Me and My Camera


I was never much into photography before moving on to the boat. I always figured if I bought a postcard, it was as good as I was going to get, plus it was cheaper and easier. No camera, film and developing expenses to worry about. So I definitely regret having no pictures of the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and Caernarfon Castle. The postcards have long been lost.

Having a digital camera aboard has made all the difference in the world. I rarely go anywhere without my camera. When we first moved aboard, I had a cheap little digital that I got for free from the bank for opening a new account. The resolution was poor. The colors weren't true. There were very few bells and whistles. The photos were just shy of awful, but it was instant gratification and it whet my appetite for something better.

I've bought and used several cameras since those early days. I went through a “must fit in my pocket” stage (a little Panasonic) and vacillated between cameras that required AA batteries or rechargeable lithium ions. In the end, I determined what was most important to me was the optical zoom capability, image stabilization and ultimately of course, the quality of the photos. Oh yeah, and the budget.




For the past few years, I've been using a Canon PowerShot and I love it. It's relatively easy to use, and though it doesn't fit in your pocket unless you're Captain Kangaroo, it's easy to sling it over my shoulder or stash it into a drybag or a backpack. The quality of photos (despite the photographer) is excellent. I love the zoom capabilities. Canon seems to lead the market in this area. Just recently we've starting taking video clips and we were surprised with the quality of the results and how much fun it was to film and edit.

I've actually gone through several Power Shots. I had the 20, 30 and I currently use the SX40. It doesn't fit in my pocket, but offers so many other neat features that I can live with the size. I prefer an automatic point and shoot that also gives me the option of manual settings when I want them. I'm budget-minded as always, so an SLR and extra lenses have never been an option. I upgrade whenever I get back to the States and use the older camera as a backup. The upgrade is nearly always for increased zoom capability. The price on-line usually runs between $350-400 US.

I usually buy extra batteries and always have extras charged and ready to go, although one battery is usually good for 300+ pictures. I prefer smaller SD memory cards (4Gb) to larger ones unless I plan to take video clips. I'd prefer to upload the card frequently to my computer or use several cards rather than risk having everything on one large card which might get damaged or lost. At the moment, I'm coveting the Canon PowerShot SX50. 50X optical zoom … under $400...oh, man!

Before buying a new camera including every Canon I've purchased, I consult Digital Photography Review, which gives me an unbiased opinion of the camera, its features and how it performs. I spend as much time with my camera as I do with my captain, why not be just as choosy?

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