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Old Aug 29, 2004, 10:23 PM   #1
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I bought a Canon S1 from Best Buy last week. They offer 30 day return policies. So, I thought I would take it home.

I'm really happy with the quality. I was afraid of the 3.2 MP. But, comparing it to my dad's Kodak DX4530 5.0 MP, it does an admirable job. There are a couple of things that I don't like about the camera though.

First, the form factor. I can't hold it comfortably without feeling like I'm going to drop it. Everywhere I try to put my hand, there's a button. Another thing is the position of the zoom. I would much prefer it to be on the back so that I could use my thumb instead of having to use the same finger to control both the shutter and zoom. And, I don't care for the way the buttons control the various features. For example, to delete a picutre, you must switch the camera to view mode, press the button with the trash can to delete and finally confirm with a the "set" button. Weird. Lastly, there is the stupid lens cap. But, I think we've all heard enough about the lens cap.

These are all things that I think I will grow accustomed to. I'm happy with the quality of the pictures. However, if I can have great picture quality and also a more sensible form factor and menu navigation system, I'd be interested.

I've been reading quite a bit about the Konika-Minolta Z3. It seems to get good praise. But, when I looked at the images on Konika's website, the images didn't look as good as my canon produces. I was just wondering if anyone can confirm that the Canon picture quality is better than the Z3's. It's just hard for me to judge 2 images of 2 different things. I do like the Z3 form factor. It looks way more sensible. I just haven't been able to actually hold one. So, I'm speculating somewhat.

As far as other cameras go. I really want to be able to use AA batteries. They may not be quite as good as the lithium ion batteries. But, you aren't tied to a specific vendor. Otherwise, if it weren't for the proprietary batteries, I would consider the Panasonic FZ series or the Kodak 7590. I would consider the Fuji S5100 Konik-Minolta Z2. Neither of those has image stabilization, though. I feel like I have a pretty steady hand. However, others say that IS is feature you don't want to give up on a long zoom camera, even if you have a steady hand.

Should I just grow accustomed to the idiosynchrosis of the Canon? Or, would one of these other cameras be as good or better in terms of quality and form factor?

Finally, would Newegg.com and Willoughby's be a good place to buy online? I paid $399 for my Canon at Best Buy. Looks like these 2 online resellers both offer better prices.

Here's an example of what the Canon S1 IS produces.
http://www.crotchett.com/IMG_0031.JPG

TIA,
Darren

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Old Aug 31, 2004, 8:21 AM   #2
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Darren-

Stabilization does indeed make a huge difference, even if you have a steady hand. If you have some kind of a block with the Canon S-1, then return it. However it is one of the best buys out there in terms of a long zoom digital camera using AA size batteries.

I own five different long zoom digital cameras, including a Nikon 8700 and my first choice would be the Canon S-1, even though I also own the Olympus C-750, the C-765, and the HP-945. It ois just a better all around digital camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 8:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I think it is obvious from the number of posts in this forum that everyone is looking for the "perfect" model. The problem is that there are so many cameras and so many options to choose from that there are compromises with all of them.

This can be complicated by the fact that we all place different values on different features. For me, picture quality, ties for 1st place with cost which is closely followed by zoom.

The bottom line is that if I have to make compromises, I would tolerate awkward form factor to keep picture quality, zoom and price. I guess one of the things I was really trying to find out was if I would be trading picture quality for form factor if I took the canon back and got the Z3. I haven't been able to put my hands on the Z3 yet. There is only one place in my area that carries the Z3. That's been my problem. None of the discount houses carry it. But, I might be able to see it today and finally decide for myself.

My local camera store will be at least $100 higher than Willoughby's or Newegg.com. Do you have any experience with an online store or have you heard positive or negative comments on the two I mentioned?

Thanks again,
Darren
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 10:33 PM   #4
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Darren-

I have never had a problem with shopping on line at all. Here is what I do: I check both shopping.com and pricegrabber.com to find out which of the recommended or trusted stores have the camera I am looking for at the best price.

I always use recommended and trusted stores. I may pay a bit more than the cheapest, but is way cheaper than my local camera store.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 7:00 AM   #5
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I shop at NewEgg all the time. My computer parts were purchased there, my PDA was purchased there, everything I own electronic was mainly purchased there (there's been one exception where I found a switch cheaper at my business reseller...)

It's been 3 years since I started shopping there and not one bit of trouble have I had. I'd highly recommend it!
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