Monday, 25 December, 2000

Canon Powershot S100 Digital

This year we finally got a digital camera.  Since Debra's the picture buff, I bought her a Canon Powershot S100 digital camera.  I'm still amazed at digital cameras in general, and this little thing is really something.  It's small enough that I can completely cover it with one hand, and yet it does 2.1 megapixels, has a 2X optical zoom, and more features than I'll ever be able to use without continual reference to the operator's manual.  With a 64MB compact flash card and an extra battery (more on that below), I can't see ever needing film again.  I don't know that much about digital cameras (or cameras in general, truth to be told), but this one seems to have everything I need.  I figure we'll play with it for a few years and then maybe buy something better if we find a need.

Canon's picture software, on the other hand, needs some work.  Beyond having to help Debra with the install, which is one strike against the software, I haven't actually played with it yet.  But the trouble that Debra's having with the software and the few strange error messages I've seen indicates that it's still true that hardware manufacturers in general still don't know how to create software.  Of course, many software manufacturers don't either, but that's another story.  Adobe's PhotoDeluxe Home Edition came with the camera, but we haven't yet installed that.  I suspect it'll be a much better software package than the Canon offering.

The one thing that almost prevented me from buying the Canon was the battery.  They use a non-standard battery format rather than rechargeable AA or AAA cells, for size reasons, I assume.  I think I'd rather pay a little in size in order to gain standard batteries.  I tried to buy an extra battery at Best Buy (where I got the camera), but they don't carry them.  I'll either have to find it online, or order it directly from Canon.  The thing is expensive, too:  a brief online search revealed a price of about $60.00!  Maybe I can get a better price, but that's about three times what I was expecting.  Ouch.