Seeing Double!?

On the left: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS.
35x zoom. 4.3 - 150.5 mm, 1:2.7 - 5.8 USM.

On the right: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS.
50x zoom. 4.3 - 215 mm, 1:3.4 - 6.5 USM.

Going on two years ago, I bought the camera on the left, and a day or two later, a friend in Ireland (with whom I talk online all the time about important things such as ham, and tabbies) talked me into joining Blipfoto. Both of these things - the camera and Blip - have provided me an unmeasurable amount of joy since then.

I have turned into a camera-fiend. I carry my camera everywhere. I take lots and lots of pictures with it. Pictures of the farm fields in central Pennsylvania, where I live. Pictures of flowers, of hummingbirds, of sunrises, of sunsets, of tabbies, of food.

I love its awesome zoom, which enables me to capture the moon - and birds! - as though I were holding them in my hand. I have taken more than 80,000 photos with the camera on the left in just under two years. My husband and everybody I know thinks I'm nuts over this photography thing, but I've been having a marvelous time. I am happy. Obsessed, maybe. But happy.

A few months ago, my SX40 started to make a funny noise when the zoom extends. When the battery is getting low, the extending process sounds especially laborious. My husband and I talked about it and agreed it wasn't probably a good sign. I contacted Canon and they provided a few options, but essentially, the camera is out of warranty, and there wasn't a lot they could do. I began to worry. To fret, in fact.

Knowing how much my photography means to me, my husband suggested that I start looking for a new camera. And perhaps I might be advised to think about purchasing a new camera - maybe a digital SLR, finally? - with birthday and Christmas money. I told him I would be perfectly happy just to hold a brand-new version of my camera in my hands!

And so I started doing research. I went online and read reviews. I pored over Consumer Reports. And as my birthday approached, I went to all the local stores that sell cameras, held them all in my hands. But I was stressed-out, unhappy. None of them felt right. The digital SLRs were just too big, too ungainly, too complicated. The more I looked, the more I realized how happy I was with the simplicity, flexibility, and portability of my old model, which felt perfect in my hands.

So guess what! I finally realized the obvious, and so the week before Thanksgiving, I found the SX50, the newest model of my current camera, on sale at Best Buy online for more than $100 off. It was bundled with a camera bag (which it turns out doesn't actually fit the camera - and I had that exact experience with the camera bag that came bundled with the first one) and a memory card. I submitted my order and danced a little dance! Finally, I was happy with my decision!

The new camera arrived on the evening before Thanksgiving. I charged the battery (which fits my SX40 too!) that night. On Thanksgiving evening, I took my first pictures with it. Over this past weekend, I used it for its first crittergator shoot. Then, on Sunday, I took it on its first woods outing in the snow.

There are some differences between the two models. The SX50 takes raw files and does some new tricks the old one doesn't. A few of the buttons have been moved around. All of the controls feel new; VERY new. It is soundless when the zoom (even MORE zoom than before!) extends. But mostly, it is very similar to the one I already have. It feels good in my hands.

I plan to keep both cameras and alternate in using them, at least until the one on the left stops working entirely, and then I will know its time is done. (And as of now, it will be on somewhat lighter duty than it's been - so let's hope that day is far off!)

I am still playing with the one on the right. Trying it out. I haven't read the manual yet, but I plan to read it in its entirety (as I did the manual of the SX40, within a month after I bought it). I want to learn to do more things with this new camera, but I am delighted that it is so similar. Just like an old friend. :-)

Monday, December second, was my actual birthday. And so I thought it fitting on this day to post a picture of my two very similar cameras. (This photo was taken using my Canon PowerShot SX120 IS, my first digital camera, purchased in February 2008.) It'll be going on two years of continuous, not-a-day-missed, blipping for me soon - a milestone I'll reach next week. And so here are two cameras to celebrate my birthday and my upcoming blip milestone.

The soundtrack? Well, I thought long and hard, and here are TWO songs to celebrate this day. First, Foreigner, with Double Vision.  :-)  And second, the Who, with Won't Get Fooled Again - and I chose this second song for this very line . . . "Meet the new boss . . . same as the old boss . . . "   :-)

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