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During Christmas last year while visiting my parents, I decided not to bring my bulky Pentax camera. Instead, I wanted to just borrow one of my dad's cameras. So he let me use his Canon S100 Digital Elph. It was the first time I've used a digital camera. And I was quite impressed by it. It was easy to use and took very good pictures. The software was also not bad. My dad had a CD burner, so I was able to bring home a CD with all the pictures I took.

Since then, I had an eye towards buying a digital Elph. Then when my faithful Pentax camera for over 10 years jammed the film for the first time, I decided it was time to get a digital camera. At that time Wolf camera was having a special for the Nikon Coolpix 2500 for Father's day. It was $350 and they'd throw in a weather radio and $100 worth of coupons. But there were two major drawbacks of the Coolpix 2500. One is that it doesn't have an optical viewfinder. Two is that it doesn't have A/V out to a TV. How can you have a digital camera without these two features?

The Minolta DiMAGE X was also considered. But it just came out on the market, while the Elph had gone through several iterations. Also, the Elph would be more convenient when I visit my parents so I can use his cables and software. So, I decided on getting the digital Elph. I considered the S330. But why would I pay $100 more just to get a 1X optical zoom improvement?

After doing some price comparisons, I decided to buy from IBuyDigital. They sold it for only $289. They had some good reviews at Reseller Ratings, so decided to go for it. After I ordered online, they sent me an email asking to call them back to confirm the order. Of course, the real reason was to cross-sell accessories. They said the 8Mb card was not enough. They were having a special for a accessory pack for $99. (Of course they were) I asked how much additional memory I'd get. He said 32 Mb. (Is that it?!) So I said I'd consider it after I got my camera. Then he replied the special would not be going on then. (Of course it wouldn't) It shipped the next day and 2 days afterwards, I received it in good condition.

Here are some improvements in the S200 over the S100:
- Movie mode
- Auto picture orientation
- Panoramic stitch mode
- Better button placement
- Direct to printer

The only major complaint of the digial Elphs is that the CF and battery doors seem very fragile. Others have complained that the 8Mb is inadequate. But I'd rather have a low price and find a cheap CF card for myself. The other day I was able to get a 128 Mb CF for $60 from Costco.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the S200. For under $400 total, you get a very small camera that can take lots of good pictures.

More info:
Canon Powershot Home
DCRP Review: Three Small 2 MP Cameras

Posted: 2002-06-27 15:18:48

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