Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My New Camera... For Real This Time

This past Saturday, after running a 5k in record time (28:50!), Nick and I went over to our local New York Camera & Video to check out the Canon Rebel T3i.  We had been there a few months ago to test out the Rebel T2i, but then, as I mentioned previously, the day before we were going to buy them we heard about the FujiFilm HS20 and decided to hold off until it came out.

Fast forward three months and a failed test drive of the HS20 later, we are each now proud owners of Canon Rebel T3is!  Instead of getting the Canon lens that came with the body as part of a kit, we bought Tamron 18-270mm lenses.  We thought this was the best option for us because it provided enough zoom without having to switch out lenses.  Eventually I’ll probably invest in a macro lens, but for now I think we’re good to go! 

Nick was able to haggle a bit with the owner of the store.  He became a master at haggling on our honeymoon in Guatemala, so he was comfortable with attempting to lower the price of the cameras a bit, especially since we were buying two.  They were a little hesitant to give us a break at first since they work closely with the manufacturers to give customers the best prices, but in the end, Nick got them to knock off $50 and got them to throw in guide classes to learn how to work the camera.  I think it’s a little nutty that guide classes aren’t included when you buy a camera there since you can buy a camera anywhere these days.  Guide classes are pretty standard when you buy sewing machines and sergers.  They were included when I purchased Pippi and Mr. Nilsson, and I bought them in different stores, so it's not like it was an anomaly.  Since a camera is equally as expensive and as complicated as a sewing machine (perhaps even more so), I think stores should get on board with this policy and offer guide classes for free.  They might even steal some business away from Amazon and B & H Photo if they did!

Happy with our purchases and haggling success, we raced home to test out our new toys.  We went out to the field behind our house and happily snapped away.  We mostly used the auto setting and were very pleased with the results!  While not the most interesting photography, here are a few of the shots that I took.  The detail is amazing.

Check out the grains of dirt!

The owner suggested that we try out the cameras and write down any issues that we encounter along the way.  That way we have questions to bring with us to the class so can learn how we want to use the camera instead of them just giving us a general overview.

I was having trouble with macro view.  I couldn’t get the camera to focus even though I wasn’t zoomed in at all and had the camera in macro mode.  Any suggestions?

I also have trouble focusing the entire picture.  See how the trunk is out of focus on the peripheral? 

It’s a neat effect here, but I’d like to know how to control that effect since I’m going to want an entirely focused shot most of the time. 

I also want to learn about shutter speed and ISO and all of that.  I also don't want to have to use the flash, so learning all of the settings will help with that.  For some reason the flash is activated on every shot in auto mode regardless of the lighting.  Our little guy is adorable and the details of his fur and whiskers are crisp, but his eyes get a little nutty when the flash goes off. 

Perhaps I should dig out the book I used for a photography class in grad school.  It’s time to learn how this thing actually works instead of using auto all of the time!  I better do that soon so I'm comfortable with my camera in time for our Great Western Adventure

And because I feel the need to name all of the electronics that I work with on a daily basis, my camera needs a name.  Any suggestions?


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