srijeda, 26.10.2011.



Best Digital Camera Under 1000

best digital camera under 1000

What you see is what you get

What you see is what you get

A weekend or two ago I helped a friend shoot a wedding at the World Trade Center in downtown Portland. I have wanted to take photos in this building for a really long time, so it was an easy decision to make to help him shoot here. All my ideas for photographs in this place all revolved around pinhole photos taken during the day. I had no idea they lit the place up like this. I was mostly interested in the angling beams that criss-cross here and there along the bridge and the upper hall. So imagine my delight when I arrived that evening and found lights everywhere.

This was either my 9th or 10th wedding I have photographed. Enough to make me feel fairly comfortable doing them, but far from making me a grizzled veteran. They are a lot of hard work. I remember shooting my brother's wedding a couple of years ago and coming home from that and sleeping for about 10 hours.

Anyway, I don't generally make a point of offering to shoot weddings, but somehow word keeps getting spread that I seem to know how to use a camera, so I keep finding myself in these situations. Not that I am complaining.

For me, one of the most difficult aspects of shooting a wedding is dealing with other people's concept of how their wedding should be shot. It means that you often have to adapt your normal creative vision to satisfy another's needs. Which is ok, I understand that part. But at the same time it is hard to shoot just to shoot. I think my least favorite part of weddings is doing the large group formals. My favorite is being able to wander around during the reception and capture the fun moments. Although the one-on-one formals with the bride and groom can also be quite fun too. Anyway, it is a challenge and I enjoy challenges. It is certainly much different than photographing a waterfall, and I like that.

I was giving a few wedding pointers to a customer the other day at work who was getting ready to shoot his first wedding, and that conversation made me think I should post a few of those here for those who are still pretty green at it themselves. So here goes:

Be mindful of how much you are shooting. Don't overshoot. You waste time and energy. What I mean is, when you are under the pressure to photograph a wedding, there is the real fear that you will miss something, so the natural reaction is to shoot everything. This is a hard tendency to break, and while I encourage against becoming stingy with what you photograph, I also highly encourage discipline. Take a split second to consider what you are about to shoot and ask yourself if the wedding party is really going to want a picture of that. One good example of this is during the reception when the bride and groom sit down to eat, don't photograph them. Photographing people eating never looks good. Ever. In fact this is a prime moment for you to get off your feet and get a bite to eat too. Keep fed, keep your energy up and make sure you don't run out of gas for the rest of the night. We actually printed a roll of wedding photos a couple of weeks ago where the photographer took pictures of the bride flossing her teeth before the wedding. Again, I am no grizzled veteran but I think it is safe to say this opportunity can be safely passed by as well.

When photographing group formals always overshoot. The bigger the group the more photos you should take of it because someone is always going to blink, look away, make a funny face or something.

Communicate with the bride and groom beforehand. Once everything gets going, you always seem to end up with less time than you thought. I like to stress this upon about-to-be-newlyweds that I am going to photograph. Between herding people around and getting them posed, time flies. One thing that seems to work well is have the bride and groom prioritize the photos they want before hand. That way you know going into that getting the bride with great-aunt Mildred is a must-have.

Work hard at getting the CYA (pro lingo for "Cover your ass") shots. Once you get these out of the way, then you can be a bit freer to mix it up, get experimental, try other things. Everybody expects and wants the standard CYA shots, but it is often the unplanned, spontaneous photos that can be the best at capturing the day.

And finally as a piece of advice for those looking for a wedding photographer, my advice is find one that will shoot a mix of film and digital for you. This is how I prefer to shoot weddings. I like doing the formal, important shots on film, specifically medium format. The quality is better and having a physical negative that can be tucked away safely for grandchildren to find is a treasure few of us have the foresight to truly appreciate. Digital is excellent for its feedback and flexibility when shooting on the run. Find a good photographer who will combine these for you, and preferrably give you the film at the end of the night. This might cost you a bit more but it is money well spent

Test shots with the new Canon 40D

Test shots with the new Canon 40D

I finally bit the bullet and bought a new camera body. A Canon 40D.

Quite a step up from the 300D (aka the _original_ Canon Digital Rebel) I've had for 3-4 years now. That camera was a refurb, got it cheap, and it served me extremely well as a learning camera. Canon has really lowered the bar on the new Rebel cameras since, so I decided to step it up a notch and go for the "xxD" series, even though I still have a lot to learn about digital photography.

I researched the 50D and decided that for $300-400 more, it was not worth the extra money.

Some key features I considered and why I chose the 40D over the 50D:
1) The 50D has a Digic IV processor over the 40D's Digic III processor (I'm not advanced enough to care, yet... )
2) 50D - 15 megapixels vs. 40D - 10.1 mp (I have never made a print larger than 8x10 and have no plans to, yet ...)
3) The 50D has a better LCD (After comparing the two, I didn't notice much of a difference, though I wasn't holding them side by side)

Since the 50D is the most up to date camera for Canon's semi-pro line, prices for the 40D are much more reasonable right now. I wanted to stay under $1000.
5) I don't need to be on the cutting edge of semi-pro DSLR's. Especially not for ~$1300 ;) I'm still learning.

I did a little shopping on eBay and other sites and found that the going rate for a used 40D fell into a reasonable price range for me. I lucked out and found this one on Craigslist. Under a year old with the original receipt and warranty cards. All packaging included. Also included an extra Canon battery. BONUS: The Dxx series takes the same batteries as the Rebel 300D!

The guy who sold it to me was extremely nice and let me use it for a long time, even letting me use his computer to see the test shots on his large monitor. He also gave me a Magic Lantern DVD guide for the camera as well, which is pretty handy ... As long as the thing doesn't blow up in the next month or two, I can't believe that it's in the condition it's in. It still has warranty left on it, too.

I think the original EOS Rebel came out in 2002 or 2003, so I was long overdue for an upgrade. Regardless, I'm still shocked at how much smoother the operation of the 40D is and how fast it focuses.

The best part for me is the physical feel of the 40D. The plastic body on the original Rebel made it feel like a toy - it bothered me from day one. Having some aluminum with rubberized grip on the 40D makes you feel like you're operating some good machinery. I just hope it doesn't make me feel a little too confident so I don't bounce it around ;)

More to come...

best digital camera under 1000

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26.10.2011. u 11:03 • 0 KomentaraPrint#

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