Saturday, December 26, 2015

I'm shopping for a new camera

I've not heard from Transport for London Lost Property Office so I'm assuming that it's unlikely I'm going to see my backpack again - which contained my camera (plus three sketchbooks and two pencil cases!)

So I've decided to make the most of the sales and have started shopping for a new camera

By which I mean I've started interrogating all the review sites about which cameras best meet my requirements - and then the websites of the places where I might buy one.

I was wondering if my readers would like to help with any reviews of recommendations they might have of the cameras they own.

Here's my criteria

I've ruled out Digital SLR cameras simply on the grounds of weight. I can't use them easily due to tenosynovitis (pain!) and grip problems (cramps if grip is not effective) and I need to avoid anything weighty as that tend to cause a problem with falls - and the last thing I was to do is fall while holding very expensive kit!

It must be capable of:
  • being carried and operated by one hand easily - this is absolutely essential. The grip needs to work for my hands - and is the reason most compact cameras get ruled out as they have no grip which makes it easy to hold. I use two hands if possible but sometimes this is not possible if I need to other hand to steady my balance
  • really good low light adjustment - this makes such a HUGE difference to the amount of post-exhibition processing I need to do. I couldn't believe it when I realised that my iPhone 6Plus was better than my Canon camera!
  • excellent image stabilisation - automated stabilisation makes a big difference to how sharp a photo is if you're not using a tripod.
  • taking excellent macro shots at almost zero distance - plus when using moderate zoom - for my plant and flower photographs
  • takes high capacity SD cards
  • not too heavy.... - ideally something similar to or lighter than my last one which weighed approx. 600 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
It would be nice to have a camera which:

  • produces RAW files
  • works with wifi - with my iMac and/or iPhone
  • transfers images on the move (minus wifi) via bluetooth to my iPhone
  • HD movie recording - but not essential since my iPhone does this very well
  • viewfinder - I use the screen most of the time but sometimes you simply can't tell whether the focus is pin sharp unless you use the viewfinder. Electronic rather than optical would be nice.

My last camera was a Canon Powershot SX40 purchased in 2012 from Jessops.  It was my third Canon Powershot bridge camera.

Canon Powershot SX60 HS Bridge Camera

In the frame at the moment is a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Bridge Camera, HD 1080p, 16.1MP, 65x Optical Zoom, 3” LCD Screen.

Another possibility is the Canon Powershot G3X

Places to shop

I tend to shop according to the "how easy is it to take it back if something is wrong / it dies?" criteria allied to "what's a good price". Lack of hassle wins out over a few £ different every time.

The John Lewis extended guarantee has a certain drawing power....

The Amazon price is always guaranteed to act as a benchmark - but I'm less clear about they are if you have to send anything back.

Shopping as the sales starts also has some appeal!

Your thoughts

Readers were really helpful when I was thinking about buying my first iMac and I've learned to ask you for your views!

If anybody would like to their add their thoughts to my currently internal debate feel free!  Do please add any "Have you thought of....."