Jun 182007

I’ve had a few days to play around with the gear and ultimately, everything is good. Here are just a few things I thought I’d share my opinion on.

1. Canon’s 30D camera is great and I’m still experimenting with all the features available to me. I went out shooting the other night and used the mirror lockup feature. I love this option, although I have to admit, I did get burned by it a few times. I’m still not quite used to pushing it twice to take the photo. The sound of the shutter release fooled me several times and it wasn’t until 30 seconds was up, that I realized the mirror lockup was disengaging and I didn’t take a photo.

2. I haven’t tested the Bogen-Manfrotto 676B Digi Monopod out yet but it appears as if it will do the job when I need it. It doesn’t fold down small enough to fit in the camera bag, which is my only complaint. Aside from that, it’s light and it should work just fine.

3. Canon’s Professional Gadget Bag (1-EG). I’m not sure what they were thinking when they said it can fit two SLR cameras and 5-8 lenses. There’s no way I could fit all that in there. The 100-400mm lens is too tall for the bag, but if I rearrange the compartments a little, I may find that I can lay it down nicely in there. I haven’t taken the time to try it yet.

The bag is great and larger than the last bag I had, but to fit two SLR’s and 8 lenses, I believe, is impossible. If anyone purchases this bag to carry two bodies and all their lenses, they’ll be sadly mistaken. Still, the bag is large enough for most of my equipment and I’m happy with it to use on day trips and small vacations. For extended vacation trips where photography is the main subject, I’ll be using a backpack.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm
Jun 142007

The insurance check came in last week for all of our stolen property. This past weekend I was able to replace all my camera gear off of B&H Photo Video. I’ve already received questions on whether or not I was going to buy the same camera. I quickly thought about it, but I could not see buying a camera that is already out dated. I looked at the Canon 5D and of course drooled over the 1DS Mark II again, but they still aren’t in my price range. The 5D was a lot closer, however, I still have my eye on the Mark II, even though it will be quite some time before I shell out $8,000 for a camera.

So, what camera did I go with? I went with Canon’s 30D camera. Years ago, I sort of regretted buying the 300D. It wasn’t because it’s a bad camera. In fact, it was a very nice camera to make the switch from film to digital. The down side with the 300D, for me, was the fact that I outgrew the camera features after the first month. I expected it to be rich with high tech features that would take me a while to figure out, since there really wasn’t much to shooting film. There were several extra options I wish I had, that the 10D offered. Shortly after purchasing the camera, the 20D was released. Once I saw the features on the 20D, I knew I should have waited. I know, hind sight is 20-20, however, I don’t regret purchasing the 300D at all. It was a fine camera until it was stolen, and truthfully, I would have used it until it no longer worked. If the specs hold true, that probably would have been another couple of years (users report between 10k and 17k photo limit on the shutter, but Canon says between 50k and 100k). The same reason why I did not go with the new Digital Rebel XTi holds true as well. I prefer to have the features, rather than an extra 2 megapixels. Printing 20×30 sized prints is more than enough for me. Matter of fact, I never even considered the XTi, so I can’t say that it didn’t have the features or the durability as the 30D.

Other than the camera, there won’t be a lot of new gear in my arsenal. I wasn’t able to replace the mini tripod that I had purchased several years ago. Instead, I ended up purchasing a Bogen/Manfrotto 676B Digi Monopod. For the cost that the insurance covered for my mini-tripod, this was the closest thing I could find that could handle the weight of the DSLR and lens (10lbs) and compact down close enough to the size of mini-tripod. I just hope I have room for it in my bag.

The 30D also does not have a wireless remote control. I was disappointed to find this out, especially with today’s Wi-Fi technology. So, instead of something like Canon’s RC-1, I had to purchase Canon’s Remote Switch RS-80N3. It’s funny in a way. When I switched to digital, I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to use a cable release and had to go wireless. Now that I’ve been wireless, I’m disappointed I have to go back to using a cable. 🙂 Still, I’m sure there’s a reason why a cable is needed for night photography, but as I said, we’re living in a Wi-Fi age and I can’t seem to figure out the reason. Maybe someone can enlighten me on why we have to be tied to a cable on such a new camera.

The only lens that is new, is the one that came with the camera kit. I opted not to go with the kit that comes with the 28-135mm lens or the cheesy 18-55mm lens. I went with the little more expensive kit that comes with the 17-85mm Image Stablized lens. I’ve had a chance to use this lens at work and I quickly liked how the lens handled. Unlike the 18-55mm that came with the Digital Rebel kit, this lens produces photos that are crisp and not soft.

Lastly, I went for a larger bag to carry everything with. This is the one thing I’m still up in the air about. I purchased the “Professional Gadget Bag”. The 1EG bag. It’s supposedly able to carry 2 SLR’s, 5-8 lenses, a flash and accessories, however I’ve read mixed comments on this being able to hold that much. Still, if it can hold all of my gear, I think I’ll be happy. As happy as I can until I purchase a rugged backpack before my trip to Alaska in a couple more years.

All in all, I think I’ll be happy with the new gear. Time will tell, as it arrives in just a few short hours from now. If you have any comments on the camera bag or monopod, or any of the gear for that matter, please feel free to post a comment.

 Posted by at 6:40 am
Jun 122007

If you have a few minutes, you should check out what’s in store for linking photos together. Note that this isn’t just limited to photos. Newspapers, books, and probably just about anything you can think of in the future may be linked together, on a world wide scale.

It does make me wonder though, how copyrighted/digital rights material will be protected from being linked with this. With stories like the lady who’s upset with Google Streets with having a picture of her cat on the internet and wants it removed. I imagine we’ll eventually be hearing about how people thought their personal photos weren’t available to anyone surfing the internet when they used sites like Flickr, Smugmug, etc. 🙂

You can read up more on Photosynth at Microsoft Labs

 Posted by at 6:25 am