Any Canon camera experts out there?

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
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I was wondering if there was anyone out there who knew the Canon consumer product line fairly well. I currently own a Canon, but I want one of the tiny point and shoot cameras that look so nice and handy. I'm going to Hong Kong in 2 days, and am hoping that someone here can help me sort some things out regarding their line:

QUESTION: What is the difference between the Canon SD200/300, Canon SD 10/20, and Canon S410/S500??? Other than in MP and weight, they're almost identical.
The Canon S410/S500 does use a 1/1.8" sensor size, which is better than the 1/2.5" sensors used in the other 4 models I mentioned. The larger 1/1.8" may help the image quality when compared to the other 4 models, but I'm not sure by how much. DPreview doesn't offer reviews of all these models, and they don't compare Canon Ultra-compacts to other Canon Ultra-compacts. :eek:

Also, the Canon SD 10/20 doesn't appear to have an optical viewfinder or zoom, so if your LCD screen goes bust, it's over.

But is that it? Is that the only difference? All the cameras are nice, and I want to find something cheap, but if there's no real difference, then why do they bother? I'd grab the first camera that I find at the cheapest price if they're literally the same except for the 2 differences mentioned above. :confused: Basically, the SD200/300 and S410/S500 are the same except for small differences in MP and weight?
 

mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
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Hi, I'm the happy owner of an S400 myself (nearly identical to the S410) and my friend has an SD200.

Despite the obvious model-to-model, megapixel-quantity differences, the main differences are as follows:

- the S series are a slightly older design than the SD series, or at least they came out first. The S series uses CF cards, have slightly smaller digital viewfinders, and use the renowned Digic processor.

- the 3-digit SD (SD200, SD300) are slimmer and newer than their 3-digit S-series counterparts, and use SD cards. They have the Digic II image processor. The Canon website can give you a better idea its advances over Digic (I). I'm pretty sure they have slightly expanded movie capabilities as well, such as better fps or resolution.

- the 2-digit SD series cameras are not as feature-rich as the others discussed here, most notably lacking an optical zoom lens. They also use the Digic (I) processor.

For what it's worth, I have been very happy with my Canon, and so have my friends (another has an older S230). I think it's hard to go wrong with their lineup. If you have a strong preference for/pre-existing investment in either SD or CF cards, that could make this an easy decision.

The Canon website (U.S. version at least) is very thorough if you haven't had a look at it yet.
 
Comment

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
go to steves-digicams.com for reviews and more specs on the cameras of your choice. Steve probably knows more about Canon cameras than perhaps anyone who visits this board.
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
There are a lot of minor differences...if they don't jump out at you, they might not be too worthwhile in looking at. AFAIK, the Digital Elph cameras do not support RAW format for instance. I haven't really used RAW much yet, but it has some advantages in that anything that is done in post-processing in the camera can be changed after the fact, with somewhat less loss of quality than with JPGs. Although I hear that it isn't so great yet, iPhoto is starting to support this, and you can also use GIMP or Photoshop or similar software to do post-processing on your photos, and the results will be better if you use RAW....

If you can find samples of pictures, you might also find a difference in the quality of the optics -- this is really important, because you will find that cameras that have the same specs on paper in terms of zoom, focal length and f/stop ranges, will take drastically better or worse pictures when compared to each other.

Other than that, I would also look at the video camera function if you think there's much chance you'd use it. It looks like some of those models actually have very sophisticated video capabilities -- far better than my (earlier) S50. I haven't used mine much, but I guess it could be pretty fun to play with, and with the cameras that can do 320x240 at 60fps, might actually be useable for something.

And I wouldn't underweigh size for casual use. A slightly smaller camera will get carried more often and in more situations and will get you more pictures, that you'll be glad to have. That's a slight regret that I didn't get an Optio S50 or something of the like instead of my S50. But only slight. ;)
 
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mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
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If you are concerned with RAW, Canon's two-digit S series (such as S60) does support it. Those cameras are slightly heftier than the ones discussed above.
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Oh one more comment...on the S and the SD series, originally, it seemed more like Canon's intent was that the S series was aimed at a slightly more enthusiast market than the SD series, and while at most levels the S cameras are older than the SD cameras, they usually do have features that aren't in the SDs.... CF was also a nod in that direction, as even now, the more you go in the enthusiast direction, the more you see CF because of the larger capacities that are available.

And steve's is a *great* website. :)
 
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mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
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Yeah, I'll chime in with a vote for Steve's as a good resource, and as a place to have a look at actual photo samples if you can (Steve's has these for models it reviews). Cameras that appear the same on paper can appear very diferent in output.

If you like David Pogue, he also did a nice piece on cameras around the holidays, for the New York Times tech section
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
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Well I was mostly interested in the S410/S500 and SD200/300, so thanks for chiming in on those. I figured that even with the DIGIC I processor, the S series would be better because of the larger CCD, meaning it may result in less noisy images than the SD series. Sure the S series is a bit heavier, but it weighs the same as my iPod, so no biggie.

It seems like I'd be a winner whether I went for either the S or SD series.

Anyway, thanks. I'll check out Steve's. :)
 
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mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
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Sounds like you're set. You may be correct about the image quality issues, and the cameras' size difference is not major, but I can't deny that when I feel both cameras, the SD-series feel noticeably smaller to me, and the screen is noticeably larger. Maybe try to hold each of them before you buy, if camera size or screen size are at all a concern. Still, my S400 has been great and I have no real complaints.
 
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brap

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
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Nottingham
mcgarry said:
Sounds like you're set. You may be correct about the image quality issues, and the cameras' size difference is not major, but I can't deny that when I feel both cameras, the SD-series feel noticeably smaller to me, and the screen is noticeably larger. Maybe try to hold each of them before you buy, if camera size or screen size are at all a concern. Still, my S400 has been great and I have no real complaints.
What he said.

I also have an S400 (takes really great pictures in most situations), but I'd go for the SD now. IIRC the SD4xx is on Apple.com for ridiculously small amount of money - prices have really come down since I bought mine!

All of the visibly niggling issues with mine (example: 300 sec movie limit) are removed with the newer, smaller model... that just leaves low light performance and focus delay, and I could go ad read Steve's, but then it'd make me want to spend money I don't have ;)
 
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KD7IWP

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2004
648
2
American living in Canada
I have an SD110. It's nice, but doesn't take the most fabulous pictures in the world. The flash is amazingly bright. I'll be in a pitch black room and it looks as bright as day. But, the flash won't go further then maybe 5 meters at night. I like how well it focuses. At night, it shoots out an amber light beam and can focus on lots of things. To be honest though, I'm not quite as happy as I thought I would be. Maybe 95% satisfied, which isn't bad. I find that iPhoto always can improve the pictures because they do not come out perfect from the camera. All I'll say is, don't expect this to perform like an SLR even though it has lots of the same settings. For point and shoot, it's fabulous. It turns on and takes photos quickly, saves them fast, then fits in your pocket. It is also nice to use SD cards since they are more prevalent than Compact Flash, and I have a PCMCIA 6 in 1 card reader in my powerbook so I can plug the SD card in and put the pictures on it.
 
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iGary

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May 26, 2004
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www.dpreview.com is an excellent place for reviews - just click the "reviews" tab. :D

I'm a Canon DSLR guy, so I can't help you with the point and shoots - but let us know how you make out, I'm interested in getting a point and shoot just as a carry around. :)
 
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vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
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If you're not completely set on Canon and want a really tiny P&S cam, check out the Casio Exilim series and the Pentax Optio series cams. VERY small, and pretty feature rich (the casio especially).

I don't know how they compare with the huge list of canon cams, but they're worth checking out.

Also, if you're not in a hurry, the PMAs are in about 2 weeks and a bunch of new cams will be unveiled there (the photo equivalent to MacWorld).

Check out http://www.dpreview.com/articles/pma2005/ to see what's already been announced. So far only 2 canon cams, but remember Canon promised something like 20 new models this year.
 
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sarge

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
591
130
Brooklyn
410/500

According to the gearheads on DPREVIEW's site, the 410 takes better pictures than the 5mp 500. I read where someone claimed the corners are sharper in the 4pm version and you can get it for around $250. I got the 410 for my father for christmas but he returned it because he was hung up on the mp factor (as if he would make anything bigger than an A4 print).

I really love the canon point and shoots. I own a s50. I went to compusa the other day because I read they discounted the Pro1 from 699 to 539-but off course they were all gone. I guess we'll have to wait until PMA to see what they come out with in terms of new cameras.

Good luck
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
iGary said:
www.dpreview.com is an excellent place for reviews - just click the "reviews" tab. :D

I'm a Canon DSLR guy, so I can't help you with the point and shoots - but let us know how you make out, I'm interested in getting a point and shoot just as a carry around. :)
Yeah, well after lots of research, I've "narrowed" it down to a few. I wanted cheap and decent, as I don't really "need" this camera at all. So when I get to HK, I'll get one of these cameras if I can find them cheap. These are the best, IMO. I want a Canon because I'm familiar with them, and it's pretty much guaranteed to be decent. :)

Choices (in order):

1. Canon S410/S500 (IXUS 430/500) - leaning towards the S430 (4MP) with its 1/1.8" sensor size. Larger and than SD series

2. Canon SD200/300 (IXUS 30/40) - at 3.2MP and 4MP, they're lower in the pixel department, but its smaller and lighter and faster (DIGIC II) than the S410.

3. Panasonic DMC-FX2/FX7 - No optical viewfinder! Leaning towards FX2 because there are actually some advantages over the pricier FX7. Might not be worth the cost difference. Image Stabalizer on both!!

4. Casio EX-Z55 or Pentax S5i - Not bad.

5 Canon SD10/20 (IXUS i/i5) - no zoom!!!

Hope that helps. :)
 
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evildead

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
1,275
0
WestCost, USA
Canon SD200

I have the Canon SD200 Elf. I love it! The 300 is the same only greater MegaPix. Personaly 3.2MP is just fine for me. I take my camera everyware. Went to Vegas recently and had it in my pocket the whole time. Clubs, bars, hotel, casino... it worked out great. I was escorting 7 girls so, the shots are .... priceless!

The new SD 200 is pretty much thesame as the old Cannon Elf line only... its thinner. I would go for the thinner one... fits in your pant pocket.
 
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legacyb4

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2002
618
193
Vancouver, BC
I've been using an older Nikon 800 along with a Canon D30 with some really nice lenses; the Nikon's slow focus speed is driving me nuts so I was planning to upgrade my 'portable' camera to the S410 as well. Seems like a good balance of features, uses low-cost, high capacity memory, and that extra megapixel doesn't seem to justify the cost increase.

Here's to hoping that I made a good choice!
 
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debroglie

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2004
607
0
Philadelphia, PA
evildead said:
I have the Canon SD200 Elf. I love it! The 300 is the same only greater MegaPix. Personaly 3.2MP is just fine for me. I take my camera everyware. Went to Vegas recently and had it in my pocket the whole time. Clubs, bars, hotel, casino... it worked out great. I was escorting 7 girls so, the shots are .... priceless!

The new SD 200 is pretty much thesame as the old Cannon Elf line only... its thinner. I would go for the thinner one... fits in your pant pocket.
I also have the SD200, and I love it! All of my friends (I'm in college so there are a lot of kids carrying around cameras) say that it is so much quicker and smaller than all of their cameras. The size is great, and comes in handy for carrying it around campus or to parties.
 
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