Sunday, April 29, 2007

new picture taking thingo

I have not owned a digital camera singe my monstrous Sony Mavica that took floppy discs and took 640x480 images. It was an awesome toy and the floppy disc integration was pure genius. Well OK that was at least 10 years ago now. Since then the only way I could take pictures was with my phone camera. Wheee! blurryness!
So before embarking on my trip to Bali, I thought the opportunity presented itself to buy a camera for myself. The potential of the pictures that I could take in Bali was awesome from what I could see in brochures and ads. Lush forests, carved statues, temples, rural people, chaotic traffic. It was all too much of a temptation. A camera has to be had.
So, choices choices choices. The digital camera market has been saturated with digital cameras of all sorts for years now, so which camera to choose could be a bit overwhelming to say the least. Thank the interweb gods for review sites. Hitting all sorts of review sites and reading furiously as led me to less decisions. I could choose a compact camera. Something small, handy that I could hold in one hand, point-and-shoot and put back in my pocket or hang off my keyring. All good and well, technology is getting smaller so might as well run with it. The things that put me off getting one of these nano gadgets were based on the size of the lens. I know, it's not the size but how you use it, but to this day the size matters. So the general rule of thumb in photography is that the bigger the lens, the better quality the images. So generally compact sized cameras have small lenses, this can end up with inferior quality images in certain occasions. For most cases they are fine, but it's the marginal cases such as fast moving images, close images and nighttime images that may end up frustratingly blurred. Steering away from this I moved onto the other camera extreme: SLR.
SLR cameras have been around for a long time now. They are those massive cameras that professionals use to take pictures in studios, on sportsfileds and in other professional settings. Great! now I can take awesome quality images! just what I wanted. Get me one of those! So wow! Canon, Nikkon, Olympus, Sony... All have great professional cameras that take awesome images and accept all sorts of fancy-ass lenses. Now the cons. Expensive! oh gawd! a good camera would set me back about AUD$3000, then the lenses. these can cost anything up to $50k! great images and all, but I'm not a professional photographer nor do I intend to be one. I don't want to spend thousands just to take photos! even the $3k for the camera is a bit much. What does it take to take some happy snaps?
OK, clam down. Back to the review websites. What do they think? read read read. aha! Most of these recommend one camera as the one that they love and admire. This is the Canon PowerShot S3 IS. This baby is a mid-range camera. What that means is that it's a camera that is feature packed, has a good lens and is small enough not to warrant a special backpack. So now I made the choice! awesome! Now where to buy. Scouring eBay yielded some results, but nothing concrete. Local stores are selling it for around AUD$600. Then I got a hot tip. One of Taryn's friend's husband, Ben, happen to be selling cheap Canon cameras because of a loop hole in his budget allocations! Sweet! So after a quick email I was able to get this baby off him for AUD$466. Brilliant! Also a 1GB SanDiskII SD card cost me AUD$30 from a duty free shop. Perfect!
Bali Bali Bali! snap snap snap!

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