I’m a zoom’n fool and excited to be one

I got an early Christmas present from Karen last week. I don’t know what I did to deserve this amazing woman in my life. Personally I think someone in the Fate Department totally screwed up some paperwork and I got her by mistake, but I won’t tell anyone.

So yeah, last weekend I find myself slobbering over my new present, the Canon SX30 IS.

It’s the latest release from Canon, and I mean latest as in just came out a couple of weeks ago.

Until the competition comes out with something more powerful, this is the king of super zoom cameras.


I’ll throw a couple of numbers at you, but don’t worry, there’s nobody has to do any math.  This camera has a 35x optical zoom, meaning it will magnify something the human eye sees 35 times. Most binoculars are 8x, by the way. But wait, there’s more. It also has a 4x digital zoom and no, that’s not 4 times magnification of what your eye sees, oh no. It’s 4 times the magnification of the 35x optical zoom. That comes out to 144x magnification, or 3360mm!

Okay, so what’s all of this mean to us humans? Allow me to elucidate.

This picture was taken without using any zoom. See those hills in the distance, between the building and the lamp poll? Maybe you’re wondering what’s on those hills?


I zoomed all the way in and this is what I shot.


That is not retouched or photoshoped. The heat, distance, and haze account for the washed out look, but with a little work in post and it would be clear and sharp. I am amazed at this. The image stabilization on this camera is staggeringly good. This picture is hand held, i.e., no tripod.


I checked google maps to see how far away I was from this. Click on the image to see the full size map. By enlarging your browser window it’ll zoom the linked image.

The weather station is at point A and I was at point B. That’s about eight miles in distance. Eight!

Bloody heck!


Last weekend Karen and I had breakfast with Mark, who was able to tear himself away from his Sunday laundry ritual. A sacrifice few mortal men could endure. He brought his camera and we geeked out over cameras and settings.

While there I tried out the macro ability on a creamer cup.




I have a very nice Nikon D80 which I have used for a good while. It’s a top quality camera, but I have to say that the features of the SX30 are too hard to resist. I’d never claim to be a good photographer. That’s a title I’d give Mark. He takes some great shots. For me, I want to be creative and spontaneous without tripping over my own photographic ignorance, and that’s what the SX30 does. It helps me get out of my own way.

Lots of people take lots and lots of pictures and many look the same, but, and it’s a big ‘but’, when you have the ability to insanely zoom in on something it changes the playing field dramatically and opens up possibilities that I could never do before. Like for instance… Go ahead and click on this image to see a larger version. I didn’t include the actual full image because it’s just obnoxiously huge… which delights me to no end.

I can tell I’m going to have a lot of fun with this new camera. I’m hoping Karen has the patience to deal with me as I stop every five minutes to take yet another picture. I’ll be sharing as I go and hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy taking them.


3 thoughts on “I’m a zoom’n fool and excited to be one

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