Our new camera

My old Fujifilm FinePix 2600 has been acting up. Since I’m about to go on a little vacation to Chicago, I decided to go ahead and purchase a new camera.

I had a few requirements when picking out a replacement:

I needed at least 6 MP’s. I’m planning on purchasing the Epson Stylus Photo 2200 which is capable of up to 13″x19″ prints and a person needs a LOT of pixels to print photos that big.

External Flash Capable
While my old Fuji was capable of superb photography, I frequently found myself trying to take pics indoors where it was too dim to get quality results. There are a couple of ways you can use external flashes with cameras that support them. Some cameras have a flash-port which hooks up to compatible flash units via a cable. Other cameras have a hot-shoe that the flash unit attaches to.

One of the few remaining areas where digital camera’s fall behind their film-based counterparts is in the amount of time that elapses from pushing the button and when the photo is actually recorded. Some newer models of digicams do a lot to reduce this time.

Image Quality
If you believe that more megapixels=more quality, you’re sadly mistaken. There are plenty of 2 and 3 megapixels cameras that take beautiful pictures and plenty of 4 and 5 megapixel cameras that take poor photos.

The perception that megapixels = quality has several sources. One source is that In The Beginning there was a clear delineation between cameras that took high quality photos and those that didn’t … marked by megapixel ratings. This was back in the day of comparing .5 megapixel cameras to 1 megapixel cameras. This difference in quality wasn’t due soley to the amount of pixels captured, but to the fact that low megapixel cameras weren’t meant to take photo-quality shots. They were just toys.

Another source of the megapixels = quality myth is the marketing departments of camera manufacturers. The higher-dollar, higher-profit margin cameras are also the camera’s with more megapixels. This coupled with the fact that many people don’t want to do the research to determine which camera is really the best. It’s easier to just sell people on the one number…megapixels.

Nowadays, the main thing that a megapixel rating is going to tell you is how large you can make your prints. A 2 or 3 megapixel camera is going to make good 4×6 print, and a 5 megapixel is going to make excellent 4×6 prints, great 5×7’s, and pretty good 8×10’s.

I ended up settling on the Canon PowerShot G6. It has a 7.1 MP CCD which allow me to do great 13×19 prints. It has a flash hot-shoe to allow attachment of external flash devices. It has low shot-to-shot times thanks to Canon’s DIGIC image processor. Most importantly it has superb image quality. Many reviews point to the fact that it takes photos that rival those of digital SLR’s costing well over a thousand dollars.

Supposed to be delivered tomorrow. I’ll try to update this space with some sample photos before I leave on Thursday for my little vacation.

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