Out with the old, in with the new. I may have lost my Panasonic Lumix camera to the pickpocketer, and with it my Hanoi photos together with it. Disappointed, yes, but life goes on and now I get to play with a brand new Canon Powershot A720IS digital camera.
I really needed a camera to take photos for memories, for photography and for blogging too. Without a camera, I seemed rather handicapped. So last Friday after work, I dropped by 1-Utama shopping mall to scout around for a replacement. Hari Raya Festive holiday was just over but the sales were still ongoing. I was pretty sure I could get something. My target was Canon models because it has many function similar to an SLR.
After arriving at the mall, I had my dinner first. Stomach was growling and I can’t go hunting without a meal. Not sure what to eat, so settled for Burger King. Yeah, it’s not healthy but it was quick.
After my meal I checked the Fotokem shop at the LG floor. Didn’t really like the shop nor its layout. Besides, I didn’t see the models that I like either. I decided to head to the upper floor and check out several camera shops.
There was Foto-Shangrila where my dad bought his Fujipix camera. There was Best-Denki but they didn’t carry the right models of Canon. Finally, I decided to head to Shong-Li where I use to develop my photos. And there it was the Canon PowerShot A720IS which has all the features that a shutterbug like me would like to have.
The 6x optical zoom was similar to my Panasonic Lumix, uses two AA size batteries, which was very handy for a battery change when your power was low, image stabilizer, which was good for shaky hands in dim lighting condition, plus it has manual mode for more artistic control which my previous camera did not have. The macro zoom was even better with a close up range of 1 cm distance from the lens.
Checking with the salesman, I learned that this model was very new, just launched. It was an improved model over the A710. Its 8 Mega Pixels was up from its predecessor. I also learned from the salesman that it can take up any SD card capacity, 2GB, 4GB or even the HDSD (or was it SDHD?) cards. My old Lumix camera could only use up to 1GB capacity.
The camera retails for RM$1099 and with its easy payment interest free scheme using Citibank, I decided to go for it. Even though the camera was not on promotion, the salesman did bundle a 1GB SD Card, a simple camera pouch plus an umbrella which I am sure my wife would really like.
Pleased with my purchase I went home to explore the camera features a little bit more.
The movie function uses Windows AVI format which was really heavy on its storage requirement. It was different from that of Panasonic digital cameras which uses the Quicktime mov format. However the movie quality using AVI was much better in comparison but could quickly fill up the SD Card because of its larger storage requirement. I would have to downgrade the quality to capture more video footage. Same goes with the photo shots, at 8 MP, each photo at full size L will be 3264 x 2448 pixels using up about 2MB per picture at fine compression. At Superfine the photo would take up 3.4MB, that’s a bit too much considering the photo at most would be printed out on a 5R, though 4R development and web usage would be more common usage.
After some fiddling and going through the manual I settled either for M1 (2592 X 1944) or M2 (2048 X 1536) at fine mode which was quite sufficient for my needs.
As for movie mode, looks like I will have to settle for 320 X 240 pixels, 30 FPS which uses about 660 KB per second. Still very big, but the alternative at 160 X 120 pixels 15 FPS was very poor quality though it uses up only 120 KB per second. I guess one day I will have to purchase digital video recorder, but so far I have not figure out what kind of storage format that they use. But one thing for sure, at this large capacity for capturing images, I think my hard disk will soon be running out of space very quickly!
Finally I have upgraded my camera and hope to capture some interesting pictures with it soon.