Since I’ve been running a fairly popular website for 8 years, and blogging for about 3 years, and I’m always afraid that I’ll drop my wife’s digital camera as I roll down a hill on a skateboard while shooting pictures of another skateboarder…
…today I got my own digital camera. It’s still too nice to drop, but at least if I do I’m not in trouble. haha — ha —
Anyway, here is what I got — the Canon PowerShot SD750
After researching this for a while, I came to a few conclusions. 1) I wanted something I could have in my pocket. 2) I like the menu system and controls of Canon cameras. 3) Finally, if you read too many camera reviews, it will drive you crazy.
When buying a truely compact digital camera there are some tradeoffs. None of them have a lot of optical zoom. This one has 3x optical zoom. In a camera this size, that’s about as much as you will find. If you read reviews on CNET or similar sites, keep in mind that they can really knit-pick. For example, they harped on the “purple fringe” on some of this camera’s pics. Sure — if you take a shot, and then blow up a tiny section 4x you might see it, but I have to say that so far I think the quality is fine. If you are really that freaked out about having perfect image quality, you need to spend money on a digital SLR, not a compact point and shoot camera. I have to say though that CNET was a really useful site. They gave me just enough good info, without overwhelming me with technical data.
Some other good points: This camera has really big, nice screen. It doesn’t have an optical viewfinder — big deal. Not important to me. The controls and menu system are very easy to use. I like the fact that the text/symbols on the control buttons are actually legible – you can see them. Good stuff.
The burst mode will crank out a series of images pretty fast. Cool. I’ve been playing with the various settings — trying different ISO settings, the Macro setting, etc. The automatic red-eye removal is magic. Very, very cool. The facial recognition actually works.
The Auto mode is great. In manual you can do some interesting stuff. Blah, blah, blah. Obviously I like my new camera. But I’m not a fan-boy. If it sucked, I’d say it sucks. But its a good camera.
Sooooo….if you are looking for a nice compact in the range of $280 – $300, this would be a good choice.
My previous post contains a few of the first images I took.
How does it do with action shots? Is there a delay between pressing the shutter button and when the picture actually snaps?
Also can you change depth of field, like changing the F stop on a traditional camera?
I’m not actually sure yet. You can’t really change the f stop. Shutter lag is a problem on nearly all digital cameras. The older ones have lags of a second of more. This one, according to CNET and other sources, has a lag of about .5 seconds. Not too bad. Even with some of the more expensive SLRs, I’ve seen shutter lags longer than that. More $$ doesn’t seem to translate directly to quicker shutter response. It will require getting used to, but it isn’t too bad. My wife has an old Canon SD10, and she has gotten excellent action shots with it. I think it will depend a lot on other settings, like ISO, etc.
Here is one that she shot:
It also has a pretty good burst mode, which will be cool for action shots. There is some good software for combining such shots into one image sequences.
The way I figure, with a film camera you may have very little shutter lag, but you don’t know until you develop the film if the shot is even good. This way you can get used to the lag and plan for it, and it doesn’t cost anything.
Heading to Mexico in the morning. I’ll be taking lots of pics.
I just bought this camera. I didn’t realize until today that it has no action/sports mode. My kid plays soccer and I like to take a few pics from each game. Anway you can give me some advice on what settings to put my camera on for these kinds of shots? I’m not an enthusiast, I just like good pics. 🙂
While in Mexico, I got some good shots at a soccer game by 1)going to manual mode, 2)putting the camera on burst mode and 3)trying a couple of faster ISO settings. Then I’d just fire off the camera when some action was going down, and I ended up getting some good shots. Frankly, I don’t think any camera at this level will be great for something like soccer. Soccer is just hard to shoot. Just try the burst mode and get a nice, big card. Also, once you are used to the small shutter lag, you will compensate for it.