We finally decided on a new Cannon PowerShot A70 digital camera earlier today and then went out to the local Walmart to pick it up as they had it advertised on their website for around $274. Discovered when we got there that they didn’t have any in stock which is probably why the ad for it on their website said “online only.” I suppose I should pay attention to little details like that.
Not to worry as Best Buy also was advertising the camera, but for the standard $299 asking price. We were planning on picking up some other Christmas gifts while we were at Best Buy anyway so we decided we could splurge and spend the additional $26 or so for the camera there. Naturally we got there to find out that, even though their computer claimed they had eight of these cameras in stock, they didn’t actually have any in stock. The very earnest teenager who’d been helping us then asked if we’d considered the Cannon PowerShot A80 which is the next step up and offered 4.0 Megapixels, versus the 3.2 of the A70, along with a laundry list of additional features. It was very nice, but it was an additional $100 over what I was hoping to spend. That’s when he said the magic words every gadget geek loves to hear:
“Would you be willing to meet us halfway on the difference?”
I quickly cast a pained looked at my wife and I could see in her expression that she recognized the epic internal struggle I was suddenly going through and how much effort I was exerting to keep myself from blurting out “hell yes I’d meet you halfway on the difference” like I would if I were still single and not responsible for feeding and providing a home for a wife and a child. I must have looked like I was in some serious discomfort as she didn’t waste any time before saying she thought that was a good deal. After a few moments of “are you sure” and “it is a nicer camera” along with a few “good deal” comments to make sure I was in the clear with her on the issue we finally agreed and I got to bring home a shiny new toy as pictured in the upper right hand corner there.
Naturally, I wasn’t going to get away from the counter without the helpful sales-teen bringing up the Best Buy insurance offer. For $59 we could insure the camera’s replacement for the next four years in the event of any major problems short of immersing it in acid. This one we hemmed and hawed on for a bit longer and although I don’t normally go for such insurance I decided to go for it this time when I considered how much banging around the cheap Kodak DC3200 we have ends up taking from me lugging it around all over the place. This means we ended up paying a little more for the camera than we would’ve if we’d bought it at standard price minus the insurance, but I still think we got a pretty good deal.
The A80 takes some big-honking pictures that are supposed to be optimal for 8×10 prints. Once I got it home I had to get it out and start playing with it just to see how well it works. One of the cooler parts of the camera is the fact that the LCD screen flips out to the side and spins to face any direction you want it to making taking a picture of yourself pretty damned easy as you can see below.
You can click it for a bigger version, but even the bigger version has been resized down to 1024×768. Normally pics at the highest resolution on this camera are 2272×1704 and weigh in at just over 1MB in size. The camera has all sorts of cool features I haven’t even begun to play with yet, but you can read all about them if you’re interested by following the links up above. In the end we spent more on it than we had planned to, but it looks like it’s going to be money well spent. It also helps that even though the 32MB CompactFlash card that came with it only holds 27 pics at the highest resolution we can make use of the 128MB CF card we had already purchased for the Kodak and get 111 pics. Not bad, not close to the 370 or so the Kodak would do with that same card, but I don’t think we’ve ever taken over 100 pics in one session so nothing to sneeze at. That and we don’t have to use max resolution all the time unless we’re planning on doing 8×10’s with it. Lower the resolution and the image count goes up.
OK, I’m done babbling now. :love: Thanks to everyone who suggested camera ideas and places to get good camera reviews. The PowerShot A70 managed a “Highly Recommended” rating from the folks at DPReview.com so I’m hoping the A80 is a good step up.