Sunday, March 17, 2013


As recounted long ago, I once dropped my then-favorite camera off of North Harper Creek Falls. The camera amazingly survived (after being dried out), but began a slow decline until finally it stopped working. It took the best photos for a simple point-and-click. Since those days, I moved on to an SLR which takes near-professional quality photographs. But I always thought that some of my photos with my old Powershot S3 IS were among the best I ever took. For one thing, it took much better Macro shots than even my SLR camera. And while it was only 6 megapixels, unless I was trying to blow up the photo to large dimensions, the sharpness of the images were exceptional. I've been told that this was the case because of the unique lens that Canon utilized for that model.

Last week, I found one of these cameras on Ebay. Like-new condition. Flawless cosmetically, and flawless functionally. I took it on a jaunt to the mountains yesterday and snapped photos with it, and with my SLR. Guess which photos were taken by which camera. One camera cost $1000, the other $39, postage paid, from Ebay.


Backbone Rock Falls.


The Falls.


Molly's Knob.


Park Bridge in Hungry Mother State Park.


Raccoon track, Hungry Mother State Park.


Rhododendron hell, Hungry Mother State Park.


Summit area of Molly's Knob.


Backbone Rock Falls.


Molly's Knob.


Backbone Rock.


Edward Forrest Frank said...

I think backbone falls 2, Molly's Knob 1 are with the SLR and Backbone Falls 1, and Molly's Knob 2 are with the cheaper one. I really can't tell if the others are split between the two cameras. The bridge and the footprint seem to be sharper than the others.

I really think that you whip out the all-in-one camera and take quick shots of things you miss with the SLR simply because you don't want to mess with it, so you get shots you would not otherwise have taken, and some of these special ones. The other thing is that I think photographers work harder with composition and framing with cheaper cameras to make up for poorer equipment. With fancier stuff they rely too much on the equipment. I may be wrong on what took what, but I think I am right with regard to the comments.

James Robert Smith said...

Everyone is getting them mostly wrong. The Molly's Knob 1 is the cheap camera, the Molly's Knob 2 the $1K camera. The bridge and the footprint are both with the inexpensive Powershot S3IS.

A camera expert I once talked to told me that the lenses they used on the earlier Powershot cameras are exception, even though the megapixel definition is comparatively low. The Powershot takes so much better Macro shots that there is no comparison. I canNOT take closeup shots that are anywhere near the level of quality with the SLR that I can get with the Powershot.

I'm going to start carrying the Powershot with me while I hike and save the SLR for special shots when I arrive at an exceptional location. And even then I'll take photos with the Powershot at the same locations.

James Robert Smith said...

"exceptionAL" I meant to say.

Edward Forrest Frank said...

The powershot is definitely sharper and overall seems to have better contrast.

James Robert Smith said...

There are things the SLR can do that the Powershot can't, but for general purpose, this little camera is beyond excellent. This is why I pined over its loss and started looking around to find one to replace it. I got lucky...they generally go in the range of $150 to $200, but I stumbled upon one for $39, post paid when the guy had just put it on Ebay.