Friday, July 24, 2009

Wow! Expensive Cameras Rule!

So I bit the fuckin' bullet and bought the new camera today. The camera was about $300. It's a used digital Canon Rebel-Xt SLR, depicted below, in its shiny commodified newness. If I'm feeling energetic tomorrow, I'll use Craig's camera to shoot a picture of my actual unit, when I do the step-by-step walkthrough of the photo setup.

The macro lens for the digital SLR, however, cost me another $400. My mom and Aunt Charlotte's (God rest her soul) generous funding took a nasty hit today. I was reeling. But I'll give Camera Shop Chad credit where it's due. I can get a whole newspaper page very clearly with my present tripod. I might try shooting a whole sheet standing up on a chair to see if the camera is capable of actually getting a whole sheet. I don't know if they make taller tripods. To show you guys how effective the new equipment is, I went to one of the single-page photos I took with Craig's camere. Here's the "before" picture cropped to show one of the clearest passages:

Here's the same bit with the new camera:

More to the point, there were lots of areas on the "before" photo that weren't readable. For example:

Here's the Rebel-Xt image:

I'm totally floored. More geeky tech details soon...

Craig wants us to take up photography as a hobby, as we don't have any hobbies in common. Before B-12, I'd have said "no way." I used to love photography, but it's very extroverted, energy-intensive work. But now? Fuck yeah, that sounds like fun!


Dinur said...

What sort of photos would you be taking (for fun)? If the camera offers good burst/continuous mode (minimum 3 fps), I'd recommend taking in some minor league (WHL) hockey for sports/action shots (shocking that I would recommend something for sports photography, I know). IF you're into cityscapes (which I also enjoy), then this gives you a new way of looking at Seattle and Portland if you are so inclined.

Cuphound said...

I actually thought of you while reading the manual last night, Dinur. The camera offers a maximum of 3 shots per second. It's not the ideal sports camera, but it can be used at least marginally acceptably that way.

Unfortunately, both games and cityscapes are not going on the menu soon, given my lack of a telephoto lens. The macro lens is much better for objects and portraits, but cost me a cool $400. It will be a while before I can afford a decent zoom lens.

Ah, the joys of an SLR. Still, maybe I'm old fashioned, but since I lost my Canon AE-1 nearly a decade ago (ah, the joys of brain lesions before you know you have brain lesions!), I've really missed having a quality camera.

I don't know what I'll do next fall with the camera. But Craig is really pumped that Kenmore Camera is having a big seminar in October after we get back. There will be several professional photographers there, as well as representatives from Canon who are supposed to put on a good show. I'm excited that Craig and I might have a hobby together. We clicked spiritually and physically right from the start, but we never had a lot of common interests. Developing one sounds like fun.

I'd be really pumped if I could get him to come to the gym, too. You guys will laugh, but I miss him there. It would be so cool to have your partner as your spotter.

Dinur said...

How much optical zoom does the camera offer as is? It might not be the ideal (the actual telephoto lens would be), but many digital cameras offer solid optical zoom (well, not the newer point and shoots, for some reason they offer high resolution and only 3x optical zoom, which isn't very helpful).

Here are a few cityscapes/shots around SF:


Cuphound said...

Dude, this is an SLR. No zoom lens = no zoom. The cheapest one I've found is roughly $150. I may bite the bullet before we leave. I dunno.

You look like you're having a relaxed, fun summer, if the pictures are anything to go by...