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Juanita19 Aug 24, 2007 9:51 AM

Good morning all,

Stopped at a couple of shops last night; did not buy anything, YET :-)

Got my hands on the PowerShot G7, OMG, what a asthetically beautiful camera and felt so sure, steady and strong; alas, I figured the G9 is coming out shortly and figured the price of the G7 was too high keeping in mind the G9 will have add'l features. One day...

Anyway, I'm back to the drawing board. Based on my readings the Canon PS A640 seems a good choice; I know the PS A650 IS is due out soon. The major differences (that I can see) are the ISO, optical image stabilizer, MP (10 v 12). For a newbie, how critical are these differences, specifically image stabilization?

Thanks again!


Delius Aug 24, 2007 10:00 AM

Hello Juanita,

1) I think everyone will agree here MP doesn't really matter. The sensor size is more important.

2) ISO, good to have but the image quality degrades quickly after ISO 200 (Some Fuji manages it to do it better than everyone else and that's about it).

3) Image Stabilization is in my opinion a major feature unless you will take all your pictures only in sunny days or never use the zoom. As soon as you have a big zoom, it's mandatory. To make it short where you would need 1/30s to have a sharp picture, with Image Stabilization you could get it as low as 1/15s.

All Canon with the "IS" moniker will have this feature. All Panasonic cameras, no exception, have it. Some Kodak with the "IS" have it. Beware of the false IS: Samsung and Fuji market an "Anti-Shake" feature that is not true stabilization, they only raise the ISO which is not good for the image quality.

mtclimber Aug 24, 2007 11:08 AM

Good Morning, Juanita-

Whenever one of my newbie students, ask about getting a camera with or without IS I always answer that the should get the camera with the IS. Why you might ask? Weel, it is simply because I want to see them get a good start in photography.

At the beginning, sucess is a very needed factor to get them off to a good start. Without some measurable sucess, they become easily discouraged and quietly put their camera away, using it less and less over time.

Just last week I was working with a Canon A-630 myself. As long as I kept on the high side of ISO (using a higher setting) and had plenty of light I did fine. However, today we want to take pictures in all situations, because we are recording our life experiences, and the lighting conditions might not be optimal at all times. IS allows you to take those shots that you really want when lighting conditions are not the best, but you want to save that experience or memory.

As Delius mentioned, IS becomes essential whenever you are using any amount of zoom because it compensates for those very small involuntary movements that we humans make, especially as we grow a bit older.

So yes, do get IS
, you will be thankful that you did spend a bit more and you have it available on your camera, and it will show in the quality of your photos.

Sarah Joyce

JohnG Aug 25, 2007 10:33 AM

I agree with Sarah - especially on digicams, IS is tremendously helpful. If you're looking at anything over 4x zoom you'd want the IS. IS is also helpful on shorter zooms if you use the LCD rather than optical viewfinder since this is a less stable shooting position.

So, in a digicam at least, if all else about the cameras are equal in your eyes then go with the one that has IS.

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