a few weeks ago I was set a challenge by Moneysupermarket.com to do a comparison shot, my Canon 1DS MKIII V a budget camera bought from Amazon.co.uk, “easy you say”… Not So, I say.
Firstly I had to contend with the myriad of point and shoot cameras available compared to and being realistic Canon or Nikon in the DSLR range. A quick google and you’ll get 50 cameras all around the £50 mark all claiming to do everything Joe Public will need and more, image stabilization, HD video, effects galore etc etc. The only thing in my favour is that I am pretty happy with Canon and have always stuck with them since I turned professional in 2009, I currently have a 5d MKII a 1DS MKIII and my favourite scouting camera a S100 that is always with me no matter where I am, it shoots RAW and has many capabilities that my main DSLR has at a fraction of the size and weight.
Anyway, back to the “Hot Shot Challenge”, after much searching and researching amazon reviews I came across a Canon Ixus 130 in used condition with a sale price of £54,59 yup I couldn’t believe it either especially with a rrp of £239 but many on sale approx £175 on Amazon.co.uk.
Camera Type: Ultra Compact
LCD Screen: 2.7
Memory Cards: SD / SDHC / SDXC
Aspect Ratios: 4:3, 16:9
File Formats: JPEG
Focal Length Equivalent: 28 – 112mm
Shutter Speed: 15 – 1/1500 seconds
Aperture: f/2.8 – f/5.9
Sensitivity: AUTO, ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White Balance Settings: Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Exposure Compensation: -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
Flash Modes: Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Flash Range: 4m
Metering: Multi-pattern, centre weighted, spot
Shooting Modes: Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Smart Shutter(Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), Low Light(3.5MP), Color Accent, Color Swap, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist
Maximum Movie Resolution: 1280 x 720
Max Movie Frames Per Sec: 30 fps
Maximum Movie Duration: 4GB or 10 minutes
Macro Focus: 3cm
Image Stabilisation Yes
Lens Converters No
Self Timer 10 seconds or 2 seconds
Video Out (TV Playback) Yes
Computer Connection Yes
Batteries Lithium-ion Rechargeable
Dimensions 92.2 x 56.1 x 17.8mm
Well lets start with my 1ds MKIII value approx £5k along with tripod £1k and a Singh Ray Reverse Grad filter £200, oh and not forgetting my trusty 16-35 f2.8 L USM lens £1500, camera bag and associated gear brings a rough total to £8-10k (I know my wife doesn’t know either) but it does afford me an income and the passion for what I do cannot be price tagged, unless you’re my long suffering wife then its probably several hundred pairs of shoes and the relaxing beach holiday we forgo every year for me to follow my dreams!.
Location: Anglesey Time: 21:21 Date: 15/7/2013
F/11.0, 1/8s, ISO 100, 35mm
Singh Ray Reverse Grad, Lee .9 ND
GITZO GK1581OT Ocean Traveler Tripod
Arctic Muck Boot Wellies, an absolute must, the Irish Sea is freezing even at the height of summer
This is a well balance shot utilising my filters and tripod to hold the position perfectly still. A very small amount of post processing to adjust the light balance and remove dust particles, cropped to suit.
Canon Ixus 130 IS, straight from the camera image
F /2.8, 1/60s, ISO 125, 5mm
Oakley Dispatch Sunglasses
I’m a firm believer that composition is king when it comes to photographs, it doesn’t matter if you have a £40k Hassleblad, if it looks wrong it usually is. Composition isn’t something that individuals take easy to being taught, I’m not saying it can’t be learned but you instinctively know when someone has “the eye”, and this is how I became a photographer, people always thrust the camera in my direction and said “let Adrian take it, he always gets it right” well almost I’d say!
I utilised my sunglasses to act as a filter as I used my expensive filter on my 1DS MKIII image, it certainly helps a lot as the sky is so much brighter than the sea and anything I could do to help balance the light is what matters, it’s still slighty “blown out” as we say, (too bright that some detail is lost) and of course when you shoot without an effective balancing act of light in the foreground , middle and background you get silhouettes, shadows and blown out areas.
Saying that I really like the result, the camera has created a pleasurable image and definitely a memory pretty close to how I remember the sky and sea that summer night. It does however lack some of my 1Ds’s qualities and this is where the money maker that is 1ds comes in, the overall quality of the Ixus against my 1ds is far less sharp and noisy (has a grain) and the 14mb shot is no where near the same size pixel wise as my 1ds, being 2935 x 2068 @ 240 pixels/inch V the 1ds’s 5520 x 3680 @ 240 pixels/inch.
In trying to keep this blog as nontechnical as possible it must be said that full frame resolution of the 1ds is far superior to Ixus 130 as well as handling and and overall performance, but this comes at a price and lets face it I don’t carry my 1ds MKIII whilst doing the shopping at Asda but I can say that I do now carry the Ixus 13o everywhere along with my S100 iPhone…..sad you may think but I always remember a saying “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” now this makes perfect sense when applying this to photography but its actually a quote from Wayne Gretsky a Canadian ice hockey player, but you get the idea.
Will I be using this camera to make money shots that I’d sell on my site, probably not as I don’t think it compares highly enough to my 1ds MKIII’s overwhelming quality and scalability that my customers demand but I would certainly use it for web, blog, social media and just having fun which when it comes down to it is what photography is about FUN and recording the moments that make up our lives.
I think the Ixus 130 IS bought at Amazon was and is worth every penny, its small, practical has some great functions and you don’t worry so much about it just being shoved away in your pocket, keep it handy ready for those occasions that count.
I thought about the image and decided to give it the same chances as I did with my 1DS and run it through the processing in Photoshop just to see what can be made with and image, this is the result.
Think you’ll agree it works rather well now doesn’t it?, this took 5 minutes and could easily be recreated using the iPhone Photoshop App PS Express and PS Touch, maybe not a seller but one to be proud of and certainly when printed say A4 looks very presentable.
Hope you enjoyed this blog, loads more @ http://www.adrianashworth.co.uk/my-blog/