Top positive review
246 people found this helpful
(Just an amateur here)
on June 12, 2008
For the list price ($129.00) I really couldn't find a better camera. I work in a photo processing lab, where I also deal with and sell cameras for most of the day, so before purchasing my own I did a lot of hands-on research playing with and reading about all the cameras that were within the price I wanted to spend. I'm still learning as far as all the fancy features, but if you're like me and just need a good camera for everyday type stuff, this one is perfect. With its 7.1 mega pixels, it takes really sharp pictures and what I really like is how fast the shutter is. There's virtually no delay between the time you focus the camera and go to snap the actual picture. That was my biggest problem with my old camera-- I'd go to focus in and then by the time I actually snapped the photo, the delay was so annoyingly long that the moment was lost. The LCD screen is a great size, not too large and not too small. At 2.5", you get a really good idea of what you're shooting, even without a viewfinder. The only complaint I have is that it's not as great outdoors in bright weather. The screen gets really washed out and makes it kind of difficult to get a good shot. This is fixable though, as they sell pop-up shade clips (about $10) you can attach to the camera so as to correct that. I haven't tried them personally, but heard they work really well. I also really like the size of the camera itself. A lot of people are attracted to the super slim tiny cameras you can fit in a pocket, but that didn't appeal to me. I wanted something I'd be comfortable holding, fit well in my hands, and didn't feel like I was going to drop it. Its like the perfect size for me, because it's still really compact but not so small that it gives me anxiety over dropping it/breaking something. Alternately, its not so big that I can't easily carry it around with me.
I would consider this camera a step up from a lot of others in the price range. Along with the scene modes (which is pretty standard on most point and shoots anyway) it has a manual setting, which is fun to play around with and really easy to navigate. For someone like me who is still learning all the technical stuff it's a good first camera. You can customize a fair amount but its not overwhelming and hard to learn. At my job we are trained on what are the best selling points, features, etc, and whereas I take that into mind I also know that everyone is picky in their own way and some people care about certain features more than others. Personally I just wanted something to use on vacations, to take pictures of friends and I, my cats, etc. If you want something for fast action scenarios, sporting events and the like, you might want to skip this camera. It's only got the standard 3.4 optical zoom, which really is not that far, and even though it zooms farther digitally...it will get more blurry the further in you go. That is one thing Canon needs to improve upon-- a lot of their lower end models like this one have poor image stabilizing.
Canon's face detection technology is pretty cool though. In Auto mode (and probably manual too, I'm not positive though) it actually locks onto a person's face and almost highlights it...like zooms just their face in so you can see if it's clearly focused before taking the pic. This is a feature you can turn on or off in the Menu settings. It throws you off a bit in relation to the rest of the photo, but once you get the hang of it it's really helpful (in group shots especially.)
Bottom line - great deal for the price! You see a lot of Nikon's (Coolpix series) in the $89-129 price range, but in my experience this newer Canon definitely surpasses them. I had a Nikon Coolpix 5600 (probably about 2 yrs old now), and whereas it took beautifully sharp photos, the lag time was incredibly slow and that's what made me like this Canon better. Faster shutter times make all the difference! Canon's photo software is easier to navigate as well, with more custom settings to play around with when you want to edit/share your pictures on your computer. Most people are surprised to learn what kind of camera I have after they've seen the photos it takes. I just think its really nice that you can get something of this quality for such a low price.
OH- And a note about the AA batteries for this Canon: Obviously if you use standard alkaline AA's your response time is going to be a lot slower. Investing in good quality rechargeables is more than worth the money, it makes all the difference. I myself prefer Energizer's Lithium batteries, the blue and silver ones, as oppose to the rechargeables...just because they are specially designed for high powered devices like digital cameras, and you don't have to mess around with a charger, or the whole rotating batteries in and out. I got a good couple months of use out of a set of two, while taking pictures frequently...on a trip, and even just in everyday daily use. It's about $5 for a two pack and $9 for 4.