This post is about cameras that I would love to own, but wouldn’t probably because I have no money for it, and that it would likely be pointless to buy given the versatility with the equipment that I already own.
The first is the Canon Powershot Pro1. This was introduced into the market in 2004, and was the last real prosumer camera (at least I feel) that Canon would make. I do not consider the continuing G series to be of the same caliber, although there isn’t anything significantly different in image quality. It just isn’t a bridge camera as the Pro1 was made for.
It was one of the coolest cameras to be released by Canon. Hot and fresh into the market, the 8 megapixel sensor was filled to the brim with noise, interesting given that we are now dealing with 15 MP sensors on more or less the same sized sensor dimensions, such as that found on the Canon G10. I suppose a lot of it has to do with in camera noise reduction/smearing of details, but it certainly is amusing to see camera reviews moan about the noise at ISO 200. What would they say about that found in today’s Canon G10 and SD990IS would certainly be interesting.
I think what intrigues me most about this was the fact that there was a 28-200mm lens (magnificent range in its time and age- overshadowed by the 26x zooms seen today). Not only that, but it was also an L series lens. Now that I have had a better taste of SLR lenses, and realizing the significance of quality glass, an L branded lens on a compact is almost unheard of. It is unfortunate that Canon never followed up on this beautiful piece of kit, cause it would have been amazing to see what they could have pushed in the bridge camera sector. Even with the problems of the L lens, such as vignetting and lens shading, it would be that cool to have an L lens on my compact. Add that to the solid magnesium body, and there was a real winner. I have contemplated landing one off eBay for kicks, but the slow operation times, and overall slightly disappointing reviews have turned me down. Just look at it though! Magnificent.
There is just something about the overall design of that camera that makes me want to own it. The Canon SX1 has a similar lens design outward appearance wise, and although has a wonderful 20x range starting at 28mm, its plasticky build quality leaves my hands feeling dirty, like I just touched something killed on the street.Did I mention that lens has an aperture range of f2.4-f3.5? Outstanding given the focal length! It is nearly unheard of for a compact to have anything below f2.8 these days, and having f3.5 at the end of a 7x zoom was amazing. Le sigh. Where are camera innovations these days?
The Sony DSC-F828 was another one of my favorites, just simply due to design. It was also another magnificently built hybrid of magnesium/plastic and had a gorgeous 7x zoom with a F2.0-F2.8 aperture, even more impressive than the Canon Pro1’s specs.
It was released as a direct competitor to the Pro1 and had specs that are still unrivaled in today’s prosumer compact market. Alas that market has now been replaced with entry level DSLRS with admittedly much better image quality, but without the innovation and excitement that new model releases back in the day would induce (well at least in me).
There is just something amazing to have all of that lens built into the camera, that my Nikon DSLR just doesn’t elicit. I would also love to acquire this camera, but lens faults like purple fringing shooting wide open have left me feeling less trigger happy. It certainly was a glorious time a few years ago. Nowadays we get stupid offerings like the Nikon d5000 with what? An articulating display? Really? WTF. Le sigh. The only thing that even remotely grabs my attention now is that amazing little f2.0 24mm lens on the Panasonic DMC-LX3. However given its high price, and rather small/less manly build, I want to wait and see if Canon/Nikon will drop anything of value to step up the game. If the Canon G10 had the LX3’s lens specs and a better sensor, I would have no problem paying more for a better quality compact. See why I miss the bridge camera days? A 7x F2.0-f2.4 is an absolutely outstandingly OMFG blood pumping party. Optically. Le sigh.
The Sony DSC-R1 was easily one of the most stellar/revolutionary designs in its time. Or like ever. Having an APS-C sized sensor with a solid zoom range at 24-120mm (alas no image stabilizer) made for a very sexy bridge camera for low light shooting. Unfortunately like the others, the bridge camera met its demise a few years ago, as DSLRs became cheaper and cheaper (and then cheap enough for me to buy one har har!). There just was no point in making a camera that people too scared/poor to foray into the DSLRs could buy. There was now the AUTO mode and sub $1000 DSLRS, and even the $349 CDN Nikon D40 with the kit lens available. On second thought, I should have grabbed one at $349, it would have been perfect for travel given its cost. Damn it! Anyways, I love bridge cameras. I miss their days. I remember reading the press release for the DSC-R1 and just you know, screaming. Everywhere. It was actually in a terribly boring classical literature class that I would later leave/drop immediately because it was so terrible, that I read about the R1.
Although this camera is not as excitable to my senses as the others, it still elicits some nostalgia. The Panasonic Lumix L1 was their first foray into the DSLR world, and will likely be just one of two remnants, as they continue their focus into the micro 4/3 format. What was cool about it was the retro design (just like how the Canon G10 elicits a swoon from my heart).
What was really awesome about it was the super fast kit lens- at 14-50mm, the focal range wasn’t particularly interesting so much as was its aperture at f2.8-f3.5. Just super super nice. Alas it still fetches a high price on eBay, and the sensor on the L1 was pretty poor at any rate. Here’s hoping for a nice feature set on a super sexy Canon G10 replacement!
I almost forgot the Pentax Optio X. An otherwise boring speced camera, the split swivel design makes my Nikon S10 look like a turd. The days of super cool design are pretty much gone, as manufacturers try to play it safe with tried and true designs, unlike the days of yonder, when there were millions of these super neat bodies.
Picture taken from Sophistechate off Flickr. I loved the Pentax Optio 750Z and had several opportunities to obtain one (once in Calgary and once in Florida), brand new (OMG) despite being out of production for ages. They had been just sitting on the shelf, and unnoticed, given their age/older specs. I just loved its retro cool design, which was unfortunately not reflected in its rear appearance, or in build quality.
Apparently this just in:
“A deadly swine flu virus first detected in Mexico can no longer be contained, a World Health Organization (WHO) official has said.
The WHO’s decision to raise the alert level to four came after an emergency meeting of experts, brought forward by a day because of concerns over the outbreak.
WHO PANDEMIC ALERT PHASES
Phase 1: No viruses circulating among animals causing infections in humans
Phase 2: Animal influenza virus causes infection in humans, and is considered potential pandemic threat
Phase 3: Influenza causes sporadic cases in people, but no significant human-to-human transmission
Phase 4: Verified human-to-human transmission able to cause community-level outbreaks. Significant increase in risk of a pandemic
Phase 5: Human-to-human transmission in at least two countries. Strong signal pandemic imminent
Phase 6: Virus spreads to another country in a different region. Global pandemic under way
Level four means the virus is showing a sustained ability to pass from human to human, and is able to cause community-level outbreaks.”
Because I am not in Medicine and I barely know anything about disease and their spread, I am going to use this BBC news break and say OMFG. Wow. I think maybe its time to get away and move to Mexico. Oh wait. We are screwed