Opinions Wanted: Canon PowerShot A410/A430 Digital Cameras

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Junglekeeper, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The entry-level A410 was released late last year and received good reviews. The recently released A430 is an update of that model.
     
  2. pierrot

    pierrot Active Member 10 Years

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    Junglekeeper

    depends on what you want and what $$ you wanna spend.

    I recently upgraded from a Cannon G2 to a Canon 30D-DSLR as I wanted flexibility of lenses and manual exposured while still being in the "35 mm" mode. I would not go back to a point and shoot. I still have the G2 and my cannon EOS NON digital Rebel (35mm film but it has good lenses I can interchange with my digital). But I love the instant gratification of digital. so much easier to manipulate and as I live in the McDonalds culture (I want it now now now!!) it has been a great asset to plant ID!! I still use the G2 as a point and shoot and have it with me all the time so I can satisfy my addiction!!

    Daniel gave an excellent link on one of the photos of the day series about canon DSLRs. it has some good advice in it. Yes it is canon but the underlying principles will also be valid for all other brands.

    http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq/

    I read this after I got the camera and was informed about things I should have considered.

    This link may also help
    http://www.dpreview.com/

    If you are serious about photographing your plants and things then don't let the knobs and dials and bright sparkly things sway you!!

    Good cameras do not mean you will take a good Photo. Just looks that way!! its only a plastic box with a silicon thingi inside it. If you cannot see the forest for the trees you will never take a photo of any quality. anyone with any equipment can be as good as Lord Snowdon if they can see the picture in their mind

    Just my 5c worth. Hope it helps
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks for info, Pierrot. I'll follow up on the links. I'm looking for a very simple camera. Even though the A410 and A430 are entry-level cameras they are actually more than what I need as I just want to be able to take a few pictures here and there. I was going to pick up an A410 when I found out the A430 had just been released.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've no experience with the A410 / A430 models, but having used the Canon S30 and S40 models, and then the Canon DSLRs, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Canon.

    After looking at the specs briefly, and assuming that both models are still available, I'd pick the A410 if it was 30 CDN or more cheaper than the A430. The A430 has 4x optical zoom instead of 3.2 (which, for an entry-level camera, would be worth about 20 bucks to me) and 4 megapixels instead of 3.2 (worth about 10 bucks).

    I'm also assuming that they did not change the sensor type and that you are not planning on making prints (if you are, then I'd bump up the importance of the megapixels to around $30, making the price differential ~$50).
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    (I should add that the dollar figures I'm suggesting are applicable to these cameras only)
     
  6. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    I have found this website very useful http://www.megapixel.net/html/cover.php Nine Canon models were reviewed last year. I didn't find the A410 but they have an extensive review for the A510 - http://www.megapixel.net/reviews/canon-a510/a510-gen.phpnear the top right corner is a menu of additional pages that make up the full review.

    I own a Canon A70 and am happy with it as an entry level digital camera. I still use my old film SLR as well and someday would like to replace it with a digital SLR.
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks for your feedback, Daniel. There are a number of minor improvements in the A430 but the ones that stand out for me, other than the zoom and megapixels, is a larger LCD[super]*[/super] and an improved macro which I think would be particularly useful for taking closeups of plants. The changes all appear to be incremental rather than groundbreaking but add value for what is currently an extra $50. I'm opting for the A430 pending a good review at www.dcresource.com.

    I've read that a USB media card reader is highly recommended to simplify connection to the PC. Would you agree?

    * Interestingly the new LCD has fewer pixels than the old one. It makes me wonder if they sacrificed resolution for size.

    The A510 has also received good reviews including the "best buy" rating from Consumer Reports. It was the rating from CR that led me to look at the A410 and now the A430. It seems change come fast and furious with digital cameras.
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    For downloading images, I always use a USB media reader because I can simply copy over the files to the folder where I want them to be (in fact I am doing this right now with images of the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest). I found the camera + software + USB-to-camera cable system to be cumbersome.
     
  9. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Digital Photography Review, on the link posted by Pierrot, is an excellent site for getting all the info and comparisions you need. I have the old Nikon Coolpix (990), a Canon Powershot G2, a Sony DSC, a Canon DSLR (350 D) and a Sony Cybershot (7.2 Megapixs, the last two being the latest additions.

    I love th Canon SLR for it's versatility and long battery charge life (this is essentially because the view finder is used far more frequently then the LCD display for composing the picture). The Sony Cybershot has excellent macro focussing and gives me the 7.2 megapix in a point and shoot. But in the garden, I find myself grabbing the Canon G2 far more oftern than any of the other, even newer, cameras. The reason? The flip and rotate capability of the G2 LCD screen is a huge asset especally for pictures that are low down or high up. And it takes great pictures.

    The quality of the images is going to depend on three things, the pixel resolution being equal - quality of the lens, the capability of the sensor, and the on board software. As far as lenses go, you get what you pay for. In my opinion, Canon, Nikon and Carl Zeiss still make some of the best camera lenses available in the consumer market. When it comes to sensors and on board image software, the in depth technical provided by sites like dpreview.com provides important performance comparisions. In my opinion, Nikon and Canon are still very much the leaders in this regard.

    Other considerations are battery charge life and the storage media used. SD cards make for much smaller cameras, but CF cards are tough as nails. (My son forgot to take a CF card out of his trouser pocket. It went through a full wash and spin cylce and the tumble dryer. He was able to download the files from it after all that, as if nothng has happened. And a beach comber found a Canon camera, all smashed up on the beach after the infamous sutnami. The camera was toast, but the CF card was fully functional, containing the last images of the unfortunate tourists who owned that camera!)

    Eventually, the choice has to be down to how you feel about using that camera - what I call "personal ergonomics". I would suggest going to the stores and trying it out. If you have some compact flash or SD cards lying around, bring those with you so you can take a few pictures and download them at home for comparision. Try the different models. Pretend that you are using it in the garden, and think of the different situations which might arise. Try close focussing in the macro mode. How close can you get and at what magnification?
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks for the tips. The only negative I'm aware of is the infamous (and scary) E18 error discussed in this long thread in the dcreview/dcresource forums. I'd sure hate to spend a couple hundred dollars on an occasional-use gadget that will have a short life-span. Makes me wonder if I should instead spend the money on something that'll give me a better bang for the buck (like more plants). More thought is required.

    Here is another article on the E18 issue.
     

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