Sunday, April 19, 2015

Say cheese

Saying cheese, or saying sex, both work well when taking someone's snap.

My old camera was looking battered, it was slow to start, slow to focus, at times not focusing at all,  the brightness of the photos seem to be often wrong and the zoom control was slow to move especially when the camera was cold, the lens cover did not always fully retract, again worse with the cold and lastly I hated the touch screen from day one. I used the stylus on wrist strap to control it, but even so at times I would accidentally touch the screen. The camera had taken nearly 10,000 photos, the same as the one before and the one before that and had made three overseas trips, I think. I reckoned I was owed a new one.

I went to Michael's Camera Store where I bought the last one and sought advice.  The last was a Canon IXUS 510 HS 12x optical zoom. The salesman asked what I liked about the old camera. Not much really and I told him what I disliked about it and told him it was pretty well worn out. He showed me a couple of cameras and I suggested they were too big for my purposes. He then showed me a Nikon Coolpix S7000 20x optical zoom. I liked it immediately although I wasn't keen to change camera brands, especially as my present card was Mini SD and this new one took an SD and he wanted $20 for the new card which I knew I could get cheaper elsewhere. Ok, I had almost decided to buy it but the camera was white. Can I have it in black please? Sorry, out of stock. I can take your name and number and call you when we get stock. Fine, I said, gave my details and left.

Since then Ken in France of Living the life in Saint-Aignan  bought a new camera after trying a couple of others and not liking them. He takes good photos, so let me have a look at what he bought. His is a Canon Powershot SX700 HS. Click here to read his experiences. While what seemed to be more available here is the Canon SX710 HS. I couldn't really see the difference between the two but the 710 was more expensive.

I took a very hard look at the Canon and it sounded great until I looked at the weight and the size. It was certainly a bulkier camera and I think the weight was around 250g whereas the Nikon one above comes in at 160g. So I crossed that off the list.

My point about size and weight is that it no good me having a very smart and expensive camera if it is sitting at home and not in my pocket. My camera mostly goes everywhere with me. I can't really hold my phone still enough to take reasonable photos with that.

I waited and waited for the call, about four weeks and I heard nothing. Damn them. I will look at online prices. Hmm, can be bought cheaper. I won't buy from overseas unless it is Amazon, where Ken bought his. Amazon was a bit cheaper. Reputable online local sellers, a bit cheaper. I don't know. I looked at Ted's Camera Store online and I think the camera was a bit cheaper there. Ted's is near Michael's in Elizabeth Street, so into town we went, with me really unsure about what I was going to do.

I really prefer to buy from a proper shop and I don't mind paying a bit more to get the service, but without the phone call from Michael's to even tell me they were having trouble obtaining the Nikon in black, I was a bit cross and very tempted to just click on Amazon's buy button.

Ok, we will see what Ted's can do and maybe bargain them off against Michael's. We were walking up Elizabeth Street when we came to a shop I had never seen before, just before reaching Ted's. Michaels is just a bit further along. The shop was called Digi Direct. Ha, if I bought something there and anything went wrong I could blog with the headline Dodgy Digi Direct. Always thinking ahead I am; planning for when things go wrong. Apparently I am not the only one who does that, hey Pants.  Well, they had the camera in stock, in black, for a cheaper price than Michael's or Ted's. The deal was clinched with the 8gb camera card at $17 not $20 ($10 at JB HiFi). I bought it and left and so far I am happy with it although time will tell.

Oh yes, the price for the new Nikon Coolpix x20 zoom was $247. I did not bargain to bring the price lower. I think the price was fair and R was getting a  certain look on his face everytime I had mentioned the word 'camera' in the past few weeks. He'd had enough.

I also recall Diane, who knows enough about photography to teach people some skills, mentioning that she thought photos appeared better on blogs if they were first uploaded to Picasa and then put on your blog, so here is some testing of photos. You can't really do this without the publishing the post as preview won't allow you to click on the photos.

Original size upload to Picasa new camera


Original size upload to Picasa old camera


Resized upload to Picasa new camera


Resized upload to Picasa old camera


Direct blogger original size upload new camera


Direct blogger original size upload old camera


Direct blogger resized upload new camera


Direct blogger resized upload old camera


I have three cameras now, each one taking better photos than the last. This was taken with my phone. The oldest camera, the silver one, still works. I switched it on and the noise of the lens opening was loud.


And lastly the new camera taken by the old camera. I have pulled that ugly blue and white sticker off it now.


No, I am not going to say anything about the way the lens comes out and how big it is. Funnily if the camera is sitting flat when the zoom is put to the full, it tips forward, something to note if it is on a tripod.




25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Strayer, so far so good. Pleased you approve.

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  2. Looking good.
    My current camera is a Panasonic Lumix. I think I will probably upgrade to its great-great grandson.

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    1. EC, I think you will be quite impressed when you see the difference in the photos.

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    2. I have a Panasonic Lumix as well, I love that it is waterproof and shock proof, and I made myself a custom strap by attaching a WII strap so I can lock it to my wrist and it isn't going anywhere. :)

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    3. Snoskred, it did take me about 20 seconds to work our Wll strap. Not a a world war. The exercise thingie on the tv.

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  3. Well, the new camera takes much clearer photos. Though, the kitchen does look a little more orange than brown. Probably caused by the flash. If it wasn't for having to replace the air con two years ago, it would be white.

    I can't see any difference between uploading via Picasa first, or direct upload to blogger.

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  4. when the camera is on the tripod, it shouldn't drop forward.
    The new photos are certainly clearer, I think you'll be very happy with this camera.
    I don't use my original digital camera anymore, I took the batteries out so they wouldn't leak and put it in a drawer and forgot about it. It probably still works, but I preferred the new one as it has an anti-shake function, handy for shaky hands.
    Now that second one often gets left at home and I take the big one that needs its own bag because it is too big for a pocket. Because of that size awkwardness I often leave the house now without any camera at all and of course that is when I see things that are so photo-worthy (*~*)

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    1. River, I guess it is about getting the tripod legs right. Yay for anti shake functions. Yes, that is my point about a larger camera, but at least you can shove it in your handbag or whatever you carry.

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  5. New camera, photos are sharper. Can't notice any difference re uploading to Picasa first....I have lost count on how many digital cameras I have had. Currently I have 3 but use two, oh and my phone as I like using my phone camera...the camera I mainly use is my Nikon DSLR...

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    Replies
    1. WA, one day I will get a DSLR, but not yet. As I said above, my hands are not steady enough to take much with the phone camera.

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  6. Certainly the colours are much better (punchier) in the new camera. I upload directly to blogger and as long as you have a decent internet speed connection, I don't see any issues with the direct upload. Having said that, I am a big fan of Picasa though for mild photo editing and nicely organized photo storage. Enjoy that new toy!

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    1. Craig, I have never used Picasa, although I knew that was where my blog photos went. I may occasionally crop a photo, but mostly they are just resized.

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  7. Yes, the new camera photos are definitely sharper in this test, but you knew that already! The main thing is that you are happy with the pictures, the features, and the physical properties of the camera itself. A win all around. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes Walt. It was hardly worth buying a new camera if they weren't better. At times we forget to boil things down to the simple. Am I happy with the camera? Yes.

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  8. A lot of my photos are actually snapped by the Great Scot right now, due to shaky hands. Am looking at cameras which will help with that problem. Loving your new camera.
    Oh! Have a look at this, I think you might enjoy it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVnE5enMyv4

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    1. Jac, that did enter my mind, like your photos and how you keep the camera still. I've taken a peak a the YT vid, and savour it for later. Ok, a post soon will show the difference between what shaky hands with my old camera were and what the new one can do.

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  9. The staff at Michael's are idiots. I was going to drop nearly $4K on gear and they wouldn't budge one bit on price. So I went to JB Hifi where the guy bent over backwards for me.

    The new camera is much sharper, enjoy :)

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    1. Fen, my last experience and now this one with Michael's were not great. It is not a place I would recommend. Not camera related, but we have had good service in the past at JB.

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  10. That's a neat little camera Andrew, bet it fits in your pocket perfectly.. watch the zoom doesn't pop out :)

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    Replies
    1. Grace, you are disgrace at times.

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  11. Congratulations on the new camera. I seriously considered a Nikon (the S9700) before getting the Canon. And I like the Canon SX700's heft and size. It fits my hand and feels solid. It also fits comfortably in my jacket pocket. I'm still experimenting and learning how to use it.

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    1. Ken, the Canon is certainly superior and I was quite temped, especially by the better zoom, but it really is about being small and light for me. There is a very good chance for six months of the year I won't be wearing a jacket.

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  12. I mostly use a Canon DSLR but to a very limited extent in comparison to what a professional photographer would do. As backup I turn to my iPhone.

    I'll be interested in your experience with the Nikon. I've been tempted to change to a Nikon in the past but always lost courage at the last moment.

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    1. Victor, I am not sure my previous Canon was the best example of what Canon cameras are about, but I already like the simplicity and intuitiveness of the Nikon.

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