Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tribute To My Camera

In my personal travels, one thing certainly had been in my top of the list of thing to bring. This is my digital camera.

It was in 2004 when I first bought my own digital camera, a Sony Cybershot DSC-P91. I bought it at around Php26K back then as it was just newly released in the market.

It was in time for my first leisure trip outside the country and my first to Singapore. With it, I was able to capture our moments and memories while we were there and that started my facination with taking pictures.

With the years I had my camera, I've captured quite a number of memories and moments. I was able to bring it on top of the mountain in Mt. Maculot and Banaue, on the beaches of Boracay and Bohol, into the caves of Sagada, up to the Great Wall, and the Grand Canyon.

My Cybershot has produced me very high quality pictures and great flexibility with my choice of using preset modes or doing manual adjustments just like in a DSLR. I loved how I was able to capture beautiful night shots with it though I had to buy a tripod to give me better shots. One good thing with it is that it uses 2 rechargeable AA batteries, which is easy to find in case I lost charge.

Through the years it had been with me, it sadly endured some misfortune like when it was dropped by a photo staff in Disneyland when I was in Los Angeles in 2004. Then in December of 2007, it suffered from the wintery chills in the Grand Canyon when it whites up all zoomed shots. But lastly in 2008 it finally bade goodbye when it plunged down a pool.

Overall, it served me very well and I can say that it had been one of my best properties whom I've bought in a very good price. Irrepairable it may be, I have kept it still as a memorabilia.

Anyways this year, I have acquired a new camera. It is a Canon 450D DSLR camera. Going forward I'm looking into the future of having a very good relationship with my new camera. I'd hope I'd be able to bring as well to odd spots to capture my future memories.

Well, so far from my kid's birthday to our hike to Mount Pinatubo, it has not failed me. But I've still need to take more time to learn all the capabilities of this new camera and maybe later buy an additional lens and flash.


Alone said...

I'm still collecting budget for a dslr. uhuhu.

The Camera Fanatic said...

Outstanding blog. My personal favorite camera is the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS. I wrote a review for it, please let me know what you think:

UPDATE: This camera is currently on sale at Amazon. You can find the link here:

If you need a solid, reliable, and stylish point-and-shoot ultracompact digital camera that produces high-quality images, then the new Canon PowerShot SD1100IS may be right for you.

I am an advanced amateur photographer and own 2 Canon digital cameras (G2 and 20D). Both have served me well over the years but recently I have found myself needing a decent ultracompact camera that I can easily carry with me at all times for unexpected photo-ops.

Other current Canon models that I also researched before my purchase of the "bohemian brown" SD1100IS included the SD950IS and the SD1000.

Here is my take on the SD1100IS:

- 8MP CCD sensor with DigicIII processor (excellent resolution images with good dynamic range)
- Solid construction (most of body made of anodized aluminum)
- Feels sturdy and well-balanced in the hands
- Easy to use (logical user-interface) with minimal need to consult owner's manual for basic operation
- Multiple shooting modes to fit variety of situations (action/sports mode is a glaring omission but read section below to see possibly why)
- Advanced metering system with accurately exposed pics in even "tricky" situations (great balance of highlights and shadows)
- Tack-sharp images (much more so with sufficient lighting and use of built-in flash)
- Macro mode can result in stunning close-ups with outstanding level of detail
- Optical IS feature helpful when shooting in either low-light conditions with flash off or at telephoto lengths
- Fast start-up with acceptable shutter-lag (when not using flash)
- Bright 2.5" LCD monitor (100% coverage, 230k pixels) made of polycrystalline silicon; fairly scratch-resistant (can't vouch if this applies to keys and coins)
- Optical viewfinder (though only a tiny peephole, it is essential when LCD glare and washout become an issue shooting in bright sunlight or when LCD cannot be used as battery power is nearly depleted)
- Camera made in Japan (at least those from the 1st shipment; this easily may be subject to change)

- Lack of manual control over aperture, shutter speed, and focusing (for the obssessive control-freaks)
- Noise is noticeable beginning at ISO 400 (ISO 800 still useable but probably for only 4x6 images; ISO 1600 mostly unuseable)
- Fastest shutter speed is 1/1500 sec (not fast enough to stop action for some sporting activities)
- Auto-focus speed inadequate to follow fast-moving subjects
- Shutter-lag accentuated with flash on (precious Canon moments lost while waiting for flash to recharge)
- Cannot adjust focus or optical zoom while shooting in movie mode (focus is fixed for distance selected at first frame, and digital zoom is permitted instead, resulting in significant image quality deterioration)
- Battery/memory card cover and hinge made of plastic (no safety latch that needs to be de-activated first before sliding cover out, in order to prevent accidental opening)
- Minor vignetting and chromatic aberration (albeit, difficult not to expect from compact p&s)
- Pincushion and barrel distortion at the extremes of the focal lengths
- No RAW shooting mode

Battery power in camera mode with LCD monitor on is mostly as advertised, allowing for approximately 240 images. If your budget permits, I recommend investing in a few spare batteries as backups and replacing the supplied 32MB memory card with a pair of 4GB SDHC memory cards--vital purchases if you plan to use the movie mode frequently.

Overall Impression:
Even with some serious limitations inherent to virtually all digital cameras in this class, I am recommending the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS. It does what it's supposed to do. This camera allows one to take beautiful photographs in an ultracompact, reliable, and elegant device that is both easy and fun to use.

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