Saturday, December 01, 2007

Is There a Perfect P&S Camera For Me?

The grass is always greener on the other side it seems.

For about two years I've been wanting a small point and shoot camera to carry in a pocket or purse all of the time. My Canon DSLR camera weighs in over two pounds and so if I'm not planning to shoot, I often leave it at home. But at night when we go to a restaurant or on a little shopping trip it would be nice to always have some way to "grab" a shot if I want to.

I've been reading about each new P&S camera when it comes out. Most of them didn't take more than a glance because one of my requirements is that the camera can shoot RAW images. Some of you probably don't know what that means but once you cross over into RAW territory you just can't go back. Basically it means that you have total control over the digital files instead of some engineer in Japan deciding how the pixels should be interpreted.

One of the cameras that I was interested in was the Sigma DP1 which was announced over a year ago but so far hasn't been released. Sigma said it would be "a camera with the best still image quality in a compact body." That is the perfect description of what I want but after so many months since the announcement, I had decided that the DP1 was a no-go and would never be released. It was just a concept.
This year the Canon G9 came out and it has gotten pretty good reviews. The Con's are it is noisy above 200 ISO, isn't a wide angle lens, and is bigger than I'd like. It is too big for a pants pocket although it would fit in cargo pant's pockets but still it would work in a purse or backpack. A good thing about it is the price that is $100 less than its older sister the G7. So after two years of waiting I was thinking okay, I can live with this. I'll get it when I'm back in Texas.

Then this week the Chief Operating Officer, Kazuto Yamaki of Sigma made this announcement pretty much saying that the DP1 wasn't measuring up to their expectations for the camera and they have re-designed some parts of it and it is now in Alpha testing. He didn't have a release date but indicated that it would be right when they released it.

If this camera could live up to its early specs, this would be the camera I want. But how long would I have to wait until I can see for sure whether the grass is greener. Maybe a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!


Andee said...

Hi, for whatever it's worth i just met someone taking photos of the beach here in Chacala with a new Canon D9. She had had the D3 (?) before and said this is a whole new thing. Very nice.

She had intended to continue to use here EOS....can't remember Canon (big heavy camera with a big lense) for most things. But it turns out she's usually tne new (pretty little) camera all the time.

She likes the size alot. Anyway, for whatever its' worth. A 2nd hand opinion.

Billie said...

Hi, Andee, I haven't heard from you in a long time. And I appreciate your info. It is so nice to heard what someone thinks about the camera who is really using it. Maybe it will be in Santa's bag this year.

by Cade Overton said...

just saw this today.

-one of pitchertaker's students

Billie said...

Cade, congratulations! pitchertaker is a mentor and long time friend.
I've been following the comments on The On Line Photographer. But thanks for the heads-up. I may just have to stop looking for the perfect and take the good.

Anonymous said...

I am very happy with the g9. It takes great pictures and let's me do what I want it to without cumbersome menus. A rugged intuitive p&s. I admit it's a bit bigger that I want but a small price to pay for a snapshot camera that can take quality snapshots.