Now for some talk about digital cameras.

My old trusty
Canon PowerShot S100
has been getting a bit long in the
tooth of late. It’s about 4 years old now. It’s a nice camera,
very small, takes pretty good pictures, and I have a bunch of
accessories for it: 2 256MB Compact Flash cards, and about 5 or
6 extra batteries. My biggest problem with it of late is that it
takes a whopping 6-7 seconds from turning it on to being able to
take a picture. You loose a lot of pictures by waiting 6 or 7
seconds. So, I started looking around for a new camera.

The newer Canon powershot’s look quite nice. There is a
(which is now discontinued) and a
and a
There are only minor diffrences between them. The S400 and S410 are 4
megapixel cameras, and the S500 is a 5 megapixel. They look
nice, have the exact same controls and form factor as my S100
and I could re-use my accessories. There is only one
problem. They are really pricy. The S400/S410 models are about
$100 more than any of the other ultracompact 4 megapixel
cameras. The S500 is something like 200$ more.

While looking around
mentioned that he was selling his old (well, 3 months old)
Casio Exilim EX-Z4
It’s about 1/2 the thinkness of the Canons. It has
a 2″ LCD on the back (the canons have a 1.5″). The price was
great, even factoring in having to get a new SD card (it uses SD
or MM cards). It also takes it about 2 seconds to be ready to
take a picture (my big complaint with the S100). So, I decided
to go for it. I picked up the camera from
when he was passing through to Colorado Springs the last night.

Overall I like the camera. There are a few things that are really
going to take some getting used to however. The zoom buttons on
the Casio are on the back below the shutter release button. On
the Canon this was a ring around the shutter release. When you
take a picture on the Canon you can hold down the shutter
release and it will show the picture you just took until you
relase it. On the Casio it will show the picture you just took
for a few seconds and then go back to the current display.

On the plus side I really like the LCD. It’s big and very easy
to look at. It does get a bit grainy at times, but it’s still
nice to read. I like the amount of time until it can take a
picture. It’s nice that it has 10MB of memory built in. I don’t
have my SD card yet, so I have been using it’s internal memory
to take pictures and then copy them off. The USB interface works
fine with my laptop. It shows up as a SCSI disk. Easy to copy
things off. The cable is really pretty short tho, so I might
look at getting an extender for it. It has a “Manual Focus” mode
which is really cool that the Canon didn’t.

So far so good, will see how it does once I get my SD card and can
start taking lots of pictures. I need to go through the manual
too and see all the things it can do.