December 25, 2005

Can a canon?

A couple of years ago in Singapore, I bought myself a little Sony DSC-U10 camera, one of the smallest digital cameras at the time (and probably still is the smallest 1+Mp camera). This was my "carry everywhere" camera, where I could be sure to never miss the action as it was small enough that not having it on me was no excuse.

It served me quite well, and it's great to have a pocket camera around the place when going out, and even had great use on the ski fields. My much larger Minolta is my high quality serious photography camera, but just too impractical for many locations.

Alas, at only 1 megapixel and with no zoom, the Sony fell short in many places, not being able to really get in the action and picture quality that was barely good enough for a small print.

So I decided that it was time to find myself a new pocket camera with more up to date features. I needed a reasonable zoom length, an effective flash, and more than 3 megapixels. I needed the zoom to be able to frame shots better and "fill the frame", the flash to light up a group of people indoors, and enough pixels to make photos worth printing.

A browse around a few review sites made my job very easy. In fact, there were only two contenders - a Casio Exilim, and the Canon IXUS 55 (Aka SD450). These had the features I wanted, in the form factor I needed. Photo samples showed the Canon to have a far superior image than the Casio, thanks to their "exclusive" high refraction glass, plus the Casio reportedly had poor flash performance and quite slow response. It was however the smallest camera I could find that could fit the bill, and I made a quick trip to the local electronics mega-mart. With about 100 cameras in their range, there was no shortage of choice. Less than 5 minutes later, I realised that the Canon was by far the smallest camera with my specs, but noted down a couple of other contenders for further review. I had my heart set on the Canon though, especially with the Ixus lineup being quite mature, going at least 5 years back.

My extra research came up with few alternatives and it ended up being no contest - the Canon IXUS 55 was mine, and I've not regretted the purchase at all. The size of a credit card, and no thicker than a deck of cards, it's an amazing feat of engineering inside this thing. My only gripe is that it's got a custom expensive battery, though it does last upwards of 200 shots per charge. An impressive 3cm macro mode is a great touch, as is being able to choose shutter speeds of up to 15 seconds - storms and night shots, here we come!

I sold the Sony just a couple of days later, and got a nice €60 for it. So overall it was a nice deal, and I shan't be missing the Sony at all.

Posted by Ben at December 25, 2005 10:10 PM | TrackBack
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