The Best Camera Is The One You Use

After all the talk about how much I love my DSLR and such, I went out and bought myself a Canon S90.  Yes.  A point and shoot.  Most P&S’s are, in short, horrible pieces of crap – the S90 is kind of an exception – kinda.  In a minute, the problems, but for now, the one undeniable quality: they fit in your pocket, which means you have them with you when you’re say, at work.  That means you take pictures, like this:

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Not too bad, eh?  If you want to hear my thoughts on why you’d want a Point and Shoot vs. a DSLR and all about the S90, hit the jump for more…

It took me a while to come around to this but if you check out my post count, you’ll probably notice the lack of new stuff.  Life gets busy, things fall out – recently it was photography, and that didn’t feel good.  I was also racking up a lot of “I wish I had my camera”  moments, but at the same time, I wasn’t ready to give up some things I’d grown used to.  A short list of things that DSLRs do that Point and Shoots mostly do not:

  • Shutter lag – this is huge.  When you press the shutter and get a picture a second or more later, that can be a real problem.
  • Picture quality – things might have changed lately, but grainy, poorly exposed, flat shots were usually the order of the day.
  • RAW support – I take all my pictures in RAW with my DSLR, which means I can unleash all the quality the image has to offer, not just the quality left after the camera makes some decisions about what it thinks would be best.
  • Fast glass – most P&Ss have really slow lenses.  This means no bokeh, bad low-light performance, and not much depth of field control.

The S90 does go a long way to addressing most of these issues:

  • It packs the DIGIC IV processor, which is the same one as in my Rebel T1i, so you’ve got some real horsepower.  This means less shutter lag (fast processors really help), high megapixel count, and pretty decent high ISO support.
  • F/1.8 lens.  Yes, it isn’t through the whole zoom range, but the fact that you can get down to 1.8 means you can blur out the background (see above!) and should mean you can shoot better in low light as well.  This is even faster than the P&S that Canon builds to be a backup for pros with DSLRs (the G11).
  • RAW Support – yup, just like on my DSLR, I can shoot RAW here too.  This means no workflow changes and any performance I can claw back from the small glass is there for the taking.

There are still problems, of course.  The shutter lag is very short but still longer than my DSLR.  The zoom lens gives you a ton of bang for your buck, but at the end of the day, it is what it is – no special macro lenses, no super fast primes, no mega zooms.  Speaking of that lens, it might be pretty fast, but the glass is still pretty tiny.  That means your pictures still won’t touch what a DSLR turns out, but you’ll have a picture, which is infinitely better than thinking about what you might have, had you brought your camera with you.

For now, I can take pictures again, and hopefully that means doing more of what I love.  If you see more shots on the blog, you’ll know it’s actually true.  Let me know what you think of the new shot, and I’ll try and post more shots from the camera and maybe some pictures of the camera too.

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