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Canon S400 vs Coolpix 3100

 
 
Stan
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      07-29-2003
Hello,
Can anyone out there who may have used both of these cams tell me
which one is faster? I like both units (obviously the 400 has higher
resolution and is therefore preferred for that reason, but the Nikon
feels better) but my final decision is going to be based on
performance from button-press to image capture as this cam will be
used almost exclusively for taking pictures of my kids games and
holidays, etc. My old Canon A30 was miserable in all but the
brightest light, and I want to make sure I end up with something that
performs well enough to replace film for quick shots and action shots.
Any other recommendations in the price range that might be better for
this purpose would be appreciated as well.
Thanks,
Stan
 
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Stan
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      07-29-2003
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Ryan Li
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      07-30-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
Stan <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Can anyone out there who may have used both of these cams tell me which
> one is faster? I like both units (obviously the 400 has higher resolution
> and is therefore preferred for that reason, but the Nikon feels better)
> but my final decision is going to be based on performance from
> button-press to image capture as this cam will be used almost exclusively
> for taking pictures of my kids games and holidays, etc. My old Canon A30
> was miserable in all but the brightest light, and I want to make sure I
> end up with something that performs well enough to replace film for quick
> shots and action shots. Any other recommendations in the price range that
> might be better for this purpose would be appreciated as well.


Definitely avoid the Coolpix series. They're infamous for their dog-slow
focusing, which is fine for still subjects but when you're shooting action
shots you'll have a very hard time. Trust me, I used to shoot soccer with a
Nikon, and it was very much hit and miss (thankfully I was able to take lots
of shots on a large memory card).

As for low-light portraits with or without flash, don't even go there;
basically it will be very VERY slow, and even when it eventually gets there
it will have got to the wrong place (e.g. severe backfocusing, when it
mistakenly focuses to a light source in the background). I've had this
experience with the Nikon 995 BTW, but I can't see it being much (if at all)
better in the 3100.

With the Canon IXUS (Powershot) series, at least you have a focus assist
beam which helps give you dead on focusing in low-light, I can confirm that
having used the 1st-gen IXUS (S100), and more recently the IXUS II (SD100)
which should perform very similarly to the IXUS 400 (S400). Whilst I can't
say it is the best choice for action shots, it is not bad if you're fast
enough, and in any case better than a Nikon.

You might like to look at other digicams with faster startup times/shutter
lag etc. I've not owned one, but having handled a Pentax Optio S for
instance I found the zooming to be a lot quicker than either my Canons or
Nikon. When I shot soccer with my Nikon 995, I missed some shots because I
couldn't zoom from tele back to wide quickly enough as the players got close
to me. This aspect of speed never seems to be mentioned in reviews (or I
must have missed it) and may be important to you.

BTW check out www.dpreview.com if you haven't already done so, lots of data
on performance speeds.

--
Ryan Li - replace no.spam with vzero.com to email

Weird Things In Video Games [ http://weird.vzero.com/ ]
Visual Experience: Digital Photography [ http://ve.vzero.com/ ]
 
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Stan
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      08-08-2003
> You might like to look at other digicams with faster startup times/shutter
> lag etc. I've not owned one, but having handled a Pentax Optio S for
> instance I found the zooming to be a lot quicker than either my Canons or
> Nikon. When I shot soccer with my Nikon 995, I missed some shots because I
> couldn't zoom from tele back to wide quickly enough as the players got close
> to me. This aspect of speed never seems to be mentioned in reviews (or I
> must have missed it) and may be important to you.
>
> BTW check out www.dpreview.com if you haven't already done so, lots of data
> on performance speeds.


Thanks for the info guys. After reading this, and talking to a few
people, it looks like my best bet for getting shots of the kids is to
buy a modern 35MM and get processing done somewhere that I can get
digital and prints (or just digital). It kinda seems like in some
ways digital cams just aren't "there" yet. (I'm sure the $5500
SLR-body digitals are just fine, not going there.....)
Thanks,
Stan
 
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