Digital camera comparison and Nikon S500 review

Here are a few photos and review that compare a Nikon D50 dslr with a Nikon Coolpix S500 compact digital with a Canon SD100 compact digital. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to see which photo it is. Click on the thumbnails to see full sized pictures, you may need to be a bit patient the first time you try to view the photo.

Nikon D50Nikon S500Canon SD100

Nikon D50 enlargedNikon S500 enlargedCanon SD100 enlarged

My overall impression of the Nikon S500 is fairly positive. In the camera shops I was comparing it to the likes of the Casio EX-V7, the Canon SD800is, Canon SD1000, Pentax A30, Sony W55, etc. The selling points for me was the size of the S500, the cost, and the fact that it has mechanical image stabilization.

A lot of cameras are claiming image stabilization these days, but in fact all they are doing is pumping up the ISO setting of the camera. This results in horrible photos in my opinion. A photo taken with an ISO of 800 or higher is going to be graining as hell, and no one will care if it is blurred or not. The Casio, Canon SD800is, Pentax and Canon SD800is all have true image stabilization. However, the Canon was significantly more expensive. The Pentax was priced similarly but I am under the impression that the optics in the Nikon may be better. The Pentax feels a bit more comfortable in the hand though. I also really liked the Canon SD1000, even though it didn’t have image stabilization. The SD1000 was about the same size as the S500. Size was definitely a high priority for me. This is where the Casio fell down as well, I just wasn’t happy with its size despite that it is a small camera. The Casio comes with a 7X zoom though, so if you like shooting at higher telephoto ranges then definitely take a look at the Casio.

The D50 produced the most accurate colors than the S500, but in this photo the S500 is sharper! I’m not sure why, I think I was fooled by the red-eye reduction on the D50 (I usually don’t use red-eye flash) and I probably moved the camera while the shutter went. Below is another picture of Emma with the D50, and this one looks a lot sharper.
D50 enlarged

Here a few more photos using the S500. The one with dials was shot at 1/7s using the image stabilization! Very sharp for such a low shutter speed… This is a large file (so you can see how sharp it is), so please be patient with it loading.
S500 shutter speed 1/7sS500 red flowerS500 white flower

I’m not sure if we’ll keep the camera. Although the sharpness and increased resolution from the SD100 to the S500 is appreciated (7MP vs. 2.1MP), I’m not sure if it’s worth the $390 price tag. The S500 isn’t that much smaller than the SD100, so that isn’t much of an incentive. However, I recall that when we made a bunch of prints of the kids recently, I was quite disappointed with the photo quality of the SD100. I’ve always been critical of the quality because of the low resolution. It’s this improvement that may make the S500 worth every penny.

Retaliatory Feedback on Ebay

I just realized today that someone has left me a negative feedback on ebay. It is obviously a retaliatory feedback because I had left the other person (the seller) negative feedback. I’m not sure how often this happens on ebay, but it doesn’t surprise me. On many occasions I have received emails from other ebay users where they say things “Thanks for doing business with me. If you leave me positivie feedback I will do the same for you.” While I don’t really like the way that these things are passed along, it isn’t a big deal because almost every one of my ebay experiences have been positive.

The root of this particular auction with the negative feedback is very simple. I bid on a waterproof camera case for my Canon digital camera. I chose this particular auction because it was advertised as being new, and it included the case, a carrying strap, silicon grease and anti-fogging liquid.
After winning the auction, I paid within a few days using the payment method (Paypal) preferred by the seller, and included the neccessary charges for shipping and handling. Within about 2 weeks the item arrived which I thought was pretty good timing. The case was in pretty good condition although it wasn’t new. There were marks on the lens that indicated that it had been used at some point. Nothing else was included in the shipment. Clearly the items were not sent as advertised. A few days later I sent an email to the seller via the ebay messaging system. Because the message went through ebay I don’t have a copy of it. I basically said that the item was not received as advertised and that I wanted to talk to the seller in order to come to some agreement. I still didn’t receive a response from the seller after about 3 weeks so I assumed that he was blowing me off. At this point I left him feedback: Seller’s feedback

It didn’t take long after the negative feedback that I finally heard back from the guy. On April 8 I received a message from skymountainlake via ebay. The message read as follows.
“Hi, I am sorry, I did not get your message on time.recently I could not find
the coming stuff, so if you take off that feed back you left it to me,I
will send $5 refund to you. please let me know if it is ok.
Thank you”

The message came from the email address

Okay, so this is not big deal. I didn’t know much about removing feedback and I don’t need $5. So I sent an email to which read:
It looks like it is impossible to remove/delete feedback.
However, two members (you and I) can agree to mutually remove feedback.
Information is here:

If this was an honest mistake, then I do not mind going through the =
process of mutual feedback removal. You do not need to leave feedback first,
although of course you are entitled to (good or bad, it is up to you). =
Once we submit a mutual feedback removal form, you will not be able to leave
Since the comments are kept but the rating is removed, I may wish to first
reply to my own feedback and say that the seller made an honest mistake.
Then we fill out the form. The negative feedback is removed and the
comments remain.


I figure that was a nice enough response given the situation. On April 9 I get another email from the guy, only this time it is from the address The email read
Please take off the feed back you left it to me, then I will send $5 refund
to you. if you do not do this,I will send a same feed back to you.
Thank you”

It was at this point that I realized that I was dealing with an asshole who doesn’t know how to read. If he could read, he would know that a person cannot remove feedback. I told him this, and even sent him a link in ebay that describes the process. On top of this, the guy is blatantly threatening me and basically trying to bribe me for a positive feedback for $5.

I then responded to him again. I probably should have known at this point that I was wasting my time but what the heck.

It looks like it is impossible to remove/delete feedback.
However, two members (you and I) can agree to mutually remove feedback.
Information is here:
If this was an honest mistake, then I do not mind going through the process
of mutual feedback removal. You do not need to leave feedback first,
although of course you are entitled to (good or bad, it is up to you). Once
we submit a mutual feedback removal form, you will not be able to leave

I do not need $5 back from you. However, I am interested in hearing why you
would send “same feed back to me.” I paid promptly as required, why would
you leave negative feedback? I left you negative feedback because you did
not send items that you advertised on your auction and you did not respond
to my email sent through ebay.

Please see the attached email I sent you yesterday. I was prepared to send
mutually remove feedback, but I do not like your threat to leave “same feed
back to you.”

You need to respond to me with an explanation of your threat, and whether or
not you wish to proceed with the mutual withdraw feedback.”

I didn’t have any intention on retracting feedback unless the guy came up with a damn good explanation. In any event, I never heard from him again until I saw his negative feedback on me.

The email messages (outlook messages) and auction details can be downloaded HERE if anyone is interested in seeing the actual correspondence.

Nikon D50 or Canon XTi: choosing a dSLR

Here it is, another layman’s technology review. Read with caution because I’ve never actually even seen or used a Canon XTi.

I’ve been biased towards Nikon cameras for some time, but there probably isn’t any real reason to pick one over the other if you are starting out in dSLR. Certainly if you already had some Nikon compatible lenses your decision would swing towards Nikon. That would probably be the easiest way to decide between these cameras.

I’m not even sure if the D50 is a current model for Nikon, it may have been superseded by the D40. The D40 is quite similar I understand. I think its metering isn’t as good as the D50 and it is a bit cheaper. I think they both come with the same lens.

I’ve had a few Nikons and Canons for comparison Read the rest of this entry »

Bought a new digital camera

I managed to sell my Olympus C7070 for about $650US on ebay! So with that money, and money I expect to make from selling my spotmeter and Nikon N80, I bought a new Nikon D50 with the lens kit (18-55mm lens). I extremely happy with it so far, I’ll be posting some pictures made with it soon. If you have any questions about this camera, let me know and I’ll see if I can answer them.