Olympus SZ-30MR replaces my Canon A710-IS as my 'backup' compact (I still have my Canon SLR for best). The only problem is that calling it a compact really only seems to refer to its physical dimensions and the fact that it doesn't have an interchangeable lens. In every other respect the specification of this camera is mind boggling and makes every other compact I have owned in the past look like mere toy's!
With a resolution of 16.8mp and a 24x Optical Zoom this camera rivals my SLR. The zoom in particular is very impressive giving an equivalent focal length of 25-600mm meaning there are few situations where it won't come in handy. And with an equivalent ISO range from 80 to 3200 I can take pictures in very low light without resorting to flash - useful in museums and galleries where flash photography is not allowed. One of the features I'm particularly looking forward to exploring is the ability to shoot HD Video and take still pictures at the same time. This will come into its own at Air-shows where I want to film the action and take pictures but can't physically operate two machines simultaneously.
Over the years I have found that having a compact camera as an alternative to my SLR comes in very useful when I can't carry loads of gear with me. Some conventions for instance are just too crowded to bring a large camera bag plus a bag for shopping. Also there are some 'posh' events where a bulky SLR and associated kit just isn't appropriate. This new compact means I can bring a smaller camera without loosing much of the functionality I enjoy with my SLR.
I've always enjoyed taking pictures and one of my core principles with this Blog is to illustrate it with the best photo's I can take. This new camera will help me achieve that aim.