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Thread: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

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    Sara W.'s Avatar
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    canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Hi I am new to the digital camera world and understand nothing much about these cameras. I know that I want a camera to take good indoor pics of the kids and family, pets(etc) and outdoor shots in bright light. I like to zoom into trees to get shots of birds,and want to get shots of fast moving subjects. Is the Canon SX110 too much for a beginner? I understand it has an auto mode claiming to make shots easy for the uneducated but was wondering how true this is.

    Also my husband says if I buy this camera he thinks I wont be able to zoom in only 6x and have a clear, that would be as clear if you were to use a camera that is made to only go up to 6x zoom. Is that correct? Another issue I don't understand is will I be able to make small prints of 4x6 using an SX110? I have been reading and reviewing for days and feel so overwhelmed... I close my eyes and see cameras!! lol. I would like to stick to the canon brand and not go over the 275(ish)range, and depending on the picture size, I think I would like a 10 zoom. Any suggestions on this being a good starter or too much to handle for a newbie?? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!

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    Re: canon powershot SX110

    Welcome Sara,

    I would say you could do far worse than this - although I am not familiar with it, a quick look at the spec on dpreview website was enlightening. If you have good experience of a brand, I'd stick with it too.

    I wouldn't worry about the quality of pictures per se of a 10x zoom (as this has) against a 6x.
    The only thing I'd say on the lens is that it with an equivalent range of 36-360mm, it will be good for birds in trees, but the Wide Angle (WA) at 36mm may prove a bit restrictive for indoor shots. I have a 10x camera which does 28-300mm, and I'd really miss that bit extra at the WA end.

    You'll have no problem with getting small 6 x 4 prints from it, anything over 2MP will do that, and this is 9MP, the extra won't matter and means you could do decent A4 prints.

    Yes it does have a lot of modes, but in the early days, just ignore the extras and leave it on auto. As you gain experience, at least you won't out grow it too soon, because there are those additional manual modes to move onto as and when necessary (e.g. fast moving sports).

    The only other downside I can see to the SX110 is that it has no optical viewfinder, all picture taking relies on being able to see the (admittedly nice, big) 3 inch screen. I have found in bright sun this will also be a problem for you.

    I'd value the feature of it taking standard AA batteries too.

    The only other warning I might give is that if you eventually might see yourself wanting a proper DSLR in a year or two, be prepared to spend 10x this amount to duplicate the versatility you have now whilst getting a recognisable increase in quality, or you'll find yourself reaching for the Canon because it can do so much.

    Hope that helps,
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 27th February 2009 at 06:08 PM. Reason: Edit due to Username Change

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    Re: canon powershot SX110

    For a general background on this topic, also be sure to take a look at the thread titled:
    Questions to ask yourself when buying a compact digital camera

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    Sara W.'s Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot SX110

    Would you mind telling me what type of 10x with 28-300mm camera you have?? I was torn between the Panasonic TZ5 and the Canon SX110. Panasonic, I belileve, has the wide angle, but I have been hearing issues of too much yellow/green in peoples pictures, which is something I have become concerned with. I wonder if that is an issue b/c they dont know how to use the camerea. In which case would worry me further b/c I want to take it right out of the box and take good pics. I see canon makes a wide angle camera in my price range(I dont want to go much over 275.00) but it lacks 10x zoom...Any thoughts on the Panasonic TZ5? Thanks so much! I am starting to think that what I am loking for in a camera is not possible in my price range at this point, so I may have to settle for less zoom. Family shots are more important than upclose nature shots...Darn those cute kids! =)

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot SX110

    Mine is the SLR sized Fujifilm Finepix S6500fd, to give it the full name. If I were to buy again I'd go for the Fuji S100FS, I like the manual zoom barrel, rather than electric zoom, but that does still have it's quality limitations compared to an SLR, although is more versatile than the compact style ones and better than mine in several respects; mine doesn't have real image stabilisation.

    That said, I recommended the Panasonic TZ5 to my 21 yr-old daughter and she's very pleased with it. However, I couldn't help noticing that odd batches of her pics come out with the wrong color temp, so I don't know if she's manually set it indoors and forgets to change when she first moves outside, or if that's the auto getting it wrong. I'll ask her (delicately) sometime.

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    Re: canon powershot SX110

    Yeah, precisely why I chose the SX110 over the TZ5. I have read over and over in customer reviews that they issues with too much green or yellow in their pictures. I figure if I go for the canon I can change the settings and get the better shot, I have more control unlike the TZ5. However with that said, I do wish that canon would just hurry up already, and make a smaller more compact camera like the TZ5, with the wide angle lens, and HD capabilities, in a nice shade of royal blue.. Can't win em all though?! =)

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    I bought the SX110 a few weeks ago, after comparing it against the TZ5, among others. The reviews showed both cameras had strong points and weak points, and both would deliver good photos. I went with the Canon mainly because it offered a much greater range of manual control than the TZ5. I went digital after 30-some years of film photography and I wanted the same sort of exposure control as my SLRs, plus control over the digital aspects. The camera being replaced by the SX110 is an Olympus C-765 which also featured a lot of manual controls including strictly digital controls. So maybe I'm just a control freak

    The drawbacks I've found with the SX110 so far are: no live histogram, no hot shoe, and just adequate (most of the time) wide angle lens setting.

    Histogram: You can view the histogram after shooting, but you can't view it live and make exposure adjustments before shooting. Not a big deal, and I don't actually use the histogram very often, but I liked having a live view on the Olympus.

    Hot Shoe: The lack of a hot shoe (for attaching a separate flash unit that typically integrates into the camera's electronics) was a huge adjustment after using an SLR for so long. But, most compacts don't offer a hot shoe and I don't often shoot in conditions where I absolutely need an external flash. If I was that hung up on it, I'd get a slave unit.

    Wide Angle: This is probably what you should think about the most. The widest angle on the lens is 36mm (equivalent), which is a very modest wide angle. I can live with it most of the time, but now and then I'll find myself indoors with my back to the wall, literally, wishing I could back up just another few feet. If you think you may be taking a lot of architectural photos, wide landscape shots, or group photos, you may want to go with a wider angle than the Canon gives you. I personally get more use out of the longer telephoto than I would get out of a wider angle at the other end of the zoom range, but for some people, it's just the opposite.

    From an ease of use standpoint, put the camera on Program or Auto and it basically becomes a true point-and-shoot camera for when you don't need (or want) to think about shutter speed or blown highlights. Let the camera do it for you, and it will make the right choices most of the time. I don't have hands-on experience with the TZ5, but I'm sure it is just as easy to take good pictures in a point-and-shoot mode with that camera as well.

    Most of my pictures are typical snapshots where I can let the camera do what it thinks is best. But, when the camera disagrees with the effect I'm trying to get photographically, I like being able to take over the decision making...and that's the biggest reason behind my choosing the Canon. If you think in the future you may be interested in having more control over the camera's operation, consider the SX110. Extensive manual control does let you capture images and effects that would be difficult or impossible to get otherwise. But before you purchase, look at some of the reviews where sample pictures are shown...especially the wide angle settings. You may find that the so-so wide angle setting for Canon's lens just isn't enough for how you plan on using the camera.

    [EDIT] I agree with rustyshutter71 about the lack of an electronic viewfinder. I used it all the time on my Olympus and I swear I am having some issues with framing now just because I no longer have my face planted against the back of the camera and I'm not used to that. In any case, Delkin makes LCD flip-up sunshades that attach to the back of the camera, without damaging the camera finish, they claim. It really does a good job of keeping the LCD in shadow under most conditions. And the flip-up portion of the shade detaches from the mount, leaving just the mount and its plastic LCD protector on the camera. When you don't need the shade, that makes it easier to view the LCD from oblique angles...the biggest "plus" to an LCD screen, I think...rather than having to view the display from directly behind the camera, at eye level. So far, so good, but if I pull off the non-damaging mount one day and it pulls off the LCD panel with it, I'm going to be p*ssed
    Last edited by Dave21742; 17th January 2009 at 04:27 AM.

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    Sara W.'s Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Well I have had approximately one weeks experience with the Canon sx110, and so far and have gone one of em! The first had a dead pixel on the screen that didn't effect the picture quality, but I didn't spend my money on a camera that has some dead pixels, I wanted brand spankin' new.. So I returned it and got a "new" one that is so much louder sounding that the last one I had, which bothers me. It makes a whirly buzzing high pitched noise that to me, sounds like it corresponds with something inside that is struggling to focus.. if that makes any sense. Not sure how else to explain it. It just sounds, well, unhealthy.. I think I will return this one as well. The 3rd time HAS to be the charm..right?? If not, I'll change brands completely.. Only b/c I really wanted the long zoom. Other wise, I really do/did(?) like this camera. It feels very sturdy in hand, and is easy to use. Takes good shots as far as I am concerned.

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sara W. View Post
    It makes a whirly buzzing high pitched noise that to me, sounds like it corresponds with something inside that is struggling to focus.. if that makes any sense. Not sure how else to explain it. It just sounds, well, unhealthy..
    Hi Sara, I bought a Canon SX110 in Nov 08 and experienced the same problem you mentioned : A noise that feels like it is struggling to focus. I returned it to the shop and they gave my money back.

    Since then I bought another Canon SX100 but haven't used it yet. I hope it works fine, I don't want to return it again because of another problem.

    I have just enrolled on a course in Photography and the first class is tomorrow. I can't wait to use my new camera!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 27th February 2009 at 06:07 PM.

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Oh! I am so glad to know I am not going crazy! At first I thought I was paranoid, and maybe the noise would go away, but nope. Never did. Thanks for the post! I got the replacement today and so far, so good. (knock on wood?)
    Hope you enjoy your class! Good Luck!

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Hi guys, I also bought this camera and while I was playing with it, I couldn't find the slow synchro setting under the flash menu but in the spec./menu, it said it has this feature, just wondering if you guys find this setting at all?

    Thanks!

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Quote Originally Posted by jet View Post
    Hi guys, I also bought this camera and while I was playing with it, I couldn't find the slow synchro setting under the flash menu but in the spec./menu, it said it has this feature, just wondering if you guys find this setting at all?

    Thanks!
    Hi Jet,

    Welcome to the CiC Forums - great to have you with us.

    Slow Sync on the SX110 isn't available in Auto or Easy modes - which is probably your culprit.

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Hi..sorry, I do not know anything about such a function. I am a very new beginner at this whole digital camera world. I did want to mention that I have gotten my noisy camera replaced and the new - new one works great. I love this camera! The other day while going on a drive I took pictures of the scenery, while in a moving car going apx. 60(ish) mph and not one blurry shot..all on auto!! Now, some may shutter at the thought of just using auto..but like I said, I am a newbie..so it's OK! Right? Well anyway..this camera is great. The video is fantastic, the only down side is you cant zoom optically while recording, only in digital. If you want to zoom in optical you have to do that first,(zoom in) then start to record. Over all, everyone I know who has this camera is in love with it. And everyone I know who doesn't have it, sees mine and wants one..I highly recommend! Oh yeah, and what they say about flash recycle is true. It is slow.. but I hear you can change this some with higher power batteries. Sanyo eneloop or something like that. I have yet to find em..
    Last edited by Sara W.; 26th February 2009 at 07:33 PM. Reason: gave wrong info on zooming

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Quote Originally Posted by PictaFreak View Post
    the only down side is you cant zoom digitally while recording
    Hi Sara,

    In respect of the above statement, I think most people here would say "never use digital zoom", not on stills especially (I know the comment was about video).

    The only time I can see digital zoom being useful is where you know your intended use of the pictures is going to be without any post processing. If it's your personal choice not to want to sit in front of a computer and crop* pictures and generally tidy them up, that's cool. Then digital zoom gets you the subject bigger on the image, ready for Pict-bridge printing or sharing, etc.

    * crop = digital zoom in post processing

    Optical zoom is fine of course, and I think you have quite a range on this camera anyway, so
    I'd probably don't need to say use digital zoom sparingly, or things might start to look 'blocky'.

    Glad you like the camera and that it was third time lucky with the new-new one!

    Regards,
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 27th February 2009 at 06:06 PM.

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Hi Sara,

    Good to hear from you again - thanks for keeping us updated with your progress (too many people just disappear, and we never know if we've been able to help).

    Cameras today are pretty smart - and if you're getting the results you want from auto mode then that's all that really matters. Some people like to stick with auto mode - others like to use other modes, and that's the beauty of having a versatile camera - each can choose the mode that's right for them.

    And everyone I know who doesn't have it, sees mine and wants one
    Perhaps I should trade in my Canon 1Ds Mk3 and buy one ;)

    So ...

    ... when are we going to see some of these photos in our other forums?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 27th February 2009 at 06:06 PM.

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Well I am not so sure when I will get them up! I haven't even read the directions on how to get the pictures on my computer yet! I'm such a slacker! But more importantly I need shots of other things not consisting of my children and house pets..So since the weather here has warmed up and most of our snow melted here..I am off to venture out in the woods to see what I can find! I will, hopefully sooner that later, get some pics up for everyone. Just wanted to share that last night I had a dream that when using my camera I got the Lens Error signal on my camera screen.. how funny. I don't remember even thinking of it anytime recently.. Hope it's not a sign of whats to come!

    Oh I got to play with a Nikon SLR camera the other day, I forget what model.. But good lord, know I know why people were telling me to watch out, b/c before I know it I will want one..and guess what?! I do, indeed! =] I just wish they weren't so huge.. but maybe by the time I can get one, they will have smaller models? Ahh who knows..I need to just relax and focus on what I have now!

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Hi Sara,

    Not all Nikons are the same size, the entry level range are smaller than the pro range, in fact this probably goes for Canon too.

    You could always look at the Olympus range, they use a smaller sensor size and hence both cameras and lenses are noticeably smaller than the norm for a DSLR.

    I have no experience of these, but have been researching a while (dreaming, perhaps) of the day I might get one!

    Any pics yet?

    Regards,
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 27th February 2009 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Edit due to Username Change

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    No Sir..Sorry! It ended up raining here on what was supposed to be a great day.. Sooner than later though! I am a bit intimidated, I must admit, every picture I have seen on this site is perfect! I am an amateur. That may not even be the right word to describe me! Lets put it this way, I know nothing about taking the "perfect" shot, and if that is whats needed, well, I am in big trouble! haha =c) but it will happen. I am just looking to post something a bit more exciting than everyday life here in my house! Will keep you updated...

    Sara

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Hi Sara,

    Whoa there, there are most certainly NOT all perfect in these forums - because I post some here and believe me, I'm still learning.

    Anyway, here's a little secret; part of the satisfaction for me is to see the 'newbies' develop and improve over the weeks and months. It's nice to think I've played a part.

    Back to your trepidation at posting a picture:
    I just had a look at the list of tutorials and I have to say that they are somewhat technically orientated, I can't see one that might 'get you started'. Although as it happens, I have a cunning plan for a thread which may help, I'll publish it in the next day or two, once I have sorted out some better image hosting for myself.

    It will be called something like 'extracting a half decent image from what I snapped' and will be in the People and Pets forum. I'll be using the photos I took last summer when I was a lot less experienced.

    Did'ja notice how I'm building up some expectation so I follow through and deliver! (I know how lazy I can be)

    Also, don't worry about posting 'everyday life' shots, it was interesting that the recent Team challenge was dominated by shots of photographer's children or close family.

    Good to hear from you again, and to have a real name to address you by.

    Thanks,

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    Re: canon powershot SX110: too much for a beginner?

    Hi Sara,

    Just "jump in boots and all". There are a lot of nice shots here - but I'm sure that just about everyone will tell you that for every one that appears here there are probably a couple of hundred that will never be allowed to see the light of day!

    And as Dave said, it's nice to be able to see where someones at and then start helping them change a few things at a time to help them improve - which is what we're here for (well for that and the free lunches anyway!).

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