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Canon Powershot A400- any good?

(46 Posts)
Gillian76 Sat 11-Jun-05 23:52:03

We have been deliberating over digital cameras for a while. Salesman in Jessops recommended this model. Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about it?

Gillian76 Sun 12-Jun-05 10:58:06

Bump. Anyone?

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 15:20:51

Don't know the particular model but I'm a big fan of Canons in general. We have the Ixus and the G5 - both are lovely, good quality cameras.

What's the price you're looking at? And what do you want to use it for? If it's a point and shoot you're after with a few little extras to learn with then a Canon Ixus seems to be the most recommended camera out.

Gillian76 Sun 12-Jun-05 20:11:04

Basically that Georgina. Photos of the kids mostly, with the odd landscape on holiday

Looking at about £150-£180. The Ixus is more expensive, isn't it? Also, it doesn't have an optical zoom. Not knowing that much about it, is that a disadvantage?

docket Sun 12-Jun-05 20:19:01

Powershot is a great camera for the money. IXUS is a 'sexier' model but yes, more expensive. I think most cameras these days have digital rather than optical zoom, slight loss of quality but not too noticeable IMO

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 20:36:49

Gillian - yes, it is slightly more expensive. I disagree though that the difference between digital and optical zoom is negligable - it can be very very noticeable at times (in fact, one of the first things I do when I buy a camera is switch off any digital zoom component so I know my images won't be affected). Effectively, by using a digital zoom you "throw" pixels away (you can always "zoom in" digitally in post production in a photo manipulation package - but at least then you can choose which bit of your image you want to throw away - if you've previously digitally zoomed then you've already lost that option).

Do a pricerunner search on Canon Ixus - there's quite a few models in your price range. £150 should get you a Canon Digital Ixus 30 (3.2 megapixel, 3x optical zoom, 3.5x digital zoom) or if you can stretch to £190 you would probably get a 5 megapixel version. I'm not totally sure on the differences between all the different models, so you'd need to compare and decide which features you want most (actually Jessops website is quite a nice site to compare specs but don't just take their price as gospel. There's a camera there I'm saving up for which is £500 at Jessops, but £350 if I shop elsewhere!)

Other good price comparison websites are Dealtime and Kelkoo - always worth sticking anything you want to buy in all three price comparison sites as they each have their own blind spots. Bet you could get yourself a fantastic bargain if you shop around.

If you still feel more comfortable buying on the high street (easier to return if problems, etc) then print out the price you find online and return to Jessops. Tell them you've seen this camera model at x price, can they do you a deal? You might be pleasantly surprised...

SenoraPostrophe Sun 12-Jun-05 20:40:17

everything georgina says is true.

Georgina: dh insisted on buying an S1 after researching for about 3 days on the internet. I wouldn't normally have let him spend that much on a camera, but it's FAB. Huge optical zoom and "anti handshake".

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 20:40:47

(although looking at the specs, the main benefit you get on the ixus is size and weight - not to be underestimated if you want to get full use out of it!)

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 20:41:27

SP - I'm saving for the brand new S2 which is very similar... I swoon every time I look at the specs

*self confessed camera nerd*

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 20:42:10

The reason I want the S2 primarily though is the 0cm macro lens.... gorgeous.

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 20:47:18

If you do go for the A400 (and it's still a nice camera, don't get me wrong) the digital camera company do it for around £92 including postage - considerable saving on the jessops price.

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 20:48:27

... or if you want to get it on the high street, looks like PC World is doing it for £93 (assuming their high street price is the same as their web price - not always true, but I bet you could get them to price match it being the same company).

Gillian76 Sun 12-Jun-05 21:10:54

DH is now looking at Kodaks. He is set on the Easy share z-700, but I can't see what's so fabulous about it. Seems their cheaper models do just about all we want.

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:35:56

tbh, I really don't know about any of the current kodaks to comment. We used to have one around 5-6 years ago but nothing about current models.

One thing I would recommend is to go into a shop and see each model you think you might like the look of. Hold it in your hand, consider whether the size and weight distribution feels comfortable. Is it easy to take pictures or does the camera feel unbalanced (giving unnecessary camera shake). Ask the assistant to demonstrate how to operate the menus / basic operation. Is it fairly intuitive? Would it encourage you to take pics or put you off?

Other things to remember is that pixel count (the number in megapixels) isn't the be all and end all - quality of the CCD and the lens is also very important and two cameras in the same megapixel range can have VERY different picture qualities. I'll have a look around now for easy share reviews, see what I can find.

Remember that you'll always have to spend more than just the camera - a case and a bigger memory card are the first two things that spring to mind. Also remember that you don't have to buy these items from the same shop you buy the camera (the cheapest place for your camera can often put HUGE profit margins on the memory cards - shop around).

Also, once you've been in the shop and decided which feels best, then come home and price check - save yourself some pennies! Or at least come back armed with information ready to haggle.

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:38:25

Okay, first impression of the kodak easyshare z700 - it's big and bulky. To give you an idea, it's almost TWICE the weight of an ixus. This could make the difference between always leaving your camera in an inside pocket or your handbag, always on hand. Or not bothering to take it with you and missing some great shots.

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:41:20

That said, the zoom is good and the reviews seem to show that it's a good entry level camera. Reading more...

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:43:24

You've got more programme functions on the Kodak too (so you can set it to aperture priority or shutter priority - you have some manual adjustments you can do on the ixus, but not quite as many - depends whether you think you'll use those)

Gillian76 Sun 12-Jun-05 21:44:17

Yes, a bit of a brick, I thought! I reckon the cx7330 will do all we need for half the price. Not trying to scrimp - I just don't want to pay for stuff we'll not use, iyswim.

Here it is

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:45:00

I'd want to play with the menus and check out if I was comfortable with the bulk/weight before making a final decision. Looks like you get quite a decent camera for the money...

Oooo ... hang on a minute... I think I've got this month's digital camera magazine upstairs... will tell you their top buys...

Gillian76 Sun 12-Jun-05 21:45:30

When would we use the manual adjustments, do you think?

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:51:08

Okay, according to Digital Photo Magazine, the top 5 best bang for your buck point & shoot cameras are:

1) Canon IXUS 40 £200
2) Pentax Optio WP £160
3) Olympus Mju-mini £160
4) Pentax Optio S5n £210
5) Sony Cyber-shot T33 £280

Now they're on your upper limit and above your price range, but they're the "street" prices, and I reckon you could get them cheaper than that.

Kodak are noticeably absent in all categories... oh no, they make an appearance in the Creative compacts category with the DX7630 but again the Canon visibly outshines it.

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:54:29

If you found yourself getting more into photography then you might start to dabble in the manual side of things. Also the "scene" functions can be quite nice if you want to customise a bit more but don't want to have to think about apertures etc. Eg. the sports scene would give you a very fast shutter speed setting so that you'd capture fast motion. Night scene would give you a long shutter speed to capture as much light as possible (you would need a tripod, of course - long shutter speed means camera shake!).

Gillian76 Sun 12-Jun-05 21:57:44

Hmmm, maybe not the Kodaks, then. BiL is swithering about buying the Mju-mini. Will see what's the best price for the Ixus 40.

There are too many choices [frustrated emoticon]

Thanks for taking the time to do this, btw

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:57:48

Now the EasyShare CX7330 seems a lot more sensible size ... about 50% heavier than the ixus.

Sorry. I'm not a Canon rep, I promise!!! I just love the fact that my ixus goes everywhere with me and I do spend a lot of time wondering how I coped with a bulkier camera before (although I still do use a bulkier camera for "special" occasions, lol).

GeorginaA Sun 12-Jun-05 21:58:18

That's okay It's fun for me - I like fantasy camera shopping

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