About this time last month I wrote about the problems with my trusty Canon A-80 digital camera. I can’t say enough about the great service from Canon – free return shipping, free repair, and back good as new in only 8 days! Or it seemed good as new, except a little less sensitive to light, and therefore with a slower shutter speed when the light isn’t bright enough. This can be a problem when you’re trying to take detailed shots indoors, with no tripod.
But I didn’t complain, after all it was turning out the usual great pictures again. For two whole weeks, two and a half, even. Then suddenly a series of pictures that came out totally overexposed and washed out. Ok, turn it off, change batteries, back on…. it’s working fine again. For three more days. And then, blackness. Darkness. Nothing.
Canon is again fixing it at their expense. How can I complain about a 5 or 6 year old camera that I’ve used for more than 26,000 photos? I mean, it has to die eventually, right?? So, everything considered, I am still very pleased with Canon, both for quality and service. And when my camera comes back again next week, I expect it will go on working for some time.
All that said, the A80 has always had limitations, most notably the fact that I have to get pretty far away from something to get it all in the picture. A large quilt, or tablecloth, won’t all fit unless I hold the camera waaaay up over my head. And it does tend to use up batteries fairly quickly, though a new set of rechargeable ones will usually go several hundred pictures per charge. Unless I leave the camera turned on after downloading pictures…. (a bad habit!)
SO, I bought a new Canon. This time it’s still a PowerShot but a step (or 2 or 3) up. And since technology has come a long way since the A80, lots of improvements. It’s an SX20, with a much wider angle for near shots, more manual adjustment capability, 12 megapixels vs. 4 in the A80, so lots more detail and definition is possible, and it zooms to 80x for telephoto shots. And a different sort of memory card, too. I have been accustomed to downloading after every 50 shots or so, since my memory card was then nearly full, and a larger one – back when I bought the A80 – was rather expensive.
This time, a 4 gigabyte card was $15 with the camera, and holds more than 900 shots at the highest resolution. A larger, brighter display makes outdoor use easier on a bright day, and I love the lcd that swivels to various positions – one thing the A80 had too, and I didn’t want to be without. Can you tell I’m enjoying my new toy?
My buddy Chiru here is helping me check it out:
A pretty steep learning curve, but the basics aren’t bad. And so far, even with all the zooming, the large display, electronic continuous focus and image stabilization, among other features, still on the first charge of the batteries.
I promise, I will still love the A80, and will probably take it with me more often to lots of places since it will now be the second camera. What a world of difference from my first Kodak digital. 1 whole megapixel, a battery hog, and all. I’m embarassed about many of my old pictures from that one, but I’ll be making up for it.