While there may not ever be a "perfect" lens, there has long been a need for a one-lens solution for shooters who want to head out the door with one camera and one lens over their shoulder. The reasons vary. For some it's a matter of convenience. For some, it's a matter of pure laziness and for others it's the fear of getting dust on the sensor. For frequent flyers it's a matter of logistics, i.e., there's a limit to how much airlines allow you to carry aboard the plane (almost all of these lenses are surprisingly compact).
The interesting thing about entry level point-and-shoot digicams is that the simplest, least expensive of the lot is capable of taking wonderfully sharp, angst-free photographs. The costlier, more "'complicated" digicams can perform more "tricks" or have wider or longer lenses than entry-level digicams, but at the end of the day, each of these econo-cams capture surprisingly fine stills and video.
A professional photographer is someone who can take a photograph that's technically and aesthetically right on the money with even the most basic of imaging tools, though few, if any, would bet their reputations on entry-level cameras on a regular basis. That's because as feature-packed as under-$500 cameras are, they're simply not up to taking the pounding pro-quality DSLRs are subjected to on a daily basis. But ruggedness is only part of the equation when it comes to the top guns of DSLR cameras.
The legendary Chuck Westfall, technical advisor in the Professional Products Marketing Division at Canon U.S.A., agreed to give our readers a preview of what his company is presenting at the 2010 PhotoPlus Expo here in NYC.
I travel the world on assignment for National Geographic Traveler. Although I often have a translator who can also be my photo assistant, I still prefer to travel and shoot with as little equipment as possible; it keeps my mind focused on the subject, not which gadget or lens to pull out of my bag. I use everything I carry with me, except a few back-up items, which I leave in the hotel.
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