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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:11 pm 
So... I had just about settled on the Powershot A640 (thanks in no small measure to Gordon's review), when I came across the Powershot A570 IS and I'm wondering if it's worth considering.

As far as I can tell, the main differences are that the 570 has image stabilization and Digic III. Well, that and the 570 runs on two AAs to the 640's 4, and lacks the 640's flip-and-turn screen (I was rather looking foward to that feature).

I guess my first questions are, how important are Digic III and IS to overall photo quality and camera performance?

I'm basically looking for a nice "little" camera to keep with me for spontaneous shots (I do have two wee children, so I'd certainly be taking shots of them both indoors and out, but I also enjoy taking the random "art shot" on occasion, if something strikes my fancy). This may also be a crucial point-- I believe it's only a matter of time before my partner succumbs to the Nikon D80, so we'd have that for more serious shooting... but I think we'd both enjoy using a compact with some manual controls (hence my attraction to the 640... although I think the 570 affords a fair amount of manual control as well).

I will stop rambling now, but would very much appreciate any of your thoughts on the A570 (or any of the other compacts out there, if you would like to confound me further :) )


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:32 pm 
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Hello Athena, and welcome to CameraLabs!

My wife and me really missed the image stabilization in our last post&shoots! It's just so easy to tilt these little cams when pressing the release-button. So this would be a major factor in my decision making.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:55 pm 
Thanks tombomba2, that really gives me something to think about; perhaps I'll start reading up on compacts with IS. This is exactly what I was wondering about-- if IS really makes a big difference.

Too bad I can't stabilize the kids, eh?!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:57 pm 
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Yeah! Nobody has developed an in-kid-stabilizer yet :wink:
Oh, and by the way: Image stabilisation only helps with the camera shake. if your subject is not sitting still only a shorter shutter speed will give you sharp photos.
That is where the large DSLRs come into play with their superior sensitivity (high ISO) / low noise.

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Last edited by Thomas on Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:09 pm 
Well, if your subjects are mainly moving children, perhaps one of the Fuji F-series cameras might be a good choice. Thanks to the high ISOs, you should be able to freeze the movement of your children quite effectively, and as tombomba2 has already pointed out, image stabilisation does not stabilise moving subjects.
While the F30/F31fd lack some of the A570's features, it is superior when it comes to ISO-performance, possibly making it the better choice.
@tombomba2: Ich komme auch aus Bayern :-)

Greetings,

Martin from around Augsburg


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:36 pm 
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Yeah, Martin, the Fuji has a higher image quality at high ISO than the Canon!
But it has no image stab (neither does the new Fuji F40).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:53 pm 
OK, let me see if I have this right-- I know that IS won't actually help with my moving subjects (yes, one of the main things I'll be using the camera for is taking candid shots of children in action)-- but it will help with overall image quality?

What I should look for is faster shutter or focus speeds (for capturing moving subjects)?

The Fuji F31 does sound really good, although I'm having a hard time "letting go" of the Powershot A640 (the 640 does have a "kids and pets" mode; I wonder if that means faster focusing? Does anyone how good the 640 is for this sort of thing?).

I do want to get the best compact for my needs though (pics of the kids won't be the only thing I'll use it for, but it is one of the more important things).

Thanks for all your help so far!


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 Post subject: Update and thanks again
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:03 pm 
Well, as it turns out, I did sort of let go of the A640, but only to get the A630 (because it happened to be the only one available in stores in my town, and I was anxious to get shooting!).

I don't regret it; it's a fun little camera to play around with, and I'm looking foward to getting some time to really sit down with the manual and investigate all of the features.

I do have to say though, because of you guys, I still wonder whether I should have gone for IS... oh well, maybe next time ;)

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Good luck! And have fun shooting...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:18 pm 
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Athena,

Another very good point of Canon point-and-shoot cameras is that they operate in both automatic mode (the easy way) but also semi- or full-manual mode (the interesting way). So they provide a sure path to creative photography and an good introduction to dSLR.

I started with a Canon S10 in 1999, then a Canon Powershot A70 in 2003. I jumped for a Pentax *ist DL one year ago and wasn't that lost with speed, aperture and ISO settings :). But I had to re-learn depth-of-field :? .

Have fun with your camera :!:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:04 am 
I'd like to add my opinion here.

First, Athena, I think the A630 is a good camera. I have the A620 which is almost the same, and it performs well, although I've become dissatisfied with the noise levels and will soon buy my first DSLR.

My opinion is that the Digic III processor is not as good as the Digic II processor. Canon made a philosophical about-face with the Digic III processor, as it has much more aggressive and intrusive noise reduction than the Digic II processor had. The noise reduction of the Digic III processor is more like Canon's competitors -- as the ISO goes up, the images become increasingly smeared and less saturated. With Digic II, Canon allowed some noise to remain, which preserved detail and allowed the photographer to use his/her own editing program to remove the noise.

Fortunately, the A630 that you bought has a Digic II processor. Of course, point-and-shoot cameras can't really be used at high ISOs anyway. Nonetheless, when I looked at sample images from the A570 IS (which has the Digic III processor), I was surprised by how much noise and smearing they had even at low ISOs.

If I had gotten to this thread in time, I would have recommended the A710 IS, which has the Digic II processor AND noise reduction.

One other thing: Image stabilization is the rage now, but I've been struck by how soft and blurry the images from stabilized cameras sometimes look. The sensors in these cameras are supposed to shift rapidly in response to your hand movements, but I'm not always sure they shift in the right direction!

Caleb


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:47 pm 
Your comments on Digic III & IS are interesting... it was hard for me to tell just from reading what was out there on the A570 (which isn't much, yet) whether these features would really translate into better pictures (and I certainly wasn't going to take Canon's word for it ;)).

I did take a close look at the 710 IS, but a couple of reviews made me nervous about it's flash-recycling time and shutter lag. It was tempting, though, in many other respects.

In any case, I think the 630 was a good choice for me right now--- fun to play with the manual controls, but also just a nice, reliable camera for snapshots. As for fancier pictures, my partner's been circling the Nikon D80 for months now, and I have the feeling he won't hold out much longer :)

Athena


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:27 pm 
Cameras are so much fun, aren't they? And I love the way the technology keeps advancing.

For a long time I thought I would never need anything but a compact, but then -- like most frequent photographers -- having noise-free pictures became increasingly important to me, so I'll be getting a DSLR soon.

I'm considering the Olympus E-510 (although it can't be used with an adapter) and the Pentax K100D (although it has only 6 MP). I've also considered the Nikon models, since they're supposed to have good build quality.

Canon's about-face in the way they handle noise in their compact cameras was very disappointing to me. All the other manufacturers were very heavy-handed in their noise reduction, but Canon wasn't. Now they're doing the same thing as the competition. However, their DSLRs have very low noise. It's definitely good that you got a Canon with the Digic II processor.

Caleb

P.S. I see that I've repeated some things that I said in a previous post. Sorry for my enthusiasm!


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