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Advice/Experience on using Minota DiMAGE S414?
Old 07-15-2003, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Okay, yes, I know, it's a P&S. I got a really good deal and I can't afford a DSLR. I bought one for our office the other day and I liked it so well I bought myself one with some credit I had at Amazon.com and the money from selling my Kodak DC290.

That being said, has anybody used this camera or its near-identical predecessor, the S404? (The main difference that anybody around here would care about, I think, is that the S414 uses a native sRGB colorspace instead of a proprietary one that has to be converted. Also its ISO equivalance is 64-400 instead of 100-800.)

Any advice, tips, warnings, or even humorous belittling would be appreciated. (But it had better be humorous.)

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Re: Advice/Experience on using Minota DiMAGE S414?
Old 07-17-2003, 08:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I used the S404 for long enough to know I didn't care for it. It is smallish and a bit hard use without sometimes hitting the wrong buttons. With it you had to do the color space thing after copying the photos off to the hard drive. That was an extra step I didn't care for. It had a number of problems that were quite annoying, but rather than list them, I'll just point you to dpreview.com where you can read all about its problems. The worst problem was its false focus lock. The camera would show a focus lock, but you could clearly see on the LCD that it was way off. Also the tripod socket location is laughable. Did they fix that on the 414?
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Re: Advice/Experience on using Minota DiMAGE S414?
Old 07-19-2003, 11:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I used the S404 for long enough to know I didn't care for it. It is smallish and a bit hard use without sometimes hitting the wrong buttons.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's definitely smallish compared to a D/SLR. I have big hands, however, and I don't have any particular problems (other than remembering to jog up in the menus before switching to another menu. That's just something I have to get used to.) I find it a convenient size, but your mileage will vary.

[ QUOTE ]
With it you had to do the color space thing after copying the photos off to the hard drive. That was an extra step I didn't care for.

[/ QUOTE ]

Fixed. The camera's native and only colorspace is sRGB.

[ QUOTE ]
It had a number of problems that were quite annoying, but rather than list them, I'll just point you to dpreview.com where you can read all about its problems.

[/ QUOTE ]

They don't have a review for the S414, although most of the S404 comments are, as you say, applicable. The one on Steve's Digicams is for the S414 and he basically says that for the money it's a no-brainer. For nearly double the price you could have a G5, which would likewise be a no-brainer if you had double the money, but I hadn't. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

[ QUOTE ]
The worst problem was its false focus lock. The camera would show a focus lock, but you could clearly see on the LCD that it was way off.


[/ QUOTE ]

I haven't had that problem, although its method of notifying you that it's ready to fire a *second* picture and has a good focus lock takes some getting used to.

[ QUOTE ]
Also the tripod socket location is laughable. Did they fix that on the 414?

[/ QUOTE ]

Sadly, no. However, I have access to a machine shop (including a laser cutter) and I am going to build a flash bracket for it (doubling as a tripod mount) which will eliminate the problem handily. In addition, both of my tripod heads are 3-D types and they have great big tables with nonslip surfaces, which deal with the camera quite well. Since I am so fortunate in this regard, my only firm requirement for a tripod mount is that it must be metal. I can see where others would consider the tripod mount on this camera inconveniently placed at the very least.

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