I bought first camera before the 'digital era' reached regular peoples' affordable pockets on a "if it fits in my jacket's pocket is good" basis.
Then after some time I received an assumed-broken Canon Powershot A60 camera as a "if you can fix it it's yours" gift which eventually got fixed for free (thank you Cannon) because it was a design error and the sensor contacts were damaged by high but normal humidity.
With the obvious advantages of the new camera I began playing and experimenting until the sensor broke again and Canon fixed again for free (thank you, again).
After more than 10k pictures taken (have a look at these to get an idea of the type of images I took: http://www.ipernity.com/doc/snapshots/
) now the lens have failed. It's not a big deal, they said they can fix it for about $45, but somehow I feel the need for a change. I'm particularly satisfied by the ISO 50 mode (extreme low noise) and very natural colors/AWB but the wishes are for a faster and ligher model, since one of the main reasons I bought my first camera was to have something handy and fast (well with no current digital camera can one take a picture faster than with the old analog one!).
Now my budget has improved so I've been searching for more than a year for an upgrade but it's difficult even by looking at samples since there is a mix of requirements that the new camera needs to fullfil in order to be a candidate. I know I can look at samples but I feel that I could only be able to take a decision if I were to take the same picture along with the A60! Also dimensions, weight, handling, controls, startup and focus time are as important as image quality.
I know (as a friend have suggested) that I could just jump into the DSLR wagon BUT what makes me stick with p&s are:
- size. remember I'm just an instantaneous phtographer so the camera must fit in the pocket. ideally, should be smaller or equal to A60
- image quality. if I climb a hill and see something beautiful I need something that can capture the natural colors as good as the A60 or better.
- weight : for the same reason I would prefer not to carry a stone in my pocket.
- controls: i don't use manual all the time but I would definitely want it when I need it. Also to have Av, Tv and P modes available (or equivalent) is a must. Able to quickly turn on/off macro, flash, change iso or exposure is also mandatory.
- I'd hate to wait more from cold startup to first photo than I currently wait on A60, also the same applies to time to focus.
- last but not lease I could just buy a DSLR, but that would imply that: for low light buy a separate lens, for landscapes another and for birdwatching another zoomy one. Tired of exchanging lens, at some point will get to buy and carry three different camera bodies and lens along, which would definitely fall out of the 'occasional photographer' line.
Given the above story, what P&S should I look at? There are some shops which allow me to take samples but I'd like to be able to do more than what they allow you to do, like panning, against light, low light, sunsets/sunrises, and so on which obviously is impossible to ask them for 10 cameras or so.
I have S100 in mind which is going to be available in my country in about one week, but I'd like to hear some dangerous DON'Ts about it or some better alternatives, since I already got used to the idea of spending around $700 on this upgrade. Ofcourse I'd like to hear some pros but please don't go into a flame. I looked at Fuji Finepix X100 but it's really huge compared to A60.
The baseline is: better than A60 in every possible aspect, all at the same time!
PS: New features are also welcome; for example I really liked the Nikons' S9100 ability to charge directly from usb cable without messing with taking the battery out
Thank you in advance!