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September 10, 2007
I've got a new camera, a Canon PowerShot A710IS. (Picture from Amazon.com, also see an in-depth review here.) This is the first digital camera I've ever bought for myself. It was heartily recommended to me by Andreé and I bought it through Andreé's officemate JC (thanks JC!) who came from Japan, where electronics are much cheaper than here in the Philippines. It set me back "only" 12,500 pesos; in most stores here, it sells for 24,500 so I definitely got a very good deal!

So far my experience with the A710IS has been absolutely fantastic... I love it! Why? Because it just works. Most of the shots I take with it turn out great straight out of the camera. Of course, some of that is my doing (hehehe) but still, this camera gives good results much more often than not. The image stabilization works like a charm and I never thought the 6x optical zoom would come in handy in so many situations. These two features make it possible to capture some shots which other cameras wouldn't be able to, like this shot below, which was taken from inside a moving vehicle. The 6x zoom helped me capture the entire scene through a tinted window which had just a small circular untinted part. The image-stabilization helped neutralize the bumps during the ride. (And it's amazing how I was able to keep the horizon straight!)


Also, I quite appreciate the A710IS' full manual controls (ISO, white balance, aperture, shutter speed, focus) since I'm trying to learn the ropes of digital photography. As an added bonus, it's still reasonably light and compact (it'll fit in your pocket) but not too small that it becomes difficult it to grip. It also runs on 2 AA batteries, so getting extra juice is never a problem.

On the minus side, like most non-DSLRs, it doesn't work too well in low-light conditions (especially indoors) but the image-stabilization helps out a bit here. It also has some trouble with high-contrast scenes, but again, this problem isn't specific to the A710IS. I also would've liked a vari-angle LCD like the A640, which can come in handy at times. But despite these shortcomings, the A710IS is a fantastic camera which really lets you just "point and shoot". If you want to look at some shots I took with my A710IS, check out my photos from our Boracay getaway (the camera arrived just two days before the trip!).

Since this was my first camera, I was very willing to burn some cash for accessories and whatnot. So I went and got myself a Sanyo Refresh Quick Charger Max (2700 mAh maximum, comes with two Sanyo 2700 mAh batteries) which I bought from Luey via TipidPC for only 1,400 pesos (thanks Luey!). I also bought an extra pair of Sanyo 2700 batteries (175 each), plus four Sanyo Eneloop batteries (99.50 each); I'll use the 2700s is my primary batteries and keep the Eneloops charged as backups. For storage, I bought a pqi 2 GB SD card (920 pesos from CD-R King) and for a case, I bought a Case Logic TBC-3 with lots of room for batteries for 580 pesos.

So all in all, I spent 15,228 pesos for the camera and extras. Still a bargain! What's next for me? A tripod!

(Addendum: Damn, maybe I should've waited for the A650 IS? 12.1 megapixels with a larger sensor than the A710, the newer DIGIC III processor with face-detection, a vari-angle, higher-resolution LCD, 6x optical zoom with image stabilization, and even a dedicated ISO button, it seems! Well worth it despite being heavier with 4 AA batteries. Oh well, such is the world of digital camera... there's a newer model every month!)

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7 Responses to “Every shot is a PowerShot (with the A710IS)”

  1. # Anonymous gil

    wow. congrats on the new purchase! a good buy indeed. and definitely just about at the right time.

    a digicam with full manual controls? impressive. that certainly makes deciding between a dslr (like a nikon d40) and this cam much harder.

    hmm, question on my mind now is would someone from Canon appreciate this post and send you "freebies" like Fukuda did? hehe  

  2. # Blogger punzki

    Masaya na ako kahit underwater case lang padala nila... or tele-/wide-angle converter. :D

    Well, there is a whole world of difference between a point-and-shoot (P&S) and a DSLR, even if the P&S has manual controls. For one thing, all of the manual controls in a P&S is usually manipulated through a clunky manual system. On DSLRs, they will have a system of buttons and dials for quick manipulation of settings. Also, there is no comparison between a DSLR and P&S when it comes to image quality; the larger sensor of the DSLR means that it will capture more detail and less noise compared to a P&S. The difference in quality becomes more pronounced in low-light conditions. Also, if you are serious at dabbling into photography (even if you don't plan on turning pro, hehehe), then at some point you'll get a DSLR for sure. :D

    Check out the reviews at http://www.dpreview.com. If I were to buy a DSLR, I'd buy a Nikon D80... the review sold me on it. There's also a lot of explanations on the basics of digital photography. :)  

  3. # Anonymous gil

    you just sold your new cam so well that i thought it was almost at par with a dslr, less the bulkiness and at a cheaper price.

    a nikon d80? i thought of the d40 since i was told it was the cheapest dslr that was already ok for a beginner, about 22-24k in quiapo. though someone recommended a d70 + 18-200mm VR lens coz i said i wanted something that would already be a good buy for a long time.

    oh what an irony it will be if camera-shy me gets a camera. hehe  

  4. # Anonymous Aids

    Tripods can be acquired in a street in Quiapo, Hidalgo St. (where Jason goes to). Lots of options there for low price.  

  5. # Anonymous Aids

    I shoot for Pentax, Japanese Design, but made in the Philippines :D  

  6. # Blogger ダイアンゴンザレス

    Yup gusto ko din yung camera na yan! OK for a digicam beginner like me. (More of advanced beginner, kasi gusto ko may pagka-manual din.) Bale yan din first camera ko na binili ko hehe. Point and shoot lang din.  

  7. # Anonymous Aids

    Using your camera for one shot, it's really good, it focuses well, balances the light like that of an automatic and is light and handy (great for back-up cameras, in my case)  

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