Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Toy or Tool?


Technology changes so quickly that it is hard to keep up with what it new in computers, smart phones and cameras, to name a few gadgets. I have lost track of the number of computers I have purchased in the past 15 years.

I bought a Canon Powershot S3IS a couple of years ago and added a 1.5x teleconvertor which gave me 18x optical zoom, great for closeups of birds and people at a distance. My brother bought the S5IS last year and I was impressed with the improvements in his camera compared to mine.


My husband knows I enjoy taking pictures and he encouraged me to get a DSLR and some "big glass", but I was reluctant to walk around with that much camera hanging around my neck. A 500 mm lens is quite long and expensive.


After some research, I decided to stay with a familiar camera and upgraded to a Canon Powershot SX10 IS which has a 20X optical zoom without a teleconvertor. And I am very happy with my purchase (for less than $400 cdn), which I bought with an option of return within 30 days if I didn't like it. It is not bulky, does not slow me down when I walk, and the 20X zoom is equivalent to a 550mm telephoto lens. There is no doubt that DSLRs take superior pictures, but I will stick with a point and shoot (that has lots of manual options) for now.

Full moon, taken by The Becka with my camera (hand held)

I am looking forward to going to Winterlude this weekend and hope to have unlimited opportunities to use the new camera. And maybe I will take the time to read the manual instead of relying on my usual hack and shoot style of photography.

23 comments:

  1. Nothing like a new camera..I guess I am a 'hack and shoot' person..I need to sit and study my newer camera, but I won't take it out in bad weather anyway. How did you get that moon. I just get blurry blobs for a moon...

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  2. Ruth, I like the results you get with your Canon Powershot SX10 IS. There are times and places where I still prefer my Kodak point and shoot (10x zoom). But I do wish it had a larger zoom, and as you mentioned, it certainly costs lots less than a long lens and easier to carry.

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  3. I love new cameras. Yours sound great with the 20zoom. I have a 15 and it works pretty well.

    I love the pictures of the moon you were able to get with it. It showed the closeup perfectly.

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  4. Those photos are wonderful Ruth! Good choice. At times, I wish I'd gone the route of a more portable point and shoot as, you are right, carrying around so much camera can get tiring.

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  5. RW- I didn't take the moon picture, my daughter did. She has a young, steady hand. I have had to use a tripod to get good moon shots.

    Mary- Your new camera takes great pictures and shows the difference in quality with a DSLR. But to the average eye, the difference is not always that significant.

    Kim- My last camera had a 12X zoom and took good pictures. Yours is capable of a lot of auto and manual variaton too.

    Jayne- The birds don't come to my house like they do for you so I end up walking a lot to see them. That is why I stuck with the lighter camera.

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  6. It's a tool all right. I have a clunky Nikon and I know what you mean about carrying it and the lens around. My husand has the Canon Powershot and loves it. No lens changes, just pull it out and shoot.

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  7. Wow, Ruth, I especially love that moon shot! What fun to get a new toy/tool that is so effective and satisfying!

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  8. Ruth: Wonderful information on the cameras. I have been wondering what to do and you may have made up my mind. How does it do on flying bird photos? I have trouble with my Canon SX100IS in getting those captures.

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  9. Your new camera takes wonderful photos. That moon shot was soooo cool. I'm sure you will put it to good use and get hours of enjoyment out of it.

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  10. A new camera,that is so exciting.Hope it gives you much enjoyment.I'm waiting to see the pictures.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  11. You are the second person I've read today that has a new camera. I sure would like a 20x zoom. 6x just doesn't cut it where birds are concerned ... or other critters either for that matter. But I just got my camera last March so I will suck it up for now ... unless they have one like yours for points on Air Miles!! I too don't want the bulk of a DSLR because I know I would not pack in on long hikes or skis. You'll have to let me know how you like your new one.

    I tend to hack and shoot too ... but eventually get around to reading the manual!

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  12. I use the hack and shoot method myself most of the time as I want the phtos to illustrate the story and not be the story. I am in too much of a hurry to fuss with settings. Still, I do like the SLR function, but my camrea does get heavy to lug around. Have fun this weekend!

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  13. Hi Ruth....I love your photographs anyway.....you seem to have an affinity with your camera. I am impatient with anything technical, so it is pot luck most of the time.

    Have fun with your new camera, look forward to seeing what you can achieve......

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  14. Wowzie wow. Great photos--and now, you have me dashing off to check out the specs on the Canon Powershot SX10 IS.
    I have the Canon Powershot S3IS now, and there are times when I get a bit frustrated--not sure that I need a new one but. . .you can never have too many cameras. Oh, I didn't say that out loud, did I? I was just thinking.

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  15. Becka has steady hands! Lovely Photos!

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  16. I'm with you Ruth...a lighter camera allows for comfort walking. I remember you once said that you would spend more money on a better set of binoculars then a camera. Whatever you are doing...you are doing a great job. Your camera has brought us more beautiful photos then I could ever imagine. The shot of the moon is amazing. I wonder if Becka will move the camera to a bird? Have a wonderful weekend at Winterlube.

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  17. I'm in the market for a new camera, so I was glad to read your post and see what wonderful photos your new camera takes.

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  18. DSLR's are great, but they are bulky. I seldom use mine.

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  19. You take wonderful photos and DSLR's are nice but you know that many of my pictures are also taken with my Point and shoot! Keep up the great work and I think you made a good decision!

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  20. Thanks to the rest who commented. As for shots of flying birds...the start up speed on this camera is longer than most DSLRs. I have taken the odd good shot of flying birds, but you have to be lucky or anticipate where they will be. The continuous shooting mode works well if the light is good.

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  21. Your pictures are always great Ruth--old camera or new!

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  22. oh love the photos you take...I have camera envy..becuase my point and shoot is tiny..and the only way to get close ups is when I digascope..
    Maybe you could do a blog showing off your beautiful camera..
    humm..but then you wouldnt have a camera to take a picture of your camera...never mind.
    I was just curious as to how big and bulky..as I havent purchased another camera because of size.
    I could never capture a photo of the moon like that with my camera.
    Awesome...and no tripod..
    I think you should get a Dslr and give me your camera...tee hee

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