Cute or Annoying? Canon Powershot SD1000 Feature

I’ve noticed that my Canon Powershot SD1000 has a somewhat cute, but somewhat annoying feature to it. When you’re metering a shot and it determines that your shutter speed is going to be 1/80th of a second or slower, there’s this icon that appears in the lower left hand corner of the screen. It’s red and blinking (cuz it’s a warning), and resembles a camera with “shaky” lines around it, indicating that if you’re going to take a photo at that shutter speed, you run the risk of blurring it with your shaky hands. It’s supposed to tip you off to either switch to a higher ISO or use your flash or a tripod.

So, you see, it means well.

It means well, in assuming that I’m a junkie deep in the depths of heroin withdrawal.

Because, you see, this camera weighs 4.3 ounces, or 0.3 pounds. My digital SLR, which I routinely shoot with shutter speeds of 1/80th or even 1/60th of a second, weighs 1.5 pounds. Without a lens. Attaching my 50mm lens to it brings it up to 2 pounds; alternatively, my 20mm lens brings it up to 2.6 pounds. That’s almost nine times more than the SD1000.

And it’s not like I have exceptionally steady hands. Ask anyone who’s ever been around me when I’m trying to dissect mouse embryos.

I’ve actually shot frames at up to 1/25th of a second on the SD1000 without any discernable effect on the sharpness of the photo. So it’s one of those features that means well but is a tad overzealous. Kind of like the “dummy” shift light on my old manual transmission 1986 Saab that turned on when I reached 2000 RPMs.

Ah well. At least it’s so light that I can take pretty steady handheld videos with it.