Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Macro Setting

I bought a new camera recently to replace the one that was swiped from my apartment in December. It's a Canon SX260 HS, which doesn't really mean anything to me, but if you're into cameras, there's the link for you. I was looking for something that had most of the same features as my old camera, which was a Canon S2 IS. I fall about in the middle of the photography competency spectrum - I take photos in different light settings so I like being able to adjust things manually if I have to, but if the camera can do something automatically, I'm not going to complain either.

My only major requirement for the new camera was that I wanted a zoom upgrade. I've always had a bad case of zoom envy, so six years ago when I bought the S2 IS I made sure it had one of the longest zooms for its class.

My new camera is a smaller camera with a bigger zoom, and technically falls in the point-and-shoot category. There's no viewfinder. There's no flash that you can manually flip up and down rather than setting it using the buttons and screen menus. There's no lens cover - a big source of anxiety for someone who likes to walk along sandy beaches exploring tidepools and chasing sea birds.

Also, one of my biggest complaints is that it's so small and the casing so smooth that I feel like I can't really get a professional hold on it. Its size and smoothness also make it hard to take arm-length self-portraits, which I do shamelessly despite nearly always getting poor results. It takes better video, though, but most of today's cameras do compared to six years ago. And although I haven't tried it yet, it has GPS for geo-coding photos if you're the kind of photographer who occasionally goes on whirlwind six-country tours in seven days.

Overall I preferred the feel, shape and weight of the old camera. It was bulkier and less convenient to stow away when traveling or trying to snap photos while riding my bike (yes, what?), but ergonomically it was a photographer's camera, instead of a tourist's camera. I really miss the whole physical and tactile aspect of photography that I had with my old camera.

However, the one thing that I find amazing on the new camera is the macro setting. My old camera had a pretty awesome one:

Slide Mountain, Catskills, NY (Photo by P. Cuce)

But I think the new one has it beat:

Who knew flower petals had hair? And spider webs? (Usal Road, Sinkyone Wilderness, Mendocino)

This may not have been the macro setting. It may have just been the 20x zoom. (Land's End, San Francisco)

1 comment:

Kate said...

I have a strong urge to like your posts and share them with my friends! Love the mix of eating and development critique. No wonder we get along!