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Canon PowerShot SD790IS Digital Camera

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My girlfriend Kathy gave me a Canon PowerShot SD790IS 10 mega pixel camera for Christmas 2008. The camera has been used every day since including for astrophotography. It is small and compact with a bright 3 inch LCD display that can be viewed even outdoors in the summertime. The small lithium ion battery lasts a long time and recharges within 3 hours. A memory card is inserted right next to the battery in it's own slot. Manual and auto controls allow for a lot of creativity which has opened up a lot of possibilities for taking great pictures. The lens is retracted when the power is off and is 3x optical with 12x digital zoom. Image stabilization helps ensure a steady shot even without a tripod but I find that the best shots are when you use one. At first I was a little disappointed because the camera did not seem to have a long exposure feature. How could Canon leave this feature out of such a nice camera? It took many button pushes and playing around with before I found out that the exposure can be set for up to 15 seconds in the manual mode. Well I could have looked in the owner's Manual but every time I start the search it was put down because the type was so small and hard to read. My persistence paid off with the discovery of a wonderful digital camera with ISO 1600 sensitivity ready to be pointed skyward. I made a "U" shaped bracket out of a thin 1" brass strip of metal that attaches between the tripod and camera and goes up and over the top just above the shutter button. This is were the cable release is attached for steady shutter control for those longer and sensitive exposures. Afocal astrphotography at the telescope eyepiece is accomplished by the use of my Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount. It couples the camera to my C8 telescope for through-the- eyepiece photos of the moon, planets, and some brighter deep sky objects. Another great feature is the ability to capture 640x480 resolution 30fps video that can be played back on the display or to a video monitor using the included A/V cable. In the video mode one can also utilize the time elapse function to take a series of shots for recording great sun/moon rises and sets. Recently at a star party in Michigan, I mounted the camera to a tripod with the cable release bracket mention above and automatically took 70 plus15 second exposures of the little and big dipper together using the continuous shot mode built into the camera. All the images were imported into Microsoft Movie Maker to produce a great movie of the earth rotation with meteors and airplanes for effect. I can't say enough good things about this Canon and would recommend it to anyone who is interest in a great multipurpose camera. Below is more information: PS If you get any camera, do yourself a favor and purchase a padded carry case and the biggest memory card you can afford.

Product Features
  • 10-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
  • 3x optical image-stabilized zoom
  • Face Detection; Motion Detection Technology automatically reduces blur
  • 3.0-inch PureColor LCD II screen for bright, accurate color and wide viewing angle
  • Captures images to SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus memory cards (not included)
Technical Details
  • Brand Name: Canon
  • Model: B0011ZK6OS
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 10 MP
  • Optical Sensor Technology: CCD
  • Optical zoom: 3 x
  • Maximum Aperture Range: F/2.8-4.9
  • Minimum focal length: 6.2 millimeters
  • Maximum focal length: 18.6 millimeters
  • Lens Type: Zoom lens
  • Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.3"
  • Included Flash Type: Built-in flash
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 80, ISO auto, ISO 3200 (2Mpix), ISO 1600
  • Image types: JPEG
  • Shooting Modes: Frame movie mode
  • Exposure Control Type: Beach, Kids & pets, Digital macro, Night snapshot, Snow, High sensitivity, Portrait mode, Aquarium, Stitch assist, Fireworks, Underwater, Sunset, Indoor, Foliage
  • Viewfinder Type: Optical
  • Width: 3.6 inches
  • Depth: 0.8 inches
  • Height: 2.2 inches
  • Weight: 0.4 pounds


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