Battle of the cameras

January 19th, 2008 | Categories: Photography | Tags:

Over the past several months, I’ve been dabbling in photography. Over this time I’ve purchased 3 cameras, those being a Nikon P5000, Nikon 40X and a Canon Powershot G9. I figure I have some good experience with these cameras now and I’ve decided to write a quick review. Also in the review will be the HP Photosmart 735 since I took quite a few pictures with this older camera as well.

So, Here’s the review.

HP Photosmart 735


Max Resolution : 2080 x 1542

Zoom : 38mm to 114mm

Price: Paid $200 in 2003, $20 to $30 on Ebay now.

ISO: 100 – 400 , usually in auto mode.

Pictures Taken: Probably 1800 or so, perhaps more.

This was the first digital camera that Cori and I owned. While, for the time, it seemed adequate, it was a very slow camera and gobbled batteries like nobody’s business. It wouldn’t catch action indoors without a flash and it’s picture to picture time is abysmal (sometimes 5 seconds it seems). I recently tried to give the camera to the boy butthe camera doesn’t work well enough, even for him since the batteries die within a few shots, I suspect this is a problem with the camera as it ages for some reason since this seems to be a common complaint.

For a while I would take it on my bicycle rides with me in order to take pictures of the general area. It seemed to work fine for that.

Good things

  • Decent for it’s time
  • Has pretty good optics
  • Had an OK startup time
  • Good image quality

Bad things

  • Poor write times for images resulting in VERY slow picture to picture times
  • Saturation is always at full, resulting in colorful yet strange looking images
  • LOUSY battery life
  • Very little camera control (which is to be expected for a camera of this type)

Nikon P5000


Max Resolution : 3648 x 2736

Zoom : 36mm to 126mm

Price: Paid $380 in July 2007

ISO: 64-1600 (3200 in 5MP mode)

Pictures Taken: 8900.Many were auto-bracketed though.

This was my first camera that I purchased for myself. Seeing it in the store, it didn’t seem that impressive but Cori had told me she really liked this camera, thus I bought it because if she liked it, it was probably pretty good. It was an excellent choice.

This camera has all the features necessary for a budding photographer. The compact shape and profile with some of the power and control of an SLR. This camera rode with me through the city and accompanied me to British Columbia. It has worked reliably in most conditions and is truly a great camera for it’s size and price.

Good things

  • Excellent range of control for ISO
  • Aperature, Shutter, manual and program control
  • Good ranges for ISO, especially the 64 ISO
  • Compact design with great grips
  • Neckstrap style (no yucky wrist strip)
  • Ability to set your own white balance
  • Hotshoe, though it looks silly with a big flash on top of a little camera
  • Auto-bracketing!
  • Battery life is pretty good (about 250 shots)

Bad Things

  • Above 200 in darker areas is really grainy
  • Above 400 in light areas is really grainy
  • Write times can be slow, so picture to picture time can be a hassle
  • Focus can be slow, especially in lower contrast areas.
  • Battery compartment cover is flimsy

Nikon D40X


Max Resolution : 3872 x 2592
Zoom : SLR, N/A

Price: Paid $899

ISO: 100-1600

Pictures Taken: 5000

After whetting my appetite for photography, I decided to buy a DSLR. Being a cheapskate, I bought the cheapest one available which was the D40X. While I enjoy this camera and it has it’s uses, I find it’s too large and bulky for my ‘style’ of photography. I usually only bring this to places where I know I’ll be taking photos.

All in all, it’s not a bad camera for the price despite the fact that it has no internal focus motor or auto-bracketing.

Good Things

  • Very snappy. Very little noticeable lag time from shot to shot except in continuous shot mode.
  • Light. It’s much lighter than even the D80, probably due to the lack of a focus motor
  • Nice screen. The screen is bright and informative.
  • Controls are well laid out.
  • Good image quality (in comparison to the compacts)
  • RAW mode

Bad Things

  • No top LCD
  • No auto-bracketing 🙁
  • No focus motor, you need to buy specially designed lenses with the motor in the lens.
  • Controls are sparse

Canon Powershot G9

Canon G9

Max Resolution : 4000 x 3000

Zoom : 35mm to 210mm

Price: Paid $600

ISO: 80-1600

Pictures Taken: 1100
This is truly a beautiful camera for those who like compact point & shoots. It’s rugged, it has good zoom and for the short while I’ve been taking photos with it, it’s been great thus far. It’s snappy and a pleasure to use.

Good things

  • Good zoom range
  • Rugged build, metal body
  • Large 3″ Screen
  • Great controls
  • ISO dial on the top
  • Manual focus!
  • hotshoe
  • RAW mode
  • Snappy shooting (in comparison to the P5000)
  • Good optics

Bad Things

  • Noise reduction is poor
  • Can be heavy
  • Lens shank visible through viewfinder
  • Shutter button kind of awkward

There you have it,  a quick review on all of the cameras I’ve used or am using.

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