Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 4, 2005, 3:15 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20
Default

I looked at the images posted on dcresource. I cropped them to highlight some findings. Please look below (I hope the file got attached). The 1stcolumn - SD500, 2nd - Z750, 3rd - F10.I am finding that SD500 is having consistently better resolution than the other two cameras (look for example at the chinese letters in the 2nd row and the black line around 700 in the 3rd row). However, I feel that if the sharpness was set to -1 on Z750, the results would have been identical to those of SD500. What I didn't like is the out-of-focus tree in the 1st row taken by Z750.It could be a random problemor it could meen that Z750 is having a trouble to focus in this low-light scenario (the arch with the tree is at the end of a corridor inthe shadow ofthe bright sun). I also found that F10 made the picture of the same corridor much darker than the other two cameras, making it too difficult to see the details inside the corridor. Of course, the results are skewed bydifferent lightnings and positions of the photographer.

Did anybody noticed that the shadow areas on the images taken by F10 in high contrast situations look too dark?



Attached Images
 
gpwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 4, 2005, 5:14 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

If you plan to make decisions on a couple of photos I guess it is just a little better than flipping a coin unless you plan to turn the cameras on and shoot at the defaults for the entire time you own them.

I avoid the focus mode that focuses on the nearest thing in the image. If I wanted the tree in focus it would have been in focus because I usually use spot focus. I haven't had focus problems with the camera. You could also use the mode where you select whatever you want in the scene to focus on in the LCD. But I think it defaults to focusing on the nearest thing in the photo, and the reviewers usually use the defaults.

I have no clue about the metering modes on the F10 or what the defaults are. But I would wager I could get the shot metered the way I want with spot metering. Especially standing in a dark area like that shot where I could see the LCD clearly and the metering would be apparent in the display. Of course with the Fuji you would limit your choices of where it focuses if you chose the metering point in spot metering. You could also use EV shift if the picture was too dark for you in the LCD and you wanted to choose a different focus point with focus lock.

slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 2005, 4:09 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20
Default

I went to several stores today to check all the cameras on my list. Sony P200 and Fuji F10 seemed too bulky to me. By the way, the tables from dcresource.com listing the camera dimensions have a typo. Canon SD500 is actually 1" thick (not 1.3") and it looks quite small. Sony P200 is the biggest among them all with its 4.1" long and 1.1" thick body. Fuji F10 also seemed to be too big for my pocket. Plus, I didn't like the absence of optical viewfinder.

SD500 has a very flimsy LCD. It is the only camera among tested that doesn't have a thick glass protector on the LCD. If I push the SD500 LCD by my finger, I see discoloration around the pressure point. None other LCD was showing that. I didn't like the mode dialer: I like the capture and replay buttons on Casio Z750 rather than having these functions on the dial as SD500 does.

Casio Z750looked great:it is thinner than SD500 by 0.1", a lrger andsturdierLCD, easy to use controls and menus. The 9-point auto focus is pretty useless: only one boxshows up andit never seems tobe on the right spot. SD500 has a better multizone focus showing several boxes at a time.After pressing the shutterbutton half waya couple of times, you can get one of these boxes to appear on an object you want to focus on. But that is not a big deal. The center-spot focus mode on Z750 is much easier to use and more reliable. You can also use a free focus mode, in which you can move the focus point anywhere on the screen. I also liked the facts that Z750 offers more scenes andmanual controls and twice as long battery than SD500. On the negative side, Z750 comes with a cradle that you have to use to charge the battery. But, an external battery charger can be purchased for about $20.

I took several test shots by SD500 and Z750 and both cameras gave the same quality images, which where great. Considering some of the mentioned advantages of Z750 (sturdy 2.5"LCD, better mode selector, 30 scenes, longer battery life and more manual controls), I was almost ready to purchase one when the shop assistant said that, eventhough Z750 images may look the same quality as those of SD500, they always come out worse when printed. He also saidthat he would never recommend anybody Z750 over SD500. That sounded like a warning. So, I went to another store and asked which camera is better. The answer was SD500 because the lenses are much better. The same happened in the third store. It seemed to me that all these stores are getting commissions from Canon for pushing their camreas.

Can anybody explain to me how can the images, which look very similar on a screen, to come out differently when printed? I can't imagine that Z750 images would come out worse than SD500 images when printed. Also,is the"lens error" on Z750 a wide-spread problem? Is there any easy fix for it or a tip to prevent it? I'd rather have a fragile LCD of SD500 and treat it as a baby than have a random "lens error" in Z750 preventing me from taking pictures. Thanks.
gpwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 2005, 5:00 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 40
Default

well for the lens error, many people get it from the camera turning on in your pocket and the lens not having room to open. so just make sure it stays closed when no in use. (i think there is a auto on feature, or maybe its on a diff camera...but if this camera has it, turn it off.)

for the picture quality, they will look diferent on a large print than on on the screen. imo, a sd300 looks similar on the screen to an sd500 b/c its so small (if the use the same lens). I dont think youll see a big difference in the pictures unless you print larger images (8x10 and higher)
afro_ninj4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 2005, 9:52 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

The original batch of Z750s had their sharpening, contrast and saturation set too high. I could see how that might make the prints come out a little different if the people in the store didn't know to lower everything to -1. Newer cameras don't seem to be set so high, but it is easy enough to adjust if they are. It has a wider range of adjustment than many little cameras. My prints from the camera are beautiful, but I seldom print anything right from the camera without some tweaking.

If you use the optical finder for much of your shooting you don't want the camera set to a focus mode where you have to consult the LCD to see where it is focused. If you have a special situation where you have to set the focus and metering at different points it would seem easier to use the mode that puts the focus where you want it rather than fool with getting the camera to find the right spot.

My guess is that Casio will disable the auto-on with firmware. I think they are getting a lot of returns for lens errors from the cameras turning on in pockets and cases. Auto-on is disabled by default, but people turn it on. Even with it off you can accidentally extend the lens when it is restricted. I carry the camera in the audio record mode when it is in a case or my pocket (or both). I don't like doing that, but it is the safest approach until I find a way to protect the on switch.

I'm willing to put up with the hassle because I really like the camera and controls. I'm unwilling to wholeheartedly recommend it to someone looking for a point and shoot though because you do have to show extra care to make sure the lens doesn't extend when it is restricted. People are getting a lot of lens errors.

If you decide on the Z750 get a 1Gb card. Some people are getting 2Gig cards. The best quality JPG files are very high quality compression which gives large files. That combined with the long battery life make a large card worthwhile. Casio doesn't specify a fast card, but the manual says it will drop frames in high quality movies if you use a slow card.


slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 7, 2005, 4:20 AM   #16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20
Default

Hmmm... I did some comparisons of posted pictures taken by Canon SD500, Casio Z750, Fuji F10 and Sony P150. And the winner is ... Fuji F10 (to be honest, I was surprized). Followed by Canon SD500, then perhaps Casio Z750 and Sony P150. I see that many people are having fun with Casio Z750here, but for me its image quality just does not cut it. However, I am basing my conclusions on somebody elses photos with the default presets.

It is amazing how much more details Fuji F10 can capture not only in lit areas but also in shadows (at the expense of a slight overexposure that I observed in almost all F10 photos). The F10 picture quality is on par with Canon Powershot G6, which I also evaluated. What even more surprized me is that the DOF in F10 pictures was much better than in all compared cameras including G6 (not sure why). Add to all this the ISO 1600 ability of F10, and you got the winner. It is too sad that F10 doesn't have an optical viewfinder, has a confusing menu system and thicker than Z750 or SD500.

My final step in selecting a camera, will be to buy all four cameras, making pictures on my own and then returning the three I didn't like. For some reason, I am confident that the camera I will keep is F10. One of the reasons is that I always get frustrated by not being able to take a non-blurry picture indoors (a museum, a church, or somewhere else). I have to use a flash (which is forbidden in many museums) andthe resulting imagesloose the depth. With the F10 "natural light" mode and ISO 1600 capability, I can make great indoor pictures.

Thank you everybody for helping me.
gpwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 2005, 1:42 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6
Default

any luck? still think the f10 is the way to go (even w/ the xd card)?
motosf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2005, 7:38 PM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20
Default

Not sure about F10. I liked the image quality of F10 and its high ISO,but some posts warn about low quality images taken with flash. Also,some reviews mention that the auto ISO setting of F10 is not optimum, recommending to set it manually. Is that correct? I don't want to fiddle with the ISO settings every time I have to take a picture. Plus, I don't like the menu system of F10, it is very confusing and unintuitive to me.So, Ihave beengoing in circles: Canon SD500, Casio Z750, Fuji F10 and Sony P150/200. I will have to make a decision by September (this is when I am traveling to Europe). If I don't change my mind again, I will buy Casio Z750. It was the first camera I chose: it has the image quality close to SD500, has MPEG4 vide compression allowing more movie time to be stored on the memory card (about 30min of a 640x320 30fps movieon a 1GB card), has a great battery life, uses an SD card, has an intuitive colorful menu system, large LCD, optical viewfinder and manual controls if I need them. I can't find any negatives about this camera but one: it does not have an underwater case. All other cameras have one. The well-known "lens error" does not bother me anymore. I went to the store and played with Z750. I intentionally caused the lens error by sticking my finger in front of the retracting lenses and stopping them. The camera automatically moved the lenses back and powered down. When turned on again, without my finger stopping the lenses, the camera powered up normally and was operational as usual. Can you imagine how many people triedto cause the lens errorto that Casio Z750 demo, and it still works. The store assistant told me that, indeed, there wereZ750's returned with the lens error because ofa manufacturing defect. Usually, this defect manifests itself during the first month of use. You can return the camera back to store for an exchange.
gpwr is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:38 PM.