Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The digital camera expedition

I had to look for a new camera these days. My parents needed one (the last one I got them was abducted by my brother), so I will give them my great Olympus 750 and I will get the new one.

I gave it a lot of thought as to which camera I should buy. All this time I was using the bulky Olympus, I was saying to myself that I would get a tiny one, one that I can carry everywhere around and take fast pictures. Andrew's Canon SD400 seemed ideal, since it's tiny and fast and takes great video, so I decided to do a test drive. He never takes pictures of places or outdoors like I do, so I went outside on campus and took the same pictures with his camera and my Olympus. It turned out I didn't like what i saw: the colors (especially the whites) were saturated, the details were always blurry, and the vividness not that great. Olympus has great vivid colors (it was a $500 camera back then!). The SD400 takes great pictures indoors, especially faces under dark environments with flash, but I was dissapointed outside. Also due to her mini size it only has x3 zoom only. So that's gone.

So I had to turn and look into bigger sizes, my next candidates were Canon A610 and Canon S2.

The 610 is similar to the one I got for Dora (A510), it just has 5MP instead of 4MP, and the new ultra fast DigicII processor. Other than that it is the same: 4x zoom, small/medium size, video, very nice pictures, and you can add your own lenses. If I were to buy that ($280) I would buy the lenses too for extra zoom and stuff (an extra $120). And I liked the pictures it took, they have nice bright colors and good detail. Not quite as good as the Olympus, but very close.

Now the S2 is even bulkier than my Olympus. It doesn't fit in any pocket. However she is packed with super cool stuff: 12x zoom fast, huge lens, Image Stabilizer(yes!), pop-out screen, high flash, awesome video 640x480 30fps w/stereo sound and zoom and many more others. It costs $450. But it is quite bigger than the A610, if you get something bigger you just get a DSLR!

So I pondered for a while as to which camera I should buy. Small and OK, or big and great? I went to Best Buy to play with them a little bit, and they looked nice. I just didn't know what to do.

Then I read some reviews on about the S2 that made me come up with w decision. It's a certain type of review that you can only find it for the S2 and not at the A610. For example:

I have been able to get some great hummingbird and quail pictures with this camera.

I have taken pics in las vegas with this camera and just turned out to be fantastic especially when I used the night vision mode. And the red-eye reduction is also good.

I have taken this to grand canyon and taken panaromic views and they are just great. not all cameras come with a feature where you can overlap pictures.

I took a picture of my cousin from the 86th Floor of the Empire State Building down to the 24th Floor of the building next door and I could make him out fine.

You can't take great pictures without a great lense. This is a great lense. You also can't take great pictures in an indoor large room (hall, ballroom, convention, etc) without a big lense. This is a big lense. You can't take a massively zoomed in picture without image stabilization or a tripod. This has fantastic image stabilization.

While I was reading these reviews, I felt very comfortable. That was because I saw myself into these people; these are the things that I would like to do with my camera, this is the type of review that I would write. I can't take the camera everywhere, but then again I am not that type of person: I like photos of environments, beautiful landscapes, and majestic sunsets. This, this is the camera for me.