Help me choose a camera -- SD870is, or A720is? or... - General Discussion and Assistance - CHDK Forum

Help me choose a camera -- SD870is, or A720is? or...

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Help me choose a camera -- SD870is, or A720is? or...
« on: 25 / May / 2008, 21:04:50 »
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I would like to purchase a camera specifically to use and develop CHDK. I'm looking for the "best" camera for me.

My requirements:
*No more than 8mp.
*small size is a plus (no S3is, S5is)
*Image stabilization (this is what I want to hack/play with).
*As many CHDK features as possible.

By "as many CHDK features as possible" I mean that I don't want to make many compromises. I know that the SD/ixus series don't have a proper aperture -- just ND filters, but are there other things that they don't have? Are there things they can't do? The SD/ixus form factor is very attractive to me -- smaller is better -- but I will go for functionality over form.

Your thoughts and advice would be very appreciated. And if you think there is some other "better" camera than one of these, please let me know.

*

Offline BB

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Re: Help me choose a camera -- SD870is, or A720is? or...
« Reply #1 on: 25 / May / 2008, 22:49:49 »
The A720IS is probably the best bang for the buck in terms of picture quality and out of the box functions... S5is is going to give you better much video and audio.

The A570is should also be looked at--a nice, slightly smaller camera. But it is also the original "WindRiver OS" that was originally supported by CHDK. It supports both auto and manual loading of CHDK (A720is only supports auto-loading). Also, the video compression/quality options are supported in WindRiver (A570is) and not yet supported in A720is (and other "Dry OS" cameras).

There are a few other buried differences between WR and Dry OS cameras (long file name support in WindRiver, 8.3 by Dry OS)--for the most part, it probably does not matter to me (and I purchased the A720is)--but depending on your needs the WR/Dry OS may be of issue for your uses...???? Things are constantly changing--so you may need to do a bit of searching here in the support forum on particular cameras for the exact features you need (like manual focus, or a rotating screen, and--my preference--AA NiMH batteries with option to use AA Lithium for very long life/cold weather use).

In the end, price may be very important too... Would you prefer two cheaper Axxx cameras or one SDxxx--would you worry more about leaving the expensive camera out when doing time-lapse and such.

-Bill

Re: Help me choose a camera -- SD870is, or A720is? or...
« Reply #2 on: 25 / May / 2008, 23:08:42 »
Thanks Bill -- that's exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping for. I suspect that DryOS functions will quickly catch up to the WindRiver stuff, but the A570 also has a form factor much closer to what I was looking for... I think it might be the camera of choice.

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Offline BB

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Re: Help me choose a camera -- SD870is, or A720is? or...
« Reply #3 on: 26 / May / 2008, 00:34:03 »
You are very welcome Daniel.  :)

One thing to add... Adding features / porting new functions does not happen quickly or easily. Some volunteer somewhere spent many days or months tracing through code and functions trying to figure out what each piece of hardware/software/port does.

The Dry OS video functions may eventually be decoded and implemented--but only after somebody does the work because they want to see what they can do with their camera.

I admit--I am amazed at how fast things are implemented and debugged here. Just want to give recognition and a big thanks to the CHDK developers!  :xmas

A couple of other points... The A570IS does not support the external barrel for filters or attaching teleconverter/macro lenses. I don't plan on using this for my A720is as the good Canon lenses are almost as expensive as the whole A720 in the first place. And the "EBay specials" (like the telephoto) are so poor--one would be better off just using digital zoom in the camera or Photo Shop as this produces better IQ than the after-market lenses.

And avoid the A590is for now--At this point it appears that Canon may have taken some Anti-CHDK steps that make it very difficult to even begin dumping the firmware... Maybe someday--but not soon.

Also, the A590 only has 20fps video--In the end, something to avoid as long as the A570 and A720 are available as bookends.

-Bill


Re: Help me choose a camera -- SD870is, or A720is? or...
« Reply #4 on: 26 / May / 2008, 00:48:11 »
Believe me, I'm aware of the difficulty of porting and implementing new features -- I was involved in the first bits of porting CHDK to the SD630. So yes, absolutely, much respect and many thanks to the developers around here.

I agree that the A590/80 seem like poor choices at this point. My main complaint with the A720 was the size/form factor -- I really dislike the big hump at the top and don't need the viewfinder at all. I found an A570 locally for just 149$, which is 50$ cheaper than the A720 as well as smaller and more aesthetically pleasing to me.

Hopefully I'll have the camera in-hand tomorrow morning. I'll start fleshing out the missing info on the Wiki and see what interesting tricks can be done with the image stabilization system. Thanks again for your thoughts.

 

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