Opinion of Canon S400/S410 as second camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steven Wandy, May 2, 2004.

  1. Steven Wandy

    Steven Wandy Guest

    I am new here and need an opinion. I am currently using an Oly E-10, but
    wish to get a small camera to just stick in my pocket (and maybe sneak into
    summer concerts). I have a Nikon 5700 that I am giving to my son (too big
    for my pockets anyway).
    One of the cameras I am seriously considering is the S400/S410 and have a
    few questions from users:
    (1) Any significant difference between the 400 and the 410? Worth price
    difference to get the newer model?
    (2) For concert photos, is it possible to shut off the flash?
    (3) How are the quality of the prints? Quality at higher ISO values?
    I will be using this camera, atleast at concerts. to get overall stage-type
    pictures. (I have one of those binoculars with a digital camera built in to
    get close-ups, but can't get pics of the entire band/stage/etc.)
    Thanks for your opinions.
    Steven Wandy, May 2, 2004
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  2. Well, what a coincidence. I'm the proud owner of an Olympus E-10, and chose
    the Canon S400 as a second camera.

    There is virtually no practical difference between the S400 and the S410.
    The S410 has a direct print/share button that adds a minor convenience and
    satisfies some marketing position requirement. Not worth anything to me.

    For concerts, I would switch to manual mode and have preset, no flash, no AF
    assist and ISO400 for this mode. This takes only one easy turn of the mode

    The quality of shots from the S400 can be as good as what is produced by the
    E-10 - it's just a little harder to achieve. For high ISO shots on both my
    E-10 and S400, I use Noise Ninja. It's pretty effective with both cameras.


    I have a suggestion to consider. How about a Canon S1 IS to replace both the
    binocular camera and the S400? With its 10X optical zoom and image
    stabilizer, it's far superior to the binocular camera, and nearly as good as
    the S400 on closer stuff. It is a bit noisier at ISO400 than the S400, but
    Noise Ninja does a nice job on it.

    David Sommers, May 2, 2004
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  3. Steven Wandy

    Tom Scales Guest

    If you want an 'always with you' camera, you should consider the Pentax S4i.
    I bought one recently and there is no comparison. I wouldn't always have the
    S400/410 with me and I do with the S4i.

    Tom Scales, May 2, 2004
  4. Steven Wandy

    EF in FLA Guest

    If you want an 'always with you' camera, you should consider the Pentax
    Why? What's the big difference?
    EF in FLA, May 2, 2004
  5. Steven Wandy

    Steven Wandy Guest

    Camera look very similar in specs, but I wanted one that used Compact Flash
    as I have several of those around.
    Steven Wandy, May 2, 2004
  6. It'a an excellent choice for a second camera. I splurged for the S500.
    Actually the S410 is about the same as the S400 now, as the high volume
    lower-priced retailers don't have the S400 any more. Check buydig.com

    I considered an ultra-thin such as the Pentax Optio S4i or Kyocera SL400R,
    but they had too many compromises for the small size. The Canon SD-110 would
    be the smallest that I would go.
    Steven M. Scharf, May 2, 2004
  7. Steven Wandy

    BigFoot14W Guest

    It'a an excellent choice for a second camera. I splurged for the S500.
    I too just went for the S 500 as a second camera (although the S 400 would have
    been great also). While not as small as the Optio, the Elph (S 400/410/500) is
    small enough for a pocket, and it uses CF cards, which I have a ton of.

    BigFoot14W, May 2, 2004
  8. Also, take a look at the sample images on review sites like dpreview.
    The Optio uses a funny off-centre lens that splits into 2 parts and
    the mount rotates for storage. It's a clever mechanical design and
    gives a smaller camera, but its image quality is not up to the standards
    of the S400/410 according to dpreview.

    The Canon SD100/110 is also worth looking at if SD cards are an option.
    It's smaller than the S400, though the zoom range is only 2X and it's 3
    MP not 4.

    Dave Martindale, May 3, 2004
  9. The Optio S4i and Kyocera SR400 are more about being small than about image
    The SD110 is a better camera in terms of image quality, despite the 3Mp
    sensor and 2X

    The S410/S500, if small enough, is the best option in an ultra-compact.
    Steven M. Scharf, May 4, 2004
  10. Steven Wandy

    Veggie Guest

    I have a similar decision to make. I was between the Optio S4i and the
    Elph S400/410.

    But the proprietary batteries really irks me, so then I was looking at
    the Optio S40. The S40 is larger by 0.5 inches, but can use AA
    batteries. When traveling, hiking, whatever I don't want to drag
    different chargers, etc. Nice to be able to steal batteries from a
    radio, or even buy them from a National Parks bookstore in a pinch.

    But I couldn't do it... When it comes right down to it, image quality is
    important to me. It's the Elph for me. I guess I'll have to pack
    another charger and buy an extra battery pack. I wish all the device
    companies can get together on batteries. It doesn't have to be AA, but
    it would nice if cellphones, GPS, walkie talkies, cameras, etc could all
    share the same lithium ion battery.

    Something else to think about is that the Elph might be cheaper to
    operate than the S4i. The Elph uses CF flash cards, which is
    significantly cheaper than SD cards. Also, the generic Elph battery
    knockoffs are *much* cheaper than generic Optio batteries.

    So I'm back to square one- waiting for a good Elph deal.
    Veggie, May 6, 2004
  11. Camera, cell phone, and notebook computer manufacturers love Li-Ion
    batteries because of the energy density, and because it's easier to fit in a
    Li-Ion battery because they can make it any size and shape that they want.
    There isn't the wasted space you have with round cells. When traveling or
    hiking I prefer the Li-Ion batteries because they last so long. The
    alternative of rechargeable AA cells is no better in terms of convenience. I
    have never had the batteries run out on me where I would need to buy AA

    It would be great to have a single charger, but even this isn't so
    practical. At night I want to charge a cell phone, camera, camcorder, PDA,
    notebook PC, FRS radios, etc. I can't wake up every two hours to move the
    charger from one device to the next. Fortunately, chargers appear to be
    getting smaller. There are universal chargers available, but they only
    charge one device at a time, and you have to deal with a plethora of adapter
    I agree. Yet I do understand that for some people image quality is secondary
    to other factors. Some people have an attachment to AA batteries. Others
    want the smallest camera possible. Others won't accept a camera with much
    shutter lag. There are always trade-offs. There is no "best" camera. I wish
    that the S500 had a sliding cover for the front, that it had shorter shutter
    lag, and that the battery and CF covers were less flimsy. But these were
    flaws that I was willing to live with in exchange for the better picture
    This is more of a one time cost. The CF cards are about 1/2 the price of SD
    Check buydig.com. Consistently the lowest prices on the S410/S500. I bought
    my S500 from them ($439) now it's down to $418. The S410 is $359.

    Steven M. Scharf, May 7, 2004
  12. Steven Wandy

    Veggie Guest

    Good point, I didn't think of that. I do in fact charge the notebook,
    cellphone, etc. all at once. Maybe someday, if they have some sort of
    universal charger, it would fill one device at a time and automatically
    move on. Oh, to dream...
    Yes, the sliding covers are nice. I have an olympus digital point and
    shoot with that feature, and it does a great job of keeping the lens
    clear of debris. It is also very intuitive to slide open the cover to
    turn on the camera, as opposed to finding a small switch. The downside
    is that cameras with sliding covers seem to be thick, most likely to
    implement the slide itself.
    Great... another dilemma... can step up to S500 for just $80 more... ;)
    Veggie, May 8, 2004
  13. Steven Wandy

    George Guest

    I don't think you really want a charger that serially charges your devices
    (umm, let's see, the cellphone is usable at 2:00 pm, the PDA at 8:00 am, the
    laptop at 4:00 pm...what a nightmare and there is minimal advantage to it).
    I think a charger that charges up to 8 devices in parallel might be more to
    most peoples' liking. BTW, your power company charges for kilowatt-hours so
    using less power but over a longer period of time won't save you any money
    and is far less convenient from a logistics viewpoint.
    George, May 9, 2004
  14. Steven Wandy

    Veggie Guest

    A serial charger is only meant for overnight charging, i.e. phone
    charged by 2:00am, cell phone charged by 3:00 am laptop charged by
    6:00am, etc.

    The idea is not to save power, it's for to save weight. On my last
    trip, I had one bag devoted to chargers. There has to be a better
    way... They're all doing roughly the same thing- converting 110 vac
    into around 12 vac. Now, there are universal chargers out there. I
    think Radio Shack and Targus sell one. But as someone pointed out, you
    can only charge one device at a time. That's where the idea of a serial
    charger came in.
    Veggie, May 10, 2004
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