buy it, bring it, work it, snap it

what do you bring when you go out? your phone probably? make-up? some cash or plastic? a camera?

until recently i always brought all of the above except the camera, simply because my camera is huge and weighs a ton. whatever doesn't fit into a clutch has to stay home, that is my motto most nights. no longer do i let heavy baggage or too high heels ruin my evening. and that's ok, because often times you just go out to dinner, then a bar and that was that.

but every once and so often, especially in a city like berlin, you have no idea what the night will bring and you may find yourself at a weird party with all sort of crazy stuff happening and then there you are with nothing but a mediocre smart phone camera to document it all. especially when the location is dark that really is not the best option, you would need a proper flash to get the shots. since i started reviewing the Canon IXUS 510HS it's been following me everywhere because i barely even notice it - it's so compact and light. and so when last night, after a chain of events i accidentally landed at an agency christmas party themed studio 54 with virtually everyone dressed up in afro-wigs, bell bottoms and loads of sequins i was glad to be able to snap some memories of this wild night.

it was also my opportunity to try out some of the effects the camera features, that i hadn't even really noticed before. apart from the usual black&white and sepia options, there is also vivid, neutral, positive film, lighter skin tone, darker skin tone, vivid blue, vivid green, vivid red, and custom color. even more interestingly (and this was completely new to me) there are modes such as smooth skin, smart shutter, handheld night scene, low light, miniature effect, toy camera effect, soft focus, poster effect, fish-eye effect and - NYE is coming up - fireworks (and this is just half the list).

the above photo shows my go at using the fish-eye effect, i think it can be pretty fun in the right circumstance. i also tried out the poster effect when i spotted these two crazies below...

it's a bit much for my personal taste, but good enough for giggles. my favorite when it comes to cool tricks this cam can do is the smooth skin portrait effect. when using flash with point and shoot cameras it can often reveal a harsh reality on the skin with every pore staring back at you. in this mode the IXUS 510HS detects the skin and makes it look even and soft, like it did in the shot below:

these two were beauties in real life, only fair they should look just as pretty on the shot. amongst the best characteristics of this camera is its fantastic photo quality even in low lighting. i love to use it without the flash, which in a club environment is great for picking up all the colors of the laser system and to pick up the right level of athmosphere.

finally, a camera can often be a great conversation starter. you take a photo of an interesting person (or with them!) and then offer to send it to them. here's where your IXUS 520HS can impress, because with its built in wifi port you can send them the photo right away to their phone or email. in the case of last night that for me meant extra hot dogs...

.... a lipsynching sing off with the village people....

...and a personalized lap dance by young michael jackson.

wouldn't want to miss these memories for a minute.

sincerely, your camera tester.


camera review Canon IXUS 510HS part 2: keeping a low profile

over the past couple of weeks i've been introducing the new Canon IXUS 510HS, a powerhouse among point and shoot cameras which does an amazing job zooming in 12 times with very little loss of quality, producing wonderful colors and impressivle high definition to each photograph. another very particular advantage is its ability to transfer photos taken with the camera directly to the web, a computer or your phone simply by using a wifi connection. the latter is especially useful when you're out and about and you're dying to share a particular picture with your friends on facebook or twitter and you don't want to wait until you get home to show it off.

in this third part of my camera review i'd like to focus on another, maybe even 2 points i especially appreciate about the IXUS 510HS. i mentioned last time that the camera is quite strong in shooting in dimly lit settings, producing impressive results for such a small camera (with an automated ISO). combine that with a dinner full of internationally acclaimed guests and you get what i like to call an ideal private papparazzi cam.

this friday liberatum and monoqi set up a design summit at kino international in berlin where an incredibly well picked and top notch ensemble of speakers from around the world got together the night before the event to share a meal and get to know each other. speakers included arianne phillips, 2-time oscar award nominated costume designer of people like madonna, courtney love or lenny kravitz, richard saul wurman, founder of the TED talks and three generations of the (really very inspiring and admirable) missoni women - margerita, angela and rosita.

i wanted to document the evening, but i wanted to do it without taking out my massive camera and flash and risk making people feel insecure about the way they looked and acted or who they talked to. but still - all these amazing folks were in one place together and i wanted to keep a memory of it. no one noticed i was taking pictures with the compact, black IXUS 510HS and i got to capture a few lovely and candid moments that night.

i love any camera that can multi-task, is easy to navigate and lets me concentrate on what is happening rather than on pushing a ton of buttons before the photo will actually get taken. with the IXUS 510HS the only decision i need to make is whether i prefer flash or no flash, the rest is done automatically by the camera. i'm not saying it can replace my Canon 5D but it is definitely a great alternative for times when all you have space for in your clutch or pocket is a cigarette pack sized snapcam.