Pentax Optio S or Ixus 400

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kuno Zurkinden, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. I'd like to buy a digicam. Now I'm staying in front of the question if i
    want to buy the Pentax Optio S or Ixus 400 from Canon. Can you give me any
    suggestions?
     
    Kuno Zurkinden, Aug 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. "Kuno Zurkinden" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'd like to buy a digicam. Now I'm staying in front of the question if i
    > want to buy the Pentax Optio S or Ixus 400 from Canon. Can you give me any
    > suggestions?


    I can't say anything about the Canon, but I really like my
    Pentax Optio S. I carry it with me everywhere, and I've
    taken some very nice photos with it.

    The most serious deficiency of the Optio S, IMHO, is its
    weak autofocus system. It needs a fair amount of light to
    function, and it gets "confused" more often than I think it
    should. However, there are ways to work around this
    problem. It has an infinity setting that works for
    anything over about 3 meters away and avoids autofocus
    entirely, you can focus manually if you wish, and I think
    that the "spot" autofocus is more reliable than the default
    "zone" autofocus.

    Another issue is that it's not a very good low-light
    camera. It has a maximum ISO rating of 200, and it's
    pretty noisy at that setting. It also has a maximum
    exposure of only 1 second. On the other hand, it has quite
    a powerful flash for a small camera.

    Apart from these two issues, though, it's really a great
    camera, with lots of useful extra features, and I'm really
    happy with it.

    Feel free to ask me any specific questions you might have
    about the Pentax Optio S.

    -- William M. Miller
     
    William M. Miller, Aug 29, 2003
    #2
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  3. "Jack Mac" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 23:59:30 +0200, "Kuno Zurkinden"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >I'd like to buy a digicam. Now I'm staying in front of the question if i
    > >want to buy the Pentax Optio S or Ixus 400 from Canon. Can you give me

    any
    > >suggestions?
    > >

    >
    > I liked the size, and feel of the Optio S and the specifications weren't

    bad
    > but when I saw the flimsy, weak battery access door I put it aside and
    > bought the Canon S-400. It's larger but I haven't been sorry.


    I've seen people express concerns about the access door, but
    I don't really understand them. I actually think it's a pretty
    well-engineered part. The rubber link is well-attached at both
    ends. It's hinged at the camera end, so it swings rather than
    flexing and perhaps fatiguing the rubber. The rubber provides
    some "give" in case you do move it in a direction different
    from that afforded by the hinge. The door is held shut by two
    separate spring-loaded latches. I would think this would have
    an expected lifetime of many thousands of open/close operations
    and to be resilient to most of the accidents that would tend to
    snap off a more rigid attachment.

    I'm not a mechanical engineer, but I don't see any obvious
    cause for concern here.

    -- William M. Miller
     
    William M. Miller, Aug 29, 2003
    #3
  4. << I'd like to buy a digicam. Now I'm staying in front of the question if i
    want to buy the Pentax Optio S or Ixus 400 from Canon. >>

    Kuno-

    I have the Optio S. It has a sharp lens. Many of its photos compare with some
    from my Olympus C-3040Z, but after using it a while, I've gone back to the
    Olympus.

    I don't have a problem with the flexible door hinge. The basic problem is that
    it is just too small. I have trouble picking it up and holding it without
    dropping it. It is difficult to use the optical viewfinder, which seems to
    show only a fraction of the resulting image. Since it is so small, the flash
    doesn't have enough energy to illuminate objects over about a meter away.

    I'm impressed with the many things the Optio S can do such as two ways to take
    a stereo photo. Even so, I would rather put up with my large Olympus that has
    greater flash output (as well as a connector for an external flash), and an
    optical viewfinder that is easy to use. True, the Olympus optical finder
    doesn't show the entire frame either!

    I've heard good things about the Canon S-400. Unless you just can't resist the
    novelty and tiny size of the Optio S, you will probably be happy with the
    Canon.

    Fred
     
    Fred McKenzie, Aug 29, 2003
    #4
  5. "Fred McKenzie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I don't have a problem with the flexible door hinge. The basic problem is

    that
    > it is just too small. I have trouble picking it up and holding it without
    > dropping it. It is difficult to use the optical viewfinder, which seems

    to
    > show only a fraction of the resulting image. Since it is so small, the

    flash
    > doesn't have enough energy to illuminate objects over about a meter away.


    The size issue is a matter of personal preference. For me,
    I've never had any problem with the small size, and the
    portability is very useful -- it's never out of my pocket.

    I agree about the optical viewfinder, but I wouldn't use it
    even if it were more accurate. I wear eyeglasses, and it's
    just so much easier to look at the LCD.

    I have to disagree about the flash, though. I think you may
    have a defective unit -- the flash on mine is effective out
    to about four meters at the wide-angle end (f2.8). The
    manual rates its effective range at 3.5m at wide-angle and
    2m at telephoto, and I think that's accurate-to-conservative.
    In any event, I think it's pretty powerful for a built-in
    flash on such a small camera.

    -- William M. Miller
     
    William M. Miller, Aug 30, 2003
    #5
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