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Old 01-16-2009, 07:58 AM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default In love w/an unreleased camera?

I like to take pictures but I am more of an art director than a photographer. But I like to take snapshots and used our first digital camera a lot (ca 2000) — it was a true point-and-shoot, but with (at the time) decent zoom, so I could catch the shy birds that appear along the river as well as snapshots of people in the house.

Then in 2003 Jack got a 10X optical zoom camera with lots (I mean lots!) of controls. You need to rotate one dingus then push a bunch of different buttons just to go from shooting to viewing, for example. After five years, its main user still has to refer to the print-out documentation to do anything less common than that. Consequently, it drives me crazy, and I never try to use the thing. When I need a picture for my food site, I ask Jack to take it, even though I prefer to do it myself.

Well: Lately I have been seeing previews of the Olympus SP-590 UltraZoom, which is due out in March: Digital Camera Review, Digital Photography Review, and DC Views.

Its headline feature is 26X optical zoom — probably more than I would use — but it appears to do a good job with it (aside from need for hand support for the longer range shots). At least as interesting to me, it does a good job with macro shots as well (I am a little hazy on the means for that).

The best part for a photo noodnik like me, the camera has been redesigned, with an intelligible menu interface, big icons, and written labels. It has multiple modes, including a basic point-and-shoot, which sounds like my cup of tea. The other modes seem to offer as much control as any Type A camera buff could ask for without going to an SLR (maybe even with a DSLR).

The only memory card mentioned is a 2GB xD (said to support the Olympus panorama feature). I wonder what other cards would work, as 2GB doesn’t sound like much for as many pixels as this thing could potentially gobble up.

Amazon has its pre-order price at $450 (plus a card, not supplied).

Definitely on my wish list for now.

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