This might be a boring post – mostly talking about the camera. More pics at the end.
For many years I have been using the Canon Powershot series; the latest was the Canon Powershot SX 60. It has a 60 x optical zoom and a greater digital zoom – but digital zooms are a waste of time. It was a handy camera, with quite a range of distances, but not great close-ups. I lead a very dusty life and don’t look after my cameras as well as I should. After 5 years the focus was no longer as sharp as it had been. It was frustrating trying to photograph things on the pond. (A hooded merganser.)
A birder friend visited at the end of July. She had a Nikon Coolpix P950. Twice the size of the Canon – and twice the price. However, she sent me this picture. Still fuzzy, but much larger.
I went for it. Tried two different sites to buy on line but, after going through all the process of entering name and address and credit card number, the purchase was rejected by the Royal Bank. Finally, I phoned the bank. The techie was puzzled for a while, but then he asked me if I had recently changed my phone number – and I had. Apparently the bank needs two weeks to process a new phone number.
In the mean time, I saw this beaver chewing on an aspen log. How frustrating to have only the Canon to photograph is.
Finally I was able to purchase the camera. I eagerly traced the tracking number. It was sent via UPS, but UPS don’t deliver out here and they automatically deliver parcels to Canada Post. The tracking number said it had been transferred to the P O in Williams Lake. We get mail three times a week. It should have arrived on Wednesday. The tracking site said in large letters that it had BEEN DELIVERED. But it wasn’t there. OK, maybe it would arrive Friday. But nothing. I phoned the seller, Visions Electric in Alberta. Got a perfectly pleasant female-sounding voice who announced it was AI generated and asked me my problem. Apparently “parcel not delivered” is not in their programming. It kept saying it didn’t understand my question. In the end it asked me if it had been helpful. I said NO. I tried phoning UPS. Another pleasant and cheerful AI female-sounding voice – same uselessness. Next I tried Canada Post. Another AI voice. I couldn’t get hold of Williams Lake Post Office direct so I emailed a friend who lives in town and asked her to go to the P O but they said they get so many parcels from UPS they couldn’t trace it. So now what?
That evening I received an email from a friend 1 and 1/2 hours east. He’d gone to pick up mail after his P O was closed and was pleased to find an unexpected parcel in his box. Except the parcel was for me. Why it was dropped off there who knows. But it so happened that my friend’s name was also Chris, and that’s why he got it. Fortunately, that Chris knew me – and equally fortunately, we were due to meet at Tatla Lake on the following day. So I got my camera. But, oh the fun and games of living on the Chilcotin. Especially where this stupid AI is concerned. I’d much rather deal with a strong south Asian accent that I can’t understand.
Anyway, I had my new camera. And at first I was terribly disappointed. There are several settings – including one specifically for birds. But the creatures on the pond were really not much clearer.
The other huge frustration was with the manual. I used that setting for almost all the Canon photos I have taken, and you can see exactly what you are getting through the viewfinder. The Nikon’s “manual” tried to make it automatic. So if you point the camera at something the result is washed out. And if you shut down the light, it looks OK on the screen, but might end up really dark. I have learned to take several shots at different settings, then choose the best – AND enhance them on the editing programme on the computer. The recent post on the fall colours would have been nothing without all this extra work.
There is a “u” setting on the camera. You can select effects and then click on “save changes.” but it doesn’t save them. As soon as the camera is switched off, the settings all revert to default.
“This is supposed to be a fun camera,” said my friend. But for $1000+ I wanted a bit more than fun. And another complaint I had was that there was no attachment for the lens cap. I lost it (in a pocket) almost right away. I fixed the problems with a bootlace and duct tape but I was very annoyed that such an expensive device had such a pathetic fault.
Well, I did learn to browbeat the camera into some semblance of obedience. The posts since August have all been taken with the new camera. But many photos are not as sharp as they could be. I have learned that only half the “83x zoom” is any good.
However, there is a moon setting that works quite well. When you click on it, you have to wait 3 seconds for the photo to happen, but I’ve got some nice ones.
And then I found that the close-up was quite amazing. I was blown away by this nasturtium!
And this deerfly on the window.
Birds a short distance away were quite good.
So there are good things and bad things about this camera. I didn’t want an SLR – one with interchangeable lenses – as that is not spontaneous enough for me. Or maybe I’m just too lazy!)