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I have taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to post here as I am able.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Canon Power Shot SX10IS - Out of the Box

I have been forced to buy a new camera. My beloved Pentax SLR has died, and these days it isn't worth the cost of repairing a film camera. At the same time, two weeks ago Photo Works announced that they were suspending film processing as of TOMORROW. That's crummy in the first place and really, really short notice. My cheapie Kodak Easy Share digital is having issues, so I really knew that I had to get a camera for my hike documentation, writing, etc.

I had hoped to finish hiking the North Country Trail with all slides for pictures. But it is not to be. I'm making the total digital transition now. So I started looking, and it turned out that the camera I decided on was on sale, so I had to make one of those instant purchase decisions I hate, and came home from my trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show with a new camera, the Canon Powershot SX10IS.

The Canon PowerShot SX10IS is something of a hybrid with many great features you would only expect on a dSLR, but not the weight or the price tag that those carry. I think I'm going to like it. But it has a lot of things to learn, so I figured I would review those and share my observations here as I explore how to use it.

Here are a couple of comments right out of the box.
  • The viewing screen folds in or out, swivels and tilts. You can switch between using the traditional viewfinder or the screen. The screen can be folded into a pocket in the back of the camera for protection. It can be turned over so that it is visible but on the back of the camera. It can be folded out and angled so you can actually see what you are taking a picture of for "over the top" shots, self-portraits, etc.
  • Although there is a real learning curve for the many features it has full AUTO mode, so you can start taking pictures instantly and learn the fancy stuff as you go
  • If you use the viewfinder, it isn't a true viewfinder but a small look-into reiteration of the screen view (but not true SLR where you are looking through the lens). So, you can't see anything if the lens cap is on, and the (thankfully) short freeze after a picture is taken also shows there so you know when you can take another shot
  • It is heavier than I would like for hiking. It weighs 1 lb 9 oz. The Pentax weighs 2 lbs even (with no extra lenses), so I'm still ahead. But I had hoped to shed a bit more weight.
  • It is difficult to pick up without accidentally hitting some button that you don't mean to. I have small hands, and I find this a challenge. I think someone with large hands would find it quite difficult. Maybe I just need to get used to it.
  • The strap is just the right length for me. Horray! The reason that is a con is that most of the world is larger than I am. Anyone of any bulk will need to replace the strap.
  • The strap bracket is really tight. The strap fit ok, but I had a very hard time getting a lens cap tether to fit in there with it.
I'm going to stop for this post. My plan is to write just a few things about the Canon PowerSho SX10IS at a time. Probably only one thing as they begin to get more complicated. Perhaps my learning can help someone else who is considering, or has purchased this camera.

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Kelli Frank said...

dSLRs tend to be quite heavy but you will not regret Canon! I swear. :)

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Thanks Kelli- So far I am very happy. I'm trying to get used to some of the manual features before I leave on my next hike.