Monday, December 27, 2010

What Camera?

Well, I've been using my dSLR for two years now. It's really worked brilliantly throughout that time.


I got it for Christmas (well actually I got it on Boxing Day) in 2008. It was $545 at Black's here in Barrhaven. I was extremely excited and amazed to have been bought such a gift. It was and is my first dSLR.


I couldn't wait to use it. No way. I had to use it as soon as possible. I walked it home myself and started right away. I played with the depth of field and exposure, and took "best quality" photos of everything from my cats to the Christmas tree. "High quality" was meant as in, "better than point and shoot."


I learnt everything about manually creating photos all on that camera. I learnt how to control the exposure and the ISO and f/stop. I progressed from using the 'No Flash' mode to the Tv mode (exposure priority) to finally, for the past year, manual mode. I never take photos on auto mode or 'No Flash' anymore, and I've progressed from taking jpeg. photos to RAW. I got Adobe Photoshop last autumn and everything went brilliantly from there.


So what's next?


I've been wondering about getting a new camera. My current dSLR is still a brilliant camera, but the thing is that it's an entry-level, low range, inexpensive model. It's the lowest camera model listed on the table of models produced by Canon, at the very bottom of the bottom-range chart. The cheapest you can get is the Canon EOS Digital Rebel 1000D (or Rebel XS). It came out the year I bought it. That camera, and its kit lens, the 18-55mm (most Canon cameras come with that kit lens, which is the cheapest and lowest quality lens you can have). I've since exchanged that with my 10-20mm by Sigma. Over those two years, I've accumulated three lenses - the 75-300mm telephoto (also a low quality model, but least expensive) for my 18th birthday, the very high quality (for once) but remarkably inexpensive 50mm (so popular due to its huge f/stop of f/1.8) and the Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle (perfect for panoramas). I don't know if it's amazing quality or not, I haven't read up on it, but it's a pretty amazing lens.


My most desired camera body though would be the Canon 5D Mk II. It's a high-end dSLR with 21 megapixels, video shooting capabilities (what fun!) and has a huge ISO range. Canon is the best for noise reduction with high ISO. What's more, the camera has been the prime choice, largely for its video capabilities, for independent filmmakers. Did you know that the season finale of the sixth season of House, M.D. was shot completely with Canon 5D cameras? The first official portrait of the current president of the United States was taken with that camera. It's a very popular model.


Originally my interest in that camera came from my following Daily Dose of Imagery, whose photographer has always used the Canon 5D. Because of the amazing quality of his images, I've always been drawn to that camera. Especially now when you can shoot extremely high quality video with it, using whatever lens you want or have.


Here's an example of the video quality:

Toronto from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.

To view it in high quality just view it on Vimeo.

Biking with 5D Mark II from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.



It's really fun when you can see the effects of the lens. The quality is amazing.


Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that I will get any such camera - I don't have that much money. It's extremely expensive. After all, it is a high-range camera. The best I could get now would be, like, perhaps anything between the 300D and the 550D (which does have video capabilities, and came out this year, but I probably couldn't afford it). All of these are in the low-range consumer end of the product spectrum.


While I do attend a program that pays me, I've done the math (correctly as it was actually done by my mother) and by June I'll have about seven thousand dollars, if I don't spend anything at all.


I am definitely not rich. My next dSLR will probably come in six months to a year. I'm not going to ask for a new camera body from anyone else as a gift, because it is so expensive and my mother wouldn't do such a thing when I've already got a perfectly working camera right now. Unbelievably, I got my first complete camcorder when I was fourteen - then a second one when I was sixteen. I got an expensive point and shoot for my seventeenth birthday - then my first dSLR six months later. And a third camcorder last Christmas. I'm still unbelievably spoiled. I don't come from a rich/affluent family (specifically, as in, my mother and I). I am not privileged like some people. I can't further my interest very often or that fast. We're not poor; we are strictly middle class. Not upper middle class or lower middle class, but middle middle class. And I think it's definitely something you can't take for granted because it's only my mother's income yet we live in a pretty normal neighborhood, in a single house  that's not connected to any others, and with my now meager income both of us do pretty good independently. I got my first debit card last week after getting my first paycheck.


It's just wondering, do I wait six months, buy an expensive new camera body, or do I wait six months, then contribute largely to my first car? With close ties to the government there's always amazing deals on used vehicles formerly used by services. Today I found out about a $31,000 Corolla reduced to $13,000.


Camera or car? Passion or mobility? Then again I have to finish all that annoying license period stuff. I'm a tedious money-saver - I don't like to spend often at all.


My mother always said, 'to get things we have to work for them and earn them.' When I got my first long-awaited for computer game, SimCity 4, I had to do daily/weekly chores that earned me points, and when I achieved 100 I could start playing the game. Therefore I have a strong sense of work ethic when I really hope for something. 


One more thing - I can create videos out of my current camera - time-lapse ones. If I were to get a new dSLR, I'd use my current one almost strictly for time-lapse purposes. And I've figured out how to export it from my software in proper quality, the same quality as the actual photos used to make it:

Is that clear or what?


Justin C.

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