Wednesday, March 25, 2009

China's Camera

We're off to Beijing, China for a week for our honeymoon!!!! YEAY!!!!!!!!!! China is one of those places that I am ambivalent about though certain parts of it are a must visit - I term those my 'At Least Once In A Lifetime' locales. Like India, like Egypt, like Alaska, like Machu Picchu…….

We bought a camera for the trip….yeah weird isn't it? The last time I bought a camera was for my trip to Scotland oooooh, about 5 years ago? And now it's konked out but I loved it - loved the ease of use, the picture quality (only 3.2 Mega Pixel - ooooooooohhhh!!!!). It was a Fujifilm. So this time around when shopping for cameras, I kept to Canon and Fujifilm. I know hardcore amateur photographers always go for Canon since it does do its job quite well - even a couple of my cam-whoring friends have them! Another friend though has the Fujifilm F100fd. For the models that I was looking at, both were priced the same - RM1399.00 but Fujifilm having 12 MP while Canon has 10MP. Not that it matters so much - actually more MPs could end up crucifying the photos if you don't know how to work it, people!!!! But everything else was about the same - the zoom, the wide angle lens, the free gifts….the pic quality I would say is a personal distinction.

The Canon pic quality from my amateur perspective, is brighter, more vivid and some say, more enhanced therefore looking rather artificial. The Fujifilm one looks more subdued, less over exposed with more natural colours. However, from an objective standpoint, when the wedding photos were loaded into sis' laptop from Canons and a Fujifilm, the pic quality I liked (forget composition and subject matter!) was from a Fujifilm - so 1 up for Fujifilm.

Sis also suggested that I check out http://dpreview.com/ for expert reviews and comparisons of cameras. I love that site! It's so informative and it's neutral and objective. So of course I checked out the competition between the Canon 870IS and the Fujifilm F100fd. And guess what, it was a very very slim whisker by which the Fujifilm won out!!! Woo HOOOOO!!!!! But dpreview did concede that most people would buy the Canon with its longer reputation and bigger customer base and therefore, bigger fan base/people who've used it before and don't want to learn how to use a new camera. So, 2 up for Fujifilm. Now the only thing holding me back was the price of these babies!

Since I had not bought a camera in so long, I asked a couple of people what I should realistically be spending - I'm more a point and shoot person while Ju Han is a 'DON'T GIVE UP THE DAY JOB TO TAKE PICTURES' person so we'd most probably be using the Auto mode for 90% of our pics….Though reading dpreview did teach me a thing or two about ISO settings and low light picture taking. So what SHOULD I spend on a camera that gives me and hubby what we need for the best value. My sources came back and suggested to cap spending at RM1000.00. Ok.
I put together a list of what I wanted and matched it against several more reviews and against pricing. I wanted fast start up (from the time you turn on the camera to it being usable), small shutter lag (from the time you 'Click' to picture taken), wide angle (to take nice pics of the Great Wall of China), good battery life and nice picture quality on the LCD screen and printouts. And oh yeah, something easy for both of us to use! Other cheaper cameras didn't have what I wanted so in the end it was back to the Canon and the Fujifilm.

SO WHAT WAS THE CLINCHER???????

A 'little' known fact: Fujifilm the company has been running an exchange campaign which brings the price of the Fujifilm F100fd down from RM1399 to RM999!!! I think the campaign has been on since end of 2008 but there were still certain camera shops (like FotoKem in 1Utama) that still had stock. The paranoid me would be wondering why there was still stock if the camera really was so good but I just couldn't ignore the great 'Highly Recommended' review it got on dpreview.com. I just thanked my lucky stars.

Upon calling Fujifilm, they told me Foto Shangri-la branches were mostly sold out but FotoKem still had them.

So last Saturday, hubby and I paid RM999 plus RM80 for 2 years extended warranty from FotoKem and walked off with our black Fujifilm F100fd, a 4GB memory card, a kisgnbn gi rechargeable battery, a soft case and a screen protector. We had a choice of the protector or the mini tripod but looking at the spindly spider leg tripod, we chose the screen protector.
It's about the same weight as the Canon that we were looking at - a tad weight-ful (heheheh) but can fit into the pants pocket (shirt pocket also can but a bit heavy lah). We didn't get any additional battery or memory card cos Ju Han says he doesn't want to spend 1 hour of everyday taking photographs……we're not really that sort of people and I prefer scenery shots anyway so less time fiddling with the camera.

It's not the sleekest or prettiest of cameras and at 12MP, when you zoom in really close -you see the painting like quality of the photo. It's got a cool edit (trim) and save function too which is something I didn't know about but really like. It's easy to use and we're happy. Now I want to see how it performs in China!!!!!!

Which brings me to - CHINA! I can't speak the language but we're going on our own. Since it's our honeymoon we just wanted to take our time to slowly explore or amble and wake up at a reasonable hour. Ju Han speaks some Mandarin so we will wing it and we're forking out for a 5 star hotel too!!!! Good reviews on that too - gotta be careful in China cos their local 5 star is an international 3 star…..But anyways, we saw pics on the web and read user reviews so it should be ok.

We gotta change some moolah and I wish we could use HK dollars cos we still have some of that left over from before……and then next week we're off!!!!!!! SO EXCITING!!!!!!

1 comment:

Rose said...

Enjoy your honeymoon. Yes, better get good camera to take all those happy moments.

My hubby also eyeing on the Canon Camera so long, but havent decide which one to get. we will definitely get a new camera but havent decide which models to get.