• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

06 March 2010

sd300, congrats. put on this red shirt.

You might remember that earlier this week, I posted this photo.

My new purse camera

I got a new "go-shitty-places camera". Aaaaand now I'm going to talk about it!

The concept is this: Pink Hubby and I have two dSLR bodies, a variety of lenses, tripods and a few lighting toys. But I definitely don't carry that stuff around with me on a daily basis. Back before I had the dSLR, I had a Canon S3 IS. That's a fairly big point-and-shoot camera, basically. And I didn't want to carry it around all the time either, in its special little padded bag and with all its heavy batteries and junk. Not only is a big camera cumbersome, but daily use is going to result in a lot of wear and tear, and can possibly put a pretty expensive investment in some dangerous situations.

So anyway. Back in 2006 -- after I had an accident involving a $500 camera and a large body of water** -- I decided I wanted to buy a cheap, ultra-compact secondary camera. I did some research, narrowed it down to a few models, and hopped on eBay. I ended up buying a used ("previously-loved") Canon SD300 Digital Elph. It has 4 megapixels and a 3x zoom. It's the silver camera in the pictures in this post.

Let me tell you: best $100 I ever spent on a camera. This camera has been everywhere with me. In every purse I've carried, bouncing around with my keys and lip gloss and pocket knife. It's the camera I grab when I'm going somewhere wet, high, dangerous, extremely cold, dirty, sandy... well, you get the picture. There's a reason I referred to it as the "go-shitty-places-camera". It's better than a cell-phone camera and it's ready in a pinch. It does video too, and has a self-timer.

Lest you question whether a 6-year-old second-hand camera that looks like it's been through a rock-tumbler is really better than a cell phone camera... here are some photos I have taken with it.


So you can see: the SD300 (still) takes pretty good photos. The idea with this camera wasn't to buy the beefiest, most feature-packed camera I could find. It was to find a reliable, decent, and cheap camera I could conveniently carry around. And, most importantly: a camera I wouldn't feel too bad about if I were to -- for example -- accidentally drop it out a car window while doing a 'drive-by-shooting'.

Now let's talk about the new camera. Why'd I buy it? Well, I'm sure this goes without saying, but booking a vacation -- even an all-inclusive one -- doesn't mean you're done spending money. Gotta buy outfits! And supplies! (We just spent a lot of money! Let's spend more!) I have been toying around with upgrading the SD300 for some time now, and this seemed like the perfect time to pull the trigger.

The SD300 still works just fine, but there are a few advancements in technology I thought would be nice to have for our trip. A better sensor (more megapixels) is one (in case I take something that's print-worthy - the SD300 can really only produce up to a 4x6 without a lot of pixelation). Another is "image stabilization". It's pretty much the best thing ever for people with shaky hands. Pink Hubby's dSLR body has it. My S3 IS has it. Our Ricoh R7 has it (jesus, how many cameras do we have?*). My SD300 does not.

Here's another reason for the upgrade: I intend to bring both of them to Jamaica (along with one dSLR, I think). My original shitty-cam (the SD300) just got downgraded to shittier-cam status, you see. If this was Star Trek, it'd be wearing a tiny red shirt. I'd like to go parasailing if I can, and Imma take the SD300 with me. I'll wrap it in a zip-lock bag and hope for the best. Best case scenario: I get some awesome photos. Worst? I drop it into the Caribbean. More probable? The bag will spring a leak and the camera will get water-damaged, and/or get sand in a crevasse. (Nobody likes sand in their crevasses - cameras especially.) The fact is that both of these cameras have a medium-to-high probability of sustaining sand and/or water damage on this trip, even though we are generally careful. And that brings me to my next point.

These cameras are expendable. I'm supposed to be able to drop it on the pavement, watch it shatter into a million pieces, and not shed a tear. Or drop it in to the ocean, never to be seen again.** That's why I bought a used camera for under $100 (this SD1100 was $75 shipped) instead of a new one for $280-$350. This is not a fancy new toy to be babied and coddled and have a little protective pouch knitted especially for it. This is go-anywhere camera, 2.0.

The SD1100 arrived in the mail on Monday, bought from a seller from Georgia or Alabama or somewhere like that. Released in 2008, the SD1100 is just a liiiiiiitle bit heavier and a teeeeeny bit bigger than my SD300 (which would have been new in '04). Aside from having twice the megapixels and image stabilization, the functionality is pretty much the same. (Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two cameras, if you're interested.) Buttons are in the same places and everything. And, it's actually in better shape than I expected, for as cheap as it was. A little bit banged up, a few minor scuffs and scratches, and one decent-sized dent. Not bad, not bad at all.

sd300 and sd1100 is

sd300 and sd1100 IS (brown)

sd300 and sd1100 IS

Here are some photos I took with it during the week. (Boring, yes. But have I led you to believe that my life is anything but?)



This is what spring in ND looks like...

A little 'light' reading for my lunch hour...
light reading


I love my new (old) little camera! And my oldER little camera! We's gonna get sand in our crevasses together!

*Answer: We have seven cameras, not counting our cell phones. I will do a post about them all sometime. Promise. [I *am* planning to sell one - the S3 IS.]

**Yes, I did once drop a new, expensive camera into the ocean. Somewhere in the depths of the inner harbour in Victoria, BC, there lies a waterlogged Canon S2 IS. It was shortly after this happened that I bought the SD300 (and an S3 IS).