Monday, September 11, 2006

What camera to buy?

I am thinking of buying the Canon A640 camera. It has features I must have: vari-angle LCD, 10.0 mp and UNDER $400. However it's not compact, but I rather trade it with vari-angle LCD. I travel alone some times and it's handy for taking pictures of myself. This model is too new, there isn't any user rating/reviews online yet. Any suggestions?

Change of must haves: vari-angle LCD, 5 MP and up, rechargable battery, under $400.
Canon if possible, compact preferred.

Wednesday, 09/13/06
I think I have made my decision, Nikon coolpix S10 as is. Things I like about it:

1. swivel lens, even better than canon swivel because the lens itself can be tilted not only the LCD as in Canon or other brands.

2. Lens, 10x Zoom-Nikkor, impressive for a pocket camera. Not an upgrade from S4 though.

3. Macro shooting enables shooting from as close as 4cm (1.6 in.), great for taking close up pictures of tea and orchids.

4. 5 movie modes with sound plus Time-Lapse movie mode; Electronic VR available Choice of White Balance

5. LCD monitor: 2.5-inch type, 230,000-dot TFT LCD monitor with brightness adjustment, more than doubled the dots of S4.

6. Movie: w/Electronic VR, With sound: TV movie (640) at 30fps, Small size (320) at 30fps, Smaller size (160) at 15fps, Pictmotion (320) at 15fps; Without sound: Time-lapse movie at 15fps. 30fps is much better than my s500.

7. Power requirements: EN-EL5 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (included), MH-61 battery charger (included). Big step up from S4 which uses 2 AA.

All these things justified the $100 extra dollars. Oh, it's better looking than S4 too. I am settling for this one. Just have to wait for my credit cards to come in. Should have been here already!

S10 at Nikon site

S10 at Photographyblog

S10 at dpreview

Thanks a million Phyll!


~ Phyll said...

Posted at 4:17am? Can't sleep? Well, neither can I, and I woke up thinking about how you are.

Anyway, I've been an amateur photographer for many years and have owned several digital and non-digital cameras, so perhaps my opinion may amount to something :)

IMO, Canon makes superb digi cameras, the best in my opinion. I'm a Canon loyalist :) If swivel LCD is a must, then this model will do it for you. However, I think 10MP is an overkill for casual use...10MP allows you to blow up a picture to poster size, and if you don't need this, you will end up not using the feature at all, thus you are better off saving your $$$ for something with less MP power (same other features). Also, since it's powered with 4x AA, it's bulky and heavy for your purse/bag/tote/fannypack. It says it takes Alkaline (available everywhere easily), but my experience with a digi camera powered with AA type batts is that they perform better and longer with rechargeable NimH batts (Alkaline has less ability to deliver consistent voltage for power hungry hitech toys, long story). Which means you need to take along at least another set of 4x AA batts as backup plus charger and stuff along on your travel. I have one such camera by Minolta, which I've put aside for bulkiness and go with my trusty small Canon S410 (4MP) for casual use. Most pics on my blog were taken with this S410, resized to ~10-20% of original size.

Bottom line: if you don't mind the extra weight, bulk, and need the monster MP power, then it should be great camera. I say should because it's not out yet...but I think it the quality will be very good. Otherwise, there are other fishes in the sea for less $$$.

Sorry for the long comment. My 2 cents.

Imen said...


wow, EARLY bird eh? Thanks for thinking of my condition. Very nice of you, I wanted to say sweet, but don't want to sound like I am trying to hit on a married man. hahah

Very good point about the battery. That's a deal breaker. How about the A620? I have own nothing but canon as well.

Imen said...


what's the difference between the SD and A series?

Imen said...


Never mind the 620, same battery problem. Seems like all the A series use AA batteries, is that why the A serie?

~ Phyll said...

A very brief comment before going to the office: Sony is a product I never like (I mean for digi camera only) because they insist on us using their memory stick, which is not compatible with anything but Sony. But if you can live with it...I prefer the flexibility of being able to replace my digi camera with some other brand in the future and use my old compact flash or SD card. That's my personal feeling, though.

A digi camera site that is worth looking for their independent and very thorough reviews is

I know what you need (swivel LCD, compact, good quality)...I'll take a look more in detail after work and maybe can suggest something to you.

Imen said...

a million thanks Phyll!

~ Phyll said...


When Canon does not work, I go with Nikon, my second favorite brand for digital camera. And I see that they have one model that might suit your needs. The camera is Nikon Coolpix S4 or the updated version called Coolpix S10.

I think they have or about to discontinue S4 and replace it with S10. In a nutshell:

280gram only with battery
Dedicated lithium battery (Nikon)
SD or MMC memory card
Swivel LCD
Less than or equal to $400

I hope this helps. Whether or not you like this one just want to point out a trustworthy source for buying cameras and accessories online is.

All professionals and amateur photographers buy stuff from there. They have excellent customer service and fast shipping.

The S4 is already sold out at this site...the S10 is going to be released sometime this month.

Let me know if you have any questions...don't hesitate.

Imen said...


I don't quite understand this:

Power Requirements: Two AA-size batteries (Rechargeable Ni-MH Battery EN-MH1-B2 with Battery Charger MH-71, LR6 alkaline batteries (supplied), ZR6 oxy-nickel batteries and FR6/L91 lithium batteries), AC Adapter EH-62B

It's for S4, I found a vendor for $200 including shipping. Too good to be true?

Thanks a million!

~ Phyll said...

One thing I can say is that there are a lot of scammers out there selling brown bagged (refurbished) electronics. Becareful. $200 sounds too good to be true, but which vendor is this?

My bad, the S4 uses 2x AA size batts. It's the S10 that uses the rectagular Nikon lithium batt.

That statement is quite vague, though... I'm not sure if everything mentioned is supplied or just some of them.

Imen said...

this place is selling it new for $215 plus 15 shipping, also 185 for refurb:

here it says 2 x AA Batteries • Proprietary Lithium:

~ Phyll said...

Ah, it's one of the hundreds of company that operate on the margin with very spotty record. Look here:

It's all too common to hear about customers getting their products like in a month or more, or that the website says it's "In stock" but it's actually not, and it takes a long time to refund your money. These are the kind of people who will confuse you over the phone with numerous accessories that sound you can not live without or your camera wouldn't work without these extra stuff (but not true).

Plus, they've got no physical address on their site!!! A telltale sign you'll run into trouble, Imen, especially if you need to return the item. I wouldn't risk it for the discount...I'm a bargain hunter, but I would rather spend a bit more and be worry-free.

Amazon has it for $300. It's $20 more expensive than at BHphotovideo, but BH is out of stock.

If $400 is your ceiling, the S10 is a good option. I like the rectagular lithium battery feature. Light and simple to charge.

My 2 Cents.

~ Phyll said...

Compare that with the record for B&H...98% satisfaction!!!

I'm one of those 98%. Do I sound like their salesman...hahaha!

Imen said...

Holly macaroni, 37% negative reviews. That's not worth the trouble.

I don't see much improvement except the battery for the S10, in fact it's heavier and bulkier than the S4. It's $100 more for just the battery? Did I miss some thing?

~ Phyll said...

No, you're probably right about the S4 vs the S10. That's true...225gr with batts for the S4. Lighter than S10.

The S10 has the vibration-reduction feature. Don't know if it's useful or not. It's handy when using the longer focal range, probably.

Imen said...

Thanks Phyll! I have a couple more days to decide. But your recommendation is the best with features I must have. Good night!

~ Phyll said...

You're welcome. Email me if you have any other questions.