My Kodak CX4230 has worked reasonably well in the nearly four years I’ve owned it, but my eyes wandered to smaller, more powerful models more times than I care to admit. There were significant limitations to my camera, but the picture quality was decent despite its 2.0 megapixels and slow processor. Learning the half-press shutter trick was instrumental in extending that camera’s life.
However, dropping prices and my rising income have convinced me to splurge a little for a camera that does more than the bare minimum. That’s not to say I need every idiotic feature available, but I have a few requirements that I’m not willing to compromise:
- The camera must be small enough to fit in my pants pocket.
- It must be 5 megapixels or more.
- Have both a large LCD screen and an optical viewfinder.
- At least 3x optical zoom.
It’s a short list of standards that leaves a lot of players on the field, but I was able to weed it down to one camera: the Cannon PowerShot SD700 IS Digital Elph! The SD700 exceeds these features with 6MP and a 4x stabilized optical zoom. It also boasts one of the best camera processors on the market (the DIGIC II engine featured in their digital SLR cameras), 16×9 widescreen mode, and a video mode with sound.
I’m hoping to order it within the next two weeks or so—possibly in time for my birthday—and I’d like to write a little review here, comparing my expectations with the results. Stay tuned.
Update: After reading my friend Joe’s post about camera shopping, I noticed on DP Review that Cannon now has a PowerShot SD800 IS. It’s about $60 more than the SD700, but has 7.1 megapixels, wide-angle zoom, a new, DIGIC III processor, and face-detection to increase the image quality of people pictures. Looks like my final answer just upgraded.
Update Two: Turns out, the SD800 IS isn’t available until November; delayed gratification for me.
Update Three: I received my new Cannon SD800 IS in the mail today! Despite the previous update, Amazon has been selling this camera for at least a week (Oct. 27).