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Old Jan 27, 2005, 6:45 PM   #1
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I bought the Sony Cybershot DSC-W1 when they were running the rebate in December. It was the perfect combination of features:
- super-small, easily fits in pocket
- lightning-fast start up, no shutter lag, shot to shot times
- AF-assist lamp
- takes AA batteries and goes a long way with just a couple
- got it for about $250

The only problem was that 1 out of 10 pictures would be blurry. Now, I concede that I may not have been savvy enough to figure out how to best use the camera; but I've read enough user reviews out there to know that I'm not the only one with this problem.

I would love a small $300 camera that takes GREAT pictures with no fuss. I am a typical user: vacation photos, group shots, no extreme sports. I just want a camera that I know will take generally great photos every time, and is fast enough that I won't miss anything. It would be nice if this camera was small enough to fit in my pocket, so I wouldn't hate bringing it everywhere.

The Canon SD300 seems the most similar to the DSC-W1, but I am afraid that I may be sacrificing image quality with another super-compact. The Canon S60 is bigger and not as fast, but seems to take great pictures.

1) Can anyone give me their impressions of the SD300 and/or S60?
2) Given the trade-offs (size & speed vs. quality), which should I choose? I'm also open to the Canon A95, if someone can argue that its pictures are significantly better than the SD300's.

Suggestions for other cameras that might fit the bill are also welcome. Thanks so much!
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Old Jan 31, 2005, 7:56 PM   #2
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Maybe I need to shorten my question to get someone to bite:

Is the image clarity and performance of the Canon SD300 about the same as the Sony DSC-W1?

And how would you compare the ease of taking great pictures of the Canon SD300 with the Canon S60? I'm looking for a variety of common vacation-type photos, and making sure a dummy like me can take great photos without screwing it up.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 6:54 AM   #3
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Hi,

I bought the SD300 after trying to decide between it and the Sony P150 (W1 and V1). Although the Sonys had higher resolution and images looked promising, I took the Canon because :

- it was small and compact enough to go anywhere I went without being a burden

- SD memory card was compatible with my PDA and notebook

- Video quality is among the best (it is really good actually)

- 4 megapixel is enough to produce a very nice A4 printout

- Canon felt stronger to hold than the Sony which felt a little bit cheap

- Canon screen is very nice to look at

- I wanted to save a little bit of money to buy a proper camera (hopefully a dSLR)

If you're deciding on a camera that will serve all your purpose, you should opt for the best camera that you can afford. Or, if you think that you will be buying a more advance camera in the future, get any of them as they are all good.
You might want to consider the type of memory cards that you may be using between your devices, if they are all the same then you save more money. At least that's where I stand. I don't know much about the other Canon compact/mid range cameras, but their high end cameras are top notch.

I've attached a recent untouched photo to show the quality of the Canon. I'm no professional but it looks good to me.
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 11:55 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response. That is a very nice picture; the detail is very striking.

Have you had any blurry pictures? I got so many blurry pictures with my DSC-W1, it has me worried about other cameras. I can't figure out if it's:
1) user error. I'm just unskilled and will have problems with all cameras.
2) problem with ultra-compacts.
3) strictly a W1 thing, and other cameras will be better.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 1, 2005, 2:57 PM   #5
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fakemark wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the response. That is a very nice picture; the detail is very striking.

Have you had any blurry pictures? I got so many blurry pictures with my DSC-W1, it has me worried about other cameras. I can't figure out if it's:
1) user error. I'm just unskilled and will have problems with all cameras.
2) problem with ultra-compacts.
3) strictly a W1 thing, and other cameras will be better.

Thanks!
Blurry pics are mainly due to handshake (probalby in low-light situations)... Try forcing flash (if you can) and see if it helps...

Having said that, if you are getting blurry pics in bright outdoors, then it is a big concern...
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 12:17 PM   #6
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Fakemark ! I also have the Sony W1 along with Pansonic FZ20 and other Canon Pro etc.... The complaints that people have about the W1 being blurry is because they dont hold the camera steady enough... If you buy a $8000 super pro or even a more costlier Hasselblatt digital back and dont hold it steady, you will be complaining !!!

Go with the W1 - it is a great camera and forget everything.... Canon A series are good too, but the Sony has the Carl Zeiss optics - the BEST out htere is !!!


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Old Feb 2, 2005, 12:52 PM   #7
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SalBolzano & Sivaram Velauthapillai,

Thanks for your helpful comments. I'm very willing to concede that it may be my fault in taking blurry pictures. But one thing that troubles me: previously, I owned a Fuji 2600Z and an Olympus D-540Z. Neither camera was in the Sony's class in terms of features. And their best pictures were not as nice as the Sony's. But I don't remember getting hardly any blurry photos.

Those cameras were not as small as the Sony, and their shutter lag and startup times were much slower. I can't think why I wouldn't get blurry photos with those camera, but I would with the Sony.

Thoughts?
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 1:07 PM   #8
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Post some of your blurry pictures or provide a link to them. Your camera might be bad or you might be expecting too much of it in limited light. We won't know until we see the pictures and can look at the EXIF data. If you post them here I would suggest you resize them in Irfanview and keep the EXIF data so others can access it.


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Old Feb 2, 2005, 2:54 PM   #9
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here's an example . . . i resized it, so i hope it still has enough data to be useful.
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Old Feb 2, 2005, 6:18 PM   #10
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fakemark wrote:
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here's an example . . . i resized it, so i hope it still has enough data to be useful.
There's no EXIF data, at least none that my EXIF reader could find, but I think we can tell visually what the problem is: camera movement. Look at the little trails of light, level with the top of the white frame, below the spotlights. You can see that each of them forms a wiggly S-shaped trail. Also looking at the spotlights themselves, you can make out two discs of light per spotlight, one just below and overlapping the other. These trails of light on the image are just what you would expect if the camera tipped forwards (or backwards) slightly as the shutter release was pressed.

Without knowing the light level (EV) that was present at the time, it's difficult to assess whether the camera can be considered at fault for selecting too slow a shutter speed. But this was an indoor scene beyond the range of the flash, by the look of it, so it was bound to require a slowish shutter speed. Was this shot on Auto?
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