One thing I’ve noticed that all of our customers appreciate is good photography! Whether it’s professional or the pictures they take at home with their own consumer or pro-sumer grade digital cameras.
Holly and I recently went on a quest to buy our own point-and-shoot digital camera. One that we can actually grab and use for those cute moments at home when the little one decides to give us a photo opp. =)
Well, you’d think that since we’re photographers buying a camera would be an easy thing. Not the case, at all! Ever since Addie was born 2 years ago, Holly especially has been wishing we had a video camera. I wanted something digital that would be more easily transferred to Addie’s blog for the grandparents who live out of state. The answer? One that will do both: The Canon SD800 IS.
You might feel like you’re reading the script from a TV commercial, but that’s how passionate we are about cameras! I did quite a bit of research and this is the camera we went with. It actually has the new Digic III processor in it by Canon and it recognizes faces and adjusts focus and exposure accordingly, even if they’re not in the center of the frame. Video is not going to be it’s strong point, but even footage from the nicest video cameras gets compressed down to minimal quality for online publishing with YouTube and the like. This little camera can shoot 60 fps (frames per second), so we can even shoot high-speed and them make the videos slow-motion if we wanted to. (Most movies are 24 fps and most online streaming is at 15 fps just to give you a frame of reference.)
Here’s what we looked for in a camera:
Not necessarily the highest mega-pixel count. The processor and handling of those mega-pixels is more important to me than how many there are. This little camera does better than the 10 mega-pixel Nikon D200 that we recently sold. The sensor and processor are significantly better, so the pictures come out looking better with less retouching needed! That means a lot to us since we spend so much time retouching pictures for customers. We really don’t spend any time at all retouching personal pictures. =)
We also wanted something small enough that we’d actually take it with us when we might need it. It’s nice to have $3000 cameras, but whey they weigh 5 lbs and are bigger than your notebook computer, they don’t come along on many of our everyday excursions. =)
We wanted a camera that would record in some easily transferable digital media so we could easily upload the video to the computer for sharing online, burning to DVDs and backing up. You just can’t do that easily with Hi-8, or anything else as easily as with a little SD card.
We wanted the camera to allow us to take unlimited video clips, limited only by the amount of memory on the card inside. Since we bought a 4GB SD card for it, we should have all the flexibility we need for recording video as well as photos.
We compared several cameras on CNet.com and the SD800 IS compared very favorably in several areas that were important to us including the amount of time it takes from the moment you turn it on until the moment it can snap a picture, and the 3.8x optical zoom. Digital zooms aren’t very helpful since they tend to pixelate the image and mess it up.
One of the really nice features on this particular model is the Image Stabilization (IS) that’s built in. This will really help prevent blurry pictures as a result of camera-shake. Small cameras are very susceptible to shaking and if you zoom in or are in low-light conditions, image stabilization is invaluable.
We get a lot of questions from customers and friends on how to get better pictures and have started casually consulting on an hourly basis to help you get your camera settings where they should be and to help you take better pictures as well by helping you with the areas you want help with. Inspiration, courtesy Mark Cafiero. Let us know if you’re interested!
Thanks for reading!