Standing By, Peeking Through

The baby could come any day now.

And while my wife creates amazing art that embodies peace and patience and gentle maternal welcome, I pass the time by tinkering with electronics. After setting up Penny's new scanner and checking out the baby monitor and charging all *three* of the spare batteries we have for the new camera -- just in case the baby needs to have her picture taken for hours on end, you understand -- I decided to compare all the cameras in our stockpile. Now we can tell what kind of pictures to expect from each device, even though it's sort of a forced comparison: I set every camera to full-auto, and didn't adjust any of the jpegs once I had them in the computer. And, of course, not every photo we take will be a medium shot of our living room in the early afternoon, but it's still interesting.

The battle between the two ultracrappy contenders -- my computer's webcam and my cell phone -- was handily won by the Nokia. Its larger image actually had some semblance of detail, even though its bluish tint is considerably less flattering than the iSight's pinkening.

In the midrange, my mom's ancient Canon A70 (she pitied us for lacking a functioning camera a couple months back, and let us use her old one) took on Tom's Kodak M883 (ditto) and our new Canon SD1100, which I broke down and ordered to replace our *old* Canon SD1100 that got dropped on the tile floor and was done for.

And just to see what it would look like, I took a picture with The Big Camera, as Penny and I have come to call it -- the Digital Rebel XT.

Now, I figured the DSLR would take such a better picture that it would make the compact cameras look like cracker-jack toys, but that wasn't the case this time. Maybe it was just because the wide-angle lens captured more of the living room and its sophisticated light-metering decided to capture the details of the trees outside the front window, but the overall image came out pretty dark, comparatively.

In my final analysis, as we wait here for Lope to go into labor at any minute, the surprise winner was the SD1100 -- the little booger that fits right in your pocket. (We plan for one of us to keep it with us most of the time, while the other one carries Tom's Kodak.) Its image looked clearly the best of the point-and-shoots, to my eyes, and arguably the best of all six.

Good thing, too, since you'll soon be seeing lots of pics of our daughter taken with that camera... and (who am I kidding?) every other imaging device within reach.

I think we've got our bases covered.

*If you're scoring at home, the slideshow goes in this order: iSight, cell phone, Rebel XT, A70, SD1100, Kodak.


Aaron Kohn said...

we shot 90% of our hospital stuff with our elph too. it just wasn't worth the hassle of having the right lense on at the right time. the only bitch of the small cameras is the seemingly forever button-exposure time.

jikam82 said...

You gotta set that Rebel to over expose with those bright windows sir! Put it into P mode and use the AV +/_ button to over compensate the lighting... Your windows will be blown out...but that's just what you get... unless you set up a tripod, took two of the same photos one exposed for the window light and one for the room and then combined them in photoshop! (check out page 86/89 of your manual)

Colin said...

See that folks? Professional photography advice! Right here at On Like Popcorn! And Jessica's absolutely right, of course. I may have to try her double-exposure technique just to see if I can make it work.

Especially since we're just hanging around, waiting for this baby to come on out!