Thursday, July 29, 2004

Review (preliminary): Canon s410 vs. s230 Camera & Photo: Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom
I'll eventually post a review on Amazon and my photo web page. Some initial impressions from a very picky customer:

1. s230 was (is) a fabulous camera -- almost a perfect blend of form and function. The s410 is a better camera, but it's drifted a bit from the vision of the original design team. It feels like a "B Team" product rather than an "A Team" product".
2. s410 has more than twice the picture power (50% more zoom, 90% more pixels)
3. s410 has a ridiculous menu that configures startup tones, pictures, etc. Stupid but one can ignore it. I have to see if I can modify the startup screen picture, if I can I'll put our name and address on it!
4. s230 looks and feels better than the s410. It's slightly more slender, feels more solid, is less flashy, looks more elegant. The s410 looks a bit cheap and gaudy by comparison.
5. Both are made in Japan!
6. The s410 has improved on the s230's mode setting (camera/video) and menu structures. It's hard to alternate between the two because of this, but one is much less likely to record video instead of taking a picture. I also like the way to switch between manual and auto mode.
7. The s410 has a spiffier intelligent focus mode -- that doesn't work any better than any of these things do! I turned it off, I prefer to use center focus at the right distance then reframe.
8. The s410 gets HOT if you take pictures quickly. CPU is working more. I wonder about battery life.
9. The s230 used the same data cable as my G2. The s410 uses a USB mini-B cable. Nice to have a standard data cable, but I wonder what happens if one accidentally uses a powered USB cable!
10. s230 and s410 use the same battery and elegant power charger. YAY.
11. s410 has a tactile feedback on the shutter that feels stiff to me -- as though it would increase camera vibration. I don't like it.
12. Both the s410, s230 and G2 use standard CF cards (YAY), but the s430 benefits from a high speed card.

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