Ultracompact digital camera recs?

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by Phatpat, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    I'm looking to buy an ultracompact digital camera. I've been looking at the Pentax Optio S, the Canon SD10, and various Casio Exilims. I've read mixed reviews on all of them; nothing seems to stand out. I want to use it for taking pics at cycling races and everyday shots to post on my blog. I don't want to spend more than $300.

    Can anyone offer me any suggestions?
  2. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    i have a canon ixus2 ( power shot sd100 in the usa) 3.2MP, its small and take good pics,
    $299 on amazon
  3. Phatpat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    Yeah, I've checked out the Powershot SD110. It's looks good, and Canon has attained quite the reputation in the digital camera market. Only thing I don't like is the lcd; it seems rather small. With the exception of casio cameras, this seems to be commonplace among most small cameras.
  4. Apple //e macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2003
    the pentax optio s4i fits in an altoids can, has a 3x optical zoom and a 1.8"lcd.

    if lcd size is important, casio has the largest in the biz, but the resolution isnt that great
  5. Teronke macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2003
    Just bought the newly released Pentax Optio S4i. This is a much better version than the Pentax Optio S or Pentax Option S4. It's a 4 mega-pixel camera with a 1.8 inch screen and unlike the earlier version takes some pretty good pics and has a great movie mode. The only issue I've had with it is that because it is so light you have to be especially mindful of keeping the camera still when pressing the shutter.

    Many of the Casios use Pentax lenses. So the difference lies in how each brand configures the in-camera software to utilise the lenses. I have friends who have Exilims and they're a pretty good ultracompact.

    I would advise against the Canon SD10 purely because it does not have an optical zoom. The other cameras in the Ixus range would be a better bet.
  6. cosmo macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2003
    i got a

    canon s400 for $315 shipped through pricegrabber. . .

    only had it for a couple weeks, but i'm loving it so far (4.0 MP's)...
  7. Phatpat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    the s400 is a little thick for my tastes, but that does vouch for the quality of that product line.

    The Pentax Optio S4i is perfect, but a bit expensive. I don't really need 4 megapixels. The Casio Exilim EX-Z30 also looks great, but doesn't seem to exist in the US yet. I may go with the Canon SD110 if I get impatient.

    Does anyone know what the shutter lag is like on these small cameras? Will I be able to take action shots with them?
  8. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    You want really ultra compact...check this out


    I'm gonna buy one just because. At under $100 why not. I don't even care how good it works. My cell phone takes pictures so why not a Zippo Lighter :D :cool:
  9. Phatpat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    heh, that thinkgeek camera is quite a gadget. Doesn't really help me though. My cell phone has a camera, and I'm looking for something that takes better pics. I'm a little doubtful that the "james bond stealth camera" will best my phone by much ;)
  10. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    DSC-U30 anyone?

    I have the DSC-U10. Awesome for taking pictures at parties and what not. Very small.

    They have updated it since to the U30. 2.0 mega Pixels.

    I like it alot.
  11. Logik macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2004
    I have a Exilim. EX-Z3... i LOVE it... best $400 i've spent.. they now have a 4mp version out... i have a 256mb sd card for it and it holds around 132 pictures and the battery lasts for about 150-160 pictures... my mom has a Nikon 4mp and i like the smaller exilim more.. definately better build quality.. i carry it with me...

    i DEFINATELY WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend the Exilim EX-Z3 and Z4... the only problem with it is that it doesn't take great pics in the dark... not many digital camera's do though without paying the price..

    if you have any questions.. ask :)
  12. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    I agree with Logik - the Exilim rocks - I know, most people say "Casio...eeww." but it blows away my PowerShot S500 Elph in image quality. And besides, a camera endorsed by Steve Wozniak can't be all bad :) There's some pictures Woz took with the Exilim on this site. Is it me or is Woz starting to look like a garden gnome with cliff huxtable's sweaters?

  13. Logik macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2004

    i dont' have a pretty way to show my pics.. but http://www.buick.unlogikal.net/pics/centennial/ has a ton of pictures i took at the Buick Centennial in Flint last July... lots of car pics.. but you get the idea.. VERY nice camera.. those pics are 800x600 and have been resized from their original..

    www.stevesdigicams.com is what made me get it.. I LOVE this camera.. i simply refuse to get another camera... i love it, it's SOLID i mean solidly built, it's not flimsy, it's got an aluminum case.. it's so small you can put it in your pocket and barely know its there.. i get pictures i wouldn't normally get because its always with me.. great camera.. on the spinal tap 1 to 11 scale.. i give this one an 11 even though the night shot sucks... the 3megapixel version is the one i have.. the 4 outta be even better
  14. Gherkin macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2004
    I have the Canon SD10. I really like it. Good picture quality and the thing is TINY. No optical zoom doesn't really bother me, just move closer if you want a tighter shot. The LCD isn't too small either.
  15. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD

    I have the SD10, and I tell people that based on your needs it is either the best camera ever, or the worst. I wanted a tiny camera, with good resolution that I could use to capture people and events, but nothing too intense. I'll use it if I go out, or at a party, or on a trip, etc. The pictures are great, but I'll warn you that red eye is a problem b/c the camera is so small. I photoedit the red eye out but not with iphoto, which does a really crappy job of it.

    The camera has a great "gee-whiz" factor, which I'll admit is important to me. Every time you pull it out people will ask about it, and when you tell them it's 4 MP in that tiny little body, their jaws drop. It's got a solid feel as Canon's tend to do.

    I don't feel the lack of the optical zoom, but again, I don't take pictures that require it. If that is important to you, go a little bigger but stick with the caons. My sister just got a camera, but she wanted the optical zoom so she got the S400 I believe, which feels tiny unless you have the SD10. To me her camera feels like a small aircraft carrier.
  16. locopano macrumors member


    Aug 26, 2003
    I would strongly recomend not going under 4MP if you plan to print out the photos. I would go with CANON IXUS over OPTIO anyday. CANON have best life span and picture quality by far. I have used both Optio S, Optio330, OPtio S4 and canon IXUSV, V2, V3, IXUs 400, now i have Ixus500 maybe its called S500 in the USA.

    But yeah cant go wrong with the new canons. Plus i think the IXUS 430 is 4MP and you can get it for $350...USD....

    But yeah if your printing them out or want one that will last in the future go with IXUS 430 or whatever its called in US... its fromt he latest batch..
  17. insidedanshead macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    ditto. i had to make the same decision as you optio s4 or SD10. I went SD10 because with the money I saved I could get a bigger card (256MB). And I will double warn you.. the red eye reduction is next to useless. But overall I think a much better deal than the OPTIO

  18. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

    Mar 29, 2002
    Rohnert Park, CA
    That is non sense.
    Unless you want to print your picture in 11" x 17" or 8" x 11 any 2 MP is good enough for regular size photos.
    I have a coolpix 950 (2MP) since 1999 and I print my picture at the photolab at Costco, no one can tell if it was taken by film or digitally.

    The problem is compact camera is that taking picture in the dark or at night since the sensor is too small it doesn't capture well when there are not sufficient light.

    I have used the Nikon coolpix 3500 (3MB) and the Canon SD100 (3MB) both are good, pictures came out great on paper. The advantage of the Canon over the Nikon is the movie included the sound while the Nikon doesn't do sound. The Canon use a media (SD) at this point is more expensive than the compact flash that is used in the Coolpix.

    You can find on line the coolpix refurbished under $200.
  19. mstecker macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    Sony DSC-T1

    I just bought and absolutely love my Sony DSC-T1. It's smaller in every dimension than the Exlim, is FIVE megapixels, has a beautiful 2.5" lcd and Zeiss optics.

    You pay a bit of a premium for all of this. Sony just dropped the list from $549 to $499. Street prices can be as low as $450.

    Here's a review:

  20. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    i have a pentax optio S . . . of such small cameras (fits in an altoids tin (thats what i use for my case)) . . . it has the best quality and features.from skiing in Big Sky to low light indoor pics and briliantly colored close up flower pictures the optio S does A LOT!!! and does it much better than my gfs cannon :) im sure the newer optios are even better!
  21. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    i'm looking for a new camera as well and came across this site that has some helpful reviews: www.dcresource.com

    i'm deciding between the canon s500 and the new sony dsc-t1. i want as many megapixels as i can get for a reasonable price since i intend to keep whatever camera i get for a few years (or at least until my husband lets me get a new one! :p ). i like the size of the sony, but i'm put off by the proprietary memory stick format. i need to get to a store to play with each one a little more before i make a decision...

    good luck!

  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm super tempted to get this camera, but the only problem with it I see is that the optics aren't up too snuff with the sensor. The z-fold design is really cool, and I liked it in the Dimage XT but wanted more than three pixels, but on a lot of the sample pics in that review you posted, especially the one with the two girls at the baseball diamond, there is an insane amount of aliasing noise at the edges of the in-focus elements (like the edges of the girls' cheeks). Sorry, forgot what the right digital-camera-ese term is for this. Saw it in a lot of the other photos too.

    But this thing is soo tempting, esp. with the 640x480 long duration movie mode. :)
  23. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    A problem I always see with Sony equipment is the memory sticks are just so expensive compared to CF cards.
  24. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    Ive got the Canon Ixus II, screen isnt really that small and I tend to be rather fussy about the finer details of any techy purchase I make. Infact
    the lcd is one of the major selling points for me, its not hard glass covered so therefore the image is still crisp and bright when used in direct sunlight.

    I read heaps of reviews before I bought it, but in all honesty the deciding two factors that made me bite the bullet were the lcd and how it felt in 'my' hands- not some online reviewers. PLEASE save yourself disappointment and spend a hour or so annoying a salesman in a camera shop by trying all the cameras you are interested in...all the buttons, zoom, functions...just how it feels.
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    That's true too...I'd love to get a 1GB CF card or do the Muvo hack and get a 2GB one, and never worry about it getting full. :)

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