November 6, 2023

a week of new digicams [digicam diaries]

Over the last week, I've been picking my digicams over my main kit. In the last week, I've thrifted three cameras (two digicams & one film) and picked one up on the used market. I didn't go on any special trips or outings last week, I simply carried around a different camera and documented daily life. I haven't had this much fun with my digicams since first falling in love with them last year, and I'm excited to share my finds! 

Canon PowerShot A570IS

Before we get into last week's thrift finds, I wanna talk about a camera from last year-- the PowerShot A570IS. I got this camera at Goodwill for around 99 cents, and it's taken quite a bit of trial and error to get it working properly. But from the first test photo I took with it, I knew it was a camera I was willing to put work into. In the end, the solution was quite simple. It turns out that this camera only functions properly with fully charged NiMH batteries. After all the time I spent scouring old forums and manuals, all I had to do was buy some rechargeable AA batteries. Now that I solved that issue, I've been carrying it around with me while I run errands, or just go on walks around the neighborhood. This camera was announced in 2007 and houses a 7.1MP CCD sensor. 

Can you tell that my A570IS was with me on Halloween?

Sony Cyber-shot WX70

At the same Goodwill where I found the aforementioned A570IS, I found this purple Cyber-shot WX70 last Sunday. This was perhaps my most exciting digicam thrift find to date. After combing through the tangle of electronics, I caught sight of a padded handle behind an old appliance and pulled out a Sony camera bag. It took all my self-control to not gasp when I opened it and found the cutest purple digicam sitting there, along with its charger, manual, and cables. The original price was 9.99, but it also happened to be the color of the week, so I paid a whopping $5 for it. I impatiently charged it on the drive back home and found that it was not only in perfect working order but in really good condition too. It was announced in 2012 and has a 16.2MP BSI-CMOS sensor. 

My only complaint about this camera is the touchscreen. I'm a big fan of buttons, and I really don't enjoy that the entire back panel of this camera is touchscreen. The only two buttons on this camera are on top and they're the on/off button and the preview button. Still, of all my digicams, this is probably the most "practical" one. Unlike older digicams, it takes little to no time to process or write to card, so it feels a lot more modern in that respect. While some of the photos don't have the same characteristics that digicams from the early aughts do, I've really enjoyed using it so far. I can see myself taking this one as a daily carry often because of its slim size and quick speed. 

Canon PowerShot SD1200IS

This camera was a hard pill to swallow because of its price. I found this orange SD1200IS in pretty rough shape at my local Goodwill for $49.99. It didn't come with a charger, and it already had a low battery, so I had to order a third-party charger and wait a couple of days before I could properly use it. If I hadn't already been looking for this exact camera model the night before, I would have left it behind. Even so, I paced the store for an hour thinking about it. I even left to get lunch before driving back to the store to bite the bullet. The truth is, I had been looking for this exact camera, I knew it was in working order because it powered on in the store, and I was familiar with the photos it produced. Finally, the camera was selling for much more on the used market, even for models that weren't working. I was simply upset at Goodwill's audacity to price something so beat up that high. Talk about a thrift grift. The price tag is a bit easier to accept now because it works perfectly fine, despite how beat up it looks, and because I've really had a lot of fun with it. 

With that rant out of the way, let's talk about the camera. Announced in 2009, the SD1200IS has a 10MP CCD sensor and comes in a variety of colors. Like other Canon digicams I've used, I really enjoy the vast in-camera settings that Canon provides. Similar to the A570IS and P92, it produces beautiful images SOOC that retain a slight softness. This camera is also a strong contender for a daily carry. 



Sony Cyber-shot P92

While perusing eBay, as I do, I came across the old cyber-shot cameras that have this fun curved shape.  The P92 was announced in 2003 (20 years ago!!!) and has a 5MP CCD sensor. Although I've only had it for a couple of days, it gives my A570IS a run for its money in terms of character the SOOC jpegs have. This camera doesn't have raw capability, but I'm able to shoot "fine" jpegs. Luckily, the seller included the MS Pro that it uses, and I'm looking at getting an adapter for it. The 218MB card can take ~50 shots-- about the same as a roll of film shot on a half-frame camera. I was blown away by the colors of the jpegs SOOC when I pulled them up in Lightroom. I can see myself posting them straight away with no tweaks because of how nice I think they look. The photos have the perfect amount of softness, and even the chromatic aberration and noise I've seen look more film-like than a digital glitch. I was so immediately enamored with this camera, that I made my very first Instagram reel to show it off. 

I've since used the P92 a bit more and this is by far the most impressed I've been with a camera, especially given its age. This camera requires no buff between taking photos, so other than refocusing, I'm pretty much free to spray and pray (as much as a 20-year-old camera will allow). Its photos are much sharper than expected SOOC, and the minimum focusing distance continues to amaze me. I switched on the macro mode and put the lens right up to some chrysanthemums I have on our deck and it nailed focus every time. It seems like every new outing I take with this camera I end up finding something else about it that blows me away. Lastly, I have to give a shout-out to this camera's build. It's a heavy little brick, and I mean this in the best way. It fits nicely in the hand (though I have small hands) and the weight makes it feel surprisingly substantial. Compared to the other cameras on this list that are tiny and/or so lightweight that I'll forget they're there, this one feels very sturdy. 


I hope you've enjoyed this update to my retro digital series! I didn't expect this week to be so full of new cameras, but you'll never find me complaining about it. 

*Photos that have not been marked as SOOC have been processed in Lightroom.