camara digital kyocera SL 400

Discussion in 'Digital Point & Shoot Camera' started by elcheboy, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. elcheboy

    elcheboy Guest

    I am interested in buying the camera SL. 400R of Kyocera of 4 mp
    he/she wanted that somebody commented me or it recommended something
    on this model.

    thank you
    elcheboy, Dec 12, 2004
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  2. I love it because it's very handy. But you should be aware of downsides
    especially shooting in bad lighting conditions will more often than not
    yield unsatisfactory results because of the missing AF assist light and
    the meek flash. But otherwise it's great: picture quality is ok and it's
    really fast.

    Btw, you might even consider to buy the SL 300 R - you just loose 1MP but
    gain a bit of speed and #pics that fit on the memory card. Plus it's a
    bit cheaper.

    Kind regards

    Robert Klemme, Dec 13, 2004
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  3. [SL. 400R of Kyocera of 4 mp]
    I have (and always wear) the Contax SL300RT* (that's the
    deluxe variant of Kyocera FinePix: it has a Zeiss
    Vario-Tessar T* and looks better (mine's all black, white
    letters, brushed metal buttons and real leather on the
    underside) but I understand it it otherwise identical to the

    - small battery. You'll want a second battery. (Proprietary LiIon
    Battery, did cost me ca. EUR 50)
    - The screen is not the largest one around.
    - It's 3.2 MPixel.
    - Needs LIGHT for AF. No AF help light. EV 6 (LV6 @ISO100, LV5
    @ISO200, LV3 @ISO800) works usually according to a very quick
    test. So AF about usable in normal lit homes at night @ISO200,
    (wide angle => f/2.8, 1/8s, so you'll want flash), but for
    darker places you cannot AF even to use flash.
    - No zooming in Macro mode, no manual focus in Macro mode.
    - You can select 0.6m, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 5, oo in manual focus only.
    Using the display to check is not feasable, you'd have to shoot
    a photo, switch to display mode and zoom 8x (the max amount)
    into it. Guess the distance is the game.
    - minimum distance ca 60cm, 20 with macro.
    - cannot screw on tripod/monopod (no screw nut)
    - display gets quite warm within a few minutes w/backlight even
    on dim.
    - the usual restrictions re Video (no sound or no optical zoom,
    - not the fastest camera in switching on, getting focus, saving
    a single photo
    - ISO 800 has noise, and lots. It's no accident that the program
    stays at ISO 100 (perfect) and ISO 200 (good). Usable in some
    situations, though.
    - no fallback 'fixed focus' mode except manual focus.
    - Until you get used to it, you will leave fingerprints on
    the lens. The T* comes with a leather belt purse for it,
    which works well for me, including in this regard.
    - This being a point&shoot you can just say 'AE Program', 'Prefer
    short time' ('AE F2.8' --- actually 4.7 in max zoom) or 'Prefer
    closed shutter' ('AE F7.5' -- actually 12 in max zoom).
    - no preview of ISO, Shutter, aperture selected by the camera.
    Make a shot, then check with down-up press. You just get a
    blinking warning LED if the camera thinks the time might be long.
    - the flash isn't much, you don't get a hotshoe, either.
    - The menues are not ordered the way I would have done it, but
    maybe my usage is atypical ...
    - You'll have to find a way to handle _many_ images, if you ---
    like me --- almost exclusively use the series mode. Try for
    3-5 images in a row, unless you record action, and select
    the best picture (which is harder with 20 or 50 images :).
    - if it's dark you'll not see too much on the display. It's enough
    to compose a shot, but it would have been better if it had
    some --- even very noisy --- 'night sight' amplifier mode
    for composing. (Some cameras have that for good effect.)

    - The battery may be enough if you use no flash and do series
    shots mostly.
    Using ISO 100 B/W mode, no flash, usually series shots, not
    reviewing a lot, backlight 'dim', all sounds off, Single Shot
    AF, I managed to record ca. 900 images (full size, fine mode)
    on one 512 SD card with just one battery charge. I still had
    use for my 2nd battery.
    - Display perfect even with 'dim' backlight setting.
    - Display perfect even in full sunlight.
    - 3.5 images/s, till your memory card fills up. (You want a _fast_
    card. A SanDisk UltraII 512MB SD card is fine here. With slow
    cards you only get maybe 4 or 5 images till the buffer fills up.)
    - up to 640x480 @ 30fps video till your memory card fills up.
    - will give you jpgs with low file size on ISO 100, since they
    have little noise --- but this relativates itself at ISO 200, or
    with an old quarrystone wall or similar hard-to-compress images.
    - I often don't even twist the optical part, but press the
    camera against my breast, look on the display and shoot away.
    This is more stable than the usual 'half-stretched arms' and
    less obvious, too.
    - You can manually set 2,4,8 s long exposure. Due to the twist
    design you can put the camera on any flat surface and use the
    timer to long-exposure dim objects. Still a mini-tripod is
    more versatile (rough, scratching surfaces, or push a camera
    with mini-tripod against a wall --- yes, I've done that with
    another camera for 'flash + up to 4 seconds' night portrait
    mode for good effect on a dancing crowd, ...)
    - The twist design is a god-send if you want a low or an overhead
    shot --- beware of being more shaky than the 'press to breast'
    mode. :)
    You'll really miss it if you want a 'portrait' instead of
    'landscape' image orientation.
    - Once the AF gets focus (and the object does not change it's
    distance) you get really sharp pictures.
    - You can add 28mm filters (by changing the tiny stray light hood
    against the filter holder --- maybe only with the T*?)
    - you can use the 'series' mode as a poor man's IS. I have made
    quite a few usable photographs even with 1/2s or 1s, given some
    way to hold the camera steady and being prepared of throwing
    away 80-90% due to camera shake or subject movement.

    I personally love this small camera. It's capable of very
    sharp shoots, weights little and can be carried and used
    very unobstrusively. The quiet 'clackclackclackclack' of the
    (mechanical) shutter taking 3.5 images/s is, ah! Assuming enough
    light you get fine images. Black metal and black leather looks
    good and there is no 'plastic' or 'cheap' feel here (again,
    this is probably only in the CONTAX T*).

    I have not noticed flaring or ghosting --- but I have not looked
    for it explicitely. You will see sometimes a vertical light
    spike in the viewer in high contrast situation, but it'll not
    be in the image recorded. I don't know about the behaviour in
    video mode there, though.

    Don't expect a good darkness performance, however.

    Without flash, with "wide"-angle (f/2.8) you'll probably want
    1/30s, so you'll need EV8, so you'll be able to get images shortly
    after sundown, very bight store windows or well-lit indor shows
    or circuses. (I don't recommend >ISO200 (thus LV7) for low noise
    images, but if you go all-out you can probably get LV5: average
    lit homes, auditoriums etc at "wide"-angle (f/2.8) @ 1/30s).

    With flash you'll soon run into the limited power of the inbuild
    unit. Don't expect more than 3 meters of light. So you'll
    find you have a well-lit group of 4 or 6 people with rather
    flat faces and red eyes from the straight-on flash (yes, there
    is an 'anti-redeye' setting) but a background drowned in dark.
    Additionally the flash will drain the limited battery that much
    faster. You can slave flashes that use the flashes' light to sync,
    but that will not work when other photographers are around.

    However, if you keep these restrictions in mind and use it
    mostly as a 'very bright interiors' and 'outside/daylight'
    camera, you'll come to love the series mode, the size, etc.
    I never realized the power of being able to take _many_ pictures
    in a row and choosing the best one, now I'd not buy a camera that
    doesn't support this feature.


    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Dec 13, 2004
  4. What can we add to such a thorough evaluation? :)

    I totally agree with all that you say - apart from that I thik like the
    pure metal body of my SL400R more than the black one of yours. But that's
    a different story...

    Kind regards

    Robert Klemme, Dec 14, 2004
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