new toy!


ZA95A.JPGOur tax refund arrived this week (yes, we filed early this year), and I'd promised myself that when it did I'd finally upgrade my digital camera. I've been using a Kodak DX3600 for nearly three years now, and while I've been very happy with its operation and image quality, I was starting to want something a little higher-end.

I'm not a photo enthusiast, by any means, and I know that if even if I had the money to buy something like a Nikon D70 I'd never really learn how to use it properly. But I wanted something that had higher resolution that my 2.1mp model, did a better job in low-light contexts, and offered things like portrait and macro modes.

After spending a lot of hours reading through camera reviews on Dave Etchell's wonderful Imaging Resource web site, I finally made a decision--I wanted a Canon A95. Here's Dave's summary of the camera:

The PowerShot A95 is one of the few digital cameras that just seem to get everything right, with very few weaknesses. In virtually all respects (color, resolution, image noise), its images are good to excellent, and its range of features and capabilities is hard to beat for the price. Its 5-megapixel CCD and good-quality lens deliver sharp images with good color and little distortion. At the same time, it manages to make just the right tradeoff between image noise and sharpness, delivering plenty of the latter, with very little of the former. (A difficult balance for any camera, and one that many models get wrong.) Its combination of automatic and manual features make it very approachable for novices, but interesting for experienced users, the net result being a camera that will satisfy a broad range of interests and provide a good path for novice users to expand their photographic horizons as their experience grows. Other features like its excellent battery life and nifty tilt/swivel LCD are added bonuses. Bottom line, if you're looking for a great "all around" digicam for either individual or family, the Canon PowerShot A95 deserves serious consideration. Easily a "Dave's Pick!"

The best price the Imaging Resource site showed online was $314, via, but I was in an instant-gratification kind of mood, so I went to RIT's bookstore to see if they had one in stock. They did, priced at $334...but they were out of stock. After some discussion, they offered to sell me the demo model for 10% off. Since they keep these cameras inside a glass case, and are very picky about handing them over (and this wasn't a high-traffic electronics store), I decided to go that route, and walked out of the store with my nearly-new A95.

The controls are a bit daunting; the A95 offers far more options and adjustments than my old camera did, but I'll start working my way through the manual tomorrow. I've also ordered a new battery charger, based on Imaging Resource's Great Battery Shootout. I'd noticed that my rechargeable batteries had gotten exceedingly short-lived, and was pretty frustrated about it. I didn't realize that the type of charger made such a difference in battery life, and I also wasn't aware of the variation in battery capacity. So I ordered the Maha C204W charger with 4 Energizer 2500mAh batteries ($41.97) and an extra 4-pack of 4 PowerEx 2300mAh batteries ($9.97) from Thomas Distributing, and should have it later this week.


I just got one of those myself a couple of weeks ago. Such a nice little camera!

I definitely understand about the number of buttons and options being a bit daunting, though. It's going to take me a while to get all of it figured out. Worth it, though.

Thanks for the battery tips/links- fascinating, and helps to explain the sinking demise of my re-chargables. I had a nice Maha recharger but lost the A/C adapter, so the link was helpful to order that replacement and some new Powerex cells.

Happy photo taking, load 'em up on flickr

I have an earlier version, the Powershot A60, and I love it. A great camera, and yours sounds even better.

Well, thanks for the post (via Julie Leung). I was JUST looking for a new toy, too! :)

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on February 5, 2005 10:25 PM.

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