Minolta DiMAGE S414 review
Using DiMAGE S414 Digicam for over six months now. It is my first Digicam and I am a seasoned SLR user. Found S414 a very well ergonimically designed strudy digicam with a lot of manual controls. Auto focus system of S414 is quite satisfactory though at very low light it fails occasionally but not always. Amazing picture quality at this price ! The Menu system is simple and the four way switch functional. The GT Zoom Lense is quiet and shot to shot lag time is pretty low. I don't miss my good old Nikkor lenses anymore. The Live Histogram is a great feature and so is the bracketing system. These are usually found in more expensive Digicams. The LCD is of fairly high resolution and depicts true colors. 4X Optical Zoom is another great feature of this equipment as most of the digicams in this price range have 3X Optical Zoom.
There are a few downsides of S414. The first and foremost is Battery consumption. High capacity NiMH cells of 2200 MaH rating are somewhat ok but you need to carry another set of four fully charged in your camera bag if you don't like to miss some shots.
No Shutter Priority mode poses problems in freezing action shots though this can be handled by going totally manual.
Filters are not readily available due to odd mount size.
CF compartment is too flimsy and clashes with the neck strap eyelet unless you're careful.
Tripod mount is lopsided and position is very odd. I have seen 35mm Rollei Rangefinder having similar mounting.
Purchase of one extra set of NiMH 2200 MaH Battery and atleast a 128 MB CF Card are must alongwith the camera.
Minolta should stop supplying Alkaline Cells with the initial package and should include a 32 MB CF card instead of a 16 MB card.