Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Gadget of the week

My new gadget of the week this week is a Canon Powershot SD800 IS compact digital camera.

I also own the Canon EOS 5D Digital SLR, but I like to have a compact lightweight camera to keep in my backpack or pocket all the time (the SLR is too much camera to carry around all the time unless you are a professional photographer).

I've been walking around with the Canon SD500 for a while now (and recently wrote about replacing the LCD). At the time the LCD cracked, I couldn't bring myself to upgrade as none of the newer cameras at that time seemed worth it.

So, what finally got me to jump to the new camera?

  • 7.1 MP images (so no loss in MP from the SD500)
  • 3.8x optical zoom (compared to 3x optical on the SD500)
  • Image stabilization (not available on the SD500)
  • Larger LCD Screen (not a major issue for me, but I don't mind it)
  • Probably most importantly, my daughters got an SD500 for their birthday and I have to have a better camera than they have :-).

There was also this feature referred to as "Face Detect" autofocus. I thought that was little more than a marketing gimmick at the time, but after starting to play with the camera, I think it's pretty cool. Look at this sequence of pictures of the LCD screen on my SD800 (taken by my SD500) of my daughter moving around:

Notice the little white brackets following her face around. I'm not sure what the exact technology involved is, but I expect that there's some serious processing going on to enable this feature which would likely be a drain on the battery. I'll probably do some playing with it to see if it has any measurable impact on battery life.

All in all, a very nice replacement camera for the SD500. Now I have to go sell the SD500 on ebay to help pay for the new one (if you're interested, check it out here).

I do realize that it's been less than a week since my last gadget, but I'm about to head out on a 2 week trip around the world (sort of) and so there won't be too many new gadgets in that time (plus the trip was another incentive for getting the camera now vs later, although I will probably take the 5D with me anyway)

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jim mulgrew said...

Do you still have the old Canon for sale? If so, How much ?
Was the LCD replacement very difficult ? I have the same problem.
Thanks, Jim

Conor P. Cahill said...

I sold the old camera on Ebay, so it is no longer available.

The replacement was fairly easy... Took a little over an hour and that was while I was on a conference call. See my other articles referenced by this article for more info on the replacement.