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The PIT
1st December 2004, 12:25
Any good???

VJ
2nd December 2004, 00:44
There is a preview here:
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/nikoncp8800/

It has a digital viewfinder. Some people really like them, others don't (my experience with an EVF was over 2 years go, so not really up to date anymore).
If you haven't used an EVF before, I would suggest to try it in the shop.

But apart from that, the specs look very good... :)


Jörg

az
2nd December 2004, 02:31
Looks like a good camera, but the AF is very slow. I think this and the Dimage A2 are the only real contenders in this market.

AZ

The PIT
2nd December 2004, 10:24
Originally posted by az
Looks like a good camera, but the AF is very slow. I think this and the Dimage A2 are the only real contenders in this market.

AZ

Where did you get the slow focus from???

az
2nd December 2004, 16:08
www.digitalkamera.de, biggest german digicam test site, the owner seems like a reasonable guy.

AZ

The PIT
2nd December 2004, 23:49
Site cannot be found

VJ
3rd December 2004, 00:23
Here is a detailed review:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/CP8800/CP88A.HTM

The timings seem ok (section 7 of the review):
0.53 s for full autofocus+shutter lag (when the camera is not writing)
1.56 s for full autofocus+shutter lag (when the camera is writing)
The pre-focussed shutter lag is 0.077 s.
In manual focus, there is more of a shutter lag: 0.274... :confused:

So when you are taking a picture and the camera is not writing any files, it takes 0.453 s to focus, and then 0.077 s to make the picture...

In the conclusions, it turns out the camera does seem to be writing slow...


Jörg

az
3rd December 2004, 01:09
TP: Remove the comma.

AZ

az
3rd December 2004, 01:19
They said in wide angle it's 0.7-1 second, in tele it's 1.4 to 2 seconds though, and worst case (tele, last focus was very near, new focus is very far) it's up to 3.3 seconds.

They were very pleased with the rest of the camera, mostly.

AZ

The PIT
3rd December 2004, 03:44
Looks like noise is a problem as well

VJ
3rd December 2004, 04:56
Originally posted by az
They said in wide angle it's 0.7-1 second, in tele it's 1.4 to 2 seconds though, and worst case (tele, last focus was very near, new focus is very far) it's up to 3.3 seconds.

:eek:
Those results differ enormously from the ones I posted...

Noise is to be expected: it is an 8 MP camera, with a relatively small imaging sensor.


Jörg

The PIT
3rd December 2004, 09:52
From the few samples I've seen iso 400 is unusable. Theres also a problem in poor light at lower iso levels as well.

It maybe expected but whats the point if it makes your picture look naff????

The PIT
3rd December 2004, 10:26
The Dimage A2 is looking better picture wise although it doesn't have the zoom.

xortam
3rd December 2004, 12:36
Hope you don't mind a little intrusion PIT ;) ...

az ... can you help me out with that German site in regards to their opinion of the Canon S70? I'm looking for a lightweight digicam for backpacking and need better than a 35mm wide angle. This puppy looks like about the only contender with a 28mm equivalent lens (except its predecessor, the S60) other than a much more expensive Nikon which doesn't rate that highly. I'm concerned about the LCD display size and brightness as well as the purple fringing on the Canons. The S70 is said to have some other weaknesses (e.g. low-light AF on zoom, average macro) which won't impact my backpacking application. I'll probably be picking up a full featured digi SLR sometime in the next year or two (probably a Nikon to share the lenses with my film Nikon) so I'm not worried too much about non-scenery uses. I need to check more about its macro capabilities because I would like to exploit that sometimes in the wilderness. Battery life and weight is also a concern in backpacking (enough for a four day trip) so I need to "weigh" that in when comparing cameras. Does the digitalkamera site have generally the same opinion as the dpreview site (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons70/)? ...


Conclusion - Pros

Excellent resolution
Low noise at ISO 50 and 100, not bad at 200 and 400
Excellent metering, color and dynamic range
Very clean, artefact-free images
Wide-angle zoom (28 - 100 mm equiv.)
Excellent range of controls
Solid build quality, nice metallic finish
Improved ergonomics, separate zoom and four-way controller
RAW file format
Ability to turn JPEG shot into RAW during record review
Advanced features such as intervalometer, sync curtain, spot AE point
Custom shooting mode (user saved settings)
AF assist lamp


Conclusion - Cons

Some purple fringing visible at wide-angle or maximum apertures
Some corner softness at wide-angle and maximum aperture
Lens slow at telephoto (F5.3)
Auto focus can be slow
Low-light focus unreliable - especially at long end of the zoom
LCD monitor difficult to use in very bright light
Poor automatic white balance in incandescent light
Average macro performance
Images slightly soft (sharpen well in post-processing however)
Slow playback (image to image)


Overall conclusion

Our first experience of Sony's new 7.1MP chip, as seen in the Cyber-shot P150, was overwhelmingly positive. Not only does it outperform the 5MP sensor it replaces (the 6MP version never really made an impact on compact cameras) in resolution terms, it also seems to control noise more efficiently. Perhaps this is because with such large files noise reduction can be a little more aggressive, perhaps it's simply a less noisy chip. Even more impressive is the new sensor's ability - when used with an accurate exposure system - to preserve detail in both highlight and shadow areas of even the brightest, most contrasty scenes.

What the S70 Canon has brought to the party is a superb 28-100mm equiv. lens (and if, like me, you love a true wide-angle this is a real selling point), excellent exposure, sophisticated (if slow) focus and understated, subtle - but effective - image processing. The result is a camera with a comprehensive range of controls, superb photographic quality and excellent handling.

There are inevitably some problems - the ambitious 28mm equiv. wide end of the zoom involves a certain amount of compromise; color fringing and the occasional softness in the corners of images can be reduced by dropping the aperture (and only really show up in big enlargements), but cannot be ignored or excused. Canon still hasn't really sorted out focus speed - and indoors in low light the focus struggles at the long end of the zoom to find anything at all, something not helped by the F5.3 maximum aperture. If Sony can make cameras that focus in an instant and allow near-instantaneous scrolling through images in playback mode, so should Canon.

At the end of the day, however, if image quality, build and manual control are your chief priorities (and especially if you mainly shoot scenery), the PowerShot S70 must sit near the top of your shopping list - it's well priced, a pleasure to use in all but the lowest light and it delivers results most 8MP cameras would be proud of, and represents a much more significant upgrade to the hugely popular S50 than the S60.

The PIT
3rd December 2004, 12:37
Don't mind at all.

It would ne nice if local shops had them in stock and then allowed you to try them.

Slip your memory card in take a few shots and then look at them at home to compare.

az
3rd December 2004, 14:42
xortam, I'm too tired for that now, maybe tomorrow.

But they were VERY impressed with the Nikon Coolpix 8400, which has 24 (!) mm wide angle, 8 mp etc.

AZ

xortam
3rd December 2004, 23:34
Originally posted by The PIT
Don't mind at all.

It would ne nice if local shops had them in stock and then allowed you to try them.

Slip your memory card in take a few shots and then look at them at home to compare. Awfully sporting of you chap. :) :D

I've been able to play with the Canon S60 in a shop for a bit but I haven't looked at any images. I was just getting a feel for the controls and grip and such. They were a little nervous when I asked to walk out the front door with the cameras to test the display in sunlight but I was able to test all the candidate cameras. I haven't been to more than that one shop so I don't know how the other shops deal with customers these days. I don't know if any of the shops offer one the ability to actually externally review shots you've made with their cameras so you could do a careful critique.

xortam
3rd December 2004, 23:35
Originally posted by az
... they were VERY impressed with the Nikon Coolpix 8400, which has 24 (!) mm wide angle, 8 mp etc. ... That was the Nikon that I was referring to. A leading shop in the area recommended that camera when I asked for an alternative to the S70. The 8400 is just too big and heavy for my use (over 50 percent heavier) and much more expensive than the S70. dpreview only has a preview of the 8400 so I don't know how it tested in comparison to the S70 but it doesn't seem to offer much more than the S70 on paper ( http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_s70%2Cnikon_cp8400&show=all ). The Nikon display isn't any bigger but has a slightly higher pixel count. I would really like a 2" or bigger display or some method of helping set up a shot better in bright sunlight (without extra equipment). I've played with the S60 a bit and I'm like the feel and controls. The S60 is the same body and controls as the S70 (mainly different color and improved sensor). The superior movie features of the Nikon would be welcomed.

Liquid Snake
4th December 2004, 20:14
I actually just got a Canon S70 yesterday as an upgrade from my S400. I'm totally new to cameras that actually let you set shutter speeds, aperture and such. I've only used point&shoot cameras up to now, so I can't give much input about how it compares to other cameras of its class. But it's definitely quite a step up from the S400. I'll post a few pics I took today in a separate thread. Hope you don't mind city scenery.

edit: More stuff.

The LCD is indeed difficult to use in bright sunlight. It seems to be fine otherwise though.

My batteries actually ran out today; then again I was out for about 7 hours and took a hundred something shots. Again, the S70 is the first camera of this class that I've owned, so I don't know how its battery life compares. It seems to be better than the S400's though.

az
5th December 2004, 01:18
Xortam: They don't have a review of the S70, I'm afraid.

AZ

xortam
5th December 2004, 09:36
Originally posted by az
Xortam: They don't have a review of the S70, I'm afraid.

AZ Thanks anyway.

xortam
5th December 2004, 09:53
Originally posted by Liquid Snake
... The LCD is indeed difficult to use in bright sunlight. It seems to be fine otherwise though. … I checked out the Nikon 8400 and Canon S70 yesterday at a local shop. The S70 is clearly a better choice for me since the Nikon doesn't offer much for the extra size, weight, and cost. The viewfinders and displays are apparently all poor on these compact digicams so there's not much better choices out there. The Casio was somewhat better in this regard (2" LCD and slightly better viewfinder) but I need the wide angle. I'm now at the age where I also have to be concerned about using reading glasses with the camera. A good viewfinder would alleviate the need for glasses but I'd at least need them to read the controls until I got comfortable with the camera.
... My batteries actually ran out today; then again I was out for about 7 hours and took a hundred something shots. Again, the S70 is the first camera of this class that I've owned, so I don't know how its battery life compares. It seems to be better than the S400's though. It looks like I'll need a spare battery for a four day hike as none of them seem to be able to handle that long of a usage (a little more weight).

I'm going to order the S70 this morning ...

P.S. My first digicam will be arriving this Friday. :)

Fred H
26th December 2004, 03:03
For the that price the 8800 costs I would buy a Nikon D70 instead.
I own an older Coolpix995, which is not bad at all, but I am tired about the electronical manual focusing.
Any AF is slow if the lighting is poor. I mean the time tha camera takes to decide the right (?) focus.
In fact I am "dreaming" about a D70. :)
Fred