Most any digital camera takes a decent picture under ideal conditions, bright light and no zoom. It's when the light is dim and the zoom long when cameras buckle under my demands.
This is the situation in which I take photos at conferences to illustrate my live blogging. Room lighting is dimmed to let the slides stand out, the presenters are moving about, dozens of feet away. And I want a great action pic, close up.
Earlier in Three reasons I can't stand my new Canon camera; three reasons why I love it, I wrote that a year ago I bought Samsung's EX2f camera with its incredible light-gathering f1.4 lens -- but then I found it did a poor job. Then last summer I snapped up Canon's SX500is as it was being discontinued, because it gave me a 30x zoom in a relatively compact package. I do love my zoom.
At last week's Bricsys International Conference, I finally had the chance to put the new camera and its dim f3.4 lens to work. The photo below is typical of the results I obtained:
Pretty amazing, eh? According to the picture's EXIF data...
- The camera's shutter speed was 1/25, considered 5x too slow by professional photographers
- A 35mm-equivalent zoom of 200mm
- ISO (aka ASA) was 400
- The aperture was down to f5.0
- And no flash was used. I hate flash-lit photography.
So, now I love the SX500, despite its other drawbacks.