Photography and Art

Friday, November 23, 2007

My New Camera

A couple of months ago, I bought a Canon 5d and I've enjoyed using it ever since. But, the combination of the heft of the 5d and a 24-105 mm lens together with the lack of a built-in flash makes the 5d the camera you leave behind when you go to the office each day or go out to a party. Who wants to carry around a ton of equipment when you go out for a simple noon hour walk around the city?

Now, I carry the camera in my pocket wherever I go and I've been snapping lots of city images on my daily walk. Life is truly grand. What's more, I've begun to realize that this little camera takes some nice images. In fact, I asked a friend of mine to look at two 8x10 photos of my grandson, one taken with the 5d and the other taken with the S50 and he was unable to tell the difference. At 8x10, the S50 images look pretty darned good!

And yet! Photo opportunities abound and I'm continually seeing stuff I'd like to photograph. What to do, what to do...

I'm happy to report that the problem has been solved with the help of eBay. After popping my my criteria to the camera finder at DPReview (at least 5 megapixels, ability to choose shooting modes, raw output, zoom lens), I narrowed the search to either a Canon Powershot S50 or S70. There was a nice S50 for sale on eBay for $150, so I bought it.

In this entry, there are some images I took from my car on a nasty, rainy, November evening on the commute from the office to my home. The car was travelling at maybe 10 km/hr, so I wasn't in danger of hitting anything. The rain on the windshield, the lights and the reflections make for some neat images. The S50 made it possible because I can haul it out of my pocket, turn it on, focus it, zoom in and out and take a picture ALL WITH ONE HAND. Try that with your 5d!

Now, before someone e-mails me to see if my 5d and L lenses are for sale, there are some things about the new point-and-shoot that are aggravating. Fine focusing control is impossible. The lens only stops down to f8. The sensor is noisy past ISO 100 and adjusting f-stop and ISO are a bit kludgy. And, you can't see any of the settings through the viewfinder. Whaddya want for $150?

I'll continue to use the 5d for serious photo expeditions and travelling. But, the s50 will be on my person at all times and I bet you that I get just as many good images from the s50 than from the 5d. And, I'll be able to silence my friends once and for all when they say "these photos are really good - it must be your equipment".

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