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Thursday 23 June 2005

Compact Heaven [Amnesia]

Recently El Spiny del Norman posted a rather excellent, if slightly space-time warping blog due to its inherent size, on his hunt for poontang. When I say poontang I mean, of course, Digital SLRs which, for probably the first time in history reverses in this mention the general trend of sites like to talk about Digital SLRs like they are indeed particularly fine poontang. Or, given the first two letters combined in the site name, shall we say something altogether more engaging and participative indeed.
So one para in I i) remediate a long time imbalance, ii) probably baffle those who haven't hunted enough interweb pr0n with the reference to dp and iii) digress.
So far so AmBlog.
Cameras! That's what we're rootin tootin about! Do keep up. Pointy clicky Who Stole The Soul stuff through the use of lens teknowlogee rather than biggin up one of Public Enemy's finest tracks that is.
Today I was in the shopping empr0nium sorry emporium they call Bluewater tooling around for domestic shit that I could clue you up on if it wasn't for fear that your teeth would fall out thru sheer boredom. Anyway there I was and I went by Jessops, the national camera chain who do a fine line in High Street cameras of the conventional and digital type.
Emboldened by Spiny's blog (the bastard) I was enticed by a number of deals that Jessops were doing which were all actually, to be fair, pretty good - compact body and 2 lens deals on the Nikon d70 which he blogged about as well as stuff for the Canon 350D and the Olympus E-300.
Woooah. Let's have a park-up and quick smoke; my history with digicams to date is as follows (links separate for review insight rather than official descriptions);
Fuji Finepix 3 megapixel thing bought about 5 years ago maybe; Fine 3 megapixel camera perhaps for US or Continental European usage in spring and summer perchance. Terrible terrible smudging in lowish (not to say just medium) light for anyone else. Body was later redesigned by Porsche. Which is to say, put an aluminium spoiler on a turd. Well done everyone.
So pissed off with not being able to take a vaguely evening photo without everyone smearing, I converted to a Canon s45 bought 2 and a half to 3 years ago; this was a revelation - a brilliant 4 megapixel camera which was easy, fast, adaptable and just the deal. I've taken a huge bunch of life and clan pics with this and been delighted with it.
But there I was at Bluewater, slavering over the big handful maximus clickusdickimus SLRs. They are definitely the win if you know what you are doing. Did I? Regular readers will happily yell "shit yes Am" on their in depth knowledge of me but, being the conservative fellah I am, I did as one does, when in a technologically highly resourceful clan (and god knows how many times this has paid off), I phoned Lurks and said "what do you reckon".
For a while we talked out some prices, deals on the SLRs and it was all within the realms of negotiability. Then, as is his wont from time to time, Lurks said "now that stuff's all good but my question on it is are you really going to use it?".
Its a fookin point.
We then proceeded to discuss the merits of being a prosumer / semi-prosumer and a bloke that just wants a bloody good point and click with the option to do wilder stuff if required. Probably most important of all - if you're not mad for photography (and good luck to those that are) are you going to pack whatever it is you buy so it gets used? This is actually a lot more profound question than many to do with camera selection. You have to know yourself. If you will you will. If you won't, a big or even semi bodied camera is a bad economy.
I recognise that the SLRs are the ticket for those who are out to do a proper job. But with a counselling session and a relative handling session in the shop with the above SLRs and also the Canon G6 intermediate step if you like and its compact brethren, I decided to re-introduce myself to my own reality.
So I elected to upgrade my s45 for a s70 powershot from the make I liked and trusted so much - Canon. Of note - newly it comes with a 28mm wideangle lens base setting which is incredibly useful for indoor pics (have you ever tried to take a pic of a room with a digital camera and been pissed off with how much was missing - oh yes) and a 3.8x physical to 15x digi zoom at a res of 7.1 megapixs on the new Sony sensor. It's in a fetching carbon black and I'd say it's the win. What was even more elite was that at a ticket price of £399, one phone call back to Lurks got me a couple of quotes from a french web site and Dabs for 280 and 305 respectively. The conversation with the Jessops people went like this (and this is a true transcript (as best I can remember it) not stylised);
"Ok so I've done a price match with the following results {...} . I guess we now have to do the usual dance about what can you do""Well...""........hang on lets' just do this quick. Yes you've got a shop to run blah blah blah (I said the blah blah blah's and it got a laugh :) ) but I buy a great deal of my stuff wherever is best for me and that generally means online but you've done all the demo and explanation for me today so I'd like to go with you today if you can get somewhere decent to the real price. I'm a geek so I like online, I have no interest in extended warrantees which are a rip off, but you deserve the business. What can you do?"Bloke smiles "I'll go and ask the manager"
One quick shuffle and dance about we do the deal at 305 including a softcase. 399 to 305 inc case! Respect to them. By the way the lowest they will do the camera at is 314. You work out how I did the rest.
Got the camera home. The results are very impressive I think. The s45 is no slouch whatsoever and indeed a great cam. The extra res on the s70 is the luxury of the top of the range and is great and gives what I think is a deeper field of view. If you are in the field for an automatic - this is a top cam.
First few pics are up on


  1. Is that a five burner bar-b-q??????

  2. Damn straight it is. What a pity you ain't coming to AmLan2....