DPReview looks at Optio 430, DiMAGE S404 / X, Coolpix 5000!|
(Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 14:53 EDT)
Two new reviews, an update and a second opinion from our friendly competitors at the Digital Photography Review...
Phil Askey over at the DPReview website has posted two new reviews over the last couple of days, looking at cameras from Pentax and Minolta. In the first, he considers Pentax's tiny Optio 430, a four megapixel update to the company's previous Optio 330 model:
"The Optio 430 is simply a four megapixel verison of the Optio 330. In the upgrade from three to four megapixels you would expect notably more resolution, and while images are larger and measured resolution is slightly higher the overall advantage is far from clear. That said there are a lot of nice features, the visual white balance selection, live histogram, good control over image processing algorithms, plenty of detailed exposure information in playback mode and a manual exposure mode (unusual in an ultra-compact)." Once you're done with Phil's review, you can get a second opinion from our own look at the camera, and you'll also find more thoughts in the Steve's Digicams and Digital Camera Resource Page reviews.
Size isn't the decision-maker for you and you're looking for a camera with a few more features (such as say, a 4x optical zoom lens)? If so, perhaps the DiMAGE S404 from Minolta is the camera for you... Phil concludes:
"The S404 really is the dark horse of the four megapixel bunch. Yet when you consider its feature set; four megapixels, four times optical zoom lens, well implemented buffering, good control over internal processing etc. You soon see that at $500 the S404 is beginning to look like a bit of a bargain. The S404 isn't just an S304 with a higher resolution CCD either, there are lots of little tweaks and improvements which have helped to make this a better camera. Overall the S404 delivers an excellent set of features with very good image quality at an amazingly low price." Phil's review is based on a production-level camera, and you'll also find a production-level review at Steve's Digicams. You can get further opinions in our own review, with the caveat that at the moment we've only looked at a prototype model which may not accurately reflect final image quality.
Moving on, there's an updated review from Phil of the Minolta DiMAGE X, the incredibly slim 3x optical zoom digicam which achieves its' svelte proportions through the use of a prism to fold the optical path to the lens. The review was published last January based on a prototype camera, but the conclusions have now been updated based on a final production-level model:
"The 'X' may well be one of the most innovative digital cameras to date, it's super-slim proportions, great looks and excellent startup times are just what we'd expect from a modern digital camera. It's so easy to use you can pick it up for the first time and start shooting. And look at the price, just $400 is really very good for this segment of the market. This ultra-compact was almost the best on the market. Unfortunately you know what a stickler I am for image quality. The X's images just don't live up to a modern compact / ultra-compact 2 megapixel, they're soft and have visible ghosting artifacts (probably from the prism mirror). Add to this my recent discovery of the quite visible vignetting and overall it's a bit of a disappointment." We posted our own production-level DiMAGE X review on March 22nd, and you can get a second opinion there. A third opinion comes courtesy of Steve Sanders, whilst as we noted in another item Jeff Keller at the Digital Camera Resource Page has just posted a comparison of this camera against the PowerShot S330 and Coolpix 2500...
Finally, Phil has added a second opinion to his review of Nikon's 5 megapixel Coolpix 5000 digicam. DPReview contributor Vincent Bockaert used the CP5000 on a trip to Cambodia in January 2002, and in the process had time to not only evaluate the camera, but the accessory lenses as well... So, the DPReview site has your first and second opinions covered - allow us to provide your third. We looked at the camera in September of last year, and updated the review with production-level samples and conclusions in December... You'll find your fourth and fifth opinions (in case you *really* like to read everything possible before laying down your hard-earned cash!) from the folks at Steve's Digicams and the Digital Camera Resource Page...