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cameras part II

so apparently the only line of canon's A series of cameras that have a variangle screen are the A6xx series. The last A6xx series camera, the A650, came out in 2007 and it looks like a very decent camera. Unfortunately it's also about $150 more than i really want to spend on a camera.

I started reseraching alternative ideas since there's a whole slew of A and SD cameras that i've been reading about that seem like good cameras that are $150-$200. When i went into the store to look at these in person, though, i discovered how much i didn't like them. It's not just about the fact that it doesn't have the variangle screen, which is good for weird angle shots as well as protecting the LCD screen when not in use. It's also the fact that those newer cameras are just too damned small.

there's a threshold of compactness that i have that's bigger than what it seems most people are into these days. You'll never catch me dead with those small iPod shuffles or even the iPod nano/mini. It goes against my aesthetic to have that sort of electronic device be that small. With cameras, i don't want to have a *huge* camera, but neither do i want these small credit card style easily-fit-in-your-pocket slim-design cameras either, particularly since it seems like it makes it difficult to take pictures one-handed. 95% of my shots with my A630 were shot one-handed since the right side of the camera body, while more bulky, was designed exactly for that. Getting a camera that requires two hands to get the best shot would completely change my shot taking style and also make it more difficult for me to be stealthy about picture taking and still take good shots.

surely i could get used to the new compact series and make do if i really wanted to, but i get the feeling that it's one of those concessions that i'll constantly be annoyed at. so i'm coming to the conclusion that i want to stick with the A6xx series at least this go around. In another 6-7 years or so (which is roughly how long my A630 lasted me) i might change my mind as i doubt that they'll make another A6xx camera and the technology at that point will be pretty outdated. We'll see what digital camera trends are then.

so the choice i have now is this: do i allow myself some indulgence to spend more money on the newer A6xx camera that has the Image Stabilization tech and the improved DIGIC III imaging processor, or do i just buy a replacement for my A630 (or get a 640) for roughly $200 since even though it's outdated tech at this point it did the job well enough?

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May. 8th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
Image stabilization doesn't matter if most of your pictures are taken with flash on. It'll help modestly, but it won't work miracles -- you won't be able to get a clean handheld 1 second exposure even with it on. I've also seen "image stabilization" that was really just mathematical mangling of the picture to sharpen or otherwise remove the blur, and that seems like cheating to me. (The real stuff involves having something track your hand movement and attempt to compensate for it.)

Camera technology actually is pretty stable these days, so if there isn't anything about your old camera that bugged you, I say stick with something close to its capabilities. And don't sweat the megapixels.
May. 8th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
i tend to not use the flash on my camera in low light situations if i can help it, but my old camera did a decent job of minimal low-light noise under manual mode. One of the complaints of the newer model was that pics got more noisy with the higher ISOs which is actually a result of the increase of megapixels of the A650, which is argument for going with the older camera. i'd rather have cleaner low-light with less megapixels than noisy low-light with more megapixels.

it was more of the image stabilizer deal that i was wondering about, the DIGIC III vs the DIGIC II. that, and i was wondering whether or not the newer camera could do better at movies when the zoom was on, which had pretty poor resolution quality, whether the increase in mgp could help that.

again, i dealt with the faults of the A630 fine, adapted well enough to it, so if it's such a small detail to a picky amateur (i loathe the idea of calling myself an 'advanced amateur), then the older camera is probably fine. i might look at the detailed differences between the a630 and a640 to see whether i should maybe upgrade to that.
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