Saturday, December 8, 2012

WOW! that new Canon camera

Well the trusty Canon IXUS 80 camera is in the draw, its final resting place.

It has been with me for a number of years and nearly all pictures on this blog are from that great little camera.  The case was scratched and battered with some of the paint coming off as well; I felt the pictures were maybe not as sharp as they once wuz.

So I upgraded.  It cost me $60!

Yep $60

Paula gave me a $100 gift card for Myer for my birthday.  Now Myer are not the cheapest place to shop for a camera but I thought I would give them a try.  I researched some cameras and I came up with the Canon SX220 for about $200 that I thought would be ideal for my needs.  I should mention that I have a big Canon camera (with a couple of lenses and a tripod) in a cupboard next to the draw where the IXUS now resides.

Myer didn't have the SX220.  They did have some cameras on special though, including a Canon SX230 which was for sale for $220 (down from $270).  Now here is where one can get caught.  I didn't know anything about this camera.  I was after a camera with a wide angle lens (less than 50mm for you non camera nerds), so I asked the salesman if it had a wide angle lens.  He mentioned that the display item was the last one they had left and he would go and check the box for its specifications.  Bewdy I thought to myself, I should get another $20 off as it was a display model.

He came back with a camera in the box.  Yes they did have one left and it has a 28mm lens (some of the better point and shoot cameras are 24mm).  I also noticed that it had a massive zoom, optical and not digital, and it also had a GPS function, whatever that is.

I said I'd take it.  I handed over the gift card and my credit card.  The salesman noticed that my card had award points on it and mentioned that Myer can convert these award points to cash.  He printed out a statement for me and I agreed that the points value of $60 be transferred to Myer.  The credit card was hit for the remaining $60.

Pretty neat eh?

So what's the camera like?  I dunno yet.  The GPS function works in two ways.  It can record the coordinates of each picture. It can also track your movements and display the route and pictures as it links to Google maps.

Here are some photos using the optical zoom.  I set the camera on landscape mode and let the camera do the rest.

f4@640 ISO 100 FL 5mm (28mm)

f5@320 ISO 100 FL 40mm  (200mm)

f5.9@500 ISO 250 FL70mm (490mm)

The industry standard, when talking about cameras, uses the old 35 mm cameras as a base.  The focal length for a normal lens for these cameras is 50mm  That's the distance from the lens to the film.  Below 50mm, lenses are said to be wide angle; and above 50mm lenses are said to be telephoto.  Digital cameras are much smaller so for comparison sake they convert back to 35mm equivalent.

Clear as mud?

The lens on my new camera shows a focal length range from 5-70mm.  You can see it on the first pic.  So the 35mm equivalent is 28-490mm.  Seeing as I am on  a roll, the other numbers refer to aperture, 3.1-5.9  The bigger the number the smaller the aperture.

One good feature of these cameras is that they have image stabilisation, they are excellent at taking pictures in low light, and at maximum zoom where images are nice and sharp.  As the focal length increases, the camera needs more light.  It can do this three ways.  Increase the aperture (with a smaller number), slow down the shutter speed; and adjust the ISO.  The ISO is a measure of sensitivity to light.  If the ISO gets too high the picture will be a little grainy, or 'noise' as the photo nerds call it.

So what, you say?  Well look at the last picture.  The camera is set at its smallest aperture, 5.9 and quite a fast shutter speed.  So it appears I wuz wrong.  If a zoom lens chews light then I need a larger aperture (smaller number) and a slower shutter speed.  Lemme explain (I am regretting telling you all this now as it seems to be never ending).

The camera, through landscape mode, knows you are taking pictures outdoors of scenery from near to far and you want everything to be in focus.  This is done three ways.  A small aperture setting (big number) because that increases the depth of field (everything is in focus); a fast shutter speed and image stabilisation.  It does this by increasing the ISO, making the scene more sensitive to light so the camera can close down the aperture to increase the depth of field and still use a fast shutter speed.

That's enough for today.

Oh, just one more thing.  Don't show people your new camera.  The first thing they do is take a picture of you!

You don't want to see them any larger do you?


  1. That could have been a great post Cav, but it was spoilt by the pics of the ugly old bugger at the end.

  2. LOL
    Thanks for the laugh, Cav. (And the info! I've got an old Ixus, it's brilliant.)

    Numbers, thanks for your laugh, too!