In a digital camera pickle

So Kate and I are in the market for a digital camera. After doing a bit of research, we are thinking that we might upgrade from a regular point-and-shoot to something a bit fancier, but not quite an SLR. We’re currently looking at the Canon Powershot S3, which I think is the step up that we want. The problem is, it’s not available until May. One site I found said May 31!

Now normally this wouldn’t be a big deal. But as anybody with children can tell you, one or two months can be an eternity. And as other parents obsessed with photographing their babies can attest to, a week without a camera is too long. Anything longer than that is simply unacceptable. So do I break down and purchase a camera like the ELPH or the A700? Or do we risk missing every key moment of Simon’s life for the next month or two? I have hope that Penn Camera near us will have one in stock this weekend, but I think the woman I spoke to last week might have been mistaken. These are truly the decisions that rend one’s soul. Or something equally melodramatic. Any suggestions?

9 thoughts on “In a digital camera pickle

  1. Well, think about it this way: If you wait for the new Powershot to come out, it’s still “technology” … and it will already be outdated. What are the features of the S3 that make it THAT much better than the A700? And will all of those differences matter two years from now when both cameras will be SUPER old in terms of the technology?

  2. Wow. The S3 looks nice! I think the old adage in cannon is that the elphs have less features but are smaller while the powershots are bigger but are more powerful.

    Anyway, like Lou Ann said, I’d be interested to hear what about the S3 sets it apart from the A700. I checked them out on digital photography review ( and didn’t see *that* many differences… Plus the S3 is $150 more expensive and twice as heavy 🙂

  3. Rebecca!
    I talked to Barb the other day and she shared your fun news (you can’t escape the grapevine no matter where you move in VA!). I was wondering if I might hear from you sometime soon. Tell Matt that I said congrats as well. I don’t think I have a current email address for you. Drop me a line when you get a chance at patcampbell -at- gmail -dot- com so that I can update my address book. 🙂

  4. The S3 does look really nice. I have to say I am a fan of the 12x optical zoom but really how often would you use it, since you are going to be shooting cute dog and baby pictures. The Elphs are nice and portable but I liked the extra features with PowerShots. We just got the Canon PowerShot A620 and are extremely happy with it, we don’t have the cute subject matter but we will soon!

    -SWVA Rebecca

  5. In fairness, the biggest disadvantage that I see is the size and weight difference.

  6. Sorry Lou Ann, I’ve had to mull this one over for a while. So here’s the quick summary of the benefits of the S3 over the A700 (in no particular order). Keep in mind that I would definitely want to try the S3 out before making any final decision about which camera I would go with.

    1. Approx double the zoom (432mm compared to 210mm)

    2. Image stabilization. Our old camera, the A75, which is the A700 but 2 years older, gave me all sorts or problems focusing indoors when I wasn’t using a flash unless I manually set the shutter speed high. I’m hoping that the “image stabilization” feature will help with this, as well as reducing camera shake when using the maximum zoom.

    3. Zooming during movie clips. We loved that you could take little movie clips with the A75, but it was limited in that you couldn’t zoom in and out while recording. The S3 allows zooming while recording video.

    4. Still images snaps while recording movies. The S3 allows you to take full resolution (6MP) images in the midst of recording a movie, without interrupting the movie.

    5. Looking through pictures on Flickr tagged with “S3”, I’ve found several that use DOF to good affect. I’m hoping that the S3 has a bit longer focal length and will allow me to get that DOF that I’ve been looking for in some photos. I was NEVER able to obtain that effect with the A75 no matter how much I tweaked the settings. The lense focal length was just too short.

    6. Flip-out and twist LCD display. This would aid in framing self portraits (which I take of me and Simon fairly frequently) and in other instances where moving the camera somewhere besides in front of my face may be useful.

    7. I’ve also read that the image capter technology has been overhauled from the S2 to the S3, and should supposedly be even better than the S2 used to provide. I don’t know quite how it would compare to the A700.

    So that may be more information than you wanted, but I’m glad to get it down somewhere anyway. I may jot down an abbreviated version to take with me to the camera shop on Saturday. Maybe they’ll give me a loaner until the S3 comes out. 😉

  7. Oooooh new camera!! I am such a fan of Canon. I have a Powershot a80, and have much love for it. It’s still my carry around camera since my Rebel is huge. I do enjoy the flip screen, it comes in handy. I also like taking little videos with it. Canon just knows their stuff.

    Having said that, I heart my Rebel and think you might want one once Simon is moving around all over the place. I’ve been able to snap some fabulous photos of my niece that I never would have been able to get with my powershot. It’s like being the infant paparazzi 🙂 Snap snap snap! If you want to drool over my camera and test it out, I can bring it whenever you guys have me over for dinner 😉

    ps: Can we agree I get the “oh my goodness, she’s on a blogging roll!” award this week??

  8. I love my rebel, too! Didn’t Naj & I find some commonalities on several other occasions in the past? 😉

    Pat – please just remember that your wife is talking about holding off on feeding Simon solid food until she has a digital camera to take pictures of the occasion. Yeah. Be careful!!

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