5/28/09

In answer to some of you asking

Today I am responding to a question I have had from a few readers recently, "what kind of camera do you use"?

Well since last month I have two very different options, the latest is a tiny fully automatic digital I can stick in a pocket and the other is my less portable DSLR with all it's add-ons.

I like to always carry a camera so as not to miss a great picture and that's why a month ago I bought a Canon Powershot SD780 IS Digital Elph. This camera is tiny as can be seen from the picture and so I have it on me at all times now.

It has 12.1 megapixels, a 3x image stabilized zoom, face detection and numerous auto or manual settings, including a new feature i-contrast. This is my favourite feature, as a chip inside corrects the contrast automatically whatever the light conditions and I have yet to find fault with this excellent feature. I am having alot of fun with this little gem, good pictures are guaranteed from it and it enables me to capture anything quickly. Here are a couple of examples of pictures I have taken with it, it's definitely a camera I can recommend.

My main camera is a Canon Digital Rebel XTi 10.1MP Digital SLR , which I have had for almost 3 years. It has re-energised my interest in the art of photography and led me to take alot more interest in the technical aspects. As with most DSLR's they require more investment if you're serious and I have over time purchased additional lenses that expand my horizons. This is the beauty of an SLR, it enables you to pick the lens to suit your photography interests.

The camera came with a stock 18-55mm lens which is fine for everyday shots and is a perfectly acceptable general lens. But in addition I have bought three other higher quality lenses for specific requirements.

My first addition was a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom to enable me to get in tighter on subjects. My two best shots to date with this lens have been the following ones of a submerged car, and a totally unplanned moon shot. I would say having Image Stabilisation is an essential with a Telephoto Zoom.

My next addition was the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard Medium Telephoto, a superb lens for individual close-up subjects due to it's outstanding 'bokeh' (background blurring). This is the lens I love to use for portraits, as the f1.4 also delivers outstanding sharpness, here are a couple of examples courtesy of Cal-Jo and my mum.

More than a year down the road, it was becoming clear that my real passion was landscape photography and so after some serious saving, I paid more for a lens than the actual camera! But the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Ultra Wide Angle was worth every penny and has without doubt improved my photographs. This amazing lens was an absolute must for me, living in the wide open expanses and under huge skies.

I also invested in a multi-coated Hoya UV Filter that stays on the lens permanently for protection and a Hoya Polarizing filter that I use to really make clouds 'pop' as can be seen below. I LOVE this lens, it was a major investment in fact it's gone up $300 since I bought it, but to me it was worth every penny and repays me all the time with results like these.

I then have an assortment of protective or working filters for my lenses and also a nice set of Hoya magnifying lenses for really capturing details. I also have a nice portable, fully adjustable tripod and two batteries for each camera, essential when I often shoot 200 pictures in one day.

I have invested in three really good books I would recommend to anyone and they have all helped me develop my skills.

Finally when I bought my camera I also got a great Canon photographers backpack, which is where I keep it all safely stored. It's also quick to grab and sling in a vehicle or the storm cellar as neccessary!

And yes I am a Canon woman through and through. My first ever 'proper' camera was a Canon T70 SLR for my 21st birthday and I only sold it after moving here. I am used to Canon software, have all the cables and chargers I ever need and think their products are first rate.

So what out of all this am I hauling to Chicago on vacation? Well after alot of thought I have decided the tiny Canon Powershot will do fine for all the general snapshots and is easy to carry with guaranteed results. But I will also be taking my Rebel XTi and it's Telephoto Zoom lens for the view from the Sears Tower, and of course the Ultra Wide Angle with the Polarizing filter for all those skyscraper vistas.

And there you were thinking blogging was my passion!

18 comments:

Joyce said...

Thanks for the helpful tip on the books. I just upgraded to the big guns camera NikonD60 and am sort of clueless right now but learning by baby steps every day and having fun.
Joyce

Mom in High Heels said...

I have the Nikon D60 and love it. I'm about to get a longer lens for it and I can't wait. A long time ago I had a Cannon Rebel 35mm. Oh, how I loved that camera. She was stolen though and I wept. Seriously.
Your photos are fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

Heather said...

I just had to wipe the drool off of my keyboard, I am so enthralled (and a bit jealous, I admit it).

Someday, I will own a Rebel. I love photography, but these darn kids of mine demand to be fed and clothed and housed...

Anyway, lovely photographs! Visiting from SITS; love your blog!

Gaelyn said...

Wow, you've really gotten into it. That's cool. I love my little cannon. Maybe someday a DSLR. Have fun in Chi-town.

Missy said...

I am very jealous of your stuff! I usually prefer Olympus, but the little Cannon's they are coming out with are unbeatable! Great photos! I love the cemetary with the trees!

Daryl said...

After spending the day with both Kate and Lauren and their Nikons I developed lens envy ... I am not ready to give up my little Olympus but I am thinking about it.

I still have my 35mm SLR and all its lenses and filters ...

Linda J. said...

Thanks for sharing. YOU are a fantastic photographer. It takes more than a good camera to take great photos!

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

You have some great cameras and you really know your stuff! But the bottom line seems to be that you really have a good eye for a great photo. I suspect you could walk around with a Box Brownie and still show us great shots. I could have a professional film crew walking around with me working under my direction and the photo would still look crappy. :)

karen said...

wow, what an amazing lot of equipment! those landscape pics are awesome.. and the lovely wide lens! thanks for the updates.. i have a tiny camera and we recently bought a Nikon D80 which I"m still learning about! :)

Rob Inukshuk said...

Wow, now I understand how you get such brill shots, a good eye and some serious kit. So worth it. Keep on snapping!

Lynn said...

Wow. Great photos. Thanks for all the camera info.

I have a Sony Cybershot and I absolutely love the little thing. Sometimes I crave a DSLR, especially when I wish I had a really long lens but I love the little camera because it's so easy to take it everywhere. I have an old Pentax K1000 that I haven't used since I got the digital camera and I take a lot more pictures (and better pictures) now than I ever did when I just had the Pentax. I always hated lugging a big camera bag around. Maybe I'm just not an SLR woman.

Lover of Life said...

Thank you! I am now into photography as well, and this is just great info.
We have the Nikon D40 and an older elph. Next step is some additional lenses.

Mare said...

Whew! You are definitely a knowledgeable spokeswoman for photography. And your photos reflect it.

Fred said...

I'm with you on the camera. I did it for one year at school and was able to put together a killer slide show for the year-end party. Now, I use my trusty cell phone.

Flea said...

Sweet! Thanks for the info on your tiny Canon. I recently killed my new purse camera (may it rest in peace). Love my older Rebel.

♥ Braja said...

you're good at it Sarah...

Kay said...

Yiiiikes! That's incredible. I can see now how you get those incredible photos. But it doesn't matter how expensive a camera you get if you don't have the eye to know how to take those shots. You definitely have that EYE! I LOVE those landscape shots you took.

Rodolfo said...

Oh Dear, I thought it's just me...I have this lens lust too! I've got about 7-8 lenses and few filters. It's nice to see your collection Sarah and I showed it to your brother too. Now, I don't feel guilty with my bagful of camera stuff! - Rodolfo