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Monday, June 27, 2011

Breaking in the New Stuff

The little Digital camera is dead, long live the new digital. I've been hesitant to get a new digital because while I was grinding my old point-n-shoot into the ground, camera companies, pretty much all of them, eliminated a feature they considered obsolete: the view finder. The logic they used would could have caused Henry Ford to invent the ready-to-go automobile, followed by doctors deciding since everyone could ride, then in theory, what did we need legs for? Amputations for everyone!

I know, but you get my point. We're all supposed to be happy with digital view finders, even though in bright sunlight, photos fade into oblivion. Ok, enough bitchin', which is at the top of my best developed talents.

So! Where was I? I took my shiny new mini-digital sans viewfinder out for a spin. Can it cut the mustard? The camera I chose has 10X optical zoom with 10 megapixels, while my dead digital boasted only 3X optical, and uh... 8 megapixels. Even when staying under the 3X optical limit the objects of my photos often had weird rainbow halos around them.

So, now a tank of gas is less than a house down payment, I have been out romping about, taking photos to test the new camera. I concentrate on quality of photos using the 10X optical zoom, mostly birdies. Here are some of the results.

The problem is mostly focus and I reckon, quality of the lens. If a thing is against the sky and there is nothing in front of or behind the thing, the photo is pretty decent. This was taken at 10X optical zoom, but the bird was maybe only 10 or 15 ft from the camera.

Horned Lark against sky is not
bad for a point n' shoot photo

And another Horned Lark

Here at the Fazio Wildlife Refuge is a White-faced Ibis hunkered down in sedges. It's in reasonable focus overall.

Little White-faced Ibis

Next is a shot of a hen turkey and her single chick, out on Latrobe Road. They were so far out in the field I was pretty amazed to get this good of a photo, at 10X optical. Mind... not a good photo, but at least you can tell those are turkeys as opposed to rocks (and some would argue that point).

Hen Turkey and her chick

Here's another example of one bird, blue sky, nothing else to focus on. The bird was fairly far away so I was pleased the photo is good enough for use in Identifying the bird as a Song Sparrow.

Yeah, Spring is gone and I'm still singing!

This Bullock's oriole photo is a tad disappointing. I didn't think the pebbled bank would give the camera much trouble, but it did. The focus here, also at 10X optical really sucks and I'm not sure what tricked the camera.

Bullock's Oriole with its reflection

Here's an example of the hardest type of shot for an automatic point n' shoot - the camera sets focus on the vegetation in the background, and no matter what I did I couldn't get it to focus on this lovely Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Damn it! Could have been a nice series of shots, but all of the shots of this bird - which was resting and grooming itself by the Latrobe Road Creek, were out of focus. My heart is bleeding if yours isn't.

Northern Rough-Winged Swallow

Below is another equally as depressing photo of a nice Ash-throated Flycatcher, that posed on a wire by my car. This adorable bird did all it could to cooperate and damn it if the camera didn't let me down, big time. There is no $#*% way I know of to tell the camera, "I want the BIRD, not the effing grasses!"

Beautiful little Ash-throated Flycatcher

Oh well! The whole purpose of having a small digital camera is so I don't have to switch from mega zoom to scenery type lens when taking my 'real' SLR Canon 20D out for a spin. However, often enough I leave my big camera home and only have my point n' shoot on hand, and it's nice to be able to depend on it for the odd shot. I know the little camera will do great for flowers, scenery and such, but I wish there was a way to force it to focus on what I want, and not what it's programing sees as the main attraction of a shot.

Oh well! No point complaining. As it is, the little camera's 10X optical zoom is AWESOME. The froggie below was so far away it looked like a stone. But as the little camera has 10 megapixels, when blown up, I must admit this is photo is better than a sharp stick in the eye, eh?


[Management states, for the terminally curious, the new digital is a Canon Power Shot 4500IS]

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