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As an ex professional photographer I wanted a digital camera that gave me many of the benefits I use with my everyday 35mm and Medium format gear, but without the hassle of lugging a large amount of equipment around. I looked therefore at the Nikon Coolpix 5400 and the Canon Powershot Pro 1, both of which are aimed at the more advanced photographer or prosumer (A word I hate). As a long time Nikon user I was leaning toward the coolpix at 6 mega pixels purely because it had a Bulb facility enabling the shutter to remain open for a maximum of 10 minutes. Instead I purchased the Pro1 as I preferred its looks and feel and it also has a much larger LCD than the poultry one on the coolpix. In general use the Pro1 is a fabulous camera, it handles well, and feels good to hold. The buttons are laid out nicely but some are just a little too close together for my large fingers. The image on the 2 inch LCD is superb & will rotate taken pictures automatically for you if you shoot them in Vertical format. Exposure modes run from fully automatic right down to manual where your input is essential for shutter speed, aperture, etc. My biggest gripe with this camera has to be the Manual mode, I said earlier that the coolpix had a Bulb Facility to keep the shutter open for 10 minutes. Well the Canon's longest exposure is 15 seconds which leaves you caught between the devil & the deep Blue sea at times. My other major gripe is the lack of an AF illuminator to assist with focusing in low light conditions, this said the coolpix doesn't have one either and I think that the lack of this feature lets both Canon & Nikon down very badly..........Why did they not install it????? My only other gripe would be image quality really, for an 8 mega pixel camera I expected more from the Pro1. Sure images are good but my 35mm is as good and my Medium format leaves it at the starting line. I was hoping to leave the heavy gear at home and get out and about with what I thought was the first serious contender in the digital Vs 35mm war. Unfortunately that is not going to happen with the Pro1, and I doubt if it would have had I purchased the coolpix instead. The Powershot is a superb compact camera that yields very high quality images and has an array of functions, it looks cool and attracts jealous eyes, but I am afraid it is just that "A digital Compact" and anybody reading this who is a keen photographer would be well advised to cherrish the 35mm camera they already have. Canon have made a giant leap forward with this neat camera but to aim it at Prosumers (there's that word again) is a no no.
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