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Camera history

On this page you can read which digital camera I used at the time. There's also a short feedback to each model.


1998-2000: Canon Powershot 600

My first digital camera, bought in summer sale. It has a fixed lens, so no zoom! Data storage is very universal, the camera has a PCMCIA slot that can be used for compact flash cards with adapter.
Powershot 600
The highest consecutive number of photos taken with this camera resulted from the summer holidays in Finnland, 1998. I borrowed a PCMCIA harddrive (340MB) and took more than 500 photos.
Accessories bought over time: Canon camera bag, 64MB ATA-flash card (Kingmax), 8MB compact flash (Kingmax) and PCMCIA adapter (Canon). The PCMCIA adapter is the only thing that I kept when I sold the camera in 2000.

The camera proved quite good over almost three years.
I don't know exactly how many photos with it, but it were over 2500. The camera never experienced technical defects, but all the noname memory cards did! They all failed over time, which teached me for the future.
Good points were back in 1998: The resolution (well, times changed...), the universal storage media, the optical viewfinder and price. Weak points were of course the fixed lens, the very slow autofocus, the shutter delay, the weak battery and the size for it's tiny range of functions.

Technical data:
Resolution 832*608 (ca 0.5M pixel)
Lens 7mm f/2.5 (corresponds to 50mm in the common 35mm format)
Sensitivity ISO 100
Storage media PCMCIA slot for ATA flash / harddrive / compact flash (with adapter)
Power supply Dedicated Ni-Cd Battery / six AA alkaline batteries (with adapter)
Dimensions 159.5 x 92.5 x 58.8 mm
Weight 420g
Image size 100kb (JPG)
Buying price (1998) approx. 650 CHF
Link: Page in the Canon Camera Museum

2000-2003: Canon Powershot S20

The budget for the 2nd camera was bigger. But the camera had to be smaller and the target was 3M pixel resolution. After a short time I found "my" camera at the photo store that my father frequents: Photo Video Zumstein, Bern. After my experience with the Powershot 600 and because of the simple handling I decided again for the Canon:
Powershot S20
The camera was really a huge improvement over the Powershot 600. The resolution seemed huge and was enough for A4 page filling prints if the photo was good. New to me was the zoom lens which I appreciated immediately. The TFT display as viewfinder was new, too. A very practical but battery killing feature.
The definitely biggest project with this camera was the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2002. In just three days I took about 350 photos, most of them using my brother's 512MB Microdrive. There could be even more photos, if the batteries lasted longer...
Accessories bought over time: Canon camera bag, 64MB compact flash card (Sandisk!), 2nd battery. Later: Two 128MB compact flash cards (Kingston, Sandisk). Of course I bought a Sandisk image mate USB cardreader shortly after the camera!
I sold everything except the two 128MB cards and the cardreader in November 2003.

The camera proved very, very well over almost three years!
In total, I took between 3000 and 3500 photos with this little camera. It never experienced technical defects, it proved to be very robust in its camera bag. Because of its tiny dimensions, I took the camera with me anywhere: Ski-run, scouting, motorbike tours, mountain tour, car racing, all holidays. The only pocket where the camera doesn't fit in is the pocket of the swimming trunks; that's OK because the camera is just about spash-proof. The camera didn't refuse operating (not even when it experienced a lot of condensation water), it ever ran if the battery provided enough energy.
Good points: Dimensions, weight, robustness, storage media (Microdrive compatible), Resolution (exceptional in year 2000), quickness, little shutter delay, simple handling, good picture quality. The resolution, which is 2* SGXA indeed, proved to be very handy, too.
Weak points: Battery and battery (I had two of them...). Noise with high ISO values, tiny 2x zoom, no manual white balance. Everything but the feeble batteries isn't a big issue. Only 50 photos average per battery isn't enough! Fully charged, I took by chance 130 photos per battery, the Microdrive didn't perform as well with just 50 photos per battery. Canon learned something and only uses Li-Ion batteries prior to the successor model.

Technical data:
Resolution 2048*1536 (3M pixel)
Lens 6.5-13mm f/2.9-4.0 (corresponds to 32-64mm in 35mm format)
Sensitivy ISO 100. ISO 200/400 with signal gain.
Storage media Compact flash type I und II (Microdrive compatible)
Power supply Ni-MH rechargeable battery
Display 1.8" TFT
Dimensions 105.4 x 69.4 x 33.8 mm
Weight 270g
Image size 1MB (JPG)
Buying price (2000) 1400 CHF
Link: Page in the Canon Camera Museum

2003-2004: Canon EOS 300D

Because of the little adjusting possibilities and because of the missing telezoom of the Powershot S20 I began to look for a better camera in spring 2003. The Canon Powershot G3 and G5 were my favourites for some time, but when Canon announced the EOS 300D I knew that would be my next digital camera.
I could finally pick up the EOS 300D (called "Digital Rebel" in the USA) in November 2003, of course again at Photo Video Zumstein in Bern.
EOS 300D front view EOS 300D with flash
Obviously this digital reflex camera is on a completely different level than a compact camera. The big image sensor takes photos with little noise even with low light condidtions and high ISO values. The canon EF lens bayonet introduces you in a giant world of Canon lenses from cheap novice lenses up to priceless professional cannons. The autofocus isn't driven by a slow digital CCD chip but by quick specialized electronics, as usual for reflex cameras. Mirror and shutter principle make it impossible to use the display as viewfinder.
Very useful are the extremely quick autofocus, the near to nothing shutter delay, the instant ready feature (short delay after power-on), the good zoom range of 24-88mm even with the kit lens and last but not least the very powerful battery. All this for a price that you have dreamed for not long ago.
Because of the smaller image sensor, there is a "crop factor" of 1.6 in comparison to a standard 35mm reflex camera. That means that the focal lenght of a standard lens will be virtually "extended" by factor 1.6.

I had this camera only one year. Not because it was bad, absolutely not. It started a process in me that demands for more! The EOS 300D was and is a very good camera to enter the world of digital single lens reflect cameras. You learn quickly which aperture and which shutter time is about right. That's exactly what I bought the EOS 300D for - target achieved.
I never had problems with this camera, not a single one. The battery lifetime deserves a very positive note. And of course the image quality, it's absolutely stunning even with high ISO values. I can't find any negative things, I was aware of some missing features when I bought the camera.

512+128MB compact flash cards (Sandisk, Kingston)
Sandisk Imagemate USB card reader
Flash: Metz 54MZ-3
2nd Battery

View lenses und accessoires.

Technical data:
Resolution 3072*2048 (6M pixel). Notice the classic 3/2 aspect ratio!
Sensor CMOS sensor, 22.7mm x 15.1mm
Sensitivy ISO 100-1600
Storage media Compact flash type I and II (Microdrive compatible)
Power supply Li-Ion rechargeable battery (approx. 500 photos!)
Display 1.8" TFT, ca 118000 pixel
Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72.4 mm
Weight 560g (body only)
Image size 1.8-3MB (JPG) / 7MB (RAW)
Buying price (2003) 1899 CHF (kit with body and standard zoom)
Link: Canon website, Review at Digital Photography Review (Englisch), DSLR Forum (German)

2004: Canon EOS 20D

The EOS 300D was a fantastic camera. But there was an important feature missing for sports photography: Servo AF. Of course it had the Servo AF, but it was only active in the Sport preset. And not switchable in the more interesting "P, Tv, Av, M" programs. When Canon announced the 20D about one year after the 300D, my choice was clear immediately. End of September I saw one at my favourite shop Foto Video Zumstein and immediately traded in my EOS 300D body to get the 20D.
EOS 300D vorne
The EOS 20D is the successor of the EOS 10D, thus a semi professional camera. The most important improvements: New sensor at 8M pixel, Digic II signal processor, faster contignous shooting (5 frames per second), better autofocus system with 9 AF points, remarkably shorter power-on delay, faster CF interface, improved flash E-TTL II, EF-S bajonet. Compared to the 300D, there is the new "pro" concept with two wheels and the custom functions.
Much rests the same - including the 1.6 crop factor. I kept all lenses including the kit lens of the 300D. The only "problem" so far was a very dirty sensor right out of the box (cleaned on warranty).
I sold the Metz flash because I was not satisfied with it on the 20D. It was replaced by a Canon Speedlite 550EX which seems to work better with E-TTL II.
Up to now, the camera and the lenses perform excellent. Robust, reliable, fast and easy to use.

Well, there weren't really much if any! The camera has been working fine for 8 years. 2012 the trigger button began to release with a delay or didn't release at all.
Workaround: Camera shutter contact problem repair in 1 min
Canon Switzerland (or rather their professional service partner) refused to send me the necessary parts for definitive repair. I ended up buying the parts in the US when I was in California.

Memory: SanDisk Compact Flash cards
SanDisk USB 2.0 card reader
3x Batteries (noname/Sanyo)

View lenses und accessoires.

Technical data:
Resolution 3504*2336 (8M pixel). Notice the classic 3/2 aspect ratio!
Sensor CMOS sensor, 22.5mm x 15mm
Sensitivy ISO 100-3200
Storage media Compact flash type I und II (Microdrive compatible)
Power supply Li-Ion rechargeable battery (approx. 600 photos!)
Display 1.8" TFT, ca 118000 Pixel
Dimensions 144 x 106 x 72 mm
Weight 770g (body only)
Image size 2.5-4MB (JPG) / 9MB (RAW)
Buying price (2004) 2470 CHF (body only)
Link: Canon webseite, article at Digital Photography Review, DForum (German)

Lenses, accessoires

Starting with the EOS 300D, I began to buy some lenses and accessoires for the Canon EF bajonet. Of course these are not bound to a camera.

Canon EF 17-40 f/4.0 USM wide angle zoom.
Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.
Canon EF 50 II f/1.8 als fast portrait lens.
Canon EF 100 f/2.0 USM the fast tele lens for indoor sports or portraits.
Canon EF 70-200L f/4.0 USM telezoom.
Canon EF 300L f/4.0 IS USM tele with optical image stabilisator.
Canon 1.4x Extender.

Flash: Canon Speedlite 550EX
Remote shutter
Bags: Lowepro Top Load Zoom 1, Top Load Zoom
Backpack: Lowepro Minitrekker Classic

2005-2011: Canon Powershot S40

As an addition to the SLR, I bought this used Canon Powershot S40. It was mainly used on holidays where the SLR didn't fit into the luggage. Cheap, easy to use, nothing special.
Technical data: 3M Pixel, CF Interface
The camera got its age and was thus replaced by the Lumix in 2011.

2011: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS10

The Lumix is a very small camera that fits in the pocket. Why not Canon any more? Well, the Lumix is simply the better offer for the same price. And I was really fed up with very short battery life on all my small Canons so far. I like about the Lumix: Long battery life, big display, very easy to use. In summary an excellent camera for little money.
Technical data: 12M Pixel, SDHC card

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