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Digicams: New Little Megapixel Monsters, Part II

Conclusion

ModelPowerShot S230 / Ixus V3EX-M2Dimâge XiPDR-T30DSC-U10
ManufacturerCaNoCasioMinoltaToshibaSony
Price, US$499$399$449$449$200
Price, Europe599 €399 €599 €549 €299 €
SensorCCD 3.2 megapixelsCCD 2.1 megapixelsCCD 3.3 megapixelsCCD 3.2 megapixelsCCD 1.3 megapixels
Max. image resolution2048 x 15361600 x 12002048 x 15362048 x 15361280 x 960
Image file formatJPEGJPEGJPEG, TIFFJPEGJPEG
Memory included16 MB CF12 MB, internal16 MB, SD16 MB, SD8 MB, Memory Stick
Focal distance5.4 - 10.8 mm7.5 mm5.7-17.1 mm5.8-11.6 mm5 mm
35 mm equivalent35-70 mm (2x)36 mm37-111 mm (3x)38-76 mm (2x)33 mm
Aperturef/2.8- f/4.0f/3.2f/2.8 - f/3.6f/2.8 - f/4f/2.8 - f/8
Shutter speed15 to 1/15001/4 to 1/64002 to 1/10004 to 1/10001/30 to 1/1000
Sensitivity50 to 400 ISONC50 to 400 ISO100 to 400 ISO100 to 320 ISO
AutofocusYesNoYesYesYes
Cradle providedNoYesNoNoNo
LCD screen1.5"1.6"1.5"1.5"1"
ConnectivityUSBUSBUSBUSBUSB
Multimedia functionsVideoVideo, MP3VideoVideoVideo
Power supplyRechargeable Li-ion batteryRechargeable Li-ion batteryRechargeable Li-ion batteryRechargeable Li-ion battery2x AAA NiMh
Dimensions87 x 57 x 27 mm58 x 55 x 12 mm85 x 72 x 20 mm105x54x30 mm85 x 48 x 29 mm
Weight (w/o accessories)180 g90 g155 g170 g118 g

This was a test of five cameras but of two types of product, one micro and the other mini. For the micros, the Sony U10 is an easy winner over the Casio Exilim EX-M2. For the minis, Canon wins by a short head over Minolta because of its colors. But if you want a powerful zoom, then the Dimage Xi should be your choice. The Toshiba PDR-T30 takes nice photos but could do with new ergonomics.

In any event, whether you choose micro or mini, buy an extra memory card. You will not go far with the 8 to 16 MB supplied. If you have fallen for a Casio or Sony, then get a 32 MB card at the same time. And if you go for Canon, Minolta or Toshiba, we advise you to get a 64 MB card at least.