Canon PowerShot A460 and Selphy CP520

Although I’m very fond of my Canon 30D[1][3], it’s a wee bit big and, well, obvious to take everywhere all the time, which has led to some missed photo opportunities. Admittedly, my phone has a camera, but it’s not really all that good for anything other than simple shots in good light. And my old Sony compact suffers from a major drawback – its rechargeable batteries tend to drain away to nothing even when it’s not in use, which makes it a bit useless for spontaneity.

So, I decided the time had come to get another camera. I wanted a basic point and shoot camera to use when carrying a DSLR might not be possible (or sensible). I didn’t want anything fancy, or with more pixels than a very pixely thing, so a nicely cheap older model was just the thing. After a bit of general looking around, I went back to a familiar model – the Canon PowerShot A460. This came out a year or two ago, and is a fairly basic 5 megapixel job. Fully automatic if you want it to be, but with enough manual controls to make it more flexible when you need it to be. It also does moderately acceptable video, uses SD cards, of which I just happen to have a pile of[4], and it runs on the ubiquitous AA size batteries.

Bargain

Bargain

So having decided what I wanted, I had a look around. As it’s an old model, not many people are still stocking it, but those nice Warehouse Express people had it for a moderately reasonable £75, plus £3.99 for delivery. Now I can already hear you saying

£75 for a basic 5MP camera? That’s a bit much, innit?

Well, it might have been, if the price didn’t also include a Canon Selphy CP520 dye sublimation photo printer. You know the sort of thing – produces quite nice quality prints on 6″ x 4″ paper using a special ribbon cartridge thingy. I probably wouldn’t have ever bought one on its own, but as part of a bundle it seemed worth having. It came with a small pack of paper and a cartridge with enough capacity to print on the sample sheets.

The printer can be connected direct to the camera (or indeed to many other cameras, from a variety of manufacturers), or to a Mac or PC. Quality either way is rather good, though it does take a little over a minute to print each image, so you wouldn’t want to use it for bulk printing. Ignoring the initial cost of the printer, it costs around 25p per picture, which is a lot more than the best online or local prices, but most of those depend on buying in bulk to some extent, and there’s generally a bit of a wait. For pictures in your hand right now, it’s not bad at all. There’s even an optional Bluetooth dongle which will let it print direct from many mobile phones, but I haven’t tried that.

I’ll post some sample images from the new camera when I find a suitable tuit[5]. So far, I’m quite happy with it, and I’m tending to take it with me every day, so more pictures may follow…

Watch out for more new toy reports soon!

[1] That doesn’t stop me drooling over its potential successor, the awesome[2] 5D MkII, of course
[2] Not a word I use lightly.
[3] And yes, I know I haven’t posted a lot of pictures lately. I’ll get back into that soonish
[4] Surplus to requirements, 1GB each. Nice.
[5] You may have noticed that I seem to have found a posting tuit today, so maybe that won’t be too long