Digital Cameras

So, it’s my birthday in a week and a few days (May 14th), and my parents finally got around to asking me what I want. Considering I’ll be up at WPI next year, away from my dad’s digital camera, I decided that I wanted my own to play with, which is great, except for one thing. I don’t know which one to get!

Now, I’ve read the reviews all over the net, and I’ve seen pictures and specs and everything, but I can’t decide between two cameras. The Canon Powershot S50 and the Pentax Optio 555.

I’m learning towards the S50, because my dad has an S45, and I know exactly how the Canon will work, and I really like the S45. Plus, CF cards are the cheapest media around.

Pros of the Pentax camera including the 5x optical zoom as well as a multitude of modes, which I probably don’t need but are fun nonetheless.

Both cameras are of close enough size and weight that those become non-issues to me.

Can anyone tell me anything more about either camera, or why one is superior to another? I’m almost to the point of going and picking out of a hat, although I suppose a trip down to a local electronics store first can’t hurt.

I just got an Olympus c-5060. It supports CF and xD, and has a great wide zoom. It’s a little more, but you get a lot.

My friend just bought the Optio 555 for $350 on E-Bay – when I asked her how she liked it, she replied, “It’s great, but I’m too dumb to use it.”

This wasn’t a really useful post except to say that you can buy it new on E-Bay for considerably less than paying retail and, when comparing between the S50 and the 555, I chose the 555.

I’m not sure if you’ve check out any websites for reviews, but the 2 reviews in the links below are from a really good website. Both feature lots of info and examples of the different things each camera can do. This website was also pretty important in swaying my dad into getting the camera I have.



With that said I’de have to go for the S50, I’ve always been a fan of it and it’s always seemed to get good praise from websites. I just wish I had the money for one…lol. I ended up getting a Minolta Z1 w/ a 10x zoom for xmas and I love it.

I had a similar issue when my dad first got his S45 two years ago. It was tons of fun, but I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily, I know a bit more now, so I know what to look for, I think :-p.

And I’ve seen the camera for about that price at the cheapest retail outlets. Ebay, sometimes I don’t entirely trust it, although it’s usually pretty good. And I heard that the 550 had some major issues that were resolved in the 555.

Yeah, I found that site before and read the reviews, and both give such praise, I really have no idea which is better. I’m hoping that someone on CD has the Pentax camera, and can tell me if it’s really as good as they say it is.

Thanks for the links to the sites though, maybe I’ll read through them again in the hopes of finding something else I missed… :-p

Have you checked out the DPReview forums? Here’s the link: These message boards are a very useful tool, since the people dicussing the cameras are using them, not trying to sell them.

My first real camera (non-digital) was a Pentax P3, and it was a really good camera, so I trust the brand. I’ve never owned a Cannon, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad, my printer is by Cannon and I like it. What it comes down to is what you want with a camera. Out of the two, I would choose the Pentax because it seems to do a lot more, and I’m not interested in a point and shoot camera. However, a lot of the modes the Pentax uses are things that can be done to a photo later in Paint Shop or PhotoShop. The other reason I would pick the Pentax over the Cannon is because of the zoom. But then, I’m a zoom snob and my current camera (Olympus 2100uz) has 10X optical zoom (with image stabilization).


zoom zoom…

I cant speak for either of the cameras you asked about

but if there is any chance you will take photography seriously, here are some things to look for

optical zoom. photos always look better when zoomed in - its very rare that a normal lens or wide angle will give you a photo that looks right unless you hold it right up to your nose, or enlarge it very big. Digital zoom is a marketing scam - all they do is throw away pixels - the more optical zoom range a camera has the more usefull it will be

shutter speeds and F stops. One of the powerfull tools of photography is being able to control the shutter speed to take fast action shots, or to leave the lens open as long as you want for dim light/ night time photos. Its amazing what you can capture on film when you leave the lens open at night on a city scape for a minute or two, or out in the wild for an hour or so.

You might want to check out the new issue of Popular Mechanics for a good article on cutting edge digital cameras with a pretty good price range. Didnt see the article online or else I would post the link.

I have looked at the Digital Photography Review website, but not the forums yet, perhaps I’ll check that out now.

I talked to a teacher at school today, he suggested Olympus or Nikon, but they don’t seem to have a camera that’s not quite a point and shoot and not quite a professional. I didn’t have more than a few minutes to glane at either website though, so I have to check back when I have a bit more time.

I’ll be upfront and say that I’m not familiar with either of those models but we have several Canons where I work and haven’t had any problems with them. We also have two Sonys. I don’t know the model numbers off hand.
Since you’ll be using the camera I’ll say go with whichever you’re more comfortable with. As for me either of those would be a huge upgrade. I haven’t used mine in a while but it’s a five year old HP C200 1 megapixel. Yeah, I seriously need to upgrade. :rolleyes:

I just upgraded from an Epson 1 meg to a Nikon Coolpix 5700… And I’m very happy with it.

My first camera, as well, was a pentax passed down from my father and it still works almost perfectly. Good brand, but I like my Coolpix — good quality, very featured, compactflash…

I had the Canon S30 for quite awhile. It’s a superb point and shoot camera. I’ve gotten a lot of really good pictures out of it. I’d highly recommend any Canon camera.

I recently upgraded to the Canon Digital Rebel which I’ve enjoyed so far.


I bought the Cannon S410 for my trip to Alaska because I wanted a smaller camera for hiking and horseback riding and such. It’s not a bad little camera, but I wouldn’t have bought it if they had small cameras with image stabilization. A lot of the pictures taken during the horseback ride were blurry because of the motion.

Panasonic is supposed to be releasing a small camera with IS, but I don’t know if any other companies will do this or not. Panasonic is also the company that’s makes the 12X zoom (optical) camera with IS, so unless these other camera companies step up the pace, my next camera is going to be a Panasonic. Of course, my next camera will not be purchased until one of the two I have now dies (and this does not mean I can push the little one off of the table).

I have a Pentax Optio 555 it works great. I have a 256 mb card for it and it holds over 430 pictures or over 6 minuets worth of video. Not to mention the pictures are awesome.

I’ve had an Olympus, Nikon, and Canon digital camera (all top of the consumer line at one point in time). There are a whole bunch of things to look for other than picture quality and size in digital cameras and here are a few things I have come across. While my Olympus was the cheapest camera of them all, it had two things I really loved. It used double-a batteries so that I could pop into just about any store and get my camera going again. It was also a Mass USB Storage Device. That means the camera’s media card was mounted and appeared as a drive in Windows. It worked on every computer and operating system I ever had. The Nikon used a standard (but expensive) camera battery but wasn’t Mass USB. My newest Canon neither has regular batteries nor is it a Mass USB device. While those two things seem like trivial little details, I really miss the features on that Olympus on my Canon. It really makes a difference with usability of the camera. You should definitely handle both the cameras before you choose one. Some cameras feel really cheap and are a bit awkward to use and others are built really solid with a great layout.