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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 16, 2006, 1:26 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Default

I think I have narrowed my decision on what camera I would like to purchase down to the Canon SD 550 and SD 600 digital Elphs. Every review I read for the compact-catagory of camera seams to hold the Canons as the best, and at $350, these two cameras are perfect for my price range, leaving a little extra money for a higher capacity memory card.

The 550 has a higher pixel rating at 7.1 vs 6.0, and a faster maximum shutter speed at 1/2000 instead of 1/1500. The 550 also has a flash guide number of 16.4 feet opposed to the 600's 11.4 feet.

The 600 however has a 1/2.5" sensor size as opposed to a 1/1.8" sensor, and has an ISO range of 80, 100, 200, 400, 800 as opposed to 50,100,200,400, and a closer macro range at 3cm as opposed to the 550 at 5cm. It also has a better LCD at 173,000 pixels vs the 500's 115,000 and is smaller and weighs less.

As a 20-something beginning/intermediate level photographer my pictures will mainly be in low-light situations with friends at bars, dinners, and parties. Because of this a camera that I can carry anywhere anytime with little to no red-eye is a must, and on that note there won't be much time for editing photos. Another large portion of my pictures will be taken outdoors of friends, sports, and architecture and landscapes. I plan to use the camera at activities such as football and rugby games, skiing, scuba diving/snorkling (if i drop the money for an underwater case), climbing, boating, etc. I will also probably play around with the macro in some situations.

I mainly will not be printing pictures, rather just sharing them over the web. Pictures I do print will either be small to send to friends (or friends printing them), or somewhat large in the case of architecture and landscapes and underwater shots to show off in my apartment, but this could change in the future.

Right now I am leaning towards the 600, but with little to no reviews of the camera, I'm basing everything off of the 550's quality just with some technical changes listed above.
Anei is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 16, 2006, 1:42 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Anei wrote:
Quote:
As a 20-something beginning/intermediate level photographer my pictures will mainly be in low-light situations with friends at bars, dinners, and parties. Because of this a camera that I can carry anywhere anytime with little to no red-eye is a must, and on that note there won't be much time for editing photos.
I'm not sure if you got the impression somewhere that you'd have "little or no red-eye" from a review.

But, you will have redeye in some conditions with virtually any subcompact camera.

As a general rule, the closer a camera's flash is to it's lens, the greater the chance for redeye (so, smaller cameras like these tend to be worse than larger models).

The best way to avoid it is to use an external flash, located as far away from the lens as possible.

There are other variables, too. For example, sometimes you can have less redeye at closer ranges versus further ranges (because of the difference between the angle of the flash versus the lens). Lighting conditions also come into the equation (and the use of redeye reduction modes can help by shrinking a subject's pupils).

But, you can be sure you're going to get redeye with a subcompact camera in some (if not most) indoor conditions.

You can see it in the flash portraits in our samples (at the end of each model's review) from some of these models.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 2006, 2:04 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Default

I did previously do some research on red-eye, and what makes it happen. Thanks for pointing those things out though; one of the things you mentioned I wasn't aware of completely.

I understand that red-eye will be an issue with any small camera like these, but at the same end my needs require the camera be small enough to fit in my pocket and take anywhere. After reading reviews for the 550 and many other cameras in the category, Red-Eye is mentioned much less frequently than for other cameras in the compact/sub-compact categories for the 550 than its competitors. I assume this is due to better Red-Eye reduction in the 550 vs other cameras.

After what you posted though, I decided to look up the difference in the flash between the 450 (which I've read numorous reviews complaining about red-eye), the 550 (which I've had a harder time coming across red-eye complaints), and the 600 which I have not yet found any reviews for. After comparing the SD450 and SD550, the SD550 has a different flash guide number than the 450, and may be better at reducing red-eye because of this. However, the 450 and 600 have the same flash guide number. I don't know if this means they have the same flash and the 600 will have as much as an issue with red-eye and upset customers as the 450. I hope not.
Anei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 2006, 2:26 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Anei wrote:
Quote:
After comparing the SD450 and SD550, the SD550 has a different flash guide number than the 450, and may be better at reducing red-eye because of this.
I don't like to post links to other reviews. But, I'll make an exception.

Here is what Jeff Keller said about the SD550:

"As was the case with the SD500 before it, redeye is a problem on the PowerShot SD550. While your results may vary, you can expect to deal with this annoyance at least part of the time."

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca..._sd550-review/

Jeff includes a redeye test in his reviews. But, you really can *not* go by it. Just because you don't have any at one distance to your subject, doesn't mean your not going to get any at another distance. Lighting is also a big factor.

I've got flash photos taken at very close range with a pocket camera (Konica KD-510z) with no redeye at all (and I never use a camera's redeye reduction mode, since I think it spoils facial expressions).

Yet, I have group photos with EVERY EYE RED. This one is partcularly bad, though (I sometimes refer to it as "demon eye" and the flash reflections are sometimes worse than the red, with editing being far more difficult). :-)

It's a problem with smaller cameras (and can also be a problem with larger cameras, depending on the conditions, flash distance from lens, distance to subject, etc.).

Solution (if you really want a subcompact model and it's one that you need to use a flash with):

An editor. ;-)

Nikon came out with some models that automatically fix redeye a while back. But, I do remember seeing some complaints that the fixes didn't look natural. Of course, that's subjective.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 16, 2006, 3:20 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

I think the 600 should be considered an upgrade from the 450. The SD550 seems a dead end with its 1/1,8 sensor as even the new SD700 has the smaller sensor.

Canon is advertising some upgrades to the noise reduction in the new cameras. I haven't seen any reviews to confirm that.

Jim makes a good point about Jeff's red-eye tests. It is likely that any camera with a lot of red-eye in Jeff's tests are likely to be red-eye machines at any range and eye angle and dilation that normally produces red-eye. But cameras that produce no red-eye in his tests are likely to get some at longer ranges. I've even managed to get red-eye with my strong zoom flash attachment shooting at very long ranges and extreme zoom. And it is a very large external flash unit.

slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 19, 2006, 3:59 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Default

Wow thanks for the Help everyone! That was much intensive than I thought I would ever get out of a forum! stevesdigicams.com get's my recomendation to whoever I know is thinking about a new digital camera.

Sorry for the late reply, you can blame St. Patty for that! haha

As with the sensor size thing I have seen 1 informal review somewhere (if I can find the link I will post it) where someone took shots with the 550 and the 600 at a fairly close range in cicuit city.In my opinion there was a pretty significant reduction in noise, but this was only with 1 photo situation provided.

I think I will end up going with the 600, unless something better pops up in the near future. After talking with a photography major friend of mine, I think I am making the best choice with the Canon, as she swears by them.
Anei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 22, 2006, 5:44 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3
Default

I'm torn between the Canon SD 550 and SD 600 too. I was actually about to place an order for the SD 550 when I read the announcement of the SD 600 (and SD 630 & SD 700 IS). Now I just can't decide. Any word on when a review on the SD 600 will be out??? I'm so anxious to read the review because i need to make the purchase within the next few weeks.

Also, I'm still not clear on whatdifference to expectin performance/ photo quality between the larger and smaller CCD's of the 2 cameras. I also wonder how much of a difference the higher ISO range will make. I tend to take a lot of photos at night in bars/ clubs with friends. Will the SD 600 be significantly better than the SD 550 in those settings???

I appreciate any help anyone can offer. :-)




orlie13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 23, 2006, 7:29 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Default

I bought the SD600 last night at Circuit City, they are running a special where you get a free 512 MB card with it, which is pretty nice. Both cameras are on sale at Circuit City for about the same price right now. I haven't gotten to use it yet though, (hopefully this coming weekend I will get to use it allot, especially at bars). The 550 has a higher flash guide number, but I am hoping the 800 ISO will compensate and then some for this on the 600. I did find the link I mentioned earlier with an informal review. Here it is:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=17623377
Anei 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 7:43 PM.