5-starsSynthesis:

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This digital camera delights me. Today I don’t master every set-up or possibilities allowed by this one. However is field of use is biggest than its rivals thanks to its waterproof case WP-DC42 and its community CHDK. Nethertheless it isn’t automatic panorama mode, HD Video (720p.) is limited to 30 frames/s and full HD video is limited to 24 frames/s.
Its upgrade, the Powershot SX 240/260 HS doesn’t change this. It upgrades zoom lens (X14 to X20), it reduces noise to 70% and it has a burst mode in full size (3Mpx to 12,1Mpx).

canon_powershot_sx220-hs_purple

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digital-camera_sony_cybershot_p-93Before it, I never really have a Digital Camera. Sometimes, my father gave me his one: Sony Cybershot P93 (at right). He didn’t know how setting-up it well to get good pictures. But I didn’t keep it a long time because I didn’t need it for myself. With my friends we lived the moment together and a digital camera wasn’t necessary.

Withal, an event changed this position. Since I live in Bayonne for studies, it’s hard to share my adventures with my familly or friends how live in Vichy. There are 400 miles between us. Though I have nice adventures to share since I found a Mountain Biking CLub three years ago: BIKIKOZ VTT.

There was a long time that I didn’t find a club which share the same conception of MTB than myself. Adventure, escapism, high stresses, adrenalin, …Own versus wild. A digital camera has been necessary to share and to immortalize wonderful landscapes of mother Earth.

However in 2011, choose the right digital camera was so hard. Many brands, many series of products. Since January 2011 to May 2012, I rode lots of articles, forums, I saw many websites,… Fortunatly, I knew a website specialized in every digital products: DigitalVersus.

When I want to buy a digital product, it’s my bible. So I compared every product present on this website compared with my needs. To safety, I search other informations on the website which have the same occupation such as Zdnet, Cnet, Erenumériques.

My needs:

Best balance bewteen processor/sensor/lens for image quality
Panoramic photo mode
High sensivity sensor (BSI CMOS)
Burst mode
Good zoom lens
HD Video with good frame rate
PSAM modes to make progress with my digital camera

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Digital-Camera_Sony_Cybershot-HX5VFirst, I bought a Sony HX5V.
I chose it because it was a bestseller and it was the first with BSI CMOS sensor. However, my father has always is Sony P 93. It’s a good proof of quality. But after two day, I came back to the shop where I bhought. I was disappointed in it.

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In the same time, a new digital camera appeared: the Canon Powershot SX 220HS. It reveals as being the best balance bewteen Technologies/Functions/Performance/Price although it has defects.

Concessions:

minus-sign.

Poor Battery life
automatic panorama mode
HD Video: Maximum 30 frames/s in 720p
No accurate colors on compact camera screen

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However choose a BSI CMOS sensor was a gamble because it’s new on the market. But time reveals I make the good choice.

You can see its test on DIGITALVERSUS

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Good Surprise:

CHDK-logoOne day in surfing on web, I had a good surprise. I didn’t know there were a community naming CHDK who devloped upgradable firmware. You learning more on their website. “CHDK firmware provides additional functionality beyond that currently provided by the native camera firmware.” For example, you wont’ have time limit for short or long exposure, you will be able to save pictures in Raw format (.DNG), your digital camera will be able to detect a motion and take one or many pictures, … and many others things.

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Canon_wp-dc42-waterproof-caseAlso, Canon is one of rare brand to make waterproof case for its digital cameras. Only two series of products: IXUS and POWERSHOT. For a lower cost (compared with a custom-built waterproof case), you can take your camera in diving, canyoning, rafting, …

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Feed-Back:

I’ve this digital camera for more than one year. I’ve taken nearly 10.000 pictures and it’s run well.
I have a Transcend 8 Gb class 10 memory card. Class 10 it’s necessary for HD video or burst mode. A Sandisk Extreme runs better but this Transcend is sufficient for my digital camera.
I use it for Mountain Biking, Snowboarding, Rafting,  Aquashooting, lightnights, … often in extreme conditions. I didn’t have dysfunction or bugs.

Lens-Pen_HAMAHowever, the hiding lens mecanism jams sometimes.  All you have to do is do clean the hiding lens with a brush. To do it, I’ve bought a Lens Pen. This accessory is perfect. On one’s side you have an organic brush, and the other side you have a carbon pad. First, brush your lens to remove dirts. After use the carbon pad to remove fingermarks. Also you can clean the  hiding lens mecanism with the organic brush. If isn’t sufficient, use your tumb nail to unjam it.

I bought 2 others batteries. Indeed the battery has a poor life if you take more than 200 pictures or shoot one video more than 10 minutes (altought isn’t a real camera recorder). You can’t use only one batterie for two days.

Laslty, I bought a flexible and magnetic camera tripod of Joby Brand to use Long Exposure (with CHDK) or time lapse. It’s funny because you can use everywhere and take pictures from every angle.

Software:

I really don’t like waste my time to touch up my photographies. So I found a casual software which allows to touch up pictures quickly (to crop, to increase dynamic range,…). His name is Picasa and it’s developped by Google. Also, you can synchronized your pictures with your GMAIL e-mail and download all pictures on “google cloud”. Click on the left picture to access to the download page.

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Warning: Unless you have a MacBook Pro with Retina screen, for the most part laptops haven’t  screen which restitute true colours. So being carefull for your printing.

Upgrade:

The upgrade of Canon Powershot SX 220/230 HS is the Powershot SX 240/260 HS.
You can see its test on DIGITALVERSUS

Price: GrosBill website

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Sample Pictures

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Waterproof Case WP-DC42:

Advice: Spit on the waterpoof case window to avoid waterdrops

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Price: Amazon website