I've been having symptoms for weeks and trying to ignore them and pretend they'll go away, but it's no use, y'all. I have a full-blown case of New Camera Fever. While not fatal, this condition is annoying to someone with obsessive tendencies (who, moi?) and results in spending all too much time on sites like DP Review and C-Net and ePinions.
Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that the camera I want does not yet exist although, being an optimist, I have a faint hope that maybe someday it will. Still, I thought I'd talk a little about my New Camera Dream here because a) how does the Universe know what to manifest for me if I don't ask for what I want, and b) some of you might know something I don't.
Here's what I love about the camera I own now, an Olympus Stylus 410:
- It's compact enough to slide into a pocket or small purse
- It's weather-resistant. The Stylus line has gaskets and a special interior lining which means that (unlike the VAST majority of digital cameras, that are super-sensitive to moisture) you can stand in pouring rain taking photos and not ruin the camera. I've even heard of people taking these cameras into shallow water without ruining them, although Olympus specifically says not to and I've never had the nerve to try it.
- It has great battery life. I can get a LOT of shots before I have to recharge.
- It has a few nice perks like a self-timer and remote shutter release
- It was quite affordable
- It's Olympus and I'm a big fan of the brand. I've been using Olympus cameras for about 15 years and am currently on both my second Olympus film camera and my second Olympus digital.
Here's what I don't love about my current camera:
- It's only 4 MP, which is adequate, but I want more - at least 7 MP
- It only has a 3X optical zoom and I'd like more (It has the digital boost thing for the zoom that most digital cameras have, but I never use it as it pretty much sucks in terms of image quality)
- The macro function on it sucks rocks. If I try to close in tighter than about a foot away, the focus is totally wrong. I want the ability to get in with a way tighter focus than I can with this camera.
- It's not great in low light conditions either, although I've learned to compensate for that somewhat if I can set up a shot using a small tripod. But if I'm shooting on the fly in low light, most of the shots are a bust.
- It has a mode menu where you can tell the camera to adjust for certain conditions (like low light or glare) but no true manual controls.
So here's what I want and believe does not currently exist in DigitalCameraLand:
- Compact size (both small and light weight)
- Weather resistance so I can take photos in the rain or next to a misty waterfall and still have a functional camera instead of an expensive paperweight
- 7 MP or more of resolution
- Really good macro ability
- Better than 3X optical zoom
- Decent performance in low light conditions
- Good battery life
- The ability to override the auto functions and take photos with the "wrong" settings for artistic effect
- Use-friendly menus and button placement
- An affordable price (in my terms that means $400 or less)
Now is that too much to ask?? From the research I've done so far, apparently so but hey, my wish is now out there in the Universe, so maybe it will manifest itself before I settle for less. And maybe someone out there who knows something I don't will see my wish list and come up with a recommendation!
Today's DAT is a photo where I would have loved to see what I could do with a better macro function:
"Under the Peonies"
(clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)
*In case anyone doesn't get the pop culture reference in the subject line, it's a take-off on this famous SNL comedy sketch.