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I bought this camera recently as I purchased a Canon EOS1000D DSLR and I wanted a compact digital with a large zoom for the times when I didn't feel like lugging the DSLR and all it's accessories around with me.
I'd looked around at other models, and I know that there are many other cameras that offer a much higher zoom, but I finally settled on this one for a number of reasons.
a) 12 million pixels. This is more than I'll probably ever need as it's very rare that I print anything above 8x10 but it was an upgrade on my previous digital compact.
b) 12x optical zoom. This is more than adequate for general photography, any more and I think you do probably need a tripod.
c) NB-5L Li-Ion Battery. This is just a personal preference but I prefer the rechargeable Li-Ion batteries. It's fairly cheap to buy a couple of spares and I find it less fiddly when you are taking photos and need a quick battery change.
d) SD-HC memory cards. I already have several of these for my DSLR which is convenient and means any of my cards can be used in both of my cameras.
e) HD video capability of 1280x720. This wasn't majorly important but with the memory cards being so cheap then it's a bonus to have the capability of recording video. Quite good when you are on holiday or at a family gathering and want to record some video but don't want the hassle of a separate camcorder.
Finally, I took advantage of a Canon promotion which gave £40 cashback on this particular model. I'd already decided on this camera so the cashback was a nice bonus. All in all, it cost £234.55 including delivery from Jessops.com.
After a few weeks of use I'm finding that I really like this camera. It's not as small as some compacts but if you manage to get hold of a Canon case then you can fit the camera, spare battery and a couple of cards inside it quite easily.
It is 10cm wide, 6 1/2 cm high and 3cm deep (excluding zoom), and has a metal body which feels quite sturdy. It sort of curves outward on one side so you can get a decent grip and hold the camera steady.
On the top of the camera body there is the on/off switch, dial with all the different modes (auto mode, easy mode, portrait, landscape, night snapshot, kids and pets, indoor, sunset, video, manual mode, aperture priority, shutter priority and program mode), and the shutter release button which also controls the zoom.
The back of the camera is mainly taken up by the 3 inch viewscreen which does make framing shots very easy. There's a menu button, display button which turns the information on the screen on and off, flash on/off function, macro button, delete and self timer button, function set button and a manual focus dial.
On a standard 4GB SD-HC card at 12 million pixels you get get around 1145 pictures when using the 'fine' compression mode. If you choose 'normal' then you get around 2339 pictures. There are options to record at 8 million pixels, 5 million pixels, 2 million pixels, 0.3 million pixels for sending pictures via email and a Widescreen option for wide size prints. Given that I paid £6.99 for my 4Gb Sandisk Ultra memory card I think this is excellent value for money. If you get a couple of cards then you can happily snap away for ages! I'd say there is a slight delay in writing to the card though, so action shots could be a bit of a problem.
The quality of the pictures is excellent, even at lower resolution although you shouldn't really need to change it from the highest quality unless perhaps you are uploading pictures to the internet and are restricted by size. You can print up to A2 size photos (59.4cm x 42cm).
The card/battery cover is at the bottom of the camera and you can attach a tripod to the camera if you wish. If you don't have a card reader you can use a USB cable to connect this camera to your computer and there is also the ability to use an HDMI cable to hook it up to your TV and show your pictures that way.
My only two niggles are that it doesn't have any internal memory (so don't forget your card whatever you do) and the flash pops up when you switch the camera on whether you want to use it or not.
Overall I really like this camera as it's got lots of pixels, lots of zoom and feels well built with a sturdy metal body. For holidays, school plays, football matches etc you can't go far wrong with this camera.
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