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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

22 June 2011, Wednesday
Bought something else in London!

I bought a digital compact camera yesterday, here in London. It is a Samsung PL201. Singapore does not sell this model. Its either that, or the same model is given another model name.

For the past week, there were numerous times I wanted to take pictures when I was outside. I often brought my Canon DSLR with me, but there were too many times when it wasn't convenient for me to whip it out. Outside of London where we stay, there are some places that are quite dodgy, where you would not want to be walking alone at night. Even in the day, there are people there that'll look at you twice when you are walking along holding a DSLR. It happened to me a few times on the first week when I carried my DSLR with me. 

Therefore I have to detach the lens from the body and store it like that in my sling bag. But when I came across something and want to take a picture, I had to take out my camera, uncover the lens and attach the lens on the camera body. That's a huge hassle, and many times I missed the shot, or the other guys in my group would have gone on ahead (YC walks very fast), and I'd have to miss the shot and catch up with them.

So as a compromise, many of my pictures were taken with my Galaxy Tab, or my iPhone 3sg. Galaxy Tab is truly not a good camera at all. The lens tend to be blurry (mostly due to my failure to wipe it clean of my finger prints before taking the picture). When there's a light source in the picture, the bloom and glow is almost unmanageable. There'll also be a light streak when there's a visible light source in the picture. The direction of the streak is oblique. It isnt vertical or horizontal as I expected. The Galaxy Tab only had a 3 megapixel camera. The area that determines exposure is in the centre of the frame -- you can't lock the exposure then frame up, like a DSLR, and you can't tap on another area in the image to set your exposure to, like on the iPhone's camera application. I've also found no application on the Andriod market that allowed me to do this.

The camera on my iPhone is also 3 megapixels. Image quality is better than the Galaxy Tab, and the camera application is also much stronger than that of the Tab. However, the camera is only 3 megapixels, nowhere close to the 15.1 megapixels of my Canon 500D. I wanted a camera that can sort of "replace" or come close to replacing my DSLR.

I thought of getting a new phone, because phones can now do 8 megapixels with crips images and accurate colours. Also because mobile phones cameras are more flexible, only limited by the apps that power them. But mobile phones are too expensive here in London. Prices are comparable or slightly more expensive than in Singapore.

Finally I decided to buy a digital compact camera, where I can whip out and take pictures without drawing too much attention like a tourist. haha.

After work YC, Raymond, Francis and I went to Argos at Holborn Station. YC went to buy a £4 coffee maker can you believe it? Here it is:
A happy man with his unbelievably cheap coffee maker!

Here's the documented process of opening the packaging for my camera:
The box does make the camera look a bit cheap, but I'd rather they spend more money to make the camera better than on the packaging :)

Here's how it looks on my desk at work:

I've written yet another blog on this on my VFX blog: Week 2 in London - Grabbed a Compact Camera Today!

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