Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Camera Falls Victim to the Catskills...

Last raw image off my 3-year old camera.  Easy to point out the flaws in point and shoot cameras from this image alone!

Last month, my 3-year old Canon Powershot SX120 fell victim to the granite boulders in this picture.  Right after taking it, I fell, and the camera bounced on a couple of rocks.  It ain't been right ever since.   I am begging for a replacement - a Powershot SX160 - but fundraising (i.e. Christmas Begging) is going slow so far this season.   Which brings up the standard question:

"You take thousands of pictures a year.  Why don't you use a DSLR?"


Well, the advantages to a DSLR are unmistakable   300% greater image sizes.  400% faster shutter speeds.  Settings up the wazoo that account for some of the quality that comes out in images from other high quality blogs with amazing pictures.  I won't name them, for fear that they'll think I'm claiming that it's only their camera, not them, that makes the pictures.  Not claiming that at all.  Y'all are wonderful, and you make me jealous of your talent and your access to beautiful places, much more than I'm jealous of your gear.  But to wit, please visit "You Are Not a Photographer," a hilarious blog about untalented photographers who think they have talent because they have a $1200 platform and the newest version of Light Room.

The disadvantages of a DSLR are that they are gigantic, expensive, not receptive to exposure to water, mud, dust, insects, or blood, or....oh, nevermind.   Those are plenty of reasons.   Expensive reasons.

Honestly, the thing I miss most about having an expensive camera setup is the lack of UV and polarized filters for point-and-shoot cameras.  Arguably, quite important for photography on or near water.  Then again, for those of you who have seen me fall in the woods or the water, can you imagine me taking a $2000 camera setup down with me?  I offer just one example as proof:

So, budget and pragmatism honestly require that I purchase another high-end ($200) point-and-shoot setup.  It will fit into my hunting pack, fishing pack, and honestly, fits into the front pockets of most of my pants (though it's not quite comfortable).    The Canon SX160 offers a shutter speed roughly double of my old SX120, a 60% increase in zoom, 40% increase in maximum image size, a 15% decrease in minimal focal length (for macro shots) and HD video.  Whether I can hold it still is another question, but I guess we'll see.  

Anyone have any alternate suggestions for a higher end P&S?


Timothy Borkert said...

The Canon PowerShot S95 is the most awesome point and shoot I have ever used. I purchased one for work and it outperforms our 3 year old Cannon Rebel.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 is in your price range and is also unbelievable. It uses the same image processor as the s95, but lacks most of the manual controls. The lens in this camera is very high quality and it is the only point and shoot that I have found that can take good pictures inside without a flash. Its low light capabilities are impressive. I personally use this camera.

Mike Sepelak said...

Love my Olympus Tough 8000. It would have laughed at your little bang on the rocks and kept right on clicking.

River Mud said...

Those are all great options. Mike - the federal biologists all carry Olympus Tough cameras with the waterproof gaskets, etc. They are nice.

Tim, people keep recommending the ELPH and I believe my brother T uses one and loves it. It just seems sooooo small! I need to try one out, especially because they are really cheap used.

Thanks guys :) Had a great waterfowl hunt yesterday and ended up using the Android for my pictures :(

Alex said...

My parents have been wanting to get me a DSLR ever since I graduated, but I haven't told them which camera yet because I can't decide. I don't want something that'll burst into flames the moment it goes into the field with me.

Let me know what you decide/how it works!

Fat Boy said...

RM, I used to use a Powershot and it too became a victim of shock, and eventually broke the visual display. This summer, I purchased the Olympus Tough camera and am so much happier when using it in the field. It's shockproof and waterproof, and I no longer need a waterproof container to carry my camera with me while wading a river or stream. Plus, I don't get nervous when pulling it out to take a picture since it's waterproof. And, I can take underwater shots. Catch and release underwater shots are very cool. I researched several brands and after reading tons of reviews, this was my choice. Good luck in your search.

River Mud said...

Woah, another vote for the Olympus....I'm glad I asked - getting some good feedback here!

Thanks FBO!!!!!

Timothy Borkert said...

I've been thinking of picking up that Olympus myself. They are on sale on Amazon right now for arround $150. Hard to pass up.....

T. Brook Smith said...

If you go for the Olympus, get the high end models. They are tougher and have better picture quality. I should publish photos of myself doing all the crap I did with that little tank in my pocket along with a picture of what my old one looked like before it bit the dust. Dents and abrasions everywhere. That is serious field equipment.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog via the Cooper review. Good reading!

Fellow waterfowler on the west coast. I use a Nikon AW100 and love it. Have taken it out in the ice, snow, and mud. Once I stuck it in the lake to rinse off much to the horror of my hunting partner who didn't know it was waterproof. Durable and takes great shots.

My daughter is a wildlife biologist and carries a Canon D10. I bought her an AW100 for her birthday but she still prefers the Canon.