I picked up a Canon Power Shot D10 today because my son really wants to take pictures but he can't handle a Canon 5D, or I should say I won't let a 4 1/2 year old even attempt to handle a Canon 5D.
Recommend this product?
It is a standard Canon 12-megapixel camera inside of a bright blue turtle shell. The specs are typical for Canon. 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5-inch LCD, Digic 4 processor, 640x480 @ 30 fps VGA movie capability, good image stabilization, very good face detection & the i-Contrast system.
The not so typical features are the unique Li-ion battery pack, the Smart Auto exposure, 18-pre-programmed scene modes, a large flash and a well designed four point strap system. The battery seems to last for a about 200 pictures.
With the D10 in smart auto mode a 4 year old can easily use the camera. It has a strap system that is perfect for a child, the shape and size of the camera naturally keep fingers away from the lens and the flash.
The video is quite good but you have to set the optical zoom before you start filming. The optical zoom can't be changed while you are filming a movie. That is unfortunate as the digital zoom is terrible. The picture quality just tanks if you zoom at all.
The flash is not the best for rapidly changing subjects. You point the camera at the target, depress the shutter half way and the autofocus beam will come on, illuminate the subject and focus the camera. The beam stays on so you can adjust your aim and track a moving target which is nice if it is totally dark. Then you can press the shutter and take the picture. The range is good, along the lines of 12' in total darkness. The only problem is the process is slow, it takes a couple seconds to get the shot off and if your subject is moving or you are looking for that funny face on a kid you will probably miss it. It takes 2 or more seconds to get the shot off.
I've got to say that the instructions telling you to not wipe dirt off of the camera but to wash is off in a bucket of water so as not to scratch the LCR or lens cover are a bit disconcerting if perfectly sensible. I've just spent my entire life trying to keep the camera dry.
The camera works quite well and if you want to give your child the equipment to take good pictures it is a very good way to go. Kids will grow into the camera and they will pick up on the shooting modes quicker than most adults. It is a simplified push button user interface, it is logical and intuitive.
The macro mode is pretty impressive, my son spent much of the afternoon shooting ants.
All in all it is a reasonably well hardened PowerShot camera. I'm sure it isn't indestructible but it is a huge step up from anything else in Canon's line, at least is it is if your plans include handing it to a preschooler.
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Amount Paid (US$): 340
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Easy Enough for Anyone to Use