Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"I can just walk up closer..."

All of you who have large cameras (known as SLRs in the trade - a single lens reflex), forgive me for being so excited.

My newest small digital Point-and-Shoot camera now has a terrific zoom lens.

For the last 10 years, each of my P/S cameras had to fit in my shirt pocket.

I now have bought a 5th one. The Canon Power Shot sx260HS.

It is the same size as a deck of cards, as were the others, but the last 3 years have seen a lot  of advances in technology.

This one has a 20x optical zoom.

In 35 mm camera terms, that means the lens starts with a fine 25 mm wide angle and can zoom out to a 500 mm telephoto lens.

Yikes.

My current camera - the Canon S90 - has been my workhorse since December 2009.

It has tons of nice features but the longest lens I have had zoomed only 3.8x.

Today, while testing my newbie, I found a setting for "fish eye lens" effect. This could be fun.

Reading the manual (online, a printed booklet no longer is shipped with cameras) I see this Smart Camera has a sensor that analyzes the scene.

It has 52 different ways to handle it when it is being used on AUTOMATIC.

I may never go back to MANUAL settings ever again.

Over the years I felt I could always walk up closer to the subject I was taking pictures of and nixed the idea of needing a telephoto lens.

But often there's a limit to how far you can back up.

So a wide-angle lens was my first choice and preference.

For many, many years I had carried a heavy camera with different lenses for various situations.

I was a Marine Corps combat cameraman in the 1950s and had to carry a rifle, or a pistol,  in addition to my photo gear.

Later, during most of the 1960s, I was on the editorial staff for a major metro daily in San Diego. Still a photographer but no rifle now.

A "gadget bag" was draped over my shoulder filled with lenses, many 4x5 film holders (before 35 mm cameras), extra #5 and #11 flash bulbs and, later, a portable strobe flash unit and it's bulky battery.

Even before I was thinking retirement, I realized I didn't want to lug around such a heavy load.

Luckily, digital camera appeared.

My three film cameras were put away in a glass case.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Caught the cat by surprise. She didn't even smile.

I was halfway across the room when I snapped her.

Wait till I check out the video High Definition 1080p capabilities of this mighty-mite camera.

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