A trip with the Canon Powershot SD1300

A trip with the Canon Powershot SD1300

A trip with the Canon Powershot SD1300

I just got back from a quick trip to Southern California where I attended a graduation, flew a light aircraft up north along the coast, and went camping by the ocean. I brought my 5D III in hopes of taking some nice pictures, but the aptly named M-Fn button somehow got stuck down which rendered the camera inoperable. Thankfully there is a Canon Service Center in Irvine, CA so I dropped the camera off for repair. I don’t bring backup cameras unless it’s a professional shoot so I figured I’d just enjoy the trip without a camera. No big deal, things just plain break sometimes. But the stars aligned and I was graciously loaned a Canon Powershot SD1300.

 

Plane and Bike

 

The trip:
We flew a Tampico GT aircraft from Long Beach, CA up to Oceano, CA. From there we rode bikes up to Pismo Beach, one of California’s most beautiful beaches. It’s a little touristy but not nearly as crowded as California’s main tourist beaches. We camped overnight and flew back the following day.

 

The camera:
It’s really not fair or even possible to compare the SD1300 to the 5D III. Sure they’re both made by Canon, but these cameras are designed for two entirely different purposes. I could pick apart the SD1300 just as I can with the 5D (yes, really), but directly comparing the two would be an apples to oranges comparison – pointless. So instead, let’s focus on the SD1300 for what it’s made for – people who want to take pictures without all the bells and whistles. The SD1300 is easy. Pick it up, throw it into auto mode, and shoot till your heart’s content. The camera makes all the decisions for you – ISO, shutter speed, even whether or not to use the flash. Having used DSLRs for the better part of the last decade and SLRs before that, this was a nice change for me.

This is a camera that really allows you to take good pictures in the moment without overthinking things. In many ways this camera is far better than Canon’s high end line up and I mean that sincerely. The SD1300 fits in your pocket, it can be used just about anywhere, and you don’t have to fool around with multiple levels of menu options or hundreds of pages worth of instruction manuals. I really enjoyed taking pictures with the SD1300.

 

The pictures:
Let’s talk quality. These shots aren’t designed to be blown up and hung over your mantle, or used in full page magazine spreads. Noise is high at all ISOs, quality at 100% is simply acceptable, and dynamic range is low. Most pictures from this camera will be best suited for standard sized prints of 4×6 or 5×7. And printed at those sizes, the pictures will be just fine. For general shooting purposes in good light, the camera performs well. As the price suggests, picture quality from the camera is far better than what you’ll find from the average cell phone, and quite a bit worse than entry level DSLRs. Quality aside, I can’t emphasize enough how easy and fun this camera is to use. It’s actually easier and more intuitive than your cell phone, and far easier and more portable than your DSLR. In fact it’s one of the easiest and most accessible cameras I’ve ever used. It’s well suited to people who want to be able to take printable pictures without having to carry the bulk and weight of a DSLR. Here are the rest of the unedited, straight from the camera pics:

 

Airplane in Oceano

 

Pismo Beach

 

Surfer

 

Birds and Bike

 

Do not feed the birds

 

Pismo Sunset

 

Blue Hour

 

Palm Trees at Dusk

 

Bike and Tent

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