Trying to decide: Sony DSCH1, Kon-Minolta A200, or Canon S2 IS

Discussion in 'Sony' started by Cordovero, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Cordovero

    Cordovero Guest

    I'm looking for a point and shoot digital camera with a strong optical zoom
    that can shoot well in indoor conditions without a flash for portraits, and
    can also take good action photos of ballroom dancers whirling around the
    floor (again, no flashes allowed). I also love to toy around with Macro

    My experience with digital cameras are the following. A Sony Mavica 400,
    which takes breathtaking portraits, is excellent in low light, but cannot
    take action shots worth a damn (even when put on manual control and speeding
    up the shutter speed). A couple of recent model Kodaks owned by family and
    friends: I find the portrait quality simple not as good as the Sony's with
    Zeiss lenses. And I borrowed an Olympus C720 for about a week, read the
    manual, tried everything, and the thing is positively a nightmare in terms
    of picture quality: colors wrong, half the time the autofocus doesn't work
    (even with meticulous prefocusing), just horrendous.

    My reading at steves-digicams and dpreview as well as some other sites
    convinced me that I want image stabilization, since I will rarely have a
    tripod for the action shots. That rules out the Kodak Z7590 and Z740.
    I thought my choice was going to be between the Sony DSCH1 and the Canon S2
    IS. Then a friend recommended I take a look at the Konica Minolta A200.
    I've read reviews of all of them at the sites I just mentioned, but since
    they don't do a lot of comparisons, it's hard not to read all the reviews as
    essentially, "This is a good camera."

    So I thought I'd go for the Sony DSCH1, since I had a very positive
    experience of my Sony, and it received good reviews at those two websites.
    I almost ordered one, when I read some negative reviews at Amazon for
    defective cameras, and then I read a very good comparison review somewhere
    between the Sony and the Canon, which argued that the Sony simply cannot do
    burst mode very well: which I'd like to be able to use when filming
    ballroom dance. Then I noticed that this Sony does not have the Carl-Zeiss
    lens I so love on my previous Sony, and on my brother's Sony, so I paused.

    Then I started looking closely at sample photos uploaded by people on their
    cameras at Amazon, and I thought the Sony DSCH1 photos were the best:
    rather breathtaking, compared with the S2 IS and the A200 photos people
    uploaded -- don't know if I should pay attention to this or not. This
    confused me more as to what to do.

    I'm burning out on reading these reviews, which often seem to list features
    more than try to evaluate. Is there anyone out there who has used two of
    these cameras, or maybe all three, who might put in a word and say, "Hey,
    Cordo, I've used these cameras and the A200 is in a league above" or
    something like that?

    Thanks for any help.

    Cordovero, Aug 5, 2005
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  2. Cordovero wrote:

    There is a newsgroup specialising in these higher-end SLR-like cameras at:

    which you may find to be worth a visit. The Panasonic FZ5/FZ20 have
    proved to be the best of the current bunch, with the new FZ30 looking
    interesting. However, bear in mind that image stabilisation will not stop
    the subject movement.

    The most sensitive cameras for indoor work are digital SLRs with larger
    sensors and larger aperture lenses. Ask at:

    David J Taylor, Aug 5, 2005
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  3. Cordovero

    Cordovero Guest

    Thank you for your advice. I didn't know what ZLR was, but I just posted
    there to see what happens.

    I'll look into the Panasonics. If they have Leica lenses, I will be most


    "David J Taylor"
    Cordovero, Aug 6, 2005
  4. Cordovero

    Cordovero Guest

    Well, it's between the Canon and the Panasonic Z20 (or possibly the Z5). I
    wish I could wait for the Z30 but cannot because the ballroom competition is
    in a week.

    I eliminated the Sony because, while I like many things about it very much,
    I was disappointed with its frame per second continuous shooting specs, and
    I want to capture bursts of ballroom dancers.

    I've been looking at a lot of online pics taken with the Canon and
    Panasonics. It does seem to me that the Canon very subtly blurs things, and
    I find its autofocus tends to focus on both background and subject, which
    makes for a reduced depth of field effect. Of course, it could easily be
    that those posting shots in various places are not using a narrowed
    autofocus range. Then again, I'm in awe of the Canon's movie taking
    ability, which is really fun when you have the camera out and your neice is
    doing something particularly adorable.

    I also like to take Macro shots: they're so much fun. Seems the Panasonic
    edges the Canon here based on posted photos.

    Still can't decide.


    Cordovero, Aug 13, 2005
  5. Cordovero

    Bart Bailey Guest

    The S2 will (as did the S1) allow the autofocus to concentrate on the
    center spot alone. Selecting for that rather than the general scene with
    center weighting might solve your subtle blurring issue, or you might
    try using the aperture priority mode. The S2 also has three IS modes.
    Bart Bailey, Sep 11, 2005
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