To back up a pair of pro bodies I have always travelled with a 'pro compact'. However, the nature of my photographic work is such that I require a powerful lens on the compact.
I have never managed to bring myself to get rid of any of my old Canons, so now have, in effect, my own mini museum. While glancing through the cameras last night, I realised that I seem to put kiss of death on the production line of any 'pro compact' that I buy: rarely does that camera line manage more than one incarnation. If the product line does continue, there is a 3 to 4 year gap between models.
My 'collection' starting with the oldest:
- 1990 - EPOCA (magnificent 35mm with 35-105 lens, superseded by the EPOCA135 in 1992, then line ended)
- 1998 - PowerShot Pro 70 (6-15mm zoom, 1.7MP, in the days when digital cameras didn't have zooms!)
- 2001 - PowerShot Pro 90 (7-70mm, 3.2MP)
- 2004 - PowerShot Pro 1 (7.2-50mm L, 8MP, I love this camera - 8MP seven years ago and an L Series lens)
- 2008 - PowerShot SX1 IS (5-100mm, 10MP, a bit lightweight and plastic after the Pro 1, but no other option)
Since buying my PowerShot Pro 1 in 2004, there has only been one 'pro-ish' powerful zoom compact (SX1 IS). By contrast the 'consumer' range of powerful zoom compacts has evolved at the rate of one each year since. I'm no gambler, but I see a PowerShot SX50 IS coming out this year!
- 2004 - PowerShot S1 IS
- 2005 - PowerShot S2 IS
- 2006 - PowerShot S3 IS
- 2007 - PowerShot S5 IS
- 2008 - PowerShot SX10 IS
- 2009 - PowerShot SX20 IS
- 2010 - PowerShot SX30 IS
So, what of the future . . . there must be enough people in the World who want a high quality, powerful compact, to justify another model being produced? Something with the build of a G-Series, but a 20x (or more) zoom? I have had a look at the PowerShot SX30, but it is a definite step down from the SX1 (which itself was a big step down in terms of build quality from the Pro 1). The G12 is a lovely camera which I have had the pleasure to use, but try having that as an emergency back-up for wildlife photography in Africa . . . not quite punchy enough on the lens front!