Comparison/looking for "ultra compact" cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Brian, May 29, 2004.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I'm really dying to get one of the smaller "ultra-compact" cameras, but
    I'm having a hard time finding any good recommendations. Most of the
    sites I've found only talk about each camera in a stand-alone review,
    but don't really lay out the differences side by side. There's always
    some statement buried in the text somewhere alluding to a different one
    being better, but there's no hard opinions.

    I've got my eye on the Pentax Optio S4i, and was also interested in the
    Minolta Dimage X line, maybe Canon or something too. Here are my main
    -. Size: something to fit in my pocket
    -. Startup time: my current camera (olympus C700) takes forever to start up
    -. Capture time: I'd like something that will actually capture the image
    when you press the button.
    -. Image quality: I understand that small cameras sacrafice somewhat on
    the image, but I don't want crap either.

    I was looking at the DimageX because I assume the startup time would be
    much faster because there's no telescoping lens to wait for - but I'm
    only assuming that. The Pentax S4i is what I'm looking at now, but I've
    seen reviews that love it, and then others that hate it.

    Can anyone point me in a good direction? Any web sites that actually
    compare cameras of similar type?

    Brian, May 29, 2004
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  2. Brian

    J Guest

    I've got a Canon Elph series (S230) and I love it!
    It's got a little more bulk but nothing substantial. It still fits in your
    pocket, has great features, some use compact flash, others use SD now too.
    On top of that, if you take low light photos, there's a AutoFocus assist
    lamp to make sure you get a good focus in poor light.
    J, May 29, 2004
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  3. Brian

    Bill Crocker Guest

    How about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1?

    The high-end camera that fits in your back pocket. Sony's DSC-T1 features a
    huge 5.1 Megapixel resolution, 3X Optical Zoom, and a 2.5" Hybrid LCD
    Monitor, all in a package the size of a credit card. The T1 even packs extra
    features you would normally expect on a camera twice its size, such as a
    high-quality Carl Zeiss® Vario-Tessar® Lens, Sony's high-speed Real Image
    Processor, 5 Area Multi-Point Focus. It is even able to capture full screen
    VGA (640x 480) video at an astounding 30 frames per second. It's twice the
    camera at half the size.

    Bill Crocker
    Bill Crocker, May 29, 2004
  4. Brian

    Bill Crocker Guest

    LOL!!! To be truthful...I just captured the text from their web site.

    Bill Crocker
    Bill Crocker, May 29, 2004
  5. Go to, and read the reviews all the way through. Look at
    the sample images at full size. That will take you a few hours, but
    you'll have a lot better idea of the pros and cons.

    I recently bought a Canon S410, having looked at the Pentax S4 but not
    the others. The Pentax is a fair bit smaller and lighter, but the Canon
    had better image quality. That decided it. It didn't hurt that the
    Canon also uses a memory format (CF) that I already have a stock of.
    Otherwise, I might have also considered the Canon SD110, which is
    somewhat smaller but uses SD memory and has a smaller zoom range and
    smaller sensor.
    The sizes are in the review. Cut a piece of cardboard to the size of
    each camera if you like.
    Startup time data is in the reviews.
    None of these cameras shoots instantly, but the actual time required
    is listed in the dpreview reviews.
    There are lots of test images there too.

    Basically, you probably won't find a web site that says "this camera is
    better than that one for everyone". And if you did, would you believe
    it? But there's plenty of information to form your own opinion.

    Dave Martindale, May 29, 2004
  6. Brian

    Steven Wandy Guest

    I also just got the S410 for the same reasons. (Also got a S400 off an Ebay
    seller for my son to schlep around.)
    Steven Wandy, May 29, 2004
  7. Brian

    Tom Scales Guest

    The Pentax has pretty darn good quality. Try it for yourself -- the reviews
    are all over the place. I love mine.

    I look at it this way. Any picture with a camera I have with me is better
    than the picture from a camera I don't have with me.

    The s4i is small enough to always be in my pocket.

    Tom Scales, May 29, 2004
  8. Brian

    Frank ess Guest

    Frank ess, May 29, 2004
  9. Brian

    Tom Scales Guest

    Good choice for you, but for me the s4i is preferred. I've never needed a
    focus assist lamp in my life, so it's not high on my list....

    Tom Scales, May 29, 2004
  10. Brian

    Tom Scales Guest

    Why? The s4i focuses quite well.

    Tom Scales, May 30, 2004
  11. Brian

    Frank ess Guest

    cameras. be used by people who view an AF assist beam as a critical feature
    on all compact cameras.

    Frank ess

    All generalizations are inherently invalid.
    Frank ess, May 30, 2004
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