Kodak Versus Canon Or Do We Really Need A New Camera?
“When the rooster crows at the break of dawn”…lyrics from one of my favorite songs, Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, written by Bob Dylan and performed to perfection by Peter, Paul and Mary, comes to mind when we consider the hours we keep around the Fairegarden. The Financier has to leave quite early for work, before the sun comes up, and I usually get up then also. It is a fine time to catch up with blog activities, replying to comments that came in during the night, and doing some reading and commenting on the blogs of others. There is no going outside first thing because it is always dark. The time change does bring us the light of day sooner, but the shortening of the days as winter approaches will be pushing that time back farther and farther. I spend a lot of time waiting for the dawn. Sometimes the dawning of a new day brings fantastic colors in the sky. We set the tripod up this time to try and capture better what the eye sees so early in the day.I have two cameras. The old camera is a Kodak Easyshare DX 7440 with 4.0 pixels, a gift from the ever generous Financier a few years ago.The new camera is a Canon Powershot A720 IS with 8.0 pixels. I bought this in February of this year to attempt clearer flower shots for the blog. The post about it can be seen here. It is the camera that is used for all photos shown on the blog after February 5, 2008. Until today. We have been thinking about getting a new camera and calling it a Christmas present. There may be some of you bloggers out there that are entertaining the thought of a new camera as a holiday gift also. Here are some comparison shots to help you decide what to look for. I have to say that the results were surprising. Of the following photos, the Kodak is always the first shown. I tried to stand in the same spot and did use the same settings, Auto and macro. The photos were treated the same in the uploading process with contrast, brightness and a tiny tweak of sharpness added in exactly the same amounts. Are you ready? Let us begin this scientific analysis.I had been wanting to take a photo of this twisted trunk maple tree in my neighbor’s yard. The wind must have created this wonderful design and the loss of a large limb must have made this opening in the trunk. In spite of the hollow slash, the tree seems to have bypassed the wound and grown new cells to transfer vital nutrients from roots to leaves. This shot is pretty good.The Canon has captured the trunk in a very similar quality to my eye. I see very little difference here.A hanging basket of Sempervivums, hens and chicks is the main focus of this test. I did not realize how photogenic this lowly plant is. There are two baskets hanging on a double shepherd’s hook at the edge of the property. We have tried various hanging types of plants in this situation, wave petunias were nice for a short time but dried up with the lack of water. Several years ago we tried these cute succulents and they have had zero care given and look fine. I repot them with new soil every three or four years. That is low maintenance. The Kodak gave us a nice photo.So did the Canon. I cannot see a lot of difference here. Let’s crop the shots now.The Kodak has produced a real glamour shot.So has the Canon. I can see some more detail in the leaves with this camera. The imperfections are more noticeable, like bruises and blemishes on smooth skin.A cropped shot of the other basket is another nice shot by the Kodak.The Canon photo is so similar it is hard to search for differences. The center looks a little crisper in the Canon shot. This is not what I expected to find. The difference in pixels, 4.0 of the Kodak, to 8.0 of the Canon is not making that much difference to my poor eyesight. The Kodak was the more expensive camera because when it was purchased the technology was newer. Like many electronic devices, waiting for the mass market products will save you money. Both cameras are no longer available. Looking to buy a new camera today that will take better photos is now a mystery. More pixels, the measure I was looking for before, is not the key. So what is the magic number? Zoom power? I don’t know the zoom power of either of these cameras. The Kodak is 33mm-132mm, 4x, the Canon is 5.8mm-34.8mm, 6x. I know the x numbers mean zoom power, what do the mm numbers mean? Let us test them.We use the zoom mainly for shots of the birds. We cannot get close enough without frightening them so we have to sit very still, mount the camera on the tripod and wait patiently. I am a terrible waiter. The camera is focused on the hanging bird feeders near the deck, with zoom on, while we wait for our feathered friends to come eat even while we are standing there. This is the best of the four photos taken with the Kodak. The battery ran out after that so this may not be a fair comparison.Thirty eight shots were taken with the Canon. These three are the best. I really like this guy, a male cardinal, he looks a little wild and punk with his spiky top knot.This female cardinal is giving me a dubious glance. None of the birds were that happy to see me with the camera and tripod about ten feet away. I set up next to the stairway leading to the garage deck to try and be more inconspicuous but still close enough for a decent shot.She looks at me one more time before turning to get some black sunflower seed to make sure I am not a threat. No, Ms. Cardinal with the pretty beauty mark on your beak, there is no threat at all from me. I am your protector, keeping Kitty the hunter indoors so you are safe.Well friends, what do you think about these two cameras? And do I really need to get a new camera at all? I am wondering about that now. I am not savvy enough to be able to take advantage of manual settings like shutter speed and such. That is a feature available on the Canon I now have and I cannot figure out how to use it. Much more research needs to be done, but the hot pursuit of the better camera has cooled considerably. It is not the fault of the camera but the failure of the photographer when the shots are not up to expectations. We have also learned that the common hens and chicks can offer shots that are surprising. Not quite the Whale’s Tongue Agave that is so splendidly shown by Pam at Digging, but still a stunning bit of Nature’s art.
The above shot is the unaltered photo of the dawn. The lead in photo has been slighted tweaked.