Kyocera sl400r

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Paul, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    I am thinking of buying Kyocera's sl400r but thought I would ask the
    news community what they think of this camera first.
    I have owned a Nikon CP 950 for about three years and have grown
    addicted to its swivel lens. Can't live without it, but I would like a
    camera that is easier to carry in my pocket.
    I think the Kyocera would fit the bill because it has a similar swivel
    lens, a 4 mp sensor and is also super compact.
    However, I am concerned about build quality and any other quirks that
    owners may have experienced. I have noticed that sites like dpreview
    and stevesdigicams have not reviewed this camera or its predecessor,
    the sl300.
    Any first-hand user info you might have would be appreciated. I have
    already read a few user reviews on sites like amazon but am interested
    in a broader cross section.
    Paul, Jul 6, 2004
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  2. I owned a Kyocera SL440R for 1½ month, before it developed a LCD fault.
    Luckily the seller (PixMania) gave me a refund, so I was free to choose
    a new camera. I went for a Sony DCS T1 instead, but it wasn't an easy

    What I didn't like about the SL400R was the missing lens cover and the
    weak macro mode. I carried the camera in my pocket and I had to wipe
    dust from the lens several times daily. Kyocera includes a tiny cloth
    meant for a removing dust from the lens, so they're obviously aware of
    the issue.

    The movie mode was impressingly good for such a tiny camera, although I
    find that the DCS-T1 is a tad better: The SL400R shows a lot of
    compression artefacts in movies and the exposire adjustment means
    flashy changes to the brightness when the light changes. The burst-mode
    (3.3 images/second, live review, limited only by storage space) was
    great and I miss it on the T1.

    What I miss the most is the swivel lens. I used the camera for
    documenting everyday life (a nice way of saying that I take pictures of
    my kids) and most of the time I didn't swivel at all. I simpli held it
    to my stomach and looked down at it. That serves the double purpose of
    bringing the camera to the kid's height and to make the act of taking a
    picture more discreet.

    I had it in my pocket every day for the 1½ month and it did develop a
    slight bend. It didn't affect the swiveling though and the mechanism
    did feel as if it has small springs build in to it: It did allow for a
    certain amoung of bending and snapped back when the pressure was

    As for other quirks, my camera was horrible at taking indoor photos
    when I used the indoor-photo-setting (I don't remember what it was
    called, the icon showed a lightbulb and the lightning was by ordinary
    lightbulbs). The auto setting worked just fine though, so I didn't

    The camera did display a lot of noise with pictures that included part
    of a blue sky. Maybe that's just the kind of image that shows the noise
    present on all the images? I don't know, but I do know that the T1
    doesn't display the same noise.

    The slim and (relative to the height) long form factor was great for
    pocket use. It meant that the camera didn't turn in my pocket and
    consequently that I always gripped it right, when I wanted to use it.

    The zoom was quiet and fast. No problems there.

    Autofocusing was a problem though. I guess the camera is average at
    that, but its about-a-second (no, I haven't measured it) focusing time
    was too long for me. Pressing the shutterbutton halfway down focuses
    and pressing th button fully takes the picture. No news there, but
    since the camera took the picture at full-press, regardless of
    focusing, it meant that I had to half-press, wait for the focus-light
    to show and then press fully. The focus-time was too slow for me, so it
    was an annoyance.

    Even worse was the low-light focusing. No AF assist lamp, som the
    camera tries as best as it can. Unfortunately that isn't all that good,
    so typically indoow evening photos included several tries for focusing.
    Manual focusing wasn't really practical as it includes several

    The missing lens-cover, the weak autofocus and the lack of good macro
    was the primary reasons for my switch to the T1. Feel free to write me,
    if you want to see some everyday pictures taken by an amateur using
    the SL400R (and later the T1).
    Toke Eskildsen, Jul 8, 2004
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