View Full Version : Canon A80 or Nikon Coolpix 4300 which one?

07-12-2004, 02:32 PM
i can't quite figure out which to buy. the main difference is the canon has audio to go along with the video, aside from that they both are very similar.

when i started looking for a new camera i didn't relize that some do video too.

i plan on mainly taking family, landscape and macro photos(lots of close up pix)

i was leaning towards the Nikon but Canon offers sound with the videos. does having sound make a big enough difference? can anyone help me decide?


07-12-2004, 03:34 PM

I happen to have had a nikon 4300 and it performed really well before it was stolen a couple of weeks ago. I've considered the A80 as a replacement, and in fact, went down to best buy to give the ergonomic a little whirl. Heres my 2c.

The Nikon is fairly sturdy and that's what I really liked about it. It fit in my hand and the handgrip made it very easy to hold and firm in my grasp. Nikon continues this with their more compact (and slightly smaller grip) 4200 and 5200 cameras. I also took a lot of manual control shots that let me experiment with advanced digi photography while still having something that can do point and shoot (and very good close macro). The battery lasted me a long time and I did all transfers via a compactflash -> usb dock. It might not be metal but its darn sturdy; we dropped it down the stair case once and it still worked a ok. Only the lens cap broke. Here is a point to point break down of what I didn't like, and why I am looking for another one (though, as it seems, might end up with the same 4300). On another note, the focus is damn fast. Maybe its because mine always continuosly focused, but I didn't mind.

1) It took a long time to extend the lens and warm up. A lot of my shots are cameo and I think those are the best during vacationing or whatever. Unless you're really into scenery, you need something instant, so you dont have to, revove lens cap, warm up, then shoot.
2) its too big to cram in your pocket. this was a big problem for me. its more of a go between. not big enough or manual enough to warrant a fancy case, but too small to take with you everywhere. but you... 'can' manage.
3) no sound during movies. i rarely took movies. and a big reason why is because it didnt have sound. but honestly, if you wanted to take a whole lot of movies, you could get a digital vid camera for not much more. though, one of the best movies that was ever taken was by a digi cam- it looked like crap and the sound was really bad but it was all of us singing karaoke. The convenience of a camera that can take movies must have sound, and this was a big let down.

The great thing about the 4300 is that its a go between. for me, it had enough manual controls to change my shots, and give em an artsy feel. Focus options, yadda yadda, things the Canon doesnt have until its higher end.

My big problems with the A80:

it feels cheap. It might be high grade plastic, but I dont like it. The hand grip is nice but its still a little too square. And most of all, despite its faster warm up, I don't like how fast it takes to focus and shoot. I personally think the nikon is faster.

I'm considering as my next camera a minolta dimage xg, mainly because it addresses a lot of the issues i had with the nikon. almost instant startup, still the same 3x zoom, very small (pocket enabled). What I lose are the manual niftiness, but I found out that for a casual shooter and once in awhile experimentalist, it really wasnt that important.

good luck mate

07-12-2004, 04:44 PM
thanks for the reply, i think you pushed me over the edge. unless someone can offer a great reason why i shouldn't buy the Nikon 4300 i'll be placing an order tomorrow.