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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Few Pictures & a Review of My New Camera

(This posting has been edited. Another photo has been added, and at the end, a review of my new camera.)

I got out to the Point after work and took some snapshots. Here you go, what few worked out. It sucks not have a decent-sized memory card, but that'll come soon enough. Might be sunny, but the wind made it a coollllld day on the water! I didn't wander too far.

And the requisite first shot of flowers this season. Coming soon to a Steffblog near you: Cherry blossoms! Yummy. Loves me my cherry blossoms! I swear to GOD, I'm going photo hunting on the weekend, even if I only can save 12 pics at a time. Yeesh.

Oh, and a review on my new camera? Powershot A640 by Canon. The pluses: 10.0 megapixels. Yeah, that's right, bitches! Envy me! FREE, too. Crazy-ass scene options for the amateur. There are the standard "landscape, portrait, night portratit" and manual, et al, modes, but then there's "scenes", in which there are lighting options for indoor fluorescent or tungsten, kids and pets, underwater, snow, et al. There's a SWEET option for removing the factory lens and adding in your fancy-ass lenses. The menu's pretty easily manipulated and I like the controls. The on-screen display re: menu are animated and very cool.

But it ain't all milk and honey. There's a 2.5" display, which is nice if size is all that matters to you, but then there's the old school folk who knows it's how you use it that counts, and sadly, this ain't being used right. Okay, so I can flip out the display screen, rotate it, angle it for overhead shots of parades and fireworks and shit like that, but the resolution is fuckin' crap compared to my old 1.75" one, on which what I saw was what I got.

Also, it overdevelops everything, so I need to darken shots by about 25 points in Photoshop and sex it up a little thattaway. The focus is pretty tight, but then again, the camera's slow to shoot and sometimes needs focusing a couple of times in order to get it right.

But then there's the MANUAL FOCUS, which is a pretty rare feature on these guys. That very nearly makes up for it. The lens is 4x optical with a setting that allows for 3.5x digital (plus a couple step-downs if you don't want to be zooming in that much.)

The body's a decent size, and it has a good grip on the right side that makes it feel a little more substantial. Unlike a lot of digitals, it's a metal body, which is also nice. The flash isn't as powerful as my old one, but it's good enough for most scenarios. The lens is 7.3 - 29.2mm 1:2.8-4.1.

Gotta tell ya... some days I really fuckin' miss f22 on the old manual film-loading SLRs. But still.

For $600, this camera offers some serious-ass bonuses to your enthusiast, and room to grow for your amateurs. I'd recommend it for about anything... unless you're shooting sports shots a lot, then you want a faster-thinking camera than this one is.

But I'm really looking forwards to getting some great new shots and then blowing 'em up and mounting 'em. Nice thing is, I could actually do a perfect-focus 24 x 36 enlargement now. Know what? I'm GONNA, too. Soonish. Gotta be the RIGHT shot, though. That's a matter of time, and weather. Stay tooned, baby. (Oh, and the flowers, click twice for maximum size -- which is a quarter the size of the original shot [that was razor-sharp focus] but THAT is only about a third or so of the max, about 4000x3000 pixels, with great DPI res to boot.