Monday, August 2nd, 2004
I Need A Camera To My Eye
I have begun the process of shopping for a new digital camera. I’ve just about outgrown my Fuji Finepix 2600z and am looking for something towards the higher end of point-and-shoots to suit my needs for the next few years at least, if not longer. I’m not prepared to go DSLR because, really, I don’t want to spend that sort of money and time to learn how to work everything. Well, mostly the money. Who knows – maybe by the time I outgrow this next camera I’ll be ready to take that step. Anyway.
I had my choices narrowed down to either the Canon PowerShot A80 ($499 CAN) or the Canon PowerShot S60 ($699 CAN) as Canon seems get far and away the best reviews of the consumer-level P&S digicams. The Fuji came out last week and announced a whole slew of new models, including the FinePix E550 ($599 CAN) and the FinePix F810 ($649 CAN). I can’t tell spec-wise how these two models differ, actually, though the F810 is twice as heavy as the E550. There’s been no reviews of either of these models since they’re not even on the market yet (I heard end of October for the E550).
Anyone want to offer some advice on my purchase decision? Nikon? Minolota? I’m looking for something that will offer decent low-light/indoor performance (for concert pics, natch) and while I’m obviously not going to get professional results, I figure anything in this price range will be a step up from my current camera. I also want a greater than 3x optical zoom or at the very least, a threaded barrel for attachable lenses. Anyone have suggestions on any of the ultra-zoom models out there? Or how to read/compare specs in general? What’s important, what’s not? Other matters like battery type, memory type, etc etc will be considered but won’t likely be deal-breakers either way. Also, if anyone has suggestions on where/how to buy to get the best deal – there has to be a better way than walking into Future Shop and paying sticker price – those recommendations are appreciated as well. I’m not rushing into this, I’m willing to wait till Christmas to take advantage of Boxing Day sales if I have to. I also don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of new product launches. I’m looking to keep the price within the $500-$700 CAN range (around $350-$550 US?) cause I’ll have to be spending on memory cards, a case probably and other ancillary items as well. Thanks!
I did make it to Wavelength last night after all, though it was by no means a sure thing – it’s damned easy to simply not go out by 10:30 on a Sunday night. The lure of a free beer finally won out, however, and was enough to get me on my bike and away to Sneaky Dee’s. I guess they were running behind schedule because when I arrived Jet Project Labs was still rocking the mic with his odd Maritime folk-hop. It was mildly compelling but not really my thing. I was more interested in seeing the other two bands, both fronted by regulars on the 20Hz message boards, which have become sort of the defacto hub for the grassroots Canadian indie scene.
Montreal’s A Vertical Mosaic are a three-piece with a lot of keyboards, but also an old-school guitar and bass to keep things a little rough around the edges. I found their sound to be a bit of a cross between a really mellowed-out Stereolab and early New Order. Some of their material was much better than the other stuff, particularly when the guitar was more to the fore. Granted, I personally like guitar music, but I think the music benefitted from the more organic sound. On the peppier numbers I think they could have really benefitted from a real drummer to put them over the top as opposed to the drum machine sequences they favoured, but I guess that’d be rather contrary to what they’re trying to do. Good musicianship and nice vocal arrangements (when they could hear themselves, at least) and decent enough all in all, anyway.
Locals Femme Generation were the headliners of the evening, as evidenced by a) their going on last and b) everyone actually moving to the front of the bar when they started their set. They trade in the disco-inflected downstroked post-punk sound that’s de rigeur these days, but with a significantly more aggressive approach – you can tell there’s some serious rock in these guys’ background. They had really good stage presence up there but the songs didn’t quite have the hooks to really get my attention. That was just me, however, and the rest of the audience seemed to be having a splendid time and the band’s just-released EP Circle Gets The Square netted a very positive review in this week’s eye.
Late post? Yeah, it’s a long weekend, chumps!
np – Rogue Wave / Out Of The Shadow