Right: Look sharp. A sample of the SD10’s underwhelming zoom quality; this is an actual-sized detail of a photo shot using the 5.7x digital zoom.
Previously, I had been using an aging, often problematic Sony CyberShot DSC-F505, a camera that conspicuously sports a massively-sized, incredibly handy 5x Carl Zeiss optical zoom lens that I had come to take for granted. In spite of the fact that the PowerShot SD10 sports a 5.7x digital zoom, this function is a pale imitation of a true optical zoom; the abominable pictures that result from trying to use this feature means that it has effectively no zoom capabilities at all, and I᾿ve actually had to disable it altogether to safeguard against shooting important subjects with the digital zoom accidentally activated.
The SD10 was at the top of my holiday wish list, but after I received it, I quickly realized that its lackluster zooming capabilities were a disappointment. All the same, I opted to not to exchange it because, that feature aside, it takes terrific pictures, is capable of sharp macro shots at only a few inches away from a subject, and it’s the teeniest, tiniest little camera available on the market today. That alone makes it about five times more useful than my old Cybershot, which was just unwieldy enough to force an internal debate any time I thought about toting it along anywhere for casual photography. This one fits in my breast pocket (even with the added bulk of the leather case that shipped with it), and I’ve been carrying it everywhere with me. Thanks, Santa!