If you haven't noticed the link on the right-hand side of the page, photography is one of my hobbies. I especially enjoy landscape photography. The problem -- there's always a problem -- is that my preferred mode of travel to get to said landscapes is by mountain bike. Carrying a hefty digital SLR and lenses around in the back of my Camelback on an all-day backcountry ride is not only tiring, but it's dangerous. Going over the handlebars and down a rocky hillside on top of $2,000 worth of camera equipment is not my idea of a good time. I've been there, I've done that, and if not for the peanut butter & jelly burrito in my backpack, I might still be crying. The camera was okay, but I had to drink my lunch through a straw.
So, as much as I like being able to take hi-res photos in the backcountry, I had to finally break down and buy a compact digital camera to take on these bike trips. I didn't want to, but with rides at Mount St. Helens and the British Columbia backcountry coming up in consecutive weekends, I had no choice. I went with the 4.0 megapixel Canon Powershot A520. It has nearly all the same controls as most of the cameras in the Rebel line of SLR's, and even has full manual control over the exposure with shutter speeds up to 1/2000 of a second just like the big dogs. Of course, the drawback is the limited optical zoom and the sloth-like write-speed. But a 4.0 megapixel compact with a big LCD and all the modes of an entry-level SLR for just $250? Not too shabby.
I'll be putting it through its paces this week at Mount St. Helens while riding the "Juniper Ridge Epic" trail and, especially on Sunday morning when I'll be surfing the pumice slopes at the mystical "Plains of Abraham" area. Check back Monday to read all about it.
Until then, I give you this link: http://www.dpreview.com/ If you're ever in the market for a new digitial camera, this is the ultimate resource for information, incredibly heady reviews, and plenty of consumer reviews too.
If you're interested in the Canon A520, here's the link to go directly to the consumer reviews: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinions.asp?prodkey=canon_a520