Today I went across the street to a friend’s apartment to consume some maple 5-spice roasted peanuts she made, drink beer, and take photos of a bunch of the stuff decorating her apartment. Here are a couple of my favorites:

That last one is called “Ducks and Butts”. Just in case you were wondering.

I took a bunch of photos of her other doodads, but they’re not quite up to my exacting artistic standards. Again, still learning and experimenting, but having fun doing so!

New toy: Canon PowerShot S90

One of my Christmas presents this year was the Canon PowerShot S90. Both of my older cameras had developed some issues over time, so for the past year I’ve mostly been using the camera in my iPhone. My most recent camera, the S3 IS, had some nice features, and ridiculous zoom capabilities, but it wasn’t exactly pocket-sized, and weighed in at just about a pound, with batteries. It took good photos, but not quite at the level I wanted, especially since several of my friends are awesome photographers and kept posting amazing photos on their blogs!

It’s hard to get a sense of a camera from review sites, and I found very few sample photos. I was worried that I might end up with another camera that took “flat” photos without much depth-of-field, and I was also concerned that if I wasn’t happy with the photos, I wouldn’t use the camera very much.

Tonight, I finally broke the seal and opened the box. My first surprise was at how small it was – I actually dug up my old Treo 650 to compare the size. The camera body is oh-so-slightly thicker, and of course the lens sticks out a bit more, but other than that, the camera is actually smaller than the Treo! Definitely pocket-sized.

Next, I had to wait for the battery to charge (it’s proprietary and removable, but very small and light), so I watched one of my other Christmas presents: the Alison Krauss DVD, A Hundred Miles or More – Live from The Tracking Room. (Really nice sound, even if it is just in stereo – and what an amazing singer!)

Anyway, back to the camera – a couple hours later, I gave it the 1GB SD card from the S3 IS, plugged in the battery, and turned it on. After just one photo, I was sold. The colors looked really nice, and the photo didn’t look flat at all – with the auto setting, I could see the focus changing as I moved it around.  That was really just a practice shot, though, so here is the second photo I took:

It’s not like, fine art or anything, but I am pretty happy with the colors, and the focusing, and this was just on the auto setting. I played around with some things, and took some other photos around the apartment.

Refrigerator series:

And then there are these candle things:

…and the bedside table:

Anyway, I am realizing that I probably need a better WordPress theme for showing photos, but here’s one more of the camera itself (taken with my iPhone, of course):

The camera has this neat clicky-wheel around the lens, which you can turn to adjust different settings (via the “Ring Func.” button on top). I haven’t figured out all of the different modes yet, but it’s pretty neat to play with.

Another surprise came when I was about to take a photo in a darker setting. I had a finger on the top-left of the camera (just over the “PowerShot” words), and just as I was about to take the photo, the flash popped up! In the photo, you can see the outline of a panel – that’s where the flash lives, completely hidden, and it pops up about 1/2″. I guess you’re not intended to press it back down into place, but when you turn the flash (or the camera) off, it zips back into its hiding place. It’s kinda cute.

Well, for the first “real” blog post, I think this went fairly well. More to come soon!