Wonderful World of Color

by wjw on October 18, 2016

img_0022When I made my trip in August to view the Tall Ships, I decided to replace my digital Pentax SLR.  I chose the camera in the first place so that I could use the lenses that belonged to my beloved old Pentax film camera, which finally pooped out around 2006.  But the new camera had auto-focusing, while the old lenses did not, and the two systems didn’t work very well together.  After it jammed when trying to use my old zoom lens, I paid a couple hundred bucks to get it repaired; and after it jammed in Green Bay, I decided not to spend the money for what was clearly a temporary fix.

Plus, when you’re using an SLR, the mirror flips up when you’re taking the picture, and this allows dust and/or debris to enter the camera.  This isn’t so important when you’re using film, because the dust would contaminate one tiny bit of the film and then get rolled up in the film roll; but when the dust ends up on a digital sensor grid there can be trouble.

In my Pentax, there was enough debris on the sensor grid to appear as little spots on the finished photo, as if the lens was lightly speckled with water drops.  (These were easily repaired in Photoshop, but I resented having to do it.)  I failed in any attempt to remove the debris, and I didn’t want to spend the money to send the camera back to Pentax for whatever it is they do for the problem.  I decided to spend the money on a camera that didn’t have these problems.

I also carry a Canon Elph pocket camera, which is handy and takes good pictures, but which lacks a degree of flexibility.  I wanted a very good zoom feature, and more options than were available in a pocket camera.

I’d heard about “super zoom” cameras, and after I looked into reviews and whatnot, I got a Canon Power Shot SX530 HS.  The controls are very similar to my little Elph, so there was a large degree of familiarity right on the first use.  It wasn’t an SLR, so there would be no problem of contamination of the sensor grid.  And the optical zoom was 50-to-1, with a whole powerful software package to keep the picture from jerking or blurring, and which would allow me to take good pictures of rocket ships heading for space should I ever have that opportunity.

And I got the camera for relatively little money, because the SX530 has already been replaced by a camera with a 100-to-1 optical zoom.

So the other weekend we went to Fourth of July Canyon, which is a little canyon with a micro-climate suitable for the maple trees that covered the area during the last Ice Age, and I took lots of pictures.  I tried deliberately to take pictures that would be challenging for the camera’s little robot brain, featuring light and dark, near and far, bright and shadow, contrast and no contrast.  The camera performed well throughout, except for two occasions when the brain crashed and shut the camera down.  It rebooted right away when I pressed the power button.

I don’t think this will be a problem, because I was deliberately trying to overtax the camera.  But more experiments are in the offing, so soon I’ll know for sure.

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