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Old May 9, 2007, 2:16 PM   #1
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Hi,
Recently my trusty old Kodak digicam stopped working courtesy of my 1 year old daughter. So I am looking for a replacement point and shoot cam.
Now I am not an expert in photography. All I pretty much care about is the picture quality with minimal effort on my part while taking pictures.
After quickly perusing the reviews here it looks like either the A570 or the A630 would make a good choice. The A630 is a 8 MP camera while the 570 is a 7.1 MP one. So is the A630 the better choice? Or would you recommend another camera for someone in my position?

Thanks for all your help
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Old May 9, 2007, 5:06 PM   #2
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The additional 1 MP doesn't matter much. However, the A630 has not only more megapixels it has also larger pixels, i.e. the A630 has a 1/1.8" sensor which is considerably larger than the 1/2.5" sensor of the A570. The A630 also has a very useful flip out display. Unlike the A570 the A630 supports the very useful CHDK hack (raw mode etc.). The only advantage of A570 over the A630 is the image stabiliser, which is great if you have problems with shake. Otherwise the A630 has better image quality and is more versatile.
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Old May 9, 2007, 10:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Looks like it's the A630 then.
Or would you recommend another camera over those two?
Again, thanks for all your help.
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Old May 10, 2007, 1:35 PM   #4
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I did own the A710. It has the same 7 MP 1/2.5" sensor as the A570, but a larger zoom range of 35-210mm and the older Digic II image processor. The A570 has a 35-140mm zoom range like the A630 and the more recent Digic III image processor. The older Digic II has the advantage that CHDK hack works for cameras with this image processor. In particular one has a raw mode for these cameras. Here is a comparison of Raw and JPG. First the JPG directly from the A710:

and next JPG converted from the raw image:

Note that the camera JPG ist almost twice as large as the JPG from the raw image. Nevertheless the latter shows a lot more detail. You cannot make raw shots with Digic III cameras like the A570.
Recently I had the opportunity to buy a used A640 for quite a low price and sold the A710. If there is good light, then the A640 (the A630 is almost identical) is clearly superior over the A710. But if light is not so good, then the A710 with its excellent image stabiliser is clearly better and I really miss the A710. The A710 and the A570 are also smaller and weigh less, because they use only 2 NiMH batteries. However, there are disadvantages of using only two batteries. Firstly you need better batteries for cameras with only two batteries and you have to change batteries more often. Secondly the flash recycling times are much longer and the flash is less powerful overall for cameras with only two batteries.


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Old May 11, 2007, 2:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies Kassandro. You've been very helpful.
I guess the A630 is the one to go with if it gives better pictures.

You mentioned that you have a 640. In hindsight, would you rather have bought a different camera? I am not 100% commited to the A630, so if there is a better camera that fits my needs for roughly the same price I would certainly be interested in checking it out.

Like I said I am mainly a point a shoot guy and won't be fiddling with the options much.

Thanks for the help again. I guess it's time to go to a store and see how they feel in my hands.
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Old May 14, 2007, 12:44 PM   #6
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sinano wrote:
Quote:
You mentioned that you have a 640. In hindsight, would you rather have bought a different camera? I am not 100% commited to the A630, so if there is a better camera that fits my needs for roughly the same price I would certainly be interested in checking it out.
Perhaps the A630/A640 is never a camera, to which one will be committed 100%. It only has 4x zoom and no image stabilisation. I have 5 other cameras including a DSLR with quite a few lenses. In the end, I use the A640 quite often. It has a decent tele macro and together with the flip out display and a tiny tripod one can make macro shots from the frog perspective, which can hardly be made with other cameras. I have remarkably few problems with shake when I use the A640. Also it is the sole camera which I use for videos. The A710 videos were almost as good as with the A640. Without tripod the A710 videos were even better than the A640 videos. With that CHDK hack you can do lots of amazing things with the A630/A640. The only negative things I experienced was some dust penetration of lens system. I did make some videos when we worked on our house and there was quite some dust. Now I can see two tiny dust particles behind the front lens. It seems to have no impact on image quality but it doesn't give you peace of mind. Other A640 owners and even more G7 owner are reporting similar problems. Then there is some slight corner softness. However most digicams have some corner softness. Otherwise the A640 is really a very useful digicam.
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Old May 23, 2007, 10:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info. I really appreciate it. I ordered the A630 from Amazon and it got here a few days ago, but I haven't had the chance to play with it yet.
Can you recommend somewhere I can find out more about the CHDK hack? Hopefully one with simple easy to follow instructions since I'm really scared that I might mess up my camera.
Thanks
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Old May 23, 2007, 3:34 PM   #8
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Here you can find out more about CHDK hack
http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

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