A digital camera review? Absolutely. It gives me a great chance to talk about some things you might consider if you are in the market for a digital camera.
My wife and I have been considering a new camera for some time. Our old camera has a flaky shutter and LCD screen which made new baby pictures a bit more challenging than we would have liked. Our son has taken up Cub Scouts and we’ve always been dissappointed in the low light performance of our old unit during holidays (as when taking pictures of the kids opening presents).
We knew we couldn’t afford a dSLR, but needed a good camera that would last us a while and be enough of an upgrade form our current one to justify the cost.
We looked at the Canon Powershot G10, the SX110 and the SX10. The G10 certainly had the megapixels to impress, but megapixels don’t mean as much as they used to and can even prove deceptive on some models. It was also much more expensive (read: might as well get a dSLR) and only performed in low light as well as the SX110.
The big bonuses of the SX10 were the massive 20x zoom and maximum image quality available up to ISO400.
You might ask why we were fixated on Canon. Well, we’ve always had Canon, my wife likes the software they bundle with the camera (she’s been using it for years), but there’s also the fact that Consumer Reports listed Canon among the few brands where they felt confident to recommend pretty much any camera they make that fits your price point.
Canon’s got a number of nice features. iContrast helps keep detail in shaded subjects in photos taken in bright sunlight. and an Optical Image Stablizer that’s capable of enabling free hand full zoom or low light long exposure (over 1 full second) shots.
The price point was a bit high on the SX10 and when we brought it home we were conserned it wouldn’t live up to our admittedly inflated expectations.
But I can say, after a couple of days of heavy testing this camera is exceptional. Finally, I can take photos in our softly lit home in the evenings. The photos turn out rich with plenty of dynamic range in the colors.
Stabilizer is even tough enough to withstand taking one handed photographs from behind the wheel my truck as I drive down Pacific Coast Highway.
There are many automatic settings, some of which are fairly weak considering what the camera is capable of on manual. But most are useful enough so my wife can just snap pictures all afternoon at the park without worrying about fstops and light meters. It’s unfortunate that all the auto modes assume you want full flash all the time (it has three flash-levels available in manual mode) which washes out many pictures which were suffering from insufficient ambient lighting.
Over all for the price, I would say this is the best you’re going to do until you shell out for a pro-sumer model.
4 1/2 stars out of 5.
Did I mention it does zero cm macro shots?