In preparation for my first trip overseas, I decided that it was time to demote my Sony DSC-P100 (I have the fast red model) to party/fun camera, and upgrade to something a little more powerful.
Trying to decide what camera to replace it with was a world of hurt with so many makes and models and features to choose from. I wanted the ability to shoot video, SD memory card support, lots of control (shutter speed and aperture priority, among other things) and it had to cost me less than $1000.
After some research, I narrowed down my choice to the Panasonic DMC-FZ28 and the Canon SX1 IS. I won’t compare the two for you – plenty of other sites do that already, but because of the better (and stereo) microphones and the longer zoom, the Canon won the battle.
The Canon PowerShot SX1 IS
The SX1 IS packs a 10 mega pixel CMOS sensor, 20x optical zoom lens, and records movies at the full high definition resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.
It features optical image stabilisation, a 2.8″ articulated LCD (‘vari-angle’ – the LCD swings out and can be rotated), RAW image capture out of the box (the firmware update for RAW support is already applied), face and motion detection and the Dig!C 4 image processor.
The Kogan agora netbook is very impressive on the hardware side, but open the lid and gOS is not as ‘good’ as the name suggests.
With an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 160GB hard disk drive and 10.1 inch matte finish LCD, the agora is well equiped. Coming in two versions, the agora and the agora pro, they differ by the amount of memory (1GB vs. 2GB) and the battery size (3 cell vs. 6 cell). The agora is priced at $499 and you will pay $539 for the agora pro.
The 10.1 inch LCD meets the ‘sweet-spot’ size that most speak of in netbook land. After a consultative process on the Kogan blog, it was agreed that a matte finish was best, and I have to agree.
The agora’s LCD is very usable outside, where a gloss screen would often reflect the sun into your eyes. The native resolution is 1024×600.
The keyboard is easy enough to use – and didn’t take too long to adapt to. The only issue I had at first was the location of shift key in relation to the double quote key – it sits centered above the right shift key, whereas you would normally find it to the left of the shift. Not a deal breaker in the least, but programming on the agora at first resulted in some colons appearing where a double quote should have!
It is also worth noting that the blue function keys are well laid out. Page up and down, along with home and end are function keys placed on the arrow keys, and there are plenty of other function keys along most of the top row of the board, allowing you to sleep, turn on and off the wireless adapter and control the volume and brightness – just to name a few.