Sony W7 or the Canon SD500

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Siddhartha Jain, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. After much reading and googling, I have narrowed down to the Sony W7
    and the Canon SD500.

    Both seem neck to neck except that the Sony is larger, has a larger LCD
    (with almost the same resolution though), the Sony uses regular AAs but
    uses propreitary storage, the Canon uses SD/MMC card but propreitary
    battery. Also, here in India, the Canon is a good $100 more
    expensive!!!

    - I dropped the Nikon 7900 after reading too many bad reviews about
    problems with low light focus. Not only did dpreview and
    steves-digicams point that out but I also read some reply from Nikon
    support sort of acknowledging the issue when trying to focus at
    distances greater than 8ft in low light.

    - The Panasonic FX9 was dropped was two reasons. One is that I am not
    too excited about the lack of an optical viewfinder. Strong sun light
    from the back does bad things to the best LCDs and LCDs burn more
    battery. Two, its still very expensive here in India.

    - Casio Z55 only has a 320 x 240, 15 fps video mode. With several
    models offering 640x480 @ 30 fps with audio I am more inclined to
    exclude cameras that do not feature this.

    - Panasonic LZ2 - Very tempting with 6x optical zoom with OIS and the
    low price but suffers from the same issues as the FX9 (lack of optical
    viewfinder), the Casio Z55 (low res video) and has a very low res LCD
    screen (only 85k pixels).

    In brief, my requirements:
    - Compact/Ultra-compact
    - Good low light AF
    - Good high ISO performance
    - Manual exposure control
    - 5/7 MP
    - 640x480 @ 30fps video

    Thanks for sharing any experiences/suggestions,

    Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Aug 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. Siddhartha Jain

    Beach Bum Guest

    > Both seem neck to neck except that the Sony is larger, has a larger LCD
    > (with almost the same resolution though), the Sony uses regular AAs but
    > uses propreitary storage, the Canon uses SD/MMC card but propreitary
    > battery. Also, here in India, the Canon is a good $100 more
    > expensive!!!


    Proprietary battery is best. Buy two, keep them charged. Sony's memory is
    WAY over priced. Their service is TERRIBLE when something goes wrong with
    the camera. I'd stay away from Sony if I were you. I'm not pro-Canon, just
    anti-Sony.

    --
    Mark

    Photos, Ideas & Opinions
    http://www.marklauter.com
    Beach Bum, Aug 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. Beach Bum wrote:
    > > Both seem neck to neck except that the Sony is larger, has a larger LCD
    > > (with almost the same resolution though), the Sony uses regular AAs but
    > > uses propreitary storage, the Canon uses SD/MMC card but propreitary
    > > battery. Also, here in India, the Canon is a good $100 more
    > > expensive!!!

    >
    > Proprietary battery is best. Buy two, keep them charged. Sony's memory is
    > WAY over priced. Their service is TERRIBLE when something goes wrong with
    > the camera. I'd stay away from Sony if I were you. I'm not pro-Canon, just
    > anti-Sony.


    I have 8 new Sony 2300mah NiMH AAs lying around and found cheap Memory
    stick pro on ebay.in (~$50 for 512MB). I will keep in mind the thing
    about Sony service though. And nice site there, Mark :)

    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Aug 25, 2005
    #3
  4. Siddhartha Jain

    Beach Bum Guest

    > > Proprietary battery is best. Buy two, keep them charged. Sony's memory
    is
    > > WAY over priced. Their service is TERRIBLE when something goes wrong

    with
    > > the camera. I'd stay away from Sony if I were you. I'm not pro-Canon,

    just
    > > anti-Sony.

    >
    > I have 8 new Sony 2300mah NiMH AAs lying around and found cheap Memory
    > stick pro on ebay.in (~$50 for 512MB). I will keep in mind the thing
    > about Sony service though.


    Hmm.. I guess that means I'm going to get about $15 each for my 128's. That
    sucks. I should have sold them sooner. :(

    I have a Sony Camcorder. Never had a problem with it. I think Sony is better
    at video than still cams? Anyway, after the hassle I had to go through over
    and over with Sony service (they really seem to loathe their customers) I'd
    never buy another Sony anything. :(

    > And nice site there, Mark :)


    Wow, thanks! :)

    What section do you like the best?

    --
    Mark

    Photos, Ideas & Opinions
    http://www.marklauter.com
    Beach Bum, Aug 25, 2005
    #4
  5. Siddhartha Jain

    chris Guest

    Beach Bum wrote:
    >>Both seem neck to neck except that the Sony is larger, has a larger LCD
    >>(with almost the same resolution though), the Sony uses regular AAs but
    >>uses propreitary storage, the Canon uses SD/MMC card but propreitary
    >>battery. Also, here in India, the Canon is a good $100 more
    >>expensive!!!

    >
    >
    > Proprietary battery is best. Buy two, keep them charged. Sony's memory is
    > WAY over priced. Their service is TERRIBLE when something goes wrong with
    > the camera. I'd stay away from Sony if I were you. I'm not pro-Canon, just
    > anti-Sony.



    You can buy SanDisk memorystick pro. I don't think it's any more
    expensive than SD.
    chris, Aug 25, 2005
    #5
  6. Beach Bum wrote:
    > > > Proprietary battery is best. Buy two, keep them charged. Sony's memory

    > is
    > > > WAY over priced. Their service is TERRIBLE when something goes wrong

    > with
    > > > the camera. I'd stay away from Sony if I were you. I'm not pro-Canon,

    > just
    > > > anti-Sony.

    > >
    > > I have 8 new Sony 2300mah NiMH AAs lying around and found cheap Memory
    > > stick pro on ebay.in (~$50 for 512MB). I will keep in mind the thing
    > > about Sony service though.

    >
    > Hmm.. I guess that means I'm going to get about $15 each for my 128's. That
    > sucks. I should have sold them sooner. :(
    >
    > I have a Sony Camcorder. Never had a problem with it. I think Sony is better
    > at video than still cams? Anyway, after the hassle I had to go through over
    > and over with Sony service (they really seem to loathe their customers) I'd
    > never buy another Sony anything. :(


    I went to the shop and tried the Nikon 7900, Sony W7 and Canon SD500. I
    found the SD500 too small even for my small hands and did not feel
    comfortable shooting with it. The Sony was much more comfortable and
    looks cool with the large 2.5" LCD. I think I am going to get the Sony
    after all :) Interestingly, the Sony was the last brand that I very
    reluctantly researched.

    >
    > > And nice site there, Mark :)

    >
    > Wow, thanks! :)
    >
    > What section do you like the best?


    The photo gallery has some really awesome photographs but my favourite
    is the "Journal" section with various quotes from Usenet etc :)

    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Aug 26, 2005
    #6
  7. Siddhartha Jain

    Beach Bum Guest

    > > > And nice site there, Mark :)
    > >
    > > Wow, thanks! :)
    > >
    > > What section do you like the best?

    >
    > The photo gallery has some really awesome photographs but my favourite
    > is the "Journal" section with various quotes from Usenet etc :)


    I'm glad you enjoyed that part. I need to update it more often now that I'm
    settled in to my new place. :)

    --
    Mark

    Photos, Ideas & Opinions
    http://www.marklauter.com
    Beach Bum, Aug 26, 2005
    #7
  8. Siddhartha Jain

    irwell Guest

    On 26 Aug 2005 01:36:31 -0700, "Siddhartha Jain"
    <> wrote:

    >Beach Bum wrote:
    >> > > Proprietary battery is best. Buy two, keep them charged. Sony's memory

    >> is
    >> > > WAY over priced. Their service is TERRIBLE when something goes wrong

    >> with
    >> > > the camera. I'd stay away from Sony if I were you. I'm not pro-Canon,

    >> just
    >> > > anti-Sony.
    >> >
    >> > I have 8 new Sony 2300mah NiMH AAs lying around and found cheap Memory
    >> > stick pro on ebay.in (~$50 for 512MB). I will keep in mind the thing
    >> > about Sony service though.

    >>
    >> Hmm.. I guess that means I'm going to get about $15 each for my 128's. That
    >> sucks. I should have sold them sooner. :(
    >>
    >> I have a Sony Camcorder. Never had a problem with it. I think Sony is better
    >> at video than still cams? Anyway, after the hassle I had to go through over
    >> and over with Sony service (they really seem to loathe their customers) I'd
    >> never buy another Sony anything. :(

    >
    >I went to the shop and tried the Nikon 7900, Sony W7 and Canon SD500. I
    >found the SD500 too small even for my small hands and did not feel
    >comfortable shooting with it. The Sony was much more comfortable and
    >looks cool with the large 2.5" LCD. I think I am going to get the Sony
    >after all :) Interestingly, the Sony was the last brand that I very
    >reluctantly researched.
    >

    I carry my Sony W1 with me all the time. There are tons of good
    features on this little jewel, including a threaded lens mount that
    will take tele/wide angle adapters, quite a good video mode also if
    you get a 1gb memmory stick.
    irwell, Aug 26, 2005
    #8
  9. Siddhartha Jain

    Beach Bum Guest

    > I carry my Sony W1 with me all the time. There are tons of good
    > features on this little jewel, including a threaded lens mount that
    > will take tele/wide angle adapters, quite a good video mode also if
    > you get a 1gb memmory stick.


    I find with cameras of this size the important factor for me is size and
    weight. I carry a Canon s500 everywhere and sometimes it's better than the
    20D because it's unobtrusive - almost invisible. But I wish it was thinner,
    lighter - it weighs heavy in a shirt pocket and is just a touch too thick to
    fit comfortably in pants pockets. The best pictures are taken with the
    camera you have with you - right? :)

    I saw a Sony ad for one of their models with a huge LCD on the back and it
    was quite thin. I almost considered it, but the remembrance of their evil
    support team kept me from reaching for my wallet. :/

    --
    Mark

    Photos, Ideas & Opinions
    http://www.marklauter.com
    Beach Bum, Aug 26, 2005
    #9
  10. Siddhartha Jain

    irwell Guest

    On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 18:23:43 GMT, "Beach Bum"
    <> wrote:

    >> I carry my Sony W1 with me all the time. There are tons of good
    >> features on this little jewel, including a threaded lens mount that
    >> will take tele/wide angle adapters, quite a good video mode also if
    >> you get a 1gb memmory stick.

    >
    >I find with cameras of this size the important factor for me is size and
    >weight. I carry a Canon s500 everywhere and sometimes it's better than the
    >20D because it's unobtrusive - almost invisible. But I wish it was thinner,
    >lighter - it weighs heavy in a shirt pocket and is just a touch too thick to
    >fit comfortably in pants pockets. The best pictures are taken with the
    >camera you have with you - right? :)
    >
    >I saw a Sony ad for one of their models with a huge LCD on the back and it
    >was quite thin. I almost considered it, but the remembrance of their evil
    >support team kept me from reaching for my wallet. :/


    I think that slim one has one or two drawbacks, no viewfinder, just
    the LCD and no tripod screw.
    irwell, Aug 26, 2005
    #10
  11. Siddhartha Jain

    Beach Bum Guest

    > >I saw a Sony ad for one of their models with a huge LCD on the back and
    it
    > >was quite thin. I almost considered it, but the remembrance of their

    evil
    > >support team kept me from reaching for my wallet. :/

    >
    > I think that slim one has one or two drawbacks, no viewfinder, just
    > the LCD and no tripod screw.


    Yeah, but it is what it is. If I'm going to carry a compact around with me
    I'm not likely to have my tripod around either. Also, for such a camera, I
    don't know that a view finder would be really required. I never use the
    view finder on the S500 - it just doesn't feel like I'm seeing the same
    thing as the camera.

    --
    Mark

    Photos, Ideas & Opinions
    http://www.marklauter.com
    Beach Bum, Aug 26, 2005
    #11
  12. Nope - the W7 does have a viewfinder. It's the T series that is slimmer and
    doesn't.
    I prefer the viewfinder and hubby prefers the LCD.

    There is a little metal peice on the front of the W7 that makes it even
    easier to hold.

    Carol

    --
    C and A Bredt
    "irwell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Fri, 26 Aug 2005 18:23:43 GMT, "Beach Bum"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>> I carry my Sony W1 with me all the time. There are tons of good
    >>> features on this little jewel, including a threaded lens mount that
    >>> will take tele/wide angle adapters, quite a good video mode also if
    >>> you get a 1gb memmory stick.

    >>
    >>I find with cameras of this size the important factor for me is size and
    >>weight. I carry a Canon s500 everywhere and sometimes it's better than
    >>the
    >>20D because it's unobtrusive - almost invisible. But I wish it was
    >>thinner,
    >>lighter - it weighs heavy in a shirt pocket and is just a touch too thick
    >>to
    >>fit comfortably in pants pockets. The best pictures are taken with the
    >>camera you have with you - right? :)
    >>
    >>I saw a Sony ad for one of their models with a huge LCD on the back and it
    >>was quite thin. I almost considered it, but the remembrance of their evil
    >>support team kept me from reaching for my wallet. :/

    >
    > I think that slim one has one or two drawbacks, no viewfinder, just
    > the LCD and no tripod screw.
    C and A Bredt, Aug 26, 2005
    #12
  13. Beach Bum wrote:
    > > I carry my Sony W1 with me all the time. There are tons of good
    > > features on this little jewel, including a threaded lens mount that
    > > will take tele/wide angle adapters, quite a good video mode also if
    > > you get a 1gb memmory stick.

    >
    > I find with cameras of this size the important factor for me is size and
    > weight. I carry a Canon s500 everywhere and sometimes it's better than the
    > 20D because it's unobtrusive - almost invisible. But I wish it was thinner,
    > lighter - it weighs heavy in a shirt pocket and is just a touch too thick to
    > fit comfortably in pants pockets. The best pictures are taken with the
    > camera you have with you - right? :)
    >


    Totally agree. I have the 300D and its simply not possible for me to
    lug it everywhere. So although I found the Canon SD500 too small, I am
    going to take my better half to the store today so she can also try and
    see which one suits her better since she is also going to use it pretty
    often :)

    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Aug 27, 2005
    #13
  14. Siddhartha Jain

    Kevin Guest

    Siddhartha Jain <> wrote:
    > After much reading and googling, I have narrowed down to the Sony W7
    > and the Canon SD500.


    For what it's worth, I used to have a Canon Powershot S230 (3.2 MP, very
    similar to the SD400 except used CF cards and was a tad thicker). I sold it
    to get the Sony W1 - I guess I was seduced by the promise of higher
    resolution and the various other modes the Sony offered, including more
    manual controls, the lens thread, and so on. I also really liked how
    incredibly fast it seemed -- very low shutter lag, very responsive.

    Well, as much as I liked it in the store and for a while as I was playing
    with it, I soon got tired of its deficiencies, and sold the camera. I wish
    I had my Canon back. (To be fair, the real reason I sold the W1 was because
    I got a Nikon D70. But I still want a small backup camera, and I did not
    want to keep the W1 - I will be buying another Canon this time, quite
    possibly the SD500.)

    My gripes with the W1, after spending some time with it:

    1. AA batteries. This is very much personal preference, but I liked the
    Li-Ion rechargeable packs of the Canon. AA batteries just aren't as
    convenient for me, they didn't seem to give me as much shooting time as what
    I was used to getting from the Canon, and AA batteries lose their charge
    faster than LI-Ions do when sitting unused in the camera. I'd put the Sony
    away and pick it up weeks later, and its batteries would be dead; with the
    Canon, its Li-Ion pack seemed to last forever. (My Sony camcorders, which
    use Li-Ion packs, operate the same way; pick it up months later and still
    have a reasonable charge.)

    2. Larger size. I was really used to the ultra-small form factor of the
    S230 (and the SD500 is even smaller!) I didn't realize it until after I
    started using the W1. I just didn't find myself carrying it to all the
    same types of occasions that I used to take the S230; the Canon was
    pocket-sized, the Sony just large enough not to be. I realize this even
    more now that I shoot with the Nikon D70. There have been a few instances
    (my trip to Canada's Wonderland, most recently) where I wanted to bring a
    camera, but didn't want to bring the big D70 for fear of theft/damage or
    simple inconvenience.

    3. Not quite so responsive? In ideal situations, the Sony was FAST -
    press the button, it did its thing and took the picture. I soon found
    that in less-than-ideal conditions, this was not always so. I lost a lot of
    good photo ops (and had to wait, embarrassed, group of people forcing their
    smiles longer and longer, as it would just not take that picture yet...) I
    think it had to do with using AA batteries to recycle the flash; as the
    batteries got weaker, the recycle time took longer. Never seemed to have
    as much issue with the Canon (except for some long wait times as it wrote a
    large multi-burst set to the card).

    4. Unintelligent automatic exposure. In full-auto mode, the Sony seemed to
    be reluctant to turn on its flash, choosing instead to decrease the shutter
    speed. I have a lot of photos which are blurry because of this. It's a
    pain to have to switch to a custom mode; I usually kept it in P mode as a
    result but sometimes would forget or be in a hurry. You might chalk it up
    to my photography style (or lack of it) but the fact is that I used the same
    shooting techniques as I had with the Canon and the Canon produced fewer
    blurry images.

    The newer revisions (W5, W7) might address some of those issues, and most
    of these were subjective to begin with. But in my experience, I regretted
    trading up my S230 for the W1. The W1 was a very decent camera, and it had
    some great features, but in the end I simply liked the Canon S230 better.
    Kevin, Aug 28, 2005
    #14
  15. Siddhartha Jain wrote:
    > After much reading and googling, I have narrowed down to the Sony W7
    > and the Canon SD500.
    >
    > Both seem neck to neck except that the Sony is larger, has a larger LCD
    > (with almost the same resolution though), the Sony uses regular AAs but
    > uses propreitary storage, the Canon uses SD/MMC card but propreitary
    > battery. Also, here in India, the Canon is a good $100 more
    > expensive!!!
    >
    > - I dropped the Nikon 7900 after reading too many bad reviews about
    > problems with low light focus. Not only did dpreview and
    > steves-digicams point that out but I also read some reply from Nikon
    > support sort of acknowledging the issue when trying to focus at
    > distances greater than 8ft in low light.
    >
    > - The Panasonic FX9 was dropped was two reasons. One is that I am not
    > too excited about the lack of an optical viewfinder. Strong sun light
    > from the back does bad things to the best LCDs and LCDs burn more
    > battery. Two, its still very expensive here in India.
    >
    > - Casio Z55 only has a 320 x 240, 15 fps video mode. With several
    > models offering 640x480 @ 30 fps with audio I am more inclined to
    > exclude cameras that do not feature this.
    >
    > - Panasonic LZ2 - Very tempting with 6x optical zoom with OIS and the
    > low price but suffers from the same issues as the FX9 (lack of optical
    > viewfinder), the Casio Z55 (low res video) and has a very low res LCD
    > screen (only 85k pixels).
    >
    > In brief, my requirements:
    > - Compact/Ultra-compact
    > - Good low light AF
    > - Good high ISO performance
    > - Manual exposure control
    > - 5/7 MP
    > - 640x480 @ 30fps video


    Thanks for all the replies. I ended up buying the Sony W7 after all.
    The Sony P200 didn't score higher because it had a smaller LCD and the
    W7 felt better in my hands. The camera's quick startup is a nice
    feature. On image quality, given that its 7.2MP I was expecting photos
    to be as good as from my Canon 300D (with Sigma 24-135mm) under
    non-challenging situations but somehow I am not really bowled over. I
    guess, size does matter ;-) (the 300D sensor is thrice the size of the
    W7 sensor)

    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Aug 29, 2005
    #15
  16. Siddhartha Jain

    Beach Bum Guest

    > Thanks for all the replies. I ended up buying the Sony W7 after all.
    > The Sony P200 didn't score higher because it had a smaller LCD and the
    > W7 felt better in my hands. The camera's quick startup is a nice
    > feature. On image quality, given that its 7.2MP I was expecting photos
    > to be as good as from my Canon 300D (with Sigma 24-135mm) under
    > non-challenging situations but somehow I am not really bowled over. I
    > guess, size does matter ;-) (the 300D sensor is thrice the size of the
    > W7 sensor)


    Yeah, size does matter in the world of sensors. :)

    I'm positively blown away by the 20D as compared to the Sony F717.
    Considering the 20D was only $200 more (3 years later of course) I'm pleased
    with the value. :)

    --
    Mark

    Photos, Ideas & Opinions
    http://www.marklauter.com
    Beach Bum, Aug 29, 2005
    #16
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