I’ve been happy with our little Kodak digital camera. But it’s getting on in years and I decided it was time to get something new.
But how to decide what to get? There are so many cameras, each with strengths and weaknesses. My criterion for a digital camera is that it must be simple/easy to use. Within that, I want a optical viewfinder, optical image stabilization, and AA batteries.
The optical viewfinder is critical because, here in Hawaii where the sun shines so brightly, all LCD’s become washed out and therefore useless. Yes, this adds weight/bulk/space to a camera but the lightest camera in the world is worthless if you can’t frame what you wish to take a picture of.
The image stabilization seems to be one of the few new features for digital cameras that is not a gimmick. Although it can’t do everything, having this capability extends the range of situations where the photographer can obtain a usable image.
The AA batteries are equal parts convenience (you can buy one in almost every country on this planet) and cost (since it’s
ubiquitous, the cost is very low). Hence, when you want to take a picture, but find the batteries dead, you can easily and quickly find a fresh set. Try that next time with your silo hoarding proprietary ultra-slim and sexy battery that is available only from one source (or horrors, built-in and not replaceable by the user).
Surprisingly, it is getting harder and harder to find digital cameras that have these features. It seems companies are in
a race to build the thinest camera possible (as well as increasing its bottom line by locking customers in to their brand). So the first thing to go are the AA batteries. Then the optical viewfinder because who needs one when you have the whizzbang three-inch (measured diagonally) LCD?
Although Kodak still makes a few cameras that have optical viewfinders and AA batteries (although not so much with the
optical image stabilization), I understand it may be soon phasing out the lower cost models. Hence, I’ve decided to buy a Canon PowerShot A570 IS.
The A570 costs less than $250 USD, has an optical viewfinder and uses AA batteries. Better yet, this is Canon’s lowest priced camera to have optical image stabilization.
Add to this face recognition focusing, a 7-megapixel charge coupled device, 4X optical zoom, manual and automatic exposure control, and weighs only 6.2 ounces/175 grams. Oh, and it works great with our Canon inkjet printer.