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Tuesday, January 06, 2004 

Bargain alert!

I just picked up a Magicord Machine from Bond for only $9.95 (plus $5.25 s&h). It's normally priced at $24.95, so it's a pretty good deal. Here's a tutorial on using worsted weight yarns with the Magicord Machine (which the instructions advise you not to do). Considering the large amounts of felted bags I'll be making soon, this machine will hopefully come in handy for making straps.

I'm also in the market for a new digital camera (which will hopefully mean more pictures posted to this site!). After quite a bit of research I had found that the Canon Powershot G2 was a great digital camera, still getting exceptional reviews despite the fact it's been discontinued for almost 2 years now (it came out in August of '01). Then I found the Canon Powershot G3, which was an upgrade (and major improvement) on the G2. Reviews for the G3 were all extremely good, and it had some features I liked (flip out screen that can be folded into the camera to prevent scratches, a lot of flexibility and features, great battery life, and other things). Unfortunately, I soon learned that the G3 had been discontinued a few months ago to make way for the Canon Powershot G5, which is basically a G3 with a black body and a 5 megapixel sensor instead of a 4 megapixel, which the G2 and G3 have. (There is no G4 because of the word "four" rhymes with the word for death in Chinese and Japanese.)

At first I was holding staunchly to the G3 since I wasn't so sure I wanted a 5 megapixel camera (don't really need that much). But, the price of the G5 has come down in recent months (as is the way with digital cameras) and now I can get a G5 for just slightly more than what I'd be paying for a G3 (which may be refurbished, since new ones are becoming harder to find). There were some issues with the G5 that were worse than in the G3, like increased chromatic abberations (purple fringing), and slightly more problems with red eye. Though, many reviewers said these things were only problems if you were super picky, and in most situations it wouldn't be an issue.

Probably the biggest issue I've had so far with the G3 or G5 has been the size. It is definitely not one of those credit card sized cameras that can be slipped into your pocket. I have this old HP 215 1.2 megapixel camera (which I never use because, frankly, it's not that great of a camera) that is almost the same size as the G3/G5. It's really about the size you'd expect for an SLR camera, maybe even smaller. So, it's not that bad. I think it's about 4.8"x2.9"x2.8" and weighs about 14 ounces. But, if I have to choose between size and functionality/image quality, I'll choose the latter. I tried looking at the Canon Powershot A80 which also has the flip out screen and is a more compact camera, but I found the screen to be too small, and reviews stated that the resolution on the screen was sacrificed. Since I wear glasses, it's kind of important to have a good LCD screen. Plus, while the A80 also received great reviews, they weren't as great as for the G3/G5. And, you get more standard accessories/software bundled with the G3/G5 than the A80, so I think the increase in price will be worth it.

At this point, I've all but decided to go ahead and get the G5. Originally my plan had been to buy a decent digital camera and a nice film camera (since my current film camera is a POS). But, I think what I may do is keep my current film camera (it can do an okay job when need be) in case I absolutely need a film camera (though, Jonathan has a very nice SLR that I could use too if I needed film). And then I'm going to buy a really nice digital camera to be used as my primary camera. Based on the longevity of the G2 (and the fact that it's still considered one of the best of its class) I expect to get plenty of life out of the G5. Normally I'd gag at spending around $550 on a camera, but if it works half as well the reviews claim it does, I think I'll be very happy indeed. Now all I have to do is satisfy my frugal side, and find a great deal on it, which shouldn't be too hard to do.

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  • I'm Dani
  • From San Francisco
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