View Full Version : I'm torn between two cameras...help

07-18-2004, 04:02 PM
I currently have a Kodak DC4800 and am looking to upgrade to something much smaller and faster and get higher resolution in the process.

After much research, I've have settled on three cameras: The Canon S410, the S500 or the sony W1. Seems like lots of folks are looking at these :)

I consider myself a relative beginner, as I don't know a whole lot about photography. However, I'd like to be able to learn and apply some manual settings to enhance my results (probably not that often).

My research indicates that the W1's movie mode is better than the S500 (especially when using the higher setting on the W1). However, I've read bad things about indoor shooting with the W1.

All cameras generally take great shots, but I was at a party last night and someone said they owned "the 400" (they could not remember if it was the S400 or S410) and said a friend of theirs had a W1 and it was MUCH faster at catching spontaneous shots then the Canon. Is this comparison valid against the S410 and S500 or just the S400?

On cost, the W1 is about $50 cheaper on line (newegg.com) than the S500, and the Memory Stick Pro cards (256MB) are not THAT much more expensive than a 12X CF card. Also like the AA rechargeable batteries with the W1 vs the Canons (though the proprietary batteries have come a long way....would I really need to buy another one?)

I love that large LCD on the Sony! But the Canons are a tad smaller than the W1 and have a 1 year parts AND labor warranty vs the W1 which has 1 year parts and 90 days labor (like a walkman).

Other than the questions noted above, am I missing any other considerations when choosing?

How wrong could I go either way here?


Jake Conner
07-18-2004, 05:47 PM
You mention manual controls, but none of your choices really have them. Have you looked at the Canon S60?


07-18-2004, 07:44 PM
I too am looking at those 2 (3) cameras.

Right now I am leaning towards the S410 v. the W1 because it seems that despite the 5MP, the W1 takes a "soft" picture. Were it not for that, I probably would be leaning towards the Sony. Eventhough it is slightly thicker.

I have also heard good things about the Panasonic FX5.

I'm interested to hear what direction you ultimately go, and why.

Good luck

07-18-2004, 07:59 PM
Jake, I appreciate your suggestion.

Yes, I noted the S60. But as I said, I won't use the manual stuff all that frequently and the S60 appears to have more manual stuff than I think I'll realistically use. The S500 has some minor settings I can adjust, which would probably be fine 95% of the time.

I also reviewed side-by-side photos in large sizes over at http://www.imaging-resource.com/ (The "Comparometer").

I honestly thought the S500 had "cleaner" images than the W1 and the S60. The S60 had a bit of a yellow tint to its images. In fact, the Sony W1 had A LOT of yellow tint in its photos. I think the S60 had a bit more precision in the photos which compared clarity using rulers and straight lines, etc. The S500 had a just bit of darkening and slight blur at the corners, but nothing I really could see in pictures of real things (people, buildings, etc.).

All this being said, I'm guessing if the Sony produces more yellowish shots, I can take that out with editing software (not nec. Sony software).

Throughout my research I've noticed that Canons do seem to take pretty good pictures.....the quality is pretty consistent. At least to my eye, the images have a "clean" (non-yellow) look to them, which I like.

The only things that really have me guessing though (S500 vs. W1), are the movie mode differences and speed of focus and shot-to-shot speed (I have a 3 year old and I want to catch what I can!).

Any other thoughts? Am I being too hasty in my thoughts re: manual controls?


07-18-2004, 08:07 PM
Blue Devil,

I was going to get the S410, but my wife likes the 8X10 photos from the S500 a bit better. I guess you now know who's in charge over here!

I really like the W1 with the large LCD and the high res movie mode, though I'll take a lot more still photos than movies, I must admit.

Also, the S410 does not do a full screen 680X4whatever movie, it only does half that. Plus, both Canons limit you to 30 seconds per clip.

If you go the www.shopping.com you'll note the S500 is only about $70 more than the S410 (it's $100 more at retail stores). So, the S500 is really the one to which I'm comparing the W1.

I seem to recall a gentleman from Russia on here who owns a W1 and just loves it.

I would love to discuss this with him.

Jake Conner
07-18-2004, 10:13 PM
Am I being too hasty in my thoughts re: manual controls?

In my opinion, yes. You may start out using it purely as a point-n-shoot camera, but sooner or later you'll want to move up, and there are so many things (action and macro are two great examples) that you just can't do very well without manual controls. And shooting in full manual mode is really not as hard as it may sound at first! Now, you still may not be ready for something like this for a year -- but will you really want to buy a new camera in a year?


07-19-2004, 07:16 AM

I come here for comfort and you torture me :)

Looks like I'll have to do some more research on the S60. I read Jeff's review and he just sounded a little less enthusiastic thatn he was about the S500 and the W1, though he still recommends the S60.

Thanks for your help and prompt replies.

07-19-2004, 08:40 AM
I have seen a few posts that were less than enthusiastic about the s60 as well. The S50 was very well reviewed, however, and you could probably find one online for a song...

07-21-2004, 05:10 PM

I got the S60.

Your point about wanting more control later sold me on not geting a purely auto camera. This was more important than small size and my wife thinks the S60 is plenty small.

I like the wide angle lens, as a good number of my shots will be indoors. Also like the flexibility and it's pretty easy to use.

Now I just need to learn more about photography in general and some of the tricks to getting great shots.

Instead of buying online I bought at Ritz/Wolf camera and got a bunch of hands on classes included. Online prices aren't THAT much less anyway.

Thanks for the help. :)