Small cameras getting too small?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by GRL, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. GRL

    GRL Guest

    My wife has been using a Canon S400 for the past couple of years and it had
    just a great balance of size and function. Took great snapshots and even had
    a very nice fitted soft leather case. Very easy to hold/use. Well, last year
    the camera was lost on a vacation which put us in the market for a
    replacement. The S400 is gone and replaced by the SD400, a thinner model
    that uses SD (ugh) instead of CF media. Since we have other cameras that use
    CF and have lots of CF cards, I'm not thrilled about getting one that uses
    SD.

    I looked in Best Buy, Staples, and Office Max and on-line for alternatives.
    What I'm finding is that the manufacturers seem to have gone over the top
    with pocket camera miniaturization. They are making them so thin, in
    particular, that they are hard to hold except with finger-tips...and even
    then... The optical view-finders are also getting smaller or, even worse,
    disappearing entirely. I almost never shoot with the LCD on as I think it a
    waste of battery. We just use the screen to view images already taken.
    Looking over the SD400's competitors from pretty much all brands, and there
    are loads of them, none was any better in terms of feel in the hand and some
    were too plastic in construction. The Canon Elphs all have a great metal
    body design. CF was in none of them, too. If one wants something that is a
    bit larger and easier to hold, you have to go into another class of camera
    that tend to have a molded-look grip (good), but they are made of plastic,
    are a bit TOO thick with their larger lenses and have a cheap feel. (There
    are exceptions, like the Canon S60/70/80 line - I have an S70 that I carry
    when I use my big Sony camcorder, but these are a bit above the $250 I want
    to spend and, for that matter, are a bit wide for easy pocket carry vs. the
    S400.)

    Fortunately, the son-of-S400, S500, while not manufactured, is still to be
    found at a few places and I picked one up at NewEgg for $245 plus ship. So
    we still end up with the excellent balance of size and performance (and CF
    use) that the Canon Sxxx digital Elph series offers.

    I do think that the camera makers are creating a market hole, though, in
    their pursuit of smaller and smaller, less handleable, pocket cameras with
    near-useless, in some cases, view-finders...or no view-finder at all.

    Anyone agree/disagree?
     
    GRL, Jan 28, 2006
    #1
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  2. CF cards are toast! The bent pin issues (alone) have done them in.
     
    Charles Schuler, Jan 28, 2006
    #2
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  3. I don't see any reasonable (affordable) way to do that. My Epson printer
    does that but must be turned on.
    That will soon come. Operating systems such as XP are almost there.
    It's called the bleeding edge. Getting all of this stuff talking to one
    another is a major effort when the technology is evolving so fast. It's a
    modern version of the Tower of Babble. You and I know how we would like it
    to work, but to actually accomplish that is fairly complicated.
     
    Charles Schuler, Jan 29, 2006
    #3
  4. GRL

    Skip M Guest

    Or good enough results for the guy who sees something cool at the side of
    the road when on vacation, but doesn't want to root out the 5D, 24-70, take
    a photo and put it all back again, just to email to his friends at home.
    (Casio EX-Z50...)
     
    Skip M, Jan 29, 2006
    #4
  5. GRL

    Skip M Guest

    I've used CF cards since my D30 nearly 4 years ago, and never had a problem.
    But, then, I treat my equipment with respect.
     
    Skip M, Jan 29, 2006
    #5
  6. GRL

    Dave Cohen Guest

    I'm not sure if there would be a problem supplying power to the card from
    either computer or camera.
    But you can't be correct in claiming camera is a power hog when connected.
    At one time I used a cd player ps which would let me download files ok, but
    didn't have enough power to let the camera turn on in record mode, lens
    would extend then retract and camera powered off. The connection is only for
    a relatively short time anyway. If I have lots of pics I use the card
    reader.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Jan 29, 2006
    #6
  7. GRL

    Jack Mac Guest

    I certainly agree with you. Several years ago I bought a Canon S100 to get
    snapshots mainly of the grand kids. This in addition to the larger camera...
    I forget which I had back then. Then I thought I'd like to have one of the
    smaller cameras that were beginning to come out. I tried a Casio and
    a small Pentax but I just couldn't handle the little things... I couldn't
    hold them still so I guess I was "jabbing" the shutter release. I returned
    them and bought an S400 and I suppose I'll keep it for a long time.
    I use it more than I do my Rebel XT! I put a lanyard on it and wear it
    around my neck with the camera in a shirt pocket.
    The battery may be small but I sure get a lot of pictures out of a
    single charge.
    I've never had a bit of trouble with CF cards. They fit so well into the
    camera and my card reader I don't see how anyone could bend pins
    on them. It's impossible to plug them in wrong without a ball peen
    hammer.

    Jack Mac
     
    Jack Mac, Jan 29, 2006
    #7
  8. GRL

    ant Guest

    I have a little Elph 400 thing I bought as my first digital camera in 2004.
    I wanted a small one that I'd carry around and have when the shots happened,
    and I'd learn what I liked/didn't like in digitals, so I could then buy my
    Fat camera.
    I love the little 400 but I think I'd buy the newer version in a shot. The
    thinner body, and massive screen, both attract me a lot!

    I never take the CF card out anyway, I just plug the camera into my laptop.
    But I'll now be mindful of the warnings. New Fat camera has SD.
     
    ant, Jan 29, 2006
    #8
  9. GRL

    ant Guest

    I'm pretty pleased with XP. I plugged my little Canon Ixus/Elph into the
    laptop when I first got it, and the computer knew what to do!
    Likewise tonight, with the first shots I had taken with the new Lumix FZ30,
    just plugged it in and the laptop knew what it was.
    I never use the software they send with the cameras.
     
    ant, Jan 29, 2006
    #9
  10. GRL

    Robert Haar Guest

    Other than having to turn on the camera, this is how it does work for me. I
    connect either my Nikon D70 or my wife's Canon SD400 via USB cable to my
    Mac, turn on the camera and it appears as a USB hard drive. I can copy
    images directly off the card. I never loaded any software from the camera
    makers

    Despite having to turn on the camera, I have not seen any "huge" battery
    drain.
     
    Robert Haar, Jan 29, 2006
    #10
  11. GRL

    Paul J Gans Guest

    That's because the computer thinks you have mounted a USB stick.
    That's the interface the camera presents.

    Yes, it is pretty neat. I'm a great fan of standard interfaces.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
     
    Paul J Gans, Jan 29, 2006
    #11
  12. GRL

    secheese Guest

    Most do!
     
    secheese, Jan 29, 2006
    #12
  13. GRL

    Mark² Guest

    Me too. In fact, I'm using the same 1GB microdrive I bought with my D30 in
    2000, and it's never ever had a problem. I was shooting with that original
    drive today. :) 3 1GB microdrives have been flawless. Personally, though,
    I don't have a problem with the advent of SD. They are clearly able to
    stuff the GBs into that tiny little thing...they're plenty fast, and seem
    plenty robust. Smaller to save space, yet not so small as to be fiddly. I
    also like the push-in-to-release routine, as this means you never have to
    use a finger-nail to grab the edge as with CF. With my microdrives, I've
    actually added pieces of packing tape to form a little tab for grabbing,
    since microdrives don't have a raised edge to tug on as the thinner Type I
    cards do.

    I'm hoping Canon's next model will have both CF and SD as the 1 Series does
    now.
     
    Mark², Jan 29, 2006
    #13
  14. GRL

    Skip M Guest

    I like the combination of SD and CF in the 1D mkII. You can shoot each card
    in tandem or in succession. Kind of cool.
     
    Skip M, Jan 29, 2006
    #14
  15. GRL

    Mark² Guest

    That is changing already, though.
    The 5D, 1D Mark IIN and others are now shipping with much larger LCDs.
     
    Mark², Jan 29, 2006
    #15
  16. GRL

    Mark² Guest

    I've got one of those and carry it in my wallet...rather than a USB
    key-chain version.
    I figure I'm more likely to lose my keys than my wallet.

    And yes--It's a great idea that works very well.
     
    Mark², Jan 29, 2006
    #16
  17. GRL

    SMS Guest

    It's only slightly larger than the D70s, D200, 7D or E1.

    See "http://nordicgroup.us/digicam/images/bodysizelarge.gif"

    They intentionally didn't integrate a vertical grip, in order to keep
    the size down.
     
    SMS, Jan 29, 2006
    #17
  18. GRL

    miles Guest

    The info the computer sees is not what the card says. It is what the
    card reader says. If I put my Lexar SD card into a Sandisk reader my
    computer says Sandisk, not Lexar. The computer shows the USB device,
    not the card. Every digital camera I've used works fine on my computer
    without any special software. Shows it as a drive letter pretty much
    just the same as if I had used a reader.
     
    miles, Jan 29, 2006
    #18
  19. Huh? If I plug my camera into my laptop, the card shows up as an
    ordinary mounted drive. No special software needed. I just checked, and
    the drive name is 'No Name', but who really cares. Hardware: Panasonic
    FZ5, 1 GB Sandisk SD card, Mac running OSX 10.4.

    Granted, I have my Mac set up to launch iPhoto when the camera is
    plugged in, but it would take all of 20 seconds to change that setting
    to "Do Nothing; just mount the drive". Even with iPhoto running, the
    card is present in the filesystem as just another drive, and I can copy
    things to and from it using the Finder (or 'cp or 'mv' in the Terminal).
    What more do you want?

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Jan 29, 2006
    #19
  20. GRL

    SMS Guest

    Though it's counter-intuitive, since the SD has a serial, rather than a
    parallel interface, the SD cards are actually capable of far higher
    transfer rates. Compact Flash tops out at about 100x.

    The issue of bent pins is real, when you're trying to build a robust
    product for non-technical consumers.
     
    SMS, Jan 29, 2006
    #20
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