Friday, September 24, 2010

New camera...what do you think?

Little Wooie Appleseed
September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370
I've been looking at upgrading my digital camera for a while - I have two older kodaks that have served me faithfully for nearly 6 and 7 years. One 5MP (Kodak DX4530 with a Kodak lens) and one 6MP (Kodak Z760 with a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon lens). They take decent shots - but I know how much technology and lenses have improved in all that time. So while I was at costco today I spent some time looking through their mid-range camera selection. I'd LOVE an SLR - I've played with the Nikons and Canon's - but they aren't in the cards right now. So of the dozen or so that I could play with, I was looking for a good compromise between cost and quality - but it's so hard to tell what a camera is and isn't while playing with one in a warehouse....So I purchased the Sony Cybershot (DSC-W370) which came with a roughly $220 price tag. I took a bit of time this afternoon to charge the battery and headed out to see what I could get.


September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370
I expected to love it - I have a super patient subject that will patiently wait for me to try various angles and settings while he holds his position like a superstar...but, I have to confess - I'm not convinced....I like the Kodak's that give me quite a bit of control and when I don't want control there are numerous pre-sets that set aperture and shutter speed for me based on scene settings. I tend to shoot everything on "sport' when I'm shooting the dogs. The Sony Cybershot doesn't have a "sport" setting - and while I experimented with some of the built-in modes I found that the "easy" (Kodak equivalent of Auto) actually took the best photos - even when I was shooting stationary objects (like apples). The jumping photo (above) was taken on the auto setting. If you click on the image you can see the view in full resolution. Yes, Teller was in motion - but I would expect to see a clearer image

A few more:
Blurry Woo....Adorable, but blurry.
September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370

Stationary shots are much better than the movement shots.
September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370

Teller (l) and Murphy (r) really wish I'd put down the damn camera and let them swim.
September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370

It's been a bumper apple crop this year!
September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370

I'll be freezing another dozen pies worth of apple pie filling this weekend. Both of my freezers currently filled with dog food and apple pie filling. Random eh?
September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370

One more of Teeter-Woo on his rubber seesaw.
September 24th, 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-W370
The Sony Cybershot is the only USB device I have that runs on a proprietary cable - something manufacturers NEVER mention on the outside of the box (annoying). The Sony Cybershot also uses a SONY Memory stick (came with a 2GB PRO DUO which is supposed to have the highest performance) - which is also proprietary so unlike my older cameras, I can't just pop the memory card into my laptop's SD reader.

When I was taking multiple shots in succession, I often found myself waiting for the camera to finish writing before I could take another shot. I think 4-5 seconds is too long to process an image when I'm trying to capture something specific. Sure, that tulip will wait to for my camera to process - but I'm not going to be able to talk that fawn into laying back down in the field of dandelions.

The Sony Cybershot DSC-W370 came with a camera case - which looked good - but isn't really setup to be practical. The lithium battery is charged with an external charger that doesn't fit into the camera case (unless you put it in with the camera and I was reluctant to have it bouncing around in the too big camera compartment with the camera/LCD). The other two compartments of the camera bag were too small for the USB or AV cables. So if like me you're planning to travel you'll need to stow all of the accessories elsewhere or upgrade your camera bag.

I do like the panoramic feature and played with it a bit it's on my list to work with tomorrow. I also plan to read the manual tonight - perhaps there's a setting or feature that I'm overlooking to improve some of these initial short-comings...as we say in the IT world - RTFM - and because this is a family-friendly blog I'll leave it at the manual!!! So my homework is to put some more time into experimenting with the camera.

I don't see a HUGE quality improvement over my old 6.1MP Kodak Z760. And if I'm not going to upgrade image quality (6.1 MP to14 MP) and at the same time lose camera features I think I'll just put some money in a jar every month for one of those fancy SLRs.
From my rubber teeter post - September 19th, 2010
Kodak EasyShare Z760



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