Fuji F20 and a brief Canon PowerShot SD630 review

I haven’t blogged about this, but I recently picked up a Canon PowerShot SD630 to replace our SD200 as the LCD on it stopped working, I am less than impressed with the SD630. I knew the F30 would be a MUCH better camera in terms of image quality and UI, but it doesn’t look as cute to her… Now this up-coming F20 got all the great stuff on the F30 but is smaller and cuter, IMO… Niiiiiiice!!!!

A few words about the Canon PowerShot SD630… I actually didn’t consider anything else besides another SD-series PowerShot, and I didn’t even look at their sample images. I was very happy with my S100 and the SD200 took pretty decent pictures… so I assumed the SD630 can’t be all bad, WRONG!! Basically the high ISO performance on the SD630 just SUCKS, and by that I mean it’s close to all noise!! In daylight the CA is so bad that you can forget about looking at the images in full res, coz all the highlights will look purple. The Canon P&S UI (and I guess some will argue their D-SLR UI as well), just plain SUCKS. All their PowerShots got this swtich to choose between Preview, Video, and Camera. After you take a picture, the instant preview doesn’t allow zoom (UPDATE: I was wrong about this), and if you’re like me who likes to check the historgrams, and then view the images at 1:1 to check sharpness, you have to flip that switch every single time, which quickly becomes a PITA. Maybe I am spoiled by the noise control on my 20D and the quality of my lenses, but still, both the sensor and the lens plain suck on the SD630. The camera however looks damn good, the 3″ LCD is a nice touch (though image quality on it sucks, just compare it to one of the Sony digicams)…

The SD630 also has no manual control whatsoever, which is ok, but the F30 costs less and got full manual controls. So if anyone is considering getting a new digicam at this price range, go for the F30, or wait for the F20. There is also the SD700 IS, which sports a better lens, but same sensor as the SD630. So maybe at least the CA will be better. The SD700 IS will set you back further by about a hundred bucks, so I’d def go for the Fuji instead. Their superb noise control at high ISO settings will beat the shit of the the IS on the SD700.

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  1. ayn blog » The Fujifilm FinePix F40fd, 3 steps backward? - January 4, 2007

    […] I don’t own the Fuji digicams, in face I don’t have a point-and-shoot camera myself since I sold my PowerShot S100, but I have photographer friends who use them and I’ve seen really great outputs (of course their PS skills have a lot to do with it too). Mainly the reason why I recommend the Fuji digicams is because of their excellent noise control at high sensitivity (ISO) settings, the F30 even have ISO 3200. People use their digicams indoor like at parties and clubs, where there isn’t a lot of available light, if the camera doesn’t have good noise control at high ISO settings, they will be force to use the flash or have pictures with motion blur. Motion blur is unforgivable IMO, and straight on-camera flash, especially when the flash is close to the lens, like on most small digicams, almost always suck. When you use a camera that gives you an option to use an external flash, like D-SLRs or “high end” digicams like the Canon G-series, you could usually move flash to bounce the light on a surface (like upward to a white ceiling) to have better lighting angle, softer light, and just plain more flattering light. There are also a ton of light modifiers for these flash units, such as portable softboxes, flash brackets that move the flash unit up high above the camera, and Pocket Bouncers, they all make photographs with flash look better by modifying the quality or direction of the light. Also, our minds get used to the sun being up at the sky so any artificial light that doesn’t come from up above usually looks strange to us. […]

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