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Minolta S414 is a very nice camera for beginners or novice users in the price range of $329-$399. You can take full control of the camera by switching from Auto to Manual. You control shutter speeds with half step increments from 1/1000 to 4 seconds, apertures, change from auto focus to manual focus and adjust focus approximate distance from subject, which is displayed at the bottom of the LCD.
Auto mode allows hassle free operation, you can control flash modes, frame advance, and exposure compensation, and all other options are fixed.
Shoot continuous frames with a maximum rate of 1.6 fps. Number of frames varies from approximately 6 to 53 frames depending on size and quality; this feature does not work in the TIFF quality.

Approximate file sizes:
	2272x1704	1600x1200	1280x960	640x480		
TIFF 12MB 5.7MB 3.7MB 1.0MB
Fine 2MB 1.0MB 720KB 320KB
Standard 1.2MB 650KB 460KB 240KB
Economy 750KB 430KB 330KB 190KB


Approximate number of images on a 16MB memory card
		
TIFF 1 2 3 13
Fine 6 12 17 34
Standard 11 19 26 42
Economy 17 27 33 48


Continuous Advance
						
Fine 6 10 15 33
Standard 9 16 23 43
Economy 14 24 31 53


Pros (More features than listed)
• Crystal clear LCD monitor helps you see if you want to keep or trash the photo
• 4X optical zoom for zooming in on those hard to get to places or do not want to move to spoil the shot (Equivalent to a 35-140mm zoom on a 35mm camera, Digital X2 zoom equivalent to 300mm)
• Image sizes from 2272 X 1704, 1600 X 1200, 1280 X 960, or 640 X 480.
• 4 quality settings of TIFF, Fine, Standard, or Economy.
• ISO settings are Auto, 64, 100, 200, and 400.
• White balance settings are Cloudy, Daylight, Tungsten, or Fluorescent
• EXIF information embedded into each picture
• Movie recording with sound can be recorded up to 60 seconds
• DPOF version 1.1 Digital Print Order Format allows direct printing by taking CompactFlash card to a photo finishing service or insert in compatible printers.
• Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

Cons

• Strap ring gets caught in side door. (Attach strap)
• Camera interface might not work well with WIN98 (Purchase card reader)

Final Thoughts
If using WIN98se get a USB CompactFlash card reader, or even for any OS, Saves batteries and is super fast. Battery life is approximately 2 hours, I recommend getting rechargeable batteries and charger. Purchase an additional 256MB CompactFlash card. Any bad photos are probably user error and not the camera. I am happy with mine and would purchase another Minolta product based on the quality of this unit. If youre looking for a 4MP camera, this one is tough to beat.

This review has been re-published at the wishes of the original writer, and the name kept undisclosed.

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by DavisPhotog See Profile
last modified: 2003-08-26 10:22:02