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New Camera – The Good, the Bad and the Return

The new camera I purchased arrived and I took it on my recent trip to Singapore to try it out. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Let’s start with the good news:

The Good

The camera was small, lightweight and easy fit into the front pocket of my jeans. It went from completely off to ready to snap a quick pic very fast; I never ended up missing a shot that I wanted. It also was fast when it came to actually taking, saving and prepping for the next shot. I really liked the wifi capabilities; it allowed me to quickly save all photos from the day online – or onto my laptop or mobile device. That’s one of the things I use to hate about actual cameras: you’d have to either link up to your computer or plug the SD Card into your computer to transfer your images. Not in this case – loved this feature.

New Camera: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

The Bad

First off, as I said before, I’d been using my various Samsung Galaxy phones for my main photo taking projects for years now. It took me longer to get use to using a camera again. The screen on this machine was less than a third of the size of the screen on my phone. I wasn’t use to such a small screen and it took me longer to acclimate than I thought it would, but after a couple of days of use, it got better.

The thing I hated the most – the optical zoom. I knew going in that it only had 3X optical zoom and I thought that would be fine – hell, my phone doesn’t have an optical zoom at all! My previous cameras, both Nikon Coolpix, had 10X-18X optical zoom. 3X was just too little for me. I found that while I wasn’t needing huge zoom capabilities, I wasn’t getting the shots I wanted. It was killing me.

The Return

I ended up using my phone as my camera for a lot of my trip to Singapore. I did use my new camera quite a bit, but wasn’t sold that the pictures would be what I wanted, so I took additional photos with my phone – just to be sure I wasn’t disappointed. So, since I bought this camera on Amazon, I logged, and filed a return. Dropping the camera off at my office’s UPS drop, it was out of my hair and my refund was credited to my credit card (and my gift cards replenish) just two days later.

I still want a real camera, but I think I know what I want and don’t want a little better now. I’m going to still try for a point and shoot camera, but this time with a larger optical zoom – hopefully my next incarnation will keep all the great things I loved about the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II.

How critical is an optical zoom for you? Any additional suggestions on cameras I should try out?

Camera Selection: I took your advice!

Last week I mentioned I was in the market for a new point-and-shoot camera.  A co-worker had dropped my last camera and basically destroyed it.  I had gone more than a year without a proper camera, but even before that I found it was much easier to just use my phone.  The last couple of Samsung Galaxy phones have had really great cameras, so I didn’t feel I was missing out on too much.

I did really want a proper camera though.  A few people commented on my last post, a few more emailed or sent a DM with suggestions.  I also mentioned my want to a couple of friends and the one camera that came back most frequently was the Canon Powershot G9X.  Everyone I spoke with loved this camera because it was compact, took quality photos and didn’t break the bank.  The other consistent comment:  It’s a good solid camera – one that excels in it’s class.  It gets the job done, but you aren’t going to become a professional photographer with this piece of equipment.  Got it.  Seems to fit what I was looking for.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II camera

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II camera

I found it on Amazon, with same day Prime delivery.  It retailed for $429, but with an AmEx deal, I got $30 off, plus I had $100 in Amazon Gift Card (additional compensation from a recent speaking engagement).  All in I spent $320 on this camera.

It didn’t come with an SD card either, so I decided to purchase a new one. The ones I used before were a few years old and were on the slower side. I didn’t want to get stuck trying to get a great video with a slow card.

I took this bad boy out for a spin over the weekend and I’ll share some of my photos soon.  As for my initial impressions, it is indeed small and easily fits in my pockets.  There are a ton of automatic settings and scenes included.  The camera also had what appears to be a pretty robust manual function – something that my last couple of cameras had too, but I didn’t do any research in how to use those functions at all.

Other than just going out and taking pictures, any other advice on how to get use to a new camera before a trip?

Need Advice: Best Point-and-Shoot Camera for Travel

I’ll admit it.  I’ve been using my Samsung Galaxy S8 almost exclusively as my camera while I travel and before that, I was using my Galaxy S6 Edge.  I haven’t always been a phone as camera guy.  I was a big fan of the Nikon Coolpix in it’s various incarnations since 2006 and really enjoyed the ease of use and the quality of the pictures.

My most recent Coolpix met an untimely death during a photo shoot at work, one of my employees didn’t affix it properly to the tripod and it fell, smack on the lens, destroying my workhorse of a camera.  That specific camera had traveled with me to Peru, Bolivia, Austria, France, you name it was with me.

I need some guidance on what point-and-shoot camera I should get?  Here’s what I’m looking for, in general:

Old school digital camera

My previous Nikon Coolpix – the replacement for this guy died in a tragic accident at work.

  • Digital Camera – I love film, but I’m not able to take the time to handle that now.
  • Portable, ideally something that can fit in the pocket of my jeans (I’m not a skinny jeans guy, so don’t worry about that), but barring that, something that is lightweight and easy to carry.  I will eventually move into the DSLR world, but I’m not looking for that right now.
  • Must have at least 1080p video capabilities.
  • I’d prefer something with a standard charger – I’ve been burned too many times by forgetting my special camera battery charger.  GRRR.
  • I’ll be using it to photograph every day life and when I travel.  I’ll be snapping pix of beautiful landscapes, architecture, food and airline seats.
  • Some of these versions have pretty awful placement of flashes or flash sensors – so it needs to be a logical design.

What do you use? What’s the one thing you love most about it and what is the one thing you hate the most?  Do you think I should just stick with my Samsung Galaxy S8 phone?