Pentax Optio S4i Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sseaott, May 11, 2004.

  1. Sseaott

    Sseaott Guest

    Currently, is this the worlds or in this case (United States), smallest
    digital camera?, size wise? I really want to get something small but packed
    with features and good MP, unlimited video (320X240 depending on the size of
    your memory card) etc.

    Any info is appreciated, thanks.
     
    Sseaott, May 11, 2004
    #1
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  2. Sseaott

    Tom Scales Guest

    I don't know if it is the smallest, but it's pretty small. I like mine a
    lot.

    Tom
     
    Tom Scales, May 11, 2004
    #2
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  3. Sseaott

    Sseaott Guest

    I think it is, I have been ch ecking out all of the companies and this one
    is beating them all by at least 0.3 inches:) Question, the S4i will take as
    much video as your memory card allows, correct?

    I have found the camera online at PriceGrabber for as low as 331 with
    shipping or 349 in retail stores. Not bad at all for a 4MP with all those
    features and as small as it is.

    I would be upgrading from my Fuji FinePix F601, to damn big!

    I think I'm going to go out and check one of these babies out in the stores,
    smaller then a altoids tin huh? Wow!

    Thanks.
     
    Sseaott, May 11, 2004
    #3
  4. Sseaott

    Sseaott Guest

    BTW, can you report on what the quality of the 320X240 avi videos look like?
    I saw one on stevesdigicams.com and it wasn't very impressing, not very
    clear and out of focus. Did he just shoot to far away or is that how the
    camera really takes video?
     
    Sseaott, May 11, 2004
    #4
  5. Sseaott

    Jim Spen Guest

    When you check them out don't let the size be the only consideration,
    compare
    photo quality. (unless you put small size ahead of photo quality in your
    priority list
    which many do) Pick it up, feel it in your hands, IMO it does not feel like
    the quality is there,
    feels cheap compares to a Canon, Fuji or even the new Sony T1 which has a
    hgh quality feel.

    Back to Picture quality, I had one and was not pleased with the lack of
    sharp focus, dynamic
    range and contrast even at max adjustments. Below is also the conclusion of
    a
    professional review site. Some are enamoured with the size and others claim
    good
    quality, may be a camera by camera quality control issue. I would then
    recommend you
    buy from a store where you can return if you have to have it. Maybe you
    will get
    a good one!

    Here is the review conclusion:

    The overall image quality in 2304x1728/ mode was disappointing. Most of our
    test shots were very soft, a number of them appeared out of focus on the
    far-left side of the frame. When using the flash (forced On) outdoors it
    dramatically changes the white balance, skin tones, and color saturation.
    You can see this by taking a look at our sample photos. On the other hand,
    the camera does well indoors. The images are properly exposed and the skin
    tones were very natural. The camera comes with 10MB of internal memory but
    no SD memory card so you can only store about 3 of the large images before
    running out of memory. We recommend the purchase of a larger (128MB to
    512MB) size SD.

    The Optio S4i would not be my first choice for a high-resolution, ultra-
    compact camera. Hopefully the next version of this camera will solve the
    image quality problems, or possibly a future firmware upgrade (Not the
    version 1.01 listed below.) If you must have the smallest digicam available,
    we recommend looking at Canon or Casio, both of their current offerings in
    this class are far superior. If you don't mind a slightly larger camera than
    go with the Optio S40. "

    (Excerpt from Steve's Digicam Reviews)

    There are no great small cameras IMO that have it all, so take a look and
    COMPARE and then
    make an informed decision. Good Luck!

    Respectfully Jim
     
    Jim Spen, May 11, 2004
    #5
  6. Sseaott

    Tom Scales Guest

    Perhaps it is camera by camera, as I have been quite pleased with mine.

    Tom
     
    Tom Scales, May 11, 2004
    #6
  7. Sseaott

    Sseaott Guest

    Well I do like the Canon Powershot digital elphs but they weigh a ton! I
    had an S300 a few years ago and sold it because it was just to heavy to
    carry around and I was always worried about the LCD, it had no 'cover' over
    it so you really had to be careful with it. If I dont get the Pentax, I am
    considering the Olympus I think it's the C500 or something like that, it's
    very small but I have to check out the movie mode feature, someone told me
    there was no audio, why would they make a camera like that with no audio?

    Oh well we will see.
     
    Sseaott, May 11, 2004
    #7
  8. Sseaott

    Sseaott Guest

    You can actually get one of the new Olympus C60's for 375 from
    PriceGrabber.com. Thats only 26 dollars more then the retail for the
    Pentax, I think my mind has already changed:) The movie mode is much more
    clear then the Pentax (checked it out at StevesDigiCams.com).

    I would go for Canon but their digital elph cameras are really heavy. Thats
    not something I want hanging my shorts all day long lol.
     
    Sseaott, May 11, 2004
    #8
  9. Sseaott

    Jim Spen Guest

    The C-60 is the new 6mp offering from Olympus, it is much thicker than
    the Pentax (1.6 inches) and had some issues with noisy sky photos according
    to Steve's digicam. (slight issue) If size is not your prime consideration
    than I would
    also look at the Fuji F700 or the new F10 when it comes out. I have the
    F700 and it is only
    1.1 inches thick, has a great movie mode and real manual control. Did not
    review
    too well when it was $600 but now since the new F710 is coming out, price
    has dropped
    to the low $300 range and real world users seem to mostly rave about it. It
    is also very
    fast in start up, shot to shot and has a burst mode faster than anything I
    have experienced.
    The Oly c-60 takes 5 seconds to startup, Fuji around 2 seconds.

    Go to www.dpreview.com and to the forums and visit the Fuji,
    Pentas and Olympus discussions. You can then search for the models you are
    considering,
    see pics and discuss features that are important for you from actual users.

    Good luck!
    Jim
     
    Jim Spen, May 11, 2004
    #9
  10. Sseaott

    Aardyvarky Guest

    Except that the S4i no longer fits into an Altoids tin ! I tried !
    Oh its still tiny, but they've added a little metal eyelet on the
    side to attach a strap, and it just prevents the S4i from slipping
    into the tin.


    I agree. I also considered the far superior S400/S500. But I
    reckoned that :

    1. A picture taken because I have a lightweight tiny camera with me
    at all times is worth much more than a picture I could not take
    because I left a heavier ( albeit sharper ) camera at home.

    2. If I want a good quality image with low noise, good sharpness,
    high contrast, good dynamic range, I'll bring out my big guns (DSLR
    + L lenses ).

    Your mileage may vary.
     
    Aardyvarky, May 11, 2004
    #10
  11. Sseaott

    Aardyvarky Guest

    This is where the s4i falls flat ! Despite its unlimited video, it
    is VERY BADLY DONE. When shooting video, the camera automatically
    zooms to its widest angle, and STAYS THERE. You cannot use the
    optical zoom EVEN BEFORE SHOOTING THE VIDEO ! In other words, your
    videos are ALWAYS, and ONLY, at 35mm focal length. You can however,
    use digital zoom, which is a joke considering that its only 320x240.
    I mean, how much digital zoom are you gonna do on that ?!
     
    Aardyvarky, May 11, 2004
    #11
  12. It still fits an Altoids tin. See:
    http://www.candydirect.com/mints/Assorted-Altoids-Large.html
     
    Steven M. Scharf, May 11, 2004
    #12
  13. Sseaott

    Tom Scales Guest

    To each his own. I couldn't care less about my digicam doing video, so the
    S4i is great for me. As an earlier poster said, a picture taken with a
    camera I have with me is better than one I don't carry. For the 'good
    stuff', I shoot with my D100.

    Tom
     
    Tom Scales, May 11, 2004
    #13


  14. Yes If you want Movies get a Movie camera, I have just ordered one here, and I
    am not after a Movie camera, all I want is some thing small, I already have
    a F717.

    It seems that the T1 can take better Movies but the camera is Utter Crap at
    taking stills.
     
    Robert Mathews, May 12, 2004
    #14
  15. Sseaott

    Michal Guest

    hi group !

    i have purchased pentax optio s4i and now i am thinking to buy 256 MB SD
    memory card. Is it reasonable to buy card from 'high speed" series or just
    buy the normal one ? Will it improve the speed of working ? i will be
    grateful for all suggestions.

    With best regards,

    Mike
     
    Michal, May 12, 2004
    #15
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