Friday, September 04, 2009

Less can sometimes be more

Hugh has brought his new Canon compact with him to Spain. It is a great little camera and perfectly suited to his requirements.

Hugh is an outdoor person and so needs a camera that is both waterproof and bomb proof. The Canon fits the bill on both scores; it is waterproof to 10m and the makers claim you can drop it from waist height onto concrete without a fear of damaging in.

Hugh is not eager to test out the bomb proof claim but he did test the waterproof claim in our pool yesterday. I'm not sure that Pam and Angela would want me to publish the resulting pictures of their bottoms but I can assure you they were clear and sharp.

The only problem with cameras like this is that the manufacturers do try to fit in as many features as they can. Of course you can just set it to fully automatic but the temptation is to explore the creative modes and that is where you can hit problems.

You have to remember to reset the camera back to normal when you have finished playing about with it. Hugh forgot this and so had his Canon set to timed mode from a previous occasion. Without the manual, he had to work out how to get back out of that.

Then he set the camera to underwater mode (not sure what differences that makes) and so at the restaurant had to remember how to get back to the appropriate settings for indoors (picture in a restaurant mode).

Although, the different modes could be useful; that is not the case if it means you miss the shot of a lifetime trying to work out which one to use. If you dig into the manual you find the differences are minor tweeks of sharpness, contrast, colour balance etc. These are all things that you can do in any half decent image manipulation program but only if you got the picture in the first place.

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