I guess I’m a sucker for advertising. That’s especially so when the advertising is really a third party endorsement. So it is with my latest gadget—a digital camera. It’s not just any digital camera.
It’s a camera that is absolutely made for Mac users who love iPhoto, iTunes, and iMovie, want quality, want ease of use, and modest cost. I blame my recent purchase on Cabel Sasser of Mac software developer, Panic.
Last year I bought my wife a little pocket Canon something-or-other for a couple of hundred bucks. The photos were sharp and clear and, despite a healthy number of controls, basically point and shoot.
In fact, the little Canon something-or-other (Canon product names are oh so forgettable) takes videos. They’re 640×480, AVI format, but still show up fine in iPhoto and can be edited easily in iMovie. What’s not to like for well less than $200.
Digital technology in the camera and video field is changing even faster than Macs. My Canon 20D digital camera, $1,500 just a few years ago, is easily eclipsed by a new Canon Rebel that does HD video, too, and at half the price.
So, I’ve been looking around for a new camera; not sure if it would be a video camera that does stills, or a still camera that does video.
During my evaluating process I came across Cabel’s blog post about the Canon: Great Pictures, Great Video.
Uh huh. Sure. I’ve heard that before. How can a little pocket camera compete with true digital video cameras? The lens on my Sony PD-150 DVCAM is larger than the Canon PowerShot SD960 IS Digital Elph that Cabel raved about.
How good can a camera be that comes in gold, pink, and blue?
The proof, as they say, is in the taste of the pudding, and the taste generated by Cabel’s digital photos and digital video was, well, tasty indeed. I was impressed.
That little bugger takes some very attractive photos which compete with my much more expensive Canon 20D, new just a few years ago (and without any real video capability).
How about the video? Surprise, Mac users. The video is essentially HD, H.264 720p, to be precise. And it’s good. Surprisingly good.
Once my camera arrived I took a few shots, took a few movies, sucked both into iPhoto and iMovie respectively, and was awed.
There’s no video conversion required. The videos straight from the camera are a whopping 1280 pixels. Since it’s already a QuickTime video file, editing was a breeze in iMovie, and similarly worked perfectly in Final Cut Pro.
To be buzzword compliant (we are, after all, Mac users, right?) let me run through the list of important buzzwords: HD Movie, HDMI, 12.1 mega pixels, 4x optical zoom, 28mm wide angle lens, optical image stabilizer, motion and face detection, SDHC flash cards, and so many other buzzwords that I’d run out of digital ink.
The little bugger fits in my pocket, takes quick photos which look wonderful on my Mac, but, also takes HD videos that put the Flip whatever and Kodak Zi6 to shame.
What’s not to like? A few things, but not many. Non-SLR digital cameras still have that nasty ‘lag’ before and after a shot. The zoom can’t be used in video mode while taking a video, otherwise it defaults to a digital zoom which is crappy.
Otherwise, I’m impressed. What does this mean for the future? Look for higher pixel cameras in future Macs, and in future iPhones. No, not 12 megapixel higher, but high enough to improve on the current standard.
The onscreen controls are not really Mac-like when navigating a bunch of options, though this version is far better than previous digital camera operations. This makes taking pictures and videos fun again.
If you decide to buy the camera, here comes that name again, the Canon PowerShot SD960 IS Digital Elph, make sure to check out the Mac360 Store for a discount price. For some good, realistic photos and a movie, check out Cabel’s Blog.