The One'a Dem series this week will showcase cameras that may be recommended to your mate with safety.
I shall leave the manufacturer's representatives and fan-boy geeks to point out long lists of differences and advantages in their own favourite equipment in an attempt to gain superiority. The commonalities will be:
a. Small - frame cameras. Your mate is a tourist with a family.
b. Moderate 18-55 mm zooms.
c. Automated operation. Your mate is not a great reader of instruction books
d. Actual availability. In-shop now. Your mate can have the camera before he gets on the Boeing.
e. Affordable pricing. We need to leave spare cash for Bintang tee shirts and Jack Daniels at the duty-free.
Today's kit is the Canon 700D. A bit bigger physically than the other cameras, and somewhat lighter. Of course, all three cameras have plastic-mount lenses of light construction, but if they are prepared to leave them on the mounts and not wear out the bayonet, the optics should actually do a very good job. The resolution, distortion, AF speed, and CA may not be up to the standard of the L series lens but then neither is it going to be heavy nor expensive. Horses for courses.
The body opens up at the back to swing the LCD screen to the left. A good thing if they are going to shoot with the thing over their head, but a danger if it is going to be taken off on a door jamb. As a mate, you would be wise to get them to reverse the screen and tuck it into the camera back to start with. Disregard the action-photo advertisement where everyone has an screen swung out.
Intelligent auto answers most of the novice's needs and you can tell them not to put it off that until they are well into their photography. The machine opens with JPEG, sRGB, and a number of other standard and inoffensive factory settings, so get them to leave well enough alone for now. Do help them to set the clock and calendar so that they can search for photos later on the computer.
The factory settings for the video will also be safe enough for when they bring the results back but be warned that you will be expected to sit through an hour of the mates at the BBQ. If you want to distract them, explain the pictorial symbols on the mode dial and let them do macro and portraits.
All cynicism aside, you will be sending someone out with a very sophisticated machine that can grow with them if they take a continued interest. The 18 megapixel sensor is plenty for the camera and the ISO sensitivity goes way higher than most people can use. If this venture proves a success, there is an entire mountain of Canon glass available for this body. If you use Canon, your mate can borrow yours...
Do explain the optical stabilisation routine to your mate, but be conservative. Better that they should steady themselves just in case and with the added help of the OS the images will look good. You might be able to hand-hold 1/2 second on the topmast of a sailing ship in a storm, but that's why you are an icon.
Labels: amateur photography, Canon, DSLR, family photography, professional, tourist, travel photography