After receiving quite a number of curious requests, I have
finally decided to dedicate an entry for my new camera that was purchased roughly 2 months ago. The old camera I have been using for more than 2 years, Kodak CX-7430, which was a budget camera, has started to show signs of age and coming death since the beginning of this year. No this has nothing to do with the quality or durability of that budget camera, but more of the issues of me constantly overusing it. If you have followed my blog, you would definitely know how much I have utilised and mercilessly tortured the camera, forcing and pushing it to work to its limits and basically, I think the camera just had no other choice but to tell me that it is giving up.
OLD CAMERA: KODAK CX-7430 (Easyshare)
My old camera, Kodak CX-7430 was a good one, claiming this fact for a camera in its category. As a budget point and shoot 4Mp camera, with minimal 3x zoom, tiny 1.6 inch LCD screen, minimal manual control (only ISO settings, Long time exposure up to 4 seconds, white balance and the typical Exposure Value compensation) and a superbly huge and bulky body, I think it did well and I was rather satisfied with it on the whole. Of course I can rattle on and on about the limitations and what could have been better, but we humans will never be satisfied with what we have, no? To me, the camera did way better than many other cameras in the same class, and it only costed me 197 bucks (RM530) at purchase 2 years ago. The price of the same camera found in Kuching was a shocking contrast of RM900 ++, which was spotted one year after my purchase of the camera in Perth.
It is time for a new camera. Since the entry about the AutoSalon Perth 2007, all the photos displayed on this blog there forth were all captured with my new camera.
Yes, its another Kodak. Yes it is another point and shoot camera. Yes, interestingly, it is another BUDGET camera, this time, I bought it for 224 bucks (RM605) at Harvey Norman (the one at Carousel).
NEW CAMERA: KODAK C875
So what are the specifications?
8MP sensor – Pretty much the standard of the digital cameras now
1/1.8 inch CCD – For a budget camera, they sure punch in a large CCD sensor.
5X Optical Zoom (37mm-185mm) – Plenty more zoom than just the standard typical 3X only.
2.5 inch LCD – Nothing to brag about.
PASM Mode – Now this is something to brag about. This camera packs in FULL MANUAL control, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, even manual focus.
22 scenes preset mode – Right. 22 is heck lot of options, but why bother since you have manual controls.
As usual, being a budget camera as it is, I do not expect much in terms of performance and picture output. You can read some professional reviews here and here, and I have little or nothing to disagree with them after using the camera for a few months. The performance is just so and so, it is not the fastest camera out there, and definitely the operation efficiency would not match up to
ridiculously more expensive Canons or Nikons out there. But take a camera in the same price range; I can be sure this is the best camera you can ever find.
READY TO SHOOT ANYTIME
The main reason why I bought this camera
besides the fact that it is blardy cheap is that it has full PASM mode, which is quite rare for a budget camera. With PASM (Programme, Apperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual) I could learn a heck lot more about photography, and do a heck lot more with my photos as well. Full exposure controls enables taking pictures in difficult situations much more flexible, and there is just so much more you could do about your pictures. There is plenty for me to learn and explore, and I am not exactly paying a high price for this camera. Learning is the priority now, once I master more skills and knowledge, I will be more ready and feel less guilty in purchasing a more expensive and capable camera. I am sure by then I would be able to appreciate my purchase more.
There is no point throwing a DSLR for me now, I could not even fully utilize it to its max I will just make a better use of it by hammering the huge and heavy body on Jon’s head until I hear repetitive bone cracking sound, for all the past crimes he has done on the Malaysian Blogosphere, and of course, for using lame techniques to attack me on DOTA. Sorry folks, inside joke.
So what is my own opinion on this camera? I think it is very well worth the money, considering all the features built into the tiny body. The body itself is constructed with solid metal, it does not feel like a budget camera on your hand at all. The looks itself being similar to any other point and shoots out there are deceiving. This camera can do more than just point and shoot with the PASM modes. So far I have little to complain when it comes to shooting performance, though in low light conditions, I did find trouble locking the auto-focus at high zoom end (telephoto). Other than that, the pictures turn out to be quite sharp, plenty of fine details, low in noise, and generally saturated in the famous Kodak Colour.
Here are the bad points that I think could have been improved:
- The AF Lamp cannot be turned off !! This is very annoying, especially taking pictures indoors, every time you lock the focus, everyone will know you are about to take a picture. For some odd reasons, the AF Lamp is very BRIGHT, and glaringly irritating to the eyes.
- A viewfinder would be nice. I am so used to taking pictures in low light conditions using the viewfinder to steady my hands. It is a foolproof anti-shake method when taking pictures in slower shutter speeds.
- Having said the previous statement, Optical Image Stabilization would be handy too. I have very unsteady hands, no matter how much I train myself, it just does not work.
- Flash coverage could have been improved. I guess this is just a weakness in most point and shoot camera to live with.
- I would have preferred the wide end of the lens to start lower than 35mm. My old CX-7430 starts at 34mm, while C875 starts at 37mm, even with such small difference in number, it makes a huge difference when taking wide angled shots for both outdoors and indoors.
However, please note that this C875 is after all, a budget camera, and it would be a God-sent camera if they incorporate anti-shake, viewfinder, lens adapter, and all the stuff that you could only find in cameras twice, or even triple in pricing at the same category.
As for the picture quality, I would not say that it is anywhere superbly stunning, but rather leaning towards reasonably satisfactory kind of results. Since the CCD sensor is larger than usual (1/1.8 inch), and they adopted better quality Schneider Kreuznach German built lens, I dare say the pictures will undoubtedly fare better than normal point and shoot cameras that utilize much smaller CCD sensors and cheap (and lame) lenses. The colours come out quite accurate, lively and richly saturated, a little too intense for some people, but just right for me. Most of my shots turned out well exposed and acceptably sharp from edge to edge. The flash performance however was a little bit less than what I have expected, but with proper compensation (settings in the camera) this problem can be quickly fixed. Of course one would be foolish to expect SLR quality like pictures from such tiny and cheap camera and believe me, some of my idiotic friends dared to compare point and shoot with DSLRs. For now, none of the available compact cameras can surpass DSLR in terms of quality and performance, comparing in any way and complaining about it will only make you look idiotic.
This September/October would be the most happening and lively part, the most looked-forward-to part of the year you may say. So many events are lining up, and I intend to be present at each and every one of them to experience this different lifestyle that I would have missed out if I am not here in Perth right now. It is time to live my life here, and experience the culture. And I have just the right camera to record the precious moments to share them with you beautiful people out there!!!
1) Kings Park and Wildflower Festival
2) Perth Fashion Festival
3) Perth Royal Show
4) Araluen Botanical Park
5) Spring Feast UWA
6) And of course….
UWA Spring Graduation 2007. 20th September, 2007, UWA Winthrop Hall, 9pm-ish.
I will be attending my convo, and with a sincere heart I would like to invite whoever of you willing to make my life less miserable than it is to the after-ceremony party at the duck pond area outside the clock tower.