Canon A540 vs A700, any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Paul Rubin, May 14, 2006.

  1. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    A540 advantages:

    Costs less

    Uses 52mm accessories with adapter. 52mm accessories are much
    less expensive. Wideangle adapter for A540 is $75, for A700 is $150.

    Shorter zoom range->more sharpness?

    Camera is slightly smaller and lighter

    A700 advantages:

    Longer zoom range (6x tele) -> ok, but that important to me
    More LCD screen resolution (115k pixels instead of 85k)
    Supposedly slightly better battery life--
    I'm skeptical, may have just been normal testing variation between
    samples and batteries

    Faster lens at tele end--
    A700 is 5.8-34.8 mm f/2.8-4.8 vs. 5.8-23.2 mm f/2.6-5.5 for A540.
    Note that a540 max zoom is midrange for A700. If A700 at 23.2mm
    is at f/4, it's a full stop faster than the A540. Maybe in reality
    it's more like a half stop.

    Closer macro focus: to 1cm in wide mode, vs 5cm for A540

    The A700 seems noticably better in many respects. I can't help
    thinking there's no such thing as a free lunch.

    Thoughts?
    Paul Rubin, May 14, 2006
    #1
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  2. Paul Rubin

    RW+/- Guest

    On 14 May 2006 12:19:32 -0700, Paul Rubin wrote:

    > A540 advantages:
    >
    > Costs less
    >
    > Uses 52mm accessories with adapter. 52mm accessories are much
    > less expensive. Wideangle adapter for A540 is $75, for A700 is $150.
    >
    > Shorter zoom range->more sharpness?
    >
    > Camera is slightly smaller and lighter
    >
    > A700 advantages:
    >
    > Longer zoom range (6x tele) -> ok, but that important to me
    > More LCD screen resolution (115k pixels instead of 85k)
    > Supposedly slightly better battery life--
    > I'm skeptical, may have just been normal testing variation between
    > samples and batteries
    >
    > Faster lens at tele end--
    > A700 is 5.8-34.8 mm f/2.8-4.8 vs. 5.8-23.2 mm f/2.6-5.5 for A540.
    > Note that a540 max zoom is midrange for A700. If A700 at 23.2mm
    > is at f/4, it's a full stop faster than the A540. Maybe in reality
    > it's more like a half stop.
    >
    > Closer macro focus: to 1cm in wide mode, vs 5cm for A540
    >
    > The A700 seems noticably better in many respects. I can't help
    > thinking there's no such thing as a free lunch.
    >
    > Thoughts?


    Yeah, buy what you need, want, tomorrow will come and you'll save the money
    up for the accessories. Instant gratification sucks and puts people into
    debt. You'll need to learn how to use the new camera anyhow which gives you
    a lot of time to save for the extra's.

    Meanwhile....lunch at the mission? :)
    RW+/-, May 14, 2006
    #2
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  3. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    RW+/- <> writes:
    > Yeah, buy what you need, want, tomorrow will come and you'll save
    > the money up for the accessories.


    I don't understand what you're saying. I thought I wanted an A540
    because I didn't care much about the A700's longer lens and I liked
    the A540's 52mm accessories. However, examining the specs and reviews
    of both cameras more carefully shows additional differences. Now I'm
    wondering whether there's something going on that the reviews don't
    indicate.

    The A530 is the low cost model ($170 @ B&H) and the A700 is the high
    end model. The A540-A700 cost difference is noticable ($225 vs $295)
    but not that big a deal. So if the A700 is so great, why does the
    A540 even exist?
    Paul Rubin, May 14, 2006
    #3
  4. Paul Rubin

    RW+/- Guest

    On 14 May 2006 14:22:24 -0700, Paul Rubin wrote:

    > RW+/- <> writes:
    >> Yeah, buy what you need, want, tomorrow will come and you'll save
    >> the money up for the accessories.

    >
    > I don't understand what you're saying. I thought I wanted an A540
    > because I didn't care much about the A700's longer lens and I liked
    > the A540's 52mm accessories. However, examining the specs and reviews
    > of both cameras more carefully shows additional differences. Now I'm
    > wondering whether there's something going on that the reviews don't
    > indicate.
    >
    > The A530 is the low cost model ($170 @ B&H) and the A700 is the high
    > end model. The A540-A700 cost difference is noticable ($225 vs $295)
    > but not that big a deal. So if the A700 is so great, why does the
    > A540 even exist?


    Have you considered the A620?

    As to differences in cameras, there are lots of things to consider. You can
    always download the manuals, see what options they provide then dbl check
    reviews and make a choice based on how you are going to use the camera.

    For instance, if you do most of your shooting inside and you want available
    lighting without flash then a lower f-stop will be a priority. From your OP
    it seemed that you wanted the longer zoom. If you have kids in school and
    want to take pictures of events, kids on stage, etc. then a longer zoom
    will be important to you, flash would be useless even detrimental in such a
    case so a higher useable ASA/ISO and lower f-stop at the long end comes
    into play.

    Then you need to know what sized prints you are typically going to use, and
    how large a print you sometimes use.

    If you are printing a home then a new printer will most likely be in order
    so you can maximize your quality of prints.

    Anyhow, first determine your needs, then go from there.
    RW+/-, May 14, 2006
    #4
  5. Paul Rubin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    RW+/- <> writes:
    > > The A530 is the low cost model ($170 @ B&H) and the A700 is the high
    > > end model. The A540-A700 cost difference is noticable ($225 vs $295)
    > > but not that big a deal. So if the A700 is so great, why does the
    > > A540 even exist?

    >
    > Have you considered the A620?


    Yes. It's considerably bigger, and it's last years' model, supposedly
    with a less efficient CCD. I'd actually get the A610 over the A620
    but I like the smaller models, other things being equal.

    > For instance, if you do most of your shooting inside and you want available
    > lighting without flash then a lower f-stop will be a priority. From your OP
    > it seemed that you wanted the longer zoom. If you have kids in school and
    > want to take pictures of events, kids on stage, etc. then a longer zoom
    > will be important to you, flash would be useless even detrimental in such a
    > case so a higher useable ASA/ISO and lower f-stop at the long end comes
    > into play.


    No I don't care that much about the longer zoom. Nothing against it,
    but I wouldn't use it much, and I'd rather have more wideangle
    coverage for scenery. The A700's lens's other advantage vs. the A540
    is added speed at the long end.

    > Then you need to know what sized prints you are typically going to use, and
    > how large a print you sometimes use.


    I almost never print anything. When I do, it's almost always at 4x6".
    So I don't care at all about the A620's higher pixel count. In fact
    I've found that for 4x6" prints, 640x480 works just fine unless you
    examine the print very closely. So I wish they made a 2MP model in
    this series, with an extra stop of ISO.

    > If you are printing a home then a new printer will most likely be in order
    > so you can maximize your quality of prints.


    I have an old inkjet printer but I find that the ink cartridges dry
    out faster than I actually print stuff with them. Recently I got a
    few prints done at Walgreen's, sort of a mixed experience.

    I had originally selected the A540 over the A530 because of its larger
    LCD but I guess I'll give the A530 another look as well. I'm leaving
    on a trip in a few weeks so want to buy something before then. My
    current compact digicam (Coolpix 3100) is very clumsy and I think not
    entirely working right, though it does take pretty good pictures if
    you can stand the slow handling.
    Paul Rubin, May 14, 2006
    #5
  6. Paul Rubin

    RW+/- Guest

    On 14 May 2006 15:52:00 -0700, Paul Rubin wrote:

    > RW+/- <> writes:
    >>> The A530 is the low cost model ($170 @ B&H) and the A700 is the high
    >>> end model. The A540-A700 cost difference is noticable ($225 vs $295)
    >>> but not that big a deal. So if the A700 is so great, why does the
    >>> A540 even exist?

    >>
    >> Have you considered the A620?

    >
    > Yes. It's considerably bigger, and it's last years' model, supposedly
    > with a less efficient CCD. I'd actually get the A610 over the A620
    > but I like the smaller models, other things being equal.
    >


    Bigger often means a more stable shot, at least if your hands are larger
    like mine. I have a couple 520's that I use for stereo shots, if carried
    alone it fits in my pocket, slightly bulky, but heh, it fits.

    >> For instance, if you do most of your shooting inside and you want available
    >> lighting without flash then a lower f-stop will be a priority. From your OP
    >> it seemed that you wanted the longer zoom. If you have kids in school and
    >> want to take pictures of events, kids on stage, etc. then a longer zoom
    >> will be important to you, flash would be useless even detrimental in such a
    >> case so a higher useable ASA/ISO and lower f-stop at the long end comes
    >> into play.

    >
    > No I don't care that much about the longer zoom. Nothing against it,
    > but I wouldn't use it much, and I'd rather have more wideangle
    > coverage for scenery. The A700's lens's other advantage vs. the A540
    > is added speed at the long end.
    >


    The wider f-stop won't make much if any difference shooting scenery except
    for low light conditions. Remember sunny 16 rule? Most daytime shots are at
    f-16 or thereabouts. Not that I'm trying to talk you into a zoom, but if
    you wanted to get a closer pic of a distant object it will help, otherwise
    you walk. :)

    >> Then you need to know what sized prints you are typically going to use, and
    >> how large a print you sometimes use.

    >
    > I almost never print anything. When I do, it's almost always at 4x6".
    > So I don't care at all about the A620's higher pixel count. In fact
    > I've found that for 4x6" prints, 640x480 works just fine unless you
    > examine the print very closely. So I wish they made a 2MP model in
    > this series, with an extra stop of ISO.
    >


    Then you should get great prints at 4-5 Mpixels.

    >> If you are printing a home then a new printer will most likely be in order
    >> so you can maximize your quality of prints.

    >
    > I have an old inkjet printer but I find that the ink cartridges dry
    > out faster than I actually print stuff with them. Recently I got a
    > few prints done at Walgreen's, sort of a mixed experience.
    >


    Sometimes you need to shop around for best prints.

    > I had originally selected the A540 over the A530 because of its larger
    > LCD but I guess I'll give the A530 another look as well. I'm leaving
    > on a trip in a few weeks so want to buy something before then. My
    > current compact digicam (Coolpix 3100) is very clumsy and I think not
    > entirely working right, though it does take pretty good pictures if
    > you can stand the slow handling.


    LCD's are real important to me for a quick judgment, the later ones are not
    only bigger but usually designed to be brighter for viewing outside. Those
    with a transflective screen are best.

    I wish you well on your descision. Just remember to buy a couple large mem
    cards if you have no way of off loading them while you are out.
    RW+/-, May 15, 2006
    #6
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