by Ron Eggers
Published Summer ’09
Serious Capabilities In A Small Package
Each new generation of consumer digital cameras includes significant advancements over previous models. Higher resolutions, less electronic noise in captured images, larger and more viewable screens, faster response times and broader zoom ranges are making it increasingly attractive to use relatively inexpensive consumer cameras for serious photography.
One of Canon’s newest consumer digital cameras, the PowerShot SX110 IS, is a compact 9-Megapixel camera with a 10X optical zoom lens. While, at $249.99,it’s priced closer to entry-level consumer models, it’s closer in resolution, capabilities, responsiveness and image quality to the company’s high-end G-series cameras that have become very popular with professional photographers as a take-along camera for those quick shots when professional gear isn’t available.
Compact & Full-Featured
The SX110 IS has a lot going for it. The 10X optical zoom extends from 6mm wide angle to 60mm telephoto, which is the equivalent of 36mm to 360mm on a 35mm camera. That telephoto range is extended through a 4X digital zoom. There are consumer cameras on the market with longer telephoto capabilities. Several companies are marketing so called “ultra-zoom” digital cameras with 18X -20X zoom lenses, but they’re considerably larger, heavier and bulkier than the SX110 IS. The SX is extremely compact for its capabilities. It weighs less than 8.7 oz., and extends only 1-3/4-inches when the lens is closed. It easily fits into a shirt pocket, and most ultra-zooms can’t do this. Even with the lens extended, the camera is still only 3-inches deep. It’s possible to take the Canon along just about anywhere when you want to capture high-quality images with a lightweight camera.
Having a 10X optical zoom is great because it enables you to capture close-up images of subjects that may be too far away to shoot with a zoom-challenged conventional pocket camera. And, unlike some ultra-zoom cameras, where images taken at the high end of the optical zoom range are marginal because they’re a little too soft or not focused quite correctly, the quality of the images taken with the SX100 IS is excellent throughout the entire zoom range, including the maximum optical zoom focal length.
The 4X digital zoom makes it possible to move in considerably closer to your subject. But the image quality is degraded when the optical and digital zooms are extended to the maximum, so I tend to shoot with the digital zoom set to “off.” It is possible to limit the digital zoom to 1.3X or 2.2X to reduce the degradation of image quality and still go slightly beyond the 10X range. Like all digicams that have a variable aperture rating depending on their zoom setting, the f/2.8-f/4.3 lens is relatively fast for a consumer model. This is especially true at f/2.8, when shooting wide angle images. With normal focusing, it’s possible to focus down to 1.6 feet. There’s also a macro focusing mode that allows you to focus from about a half of an inch to the normal focusing range.
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Breaking news: Canon has announced six new PowerShot cameras, most notabley the PowerShot G11. As always, a manufacturer announces a replacement camera for one that is still new itself, and still has a lot of excitement surrounding it. Check out the Digital Photographer review of the Canon PowerShot G10 in the Spring issue to learn about the G11′s predecessor. The new “prosumer,” G11 as DP is wont to call it, will also retail for $499 and “further adds to the legacy” of the G-series, according to Canon with its variety of shooting modes and EOS accessories, though it offers 10-megapixels compared to the G10′s 14.7. Check out the full information from Canon on all six new PowerShot cameras after the jump.
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The brand new Summer ’09 issue of Digital Photographer includes profiles on renown nature photographer William Neill (whose photo is on our beautiful cover) and globe-trotting surf-photographer Mark Dimalanta, who is also a “Pentaxian” shooter. The issue also features comprehensive reviews of the awesome full-frame Canon 5D Mark II D-SLR, the Nikon D5000 D-SLR and the Olympus E-620 D-SLR with art filters. On the point-and-shoot side, we tested the Canon SX10 IS “megazoom” and the Nikon P6000 “prosumer” digicam. We also reviewed the Canon VIXIA HF S100 High Definition camcorder and compiled an overview of the latest flash-based camcorders, like the Flip, with tips on how to upload your videos the the Web. Also, look out for our story on “Extreme” cameras that photograph underwater and our software reviews, roundups of brand new products to the market and our ever popular “Inside the Image” column, in which Editor Lynne Eodice takes a look at DP reader Kim Corona‘s breathtaking shot of Yosemite. Happy reading! Feel free to let us know what you want to see more of in DP in the comments section below or on Twitter at twitter.com/digiphotomag.
Tags: camcorder, Camera Reviews, Cameras, Canon, Canon5DMarkII, CanonSX10IS, D-SLR, Digital Photographer Magazine, High Definition, Kim Corona, Mark Dimalanta, nature, Nikon, NikonD5000, NikonP6000, Olympus, OlympusE620, Pentaxian, point-and-shoot, summer, surfing, underwater, William Neill | 2 Comments »
The brand new issue of Digital Photographer features profiles on top photographers, including New York based Barbara Bordnick’s unique take on floral photography and an international look at fashion photographers from New York to London to Shanghai. You are sure to learn about and be inspired by the creative and business sides of shooting in that genre. The issue also features insightful reviews of new D-SLRs, including the Nikon D90, which shoots HD video and the Olympus E-30, which features creative art filters. There are also reviews of the retro looking Canon G10 “prosumer” camera and the Sony Cyber-shot G3, which is Wi-Fi enabled to share photos on sites like Picasa instantly and wirelessly. Also, don’t miss the “Back to Basics” features on those nagging features that you never quite understood: resolution, image quality and zoom range, and the basics of camcorder speak.
Of course, there are always the columns you love: Digital Insider, Exposure and Inside the Image, which features the work of a DP reader. Learn how your photograph could be featured in the next issue here. We look forward to your feedback on the new issue, and as always, you can catch us on Twitter for up to the minute photo world news.
Tags: BackToBasics, Barbara Bordnick, business, Camera Reviews, Cameras, Canon, CanonG10, CanonInTheParks, fashion, floralphotography, imagequality, London, magazine, NewYork, Nikon, NikonD90, NikonNX2, Olympus, OlympusE30, resolution, Shanghai, Software, Sony, SonyCyber-shot, SonyG3, twitter, WiFi, workshop, zoom | 2 Comments »
photo by erix! (creative commons)
It’s Wednesday afternoon and all that most people can think about is how many days, hours, minutes remain until the weekend. But not you, you’re a photographer! You’re never bored, but are always plotting your next photo shoot or researching the new D-SLR you’ve had your eye on. We’re right there with you, friend. To keep the wild world of photography on your mind midweek, here’s our roundup of what’s been happening in it lately.
-Fantasea announced two new underwater camera housings just in time for summer: the FL-19/20 for Nikon Coolpix L19 & L20 cameras and the FA-480 for the Canon PowerShot A480.
-onOne Software announced its first ever iPhone application. The new DSLR Camera Remote for iPhone allows photographers using a supported Canon EOS DSLR that is connected to a WiFi enabled computer to remotely control the settings of the camera, fire the shutter, review images, and even get a live viewfinder preview.
-Think Take Photo collaborated on a stunning concept video for their soon to be released addition to the Multimedia Wired Up Collection of bags, specifically designed for those shooting still, audio, and video in the field.
-Getty Images launched a new Flickr photo clouds feature to The Flickr Collection, which lets users visually group images that catch their eye.
Tags: announcements, bags, Cameras, Canon, D-SLR, Fantasea, Flickr, Getty Images, iPhone, Nikon, onOne, photography, ThinkTankPhoto, WiFi | No Comments »