Canon SD600?

Mary M S

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Are you a sadist,
there seems to be issue with the F31 including a delay of 1-2 wks shipping evidently just on the cusp of on-hand stock status.
MARCH! Just think what fall 2007 will bring!

If I miss this trip, one I really wished him to have it for, it would give me a few more weeks. Departure was just pushed back a few days, if I could find in-stock I have at least the weekend for checking models.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Exactly, and this is why I went back to a SLR once quality digital versions became affordable for me. For the point & shoots, unfortunately I think you have to prioritize your requirements, pick the camera that does the top one or two well, and live with the limitations of the other features.
 

Mary M S

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...that is what burns me, my last bout of heavy shooting was on my aging Cannon SLR 630, can’t stand spending what I spent for that on a P&S! A shame my husband does not have more pocket space.

Shootout. I’ve just over nighted the F30, went for it when I noted FaceR is slowing the F31 down a bit, and the noise levels on the 31 are a tad higher. The 50 dollar difference helps make up for the expedited shipping.
Cannot find either the 31 or 30 locally.

Will see what I see when it arrives tomorrow.
 

HienN

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Mary, I wasn't being defensive. I too wish the SD800 was better in faible eclairage, but nothing is perfect. But it is so slim though


Speaking of which, the new Fuji F40fd is even slimmer than the Canon, at merely 23 mm or 0.9 inch thick. Surprisingly the reaction by Fuji camera fans over the dpreview forum is mostly negative. Most people place it below the F31fd in terms of image performance, so it does not look like you are missing anything.

Can't wait to see the results of your shoot-out tomorrow. Be sure you have a lot of calibrated candles, and a Barbie doll or two.
 

Mary M S

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Hien,

I did not read defensive at all. In fact I so much appreciate all your help.
It just suddenly occurred to me...you own the model..I hoped wasn’t being rude.


Be nice if it really makes it! This stuff - drives me crazy; the research and worrying over a final choice....but I love the doing of it, all at the same time.


Not a Barbie sort of house, all guys but for lonesome outnumbered me.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Actually, no camera is perfect per se when it comes to what the human heart desires.
You can always find some perceived flaw or something you might like done better in any camera once you've spent enough time w/ it.

If you go for an entry level or prosumer DSLR body, you'll eventually find plenty more things you'd want improved or added. You'll want something easier to lug around. You'll develop lens lust for a wide variety of lenses w/ some being too hefty to lug around, some lacking IS, some not ideal for your walkaround needs, some not bright enough, some w/ no zooming at all, etc, etc. You'll want a nice flash bracket and whatever related gadgets to go w/ that big speedlight that you'll eventually want. You'll decide model A is faster, more accurate, more solid, etc. or model B makes full use of 35mm SLR lenses or model C offers higher resolution, or brand X offers better high ISO performance today or brand Y's ergonomics and feature set are much more desirable for you or brand Z's dynamic range and/or subtle tonal gradations and/or WB capability (including WB pre-conditioning for more efficient use of dynamic range) impress you more. And the list goes on and on and on until you decide, oh no, there's also the possibility of medium format digital backs!! And then, don't forget about postprocessing(!!) and your choice of relevant software tools.


At the end of the day, choosing the right tool for the right job specifically for you is still what matters most. Figure out what you really need (or want most) for the forseeable future and go w/ what serves *you* best w/out necessarily catering to your every last desire. But you probably know all that already though you may be tempted to think otherwise from time to time.


Happy comparison shopping!


_Man_
 

Mary M S

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And what’s wrong
with manufacture’s catering to my every last desire! And I have lusted after ‘L’ lens from Cannon.

I found quickly from Hien’s great Face-to-Face link, assuming no retouching or deliberate manipulation that...

I want a point and shoot with the Cannon SD800 color (under no-flash conditions), the Lumix line glass for its dynamic range and ‘pop’, blended with the Fuji’s (reported) low light capabilities and extremely low noise levels, and battery life.
.50 depth with rubber bumpers so you can throw it on the ground when you miss that shot (sit on it, daily) and the secure feel of an SLR grip.
oh ..oh...oh.... 28mm out to 300, - the limit I can successfully hand hold – without shake.

Think they could do that for me?


Edit add: Just found this.
Sorry could not sort how to find a direct address for it, scroll half down this blog page to the youtube link, approx. 8 min.
Comparison between Sony DSC-N2/Cannon SD 900/Fuji F31fd.
No hard data to it, just real world goofing around under very difficult night/action conditions, by some Brit.
 

HienN

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Mary, I hope you are busy writing your photo shoot-out report, or still out there in the dark taking pictures. So which camera is it going to be, inquiring minds want to know.
 

Mary M S

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Hien,
I missed the window Thurs, for one-day ship, which put it here (sat) today. I had time to charge it about ¾, (hate to do that to new battery) without even powering it up myself, sent it out the door to the airport. They are prepping planes for a trip. Husband will be too busy to deal with testing camera’s but I sent a son with instructions to try to get similar shots to those which the husband took at work on Fri using the Cannon.
Strong backlighting behind main subject/ Gloom in hanger under wings. (hope he does not forget!!!)

Will see tonight, and have to decide which unit by tomorrow!

What I expect is that the Cannon will do better in the bright shots, and the Fuji in gloom.
Only if the Fuji has standout performance in low light, as compared to the Cannon and without shake, will it stay.

The Cannon brought back better shots in those quick P&S from yesterday than I expected, without the color shift issues I saw on the first day I tried it in that ‘worst’ room scenario, with flash.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Mary,

Did you remember to set the Fuji F30 at -1/3 or -2/3EV for exposure comp? If not, it will surely blow plenty of highlight details.

_Man_
 

Mary M S

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All I had time to show the son, after pulling the F30 manual up via the web, before the camera got here this morning, - was how to get into "shoot" vs "play" mode. They were rushing out when they got up
saying "MOM...okay okay, I'll figure it out".

I tried to show him how to acess the "Natural/Flash" two-shot mode, as I am keenly intreasted in that one. But I did not have time to point out which mode allows access to EV.

I'll play with that tonight myself when the camera comes back.
Hard choice not to go with the 31 for its reported better 'auto' mode as regards blown highlights, but I know the 30 has been adapted to, by users, for those issues, and I was not sure whether Fuji shoehorning FR & IS into the old platform may have compromised other preformance in the F31 as compared to the 30.

Studing the 30/31 manuals the only thing I can see I would truly miss (if EV takes care of issues easily) is Fuji seemed to have added a 'easy' button to the 31 for 'delete'.
 

Mary M S

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Time for only quick impressions of the Cannon SD 800 Vs Fuji F30.
I am a non-trained user who has never before really messed with the Digital’s.
And some of these impressions will definitely fall into the realm of personal tastes.

Fit & Finish: Cannon
Side by Side, the Cannon’s darker gunmetal silver is more beautiful, held in the hand it has a more luxurious feel.
The Zoom is smoother, the shooting mode dial has strong (and wanted) definitive ‘clicks’ into position.
(I think I already accidentally brushed the Fuji mode position from one stop to the next by brushing with a finger)
Prefer the Cannon’s location of “mode” on the top right back of the body so that at a glance (where your eyes already are – without tilting the top of the camera over) you can verify the choice.
The Fuji’s zoom is a more old-fashioned toggle bar at top right back, the Cannon has a modern feel with the circular tab around the shutter release.
I think I like the top position of the zoom better on the Cannon, but I have had some slippage of fingers on the control when using the tab.

Low Light – NO flash: Fuji!
Wow. The Cannon is waving at a train that already left the station, but Fuji’s killer edge (for me) comes at a price. I think Fuji tweaked the F30 too hot, to attain consistent low light capability in every mode, for the ‘Auto” shooter. Which slant washes out daylight and even indoors flash shots. The Fuji is capable of astonishing (for a pocket rocket) performance in low light, but Fuji should not have tweaked standard default behavior, so “LIGHT” (I'm not sure what it would take...improving the metering, or a flash which is capable of nimble powerdown to just a 'fill' capability?) If Fuji could fix this!

Low Light – flash: Tie depending on ‘which’ you’re doing:
At greater distances to subject outdoors/dusk, or indoors the Fuji will capture a subject father away with its more powerful flash.
At tighter quarter’s outdoors/indoors, the Fuji blows the shot, overpowering the scene with overexposure, the Cannon in Auto produces the better product. (so far changing EV on the Fuji to –2 has not alleviated this issue, I’ve only found the proper range of light/ color, if I used Aperture priority to stop the lens down.

Features and Ease of use: Probably the Cannon (but both menu’s and camera’s have not been fully explored)
I miss the nifty (will you ever use it?) stitch together panoramic mode assist on-board the Cannon.

I think I prefer the “Playback” mode of the Cannon, which feels a little more intuitive once gotten used to.
Once in “Playback”, one push “down” surrounding “Menu” The menu comes up with “erase?” lit by default. One more push, and its gone.
The Fuji feels a little more laborious (if safer) once in “Playback” you hit the ‘Up” surrounding “Menu” and the menu comes up with “cancel?” lit, so you have one more step, a toggle with a “Left” to get to “erase?” before its gone.

Fuji: no viewfinder, I think they all have to keep this feature it is too difficult in Outdoor glare to compose the shot.

I think Fuji's smart to go to a dual card slot in future models (F40) and get away from the propitoral issue.
I hear Fuji's customer service and warranty resolution has heavy complaints at time, (worrisome.) However Cannon did void my warrently on a 50mm lens, sending it back as 'user abused' dropped. (absolutly NOT, I was the only user of that lens before failure, never dropped it, and was sitting in a chair when I heard the ominous 'clink') I let my husband open it when it came back - it was a cheap plastic ridge internal to fine focus which had snapped.

Tonight and at first look at a Fuji shot in the living room in “Natural – no flash” I said, “Fuji all the way!”
But the husbands going to have main use, and the P&S middle road on the Cannon, will get shots with flash, more pleasing. He can toggle & understand menu’s faster than I can, so its a question of if he’ll bother to learn which modes (not Auto) he needs to shoot in and at what Aperture to get the everyday results the Cannon will produce in “Auto”. (the Fuji is not truly manual)

But ...if he will, there is no way the Cannon can compete with the extra range the Fuji gives in lack of noise at any given ISO, and it’s catlike command of the dark.


Have lots to do tomorrow but hope to have time to sort it out. It is fun to have them side by side!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Mary,

One thing about your comparisons. How are you viewing the photos for this? Are you just using each camera's own LCD display? If so, did you adjust the Fuji's display by about -2 in the display setting? I'm not sure about the Canon SD800 itself, but the Fuji F series cams do come w/ way too bright (torch mode) default setting for the display. Most users end up dial in a -2 or maybe -3 for the display setting. This would be besides applying a -1/3 or -2/3 EV to exposure comp.

But yeah, regarding general ergonomics, I think the Canon would be better. Fuji's approach to menus seem rather counter-intuitive to most, experienced camera users. And the various buttons, etc. certainly aren't as nice as the Canon. OTOH, Fuji's digicams are probably generally faster at AF than Canon digicams though the SD800 might be fast enough.

Regarding the lack of viewfinder, I guess you can always try using your hand to shade the LCD to help out w/ the F30. I personally never want to use the viewfinder on these digicams. And if the (day)light situation is so bright and harsh as to make even shading w/ hand unworkable (for simple composition purposes), then the situation is may be way too harsh for a good photo anyway.


And oh, don't forget to give the video modes a try in indoor situations as that's also part of the draw w/ the Fuji.


_Man_
 

HienN

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I wanted a viewfinder because old habits die hard (from film cameras). In reality though I find that I rarely ever use it on these digital cameras, and the few times I do attempt to, it gives so little information compared to what you can get from the LCD. In the end I'd rather have a camera with a viewfinder (especially in a SLR) but wouldn't make it a deal breaker.

Seems to me that someone should keep 2 cameras
 

Mary M S

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Has already crossed my mind (but not the husbands yet!)


...off to do laundry and take snaps in-between loads.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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It's best to compare using the same display, preferably a calibrated one. At minimum, the display should be set up for good black and white level w/ even grayscale log steps -- just as one would for a HT video display. You could use something like the 26-step grayscale bar found near the bottom of the intro/first page of any dpreview.com review like this one for the F30 to do that minimal calibration.

If you are running Win XP and have a card reader, you shouldn't need to install any software. XP should recognize the card in the reader just fine.

_Man_
 

Mary M S

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I realized that yesterday and tried it late afternoon, I had just purchased but not installed a 12in1 Scandisk reader and I wondered if it would work without the included camera software. (it did)
Although I was not worried about calibrating my monitor, since both cameras would have an equal playing field via current settings of the display, the whole comparison was a mess -
- since by the time I figured out the ScanDisk would work, I had deleted countless pics on the Fuji, which were the 'comparison' to those still in the Cannon.
I was running the Fuji off internal memory at FINE which allowed for only 5 pics, while the Cannon already had a card onboard.

I had strange hitch using the ScanDisk, after “copying” without selecting ‘delete’ to the PC via XP both the Cannon & Fuji cards, when reinserted in the cameras and connecting via analogue to my display then read “No image.”
Letting the ScanDisk access the cards seemed to screw something up and both cameras no longer recognized the shots on the card that should have still been available.

I went ahead and opened a 1G stick for the Fuji and sent that one with him this AM, but he’ll be back in 3 days. Since he played with the Cannon for about 30 minutes the day after we got it, hopefully he’ll have time for some shots and let me know if he has any preference himself. I need to ck my receipt date on the Cannon to see what return window I have.

Since I have a feeling I will be forced to build up a new computer soon, and after all the Christmas expenses, I should just choose one or the other at this time!
 

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