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alternative for much beloved Canon S30
Hmm, maybe my question belongs here eventhough I'm not a complete beginner. But I'm not focussed on one camera brand and the really good answer might be here..

I'm currently wondering if I should buy a new digital 'snapshot' camera. I still use an old Canon PowerShot S30 for snapshots and when I only have a small handbag with me and an EOS 300D for better pictures..

I love this old camera because:.

- I don't need a 12mpixel camera, my computer has problems with too large photos anyway- the manual options (apperture, shutter, focus) are great to have- I don't like taking photos via the screen but prefer a viewfinder.

- the picture quality even in difficult light (bright/dark in same frame, night) is great- my underwater casing .

But:- it is quiet heavy, large and very slooooow.

- even a newly bought Canon battery only lasts for a very short time. When I take more photos especially on manual settings the camera gets very hot and the battery drains quickly. Maybe something is damaged..

Might there be an alternative for me? As I said I don't want a megapixel-monster but a camera that also takes good photos in difficult/little light, viewfinder would be great, maybe AA batteries, and that I can use underwater. I only snorkel but go below 3m when I'm not paying attention. Will underwater bags be sufficient for that or do I need another casing?.

The buying guide only shows me 10 Canon cameras so it's difficult to tell what alternatives there are besides Canon, and it doesn't answer the underwater question..

Thanks a lot.Sunflowergirl..

Comments (7)

May consider Canon SD series ultra-compacts. Fast but these don't offer manual controls (A/s/M modes). For A/S/M modes you may consider Panasonic FX500 among ultra-cpmpacts or Canon A series (A570IS, A720IS, etc.). Search for under water cases for these before committing..

Pentax Wseries (W60 - 5x wide angle zoom) and Olympus SW (SW850) series offer some underwater capable cameras. Great convenience.http://www.pentaximaging.com/...ts/product_details/digital_cameraOptio_W60/http://www.dpreview.com/news/0801/08012202olyswseries.asp.

Sunflowergirl wrote:.

The buying guide only shows me 10 Canon cameras so it's difficult totell what alternatives there are besides Canon, and it doesn't answerthe underwater question..

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612Thanks for your time...

Comment #1

The short answer is "no". There is no compact camera like that (I and a lot of other folk here would have bought it too if there was). There are lots of more or less unsatisfactory alternatives, and it really depends what you least mind compromising on..

I assume you have gone through the Canon options. The Panasonic LX-2 had a lot going for it (Thom Hogan listed it as his favourite pocket camera a while ago) but it performs poorly in low light and has no viewfinder. The new version may be worth a look to see if the problems have been fixed. I can't go past the APS-C sensor in the Sigma DP-1, but I can't afford it either (which saves me worrying about the time to save RAW files). The Ricohs also are too expensive, given their limitations. The Nikon P5xxx are small and light despite robust metal bodies, take very nice pictures, considering, and have a very useful flash hot shoe, but can be slow and don't have RAW..

Let us know what you discover!.

'Some of the money I spent on booze, women and fast cars, but the rest I squandered' - George Best..

Comment #2

Hi les,.

Is it really such good camera? I did my research when I bought it originally but there was much less choice back then..

The thing that annoys me most really is the battery issue. It's almost impossible to take photos over a whole day as I either have to take a big load of old batteries that only last for 10 photos along or buy new batteries ever so often..

Yes, the viewfinder and manual options area really very useful to me, though I haven't done any pictures in raw with it yet..

I've seen photos taken by fellow students with much nieuwe cameras and thought that many images, especially with slightly higher iso are so much worse, or they don't have a high iso at all..

*sigh* not so easy, all this. Maybe I should look at what cameras fit my description, make a selection and post in all appropriate subforums to find out what I should consider...

Comment #3

I have been hunting for an SLR alternative for years, and, apart from unrealistic options like the Leica M8, I think the fact is there isn't one. I have a P5000 which I take cycling, when size and weight are really an issue, and which I also use for work travel. It works well, considering, but it isn't the same, and I guess I need to resign myself to getting a bigger bag and stronger legs..

There are some P5000 images taken in (my idea of) difficult light athttp://www.pbase.com/lesolson/p5000images.

'Some of the money I spent on booze, women and fast cars, but the rest I squandered' - George Best..

Comment #4

I can relate - 2 years ago I searched for a replacement for my own S30 and all I found was noise and DSLR's. Buying a DSLR solved the image quality issue but I still needed a compact P&S for snapshot duty, videos and underwater. Once I accepted that some noise would be a fact of life with any small-sensor camera, with SD card in hand I tested all the options at several retail stores and ended up ordering a Digital Elph..

Slow as it was though, the S30's pixel density is a very low 8 MP/cm. That's a pixel density that can't come even close to being matched by any current compact digital camera. Be prepared for image quality trade-offs in exchange for more features and much faster operation. Man, that S30 was slooow! Great color and exposure though..

Group Captain Mandrake: 'I was tortured by the Japanese, Jack, if you must know; not a pretty story....Strange thing is they make such bloody good cameras.' (Dr. Strangelove, 1964)..

Comment #5

Sunflowergirl wrote:.

The thing that annoys me most really is the batteryissue. It's almost impossible to take photos over awhole day as I either have to take a big load of oldbatteries that only last for 10 photos alongor buy new batteries ever so often..

I had similar problems with my Powershot S20. It could get more shots per charge, maybe 30 or so. But I still had to have three batteries and their charger when shooting away from home, and run back to charger several times during the day to make sure that I didn't get caught with no freshly charged batteries. And yes, the little S20 also got pretty hot while shooting..

The good news is that most cameras are better than that these days. Some are *much* better. Here are a few that use two AA batteries, Canon's A570IS, A590IS and Nikon's P60. Based on a fairly stringent battery life test (CIPA), using alkaline batteries they're good for 120 shots (A570IS), 200 shots (A590IS) and 190 shots (P60)..

If NiMH AA batteries are used, the number of shots per charge increases to 400, 450 and 350 shots, respectively..

If these cameras are used outdoors, where the flash won't be used, battery life increases dramatically. Canon rates the A570IS as being good for 400 shots from alkalines to 900 shots using NiMH batteries. Nikon doesn't state the number of "outdoor" shots, but it's probably similarly high. Nikon does provide data though when using non-rechargeable lithium AA batteries using the same CIPA test (which among other things requires a full power flash for every other shot). A pair of those lithum batteries should be good for 650 shots, and probably well over 1,000 shots for outdoor photography..

Yes, the viewfinder and manual options area reallyvery useful to me, though I haven't done anypictures in raw with it yet..

All of the above cameras have full manual options and viewfinders. Canon's are optical and the P60's is an EVF..

I've seen photos taken by fellow students with muchnieuwe cameras and thought that many images,especially with slightly higher iso are so much worse,or they don't have a high iso at all..

While not comparable to DSLRs, the high ISO performance of these cameras isn't too bad. Better by a stop or two than a comparable Panasonic camera I tried. These cameras all have IS (Canon) or VR (Nikon), which allows the use of lower ISO for static low light shots..

*sigh* not so easy, all this. Maybe I should look atwhat cameras fit my description, make a selectionand post in all appropriate subforums to find outwhat I should consider..

Good luck with that. You might get a few unbiased responses, but I think that you'll encounter many more camera chauvinists!  ..

Comment #6

Yes, I agree. I don't completely understand the technology but even for me it's quiet clear that you can't squeeze too many megapixel on such small chip. Pity there doesn't seem to be a market for good small cameras. It all seems to be about more and more megapixels and even more features. I don't want a camera that intelligently places pixels in gaps or removes moving figures from landscapes but just a camera tht takes good photos...

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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