Thursday, January 26, 2006

Passenger Pigeon

Passenger Pigeon
Passenger Pigeon,
originally uploaded
by Points North.
I bought my Nikon Coolpix S2 partly because it was small enough for me to carry everywhere I go. Still, the other day, I had a long day ahead of me, too much stuff to carry, was going nowhere special, and thought briefly of leaving it behind. Glad I didn't!

This pigeon was a lesson for me that one just never knows what's around the next corner, and sometimes you just have a moment to capture the unexpected before it's gone.

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The Coolpix S2 has been a good little companion. It has at times truly surprised me with the depth and vibrancy of its colour rendition. It has pre-programmed "scenes" that make taking photos easier, especially architecture (with the guide lines in the LCD screen), snow, and macro. It has impressed me with its resolution, whether to view on the screen or printed out on photo paper up to 8.5x11 size. I think getting a good printer really helps with the latter as well. The flash works OK in keeping out red eye -- but if not, the accompanying PictureProject software takes it out -- and lighting up the scene well. But sometimes I find it doesn't extend as far as I expect it would. The chief problem with it is focussing. I think because the focussing infrared is in the top left corner of the camera near the tiny lens, it doesn't focus dead ahead in the centre as you would expect, rather to the left of whatever you're aiming at. And if you shake the least little bit -- even with the flash! -- you'll have a blurry photograph.

The movie mode is fun. The pictures are grainy, except when taken in strong light, as in the outdoors. It comes with software that lets you create DVDs and capture stills as well.

Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase. It meets all my requirements, and the downfalls I'm learning to work with. If you've never had a digital camera before, you'll be surprised at how many photographs you can take, and dismayed when you upload them for the first time and find you have a gazillion to sort through! If you want more control over shutter speed and aperture, don't buy a point and shoot, get a SLR.

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