Friday, November 25, 2011

Replacing a camera

My SD card reader bit the dust a couple weeks ago, and yesterday while taking pictures of pie, my SD card suddenly became unreadable.  While we do have a reader I can borrow from lab, I feel like I'm being nudged slowly but surely to find myself a new camera.  I've had my brick since June of 2004, and it's, um, old.  And performs rather poorly under low light conditions.  It has been a very good camera for me, and I'll be sad to retire it (==pass it on to my younger brother so he has one to fool around with), but it needs to happen.  So--much of my spare time has been spent browsing DP Review and other websites, trying to find a camera that balances cost, utility, and the bells and whistles.

At the end of the day, I want a light camera (not a full DLSR) that I can hold comfortably one-handed, one that is small enough to fit in my purse, and great in low light conditions (image stabilization and operation in low ISO). While a fancy camera would be great fun to play with, at the end of the day I want a camera I can take everywhere I go, all the time, not something that is so big it requires its own case.  Not gonna do it, sorry.  I also want it to last for at least 15 years, double what this current camera lasted; we'll see how it does.  I did find an article from PC World about the best compact low light cameras, which is where I found some of my options.

Current Camera: HP Photosmart 935  (specs taken from a very thorough DP Review article from 2003)

price back in 2004:  close to $275
Size:  4"x3"x1.75"
Weight: 9.9 ounces
Maximum resolution:  2608 x 1952
ISO: 100-400
(this camera came with a 32 MB sd card.  I upgraded to a 512 MB three years ago, but I need to buy a new one, I think, haha)

Camera option number 1:  Canon Powershot S95
Size: 3.94" x 2.28" x 1.18"
Weight:  6.88 ounces
Maximum resolution: 3648 x 2736
ISO: 80 to 3200
Battery: rechargeable lithium ion (lasts about 200 shots)

Price 11.25.11
Amazon:  $289
Tiger Direct:  $399
New Egg:  $399

I also checked out the Canon Powershot S100, which is more expense ($429 on Amazon) but offers better HD Video and other things that are slightly better.  Basically, it's not enough to be worth it for me...if I want a video camera, I'll buy a Flip. 

Camera option number 2:  Olympus XZ-1
Size:  4.4"x2.6"x1.7"
Weight: 9.2 ounces
Maximum resolution: 3648x2736
ISO: 100-6400
Lithium ion rechargeable battery with USB, lasts about 320 photos

Price 11.25.11
Amazon:  $415
Tiger Direct:  $450
New Egg:  $445

Camera option number 3:  

See, I was trying to be open-minded, searched through about a zillion cameras, all that, but by hour three of searching today (plus the many many hours I've searched before this), I became more and more convinced that the Powershot S95 is exactly what I need right now.  Add one or two extra batteries to be safe, and the amazon deal comes with a 4GB SD card and a mini-hdmi cable...basically, I'm set.   Now, I just have to wait for it to arrive!

1 comment:

Mary Kay said...

Sounds like a well-researched purchase. I look forward to seeing the results (photos) on your blog in the near future. :)