Thursday, November 29, 2007

Near bottom for SD850is prices

Amazon's price on the SD850is is starting to climb instead of drop. it is now $260. I'd guess this means stock is drying up, so it's probably time to buy this camera if you are interested. The next bump up (The SD950is) is going for $350. Given that shipping is free, these prices are actually about as low as they get online from reputable sellers. It's been a little while since Canon has announced a new SD camera, so if you wait another 3 months I expect some new choices will be out.

In the mean time, the Sony W80 remains a good alternative at $190 (again, free shipping).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Canon SD 870IS

The Canon Powershot SD870IS (3.8x zoom, 8 MP, IS,Wide angle, CIPA 270) sounds like an upgrade to the SD850. Not true! It uses a wide-angle lens, removes the optical view finder, and bumps the LCD up to 3in from 2.5in. It's also slightly taller and longer (by .1in, in each direction). Because of the new control layout there isn't any good place to rest your thumb on the back of the camera - the entire backside is made up of LCD or buttons. The shots per charge of 270 isn't bad, but since you have to use the LCD all the time, there's no way to extend that value should you be on vacation, etc. Shot to shot cycle time was 2.2s.

I've noted this camera before, but now there are two good reviews of it online.

A good, spec oriented review. As you might expect, the wide angle lens, at the widest angle, produces a bit of blurriness at the corners, and visible barrel distortion. The 870 is definitely worse than the SD850 in this regard, but about the same as it's wide-angle predecessor, the SD800. In real world images (1) (2), this may or may not be visible, depending on how hard you look.

Aside from the lens, the reviewer liked the camera quite well.

A really informative review, with excellent real world tests. This reviewer also liked the camera a lot, but was less satisfied with the quality of the optics.

Personally, it looks like a fine camera, but not a great one - I want better optics and a viewfinder (or much better battery life, to make up for the missing viewfinder).

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Vectorize images

A neat new web app allows you to take your photos and create vector art out of them automatically. Vector based images are composed of lines and polygons, rather than pixels, which potentially means that you can print or resize the images with less error. In practice, I've not found that to be true with the output of this app. But - it's fun to play with.