Author: Mike Boesen

Last updated: 3 July 2007

1.  Background

In March 2007 I bought a digital still camera.  It's the third one I've bought to date.  I bought it after doing a lot of research over the web.  I thought that it might be useful to other people if I listed the digital camera review sites that I use for such research.

2.  My own requirements

The main features that I wanted in this camera were:

3.  What I bought - Canon Powershot A710 IS

After doing the research on the web, the camera I ended up buying was a Canon A710 IS.  It has these attributes:

There were a number of reviews available for this camera.  Overall, the reviews were very complimentary.  Here are two that are very informative, with conclusions similar to other reviews:

I am very happy with the way the camera performs.  The quality of the images generated is excellent.  Overall, the camera meets my requirements admirably.

4.  Good digital camera review sites

In researching cameras prior to this purchase I found that this site was about the best source for detailed reviews:

There are many camera reviews on that site and they are comprehensive, very professional and include links from which images captured with the cameras tested can be viewed and downloaded .  The images can be viewed in a number of sizes and downloaded in various sizes for close inspection and/or printing.  Of particular value:  the images generated in the reviews on this site serve as a database which enables direct comparisons to be made between cameras. This is implemented in a very handy way through a 'comparometer'. That enables you to select any pair of cameras and then to look at the images for each side by side. Some of the differences between nominally similar cameras are very significant.

Four other excellent sources for detailed camera reviews are:   (in particular, see Steve's "The Best Cameras": ),

5.  How many pixels?

The issue of how many pixels you need often comes up in discussions about digital cameras.   In my view, there are benifits in having more rather than fewer pixels.   For me, a big merit of very high resolution pics is that I can re-compose poor pictures (of which I take quite a few) by cropping out any extraneous junk and still end up with a pic that has enough details for a large (or small) print. In addition, with a high resolution picture, I am better able to undertake editing to improve orientation, contrast, balance, sharpness and to reduce noise.  

Of course If you only want to point and shoot and print postcard type snaps without any editing, you can still generate appropriate images for that in a camera that is able to create high resolution images too - just use the automatic mode and set the default image resolution appropriately.

Terry Bibo and I authored an article about digital zoom and other things - some of the comments in that article are pertinent to this issue. See:

6.  Prices in Australia

To check prices is a good source and you will see that prices are a LOT cheaper than those offered by retailers in Canberra. I have bought two cameras on the web now. I'd have no hesitation in buying a camera from any of the large sellers listed in Shopbot - for instance, Umart, Gamedude, Centrecom, Camera Farm. If you have electronic banking facilities they all take direct deposits so that you never have to provide your credit card details.  If you buy a name brand of camera such as Canon which has a service agent in the city in which you are located, purchasing a camera over the web poses no problems in terms of servicing of faults.

7.  Conclusion

My latest digital camera purchase has met all my expectations.  Because I undertook careful research on excellent review sites, I had the expectation that my camera of choice would be very appropriate for my needs.  The camera I bought - Canon Powershot A710 IS - has met all my expectations. 

I would strongly recommend that anyone who is contemplating purchase of a digital camera should check out the information that is available on the review sites that I have listed above.

Mike Boesen