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Old Dec 27, 2004, 10:10 PM   #1
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I am looking for a good reliable small digital camera. I've had very good luck with Canon's in the past, but they have been the only digital cameras I've owned.

I am outdoors a lot, and the all weather factor of the Olympus is mainly the reason I'm looking at it. Is the all weather versatility worth it? I realize the Olympus is ~$100 cheaper, but the Canon is smaller and is 5MP (and worth the extra money over the S410, IMHO).

I am 100% point and shoot. Also, battery life is very important. I need the longest avaliable life possible. Or the model with the cheapest batteries. I have 4 for my Canon S30, and they don't last very long at all.

Any other cameras I should be considering? I ride 4 wheelers a lot and have not managed to killmy Canon S30, which has held up great, although I do try extremely hard to take care of it.
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 8:46 AM   #2
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What about the Canon SD300?
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 7:15 PM   #3
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Anyone.......?
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Old Jan 1, 2005, 8:11 PM   #4
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I'd read the reviews here, paying close attention to the conclusion sections. This is where you'll see things like startup time, autofocus speed/reliability, cycle times between photos, image quality, etc. discussed.

Personally, between the models you've mentioned, I'd go with the Canon Powershot S410 (over the Olympus Stylus 410,Canon PowershotS500, or Canon SD300). TheCanon S410 hasa 4MP 1/1.8" CCD. So, it's likely to have the lowest noise levels as ISO speeds are increased between the models you're looking at (since the photosites for each pixel will be larger compared to the others).

But, if you never take photos in marginal lighting, then this may not be a consideration. Noise is something you probably don't pay that much attention to with your S30, since it has a 3MP 1/1.8" CCD (which is better from a noise perspective compared to the smaller, higher resolution CCD's you find in many newer models). Your camera even has an available ISO 800 (you won't find this on the models you're looking at).

The S410/S500 models also seem to have the best battery life (around 180 photos with the LCD on) between the models you're considering.

The SD300 you're looking at is probably the fastest camera (autofocus times, cycle times, etc .), and also has a better movie mode (if this is something you care about).

But, the Olympus Stylus 410 has the benefit of being weather resistant. So, this may be more important to you compared to the benefits of the other models.

Each model with have pros and cons. You'll need to decide which one is best for you.


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Old Jan 2, 2005, 12:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply.

Your comment about the S410 vs. the s500 is interesting. I currently can do everything I need with just my 3.2MP camera, so I was just considering the S500 over the S410 based on the fact that it has more megapixels. However, if it is able to take better low light pictures than the S500, then I'll take it.

You're right, the only reason I'm even considering the Olympus is the all weather capability. But, my family has had great luck with Canons and are already set up for CF setups and everything, so all of that is looking pretty bad towards the Olympus.

S410 vs. SD300 I've read the reviews. For 100% point and shoot with exceptional battery life and sheer durability, what's your pick?

Thanks
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 12:58 AM   #6
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cdogg44 wrote:
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Your comment about the S410 vs. the s500 is interesting. I currently can do everything I need with just my 3.2MP camera, so I was just considering the S500 over the S410 based on the fact that it has more megapixels. However, if it is able to take better low light pictures than the S500, then I'll take it.
It wouldn't necesssarily take better photos in low light (depending on how you're using the camera).But, if you're not using a tripod or flash, and wanted to increase ISO speed for faster shutter speeds, then I think the S410 would have a definite advantage (IMO, the 4MP 1/1.8" CCD has lower noise levels as ISO speeds are increased compared to the 5MP 1/1.8" CCD).

Then, again, if you're happy with the 3.2MP of your S30, why upgrade at all? ;-)

Quote:
You're right, the only reason I'm even considering the Olympus is the all weather capability. But, my family has had great luck with Canons and are already set up for CF setups and everything, so all of that is looking pretty bad towards the Olympus.
The Olympus uses xD PictureCard.The Canon SD300 you're looking at uses Secure Digital. So, you'd need diffferent media for either of these.

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S410 vs. SD300 I've read the reviews. For 100% point and shoot with exceptional battery life and sheer durability, what's your pick?
I suspect that most users would prefer the SD300 (newer, faster, smaller, lighter, better movie mode, etc.). Personally, I'd go with the S410 (I like it's CCD better and it's lensseems to have sharper corners).

Of course, any opinion you get is likely to be biased, including mine. So, you'll need to decide what's more important in a camera to you. I'd also make sure to try demo models in a store to see which one fits you best.


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Old Jan 2, 2005, 1:54 AM   #7
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cdogg44 wrote:
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S410 vs. SD300 I've read the reviews. For 100% point and shoot with exceptional battery life and sheer durability, what's your pick?
Ignoring price (SD300 costs more), I would personally go with the SD300. The main downside to the SD300 is what JimC mentions above. Namely, SD300 will likely have way more noise than S410 (since the SD300 has a smaller sensor while having the same number of megapixels). But if *I* were buying an ultra-compact, things like size, LCD size, etc would matter most to me. SD300 is slightly smaller and has 2" LCD (vs 1.5" on SD410, although the # of pixels is the same so the 2" LCD will not be as sharp). In addition, the SD300 also has better movie mode ([email protected] sure how long) and arguably better/faster continuous mode (although this depends on how you look at it).

So I would go with the SD300. Competitor to the SD300 is the Panasonic FX7... so check that out as well..
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Old Jan 2, 2005, 1:51 PM   #8
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JimC wrote:
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Then, again, if you're happy with the 3.2MP of your S30, why upgrade at all? ;-)

Good point. I do like my S30 a lot, but am just looking to upgrade a little and definately get something a little bit smaller and more "pocketable".
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