Category: Photo

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The D200, After All

Okay, so call me bogus. Back in February, I made clear that there would be no camera switch, as I previously contemplated—from the Canon EOS 20D to the Nikon D200. I’ve been unhappy with my EOS 20D for sometime, even as I acquired several nice Canon lenses. The Canon camera’s ergonomics doesn’t suit me, nor have I been satisfied with the photos compared to the Nikon D70. The Nikon D70 felt more like an extension of my eye, capturing images just as I saw them.

But low-light photography is important to me, and that’s one area where the EOS 20D excels over the Nikon D200, based on tests like PBase forum member Norm’s 20D-D200 photo comparison. I resigned to sticking with the EOS 20D—after all, I had some nice lenses. 

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Bun Bun Suns

Washington is cooler this Sunday than the last. But a little chill isn’t stopping Spring, or Bun Bun (not her real name) getting out for a run.

Bun Bun will be three years old this year. We bought her on an August day from the Animal Exchange in Rockville, Md. The store was a pitstop to pick up pet supplies before purchasing a bunny from the Montgomery County Fair. My daughter fell in love with this lone bunny at the store. She was big, perhaps six months old, and a risk. Young kittens are easier to train and to hold. 

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Prickly Situation

This afternoon I took the Canon 20D and EF-S 60mm Macro lens out into the backyard. This prickly plant reminds me of cloud formations, where the shapes take on meaning. In the photo, I see a fox to left and dog to the right. Bow. Wow. The neighbor’s dogs barked as I took pics near the fence.

I continue to struggle to find satisfaction with the Canon 20D, which has been the case since buying it. The Nikon D70 felt more like an extension of my eye, capturing images just as I saw them. I have long fussed over the Canon 20D, with some dissatisfaction regarding focus, which has always seemed soft to me or different than expected. I’m surprised by the number of times the focal point isn’t where it appears to be. I’ve encountered this problem using two different 20Ds. 

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Canon EOS 20D, 30D, or Nikon D200?

I am contemplating digital cameras this week, following Canon’s pre-PMA announcement of the EOS 30D. I had expected a 10-megapixel honker to match the Nikon D200. Instead, the Canon EOS 30D is a marginal upgrade to the 20D, similar to the Nikon 70s compared to the Nikon 70. My initial reaction: Why didn’t Canon do more? I already had compared the D200 and 20D before the announcement. My conclusion: Canon doesn’t need to.

For some time, I’ve griped about the Canon EOS 20D compared to the Nikon D70 (at one time, I owned both cameras and now have only the 20D). I often found the photos taken with the D70 came out as I expected, which wasn’t always the case with the 20D. The camera acted more like an extension of my eye. 

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Look Smug in the Mug

One of the great benefits of my job is opportunity to speak to people running some really cool companies. Today I got the grand tour of photo-sharing site SmugMug. I had strongly considered setting up shop at Flickr, for which I had already plunked down $24.95 for a year’s Pro service. I probably will upload some stuff to Flickr, mainly stock images for my blog posts. Externally hosted images would make for less work should I ever move my blog to a new host. Looks like SmugMug will become my main photo flat. I’ve already started moving in.

SmugMug is one of the best photo-sharing sites I have seen. Tools are excellent for amateur or pro photographers. Technology is modern, fresh, and easy. SmugMug also is a successful family business, something you don’t see much in high-techdom. My temporary SmugMug site is up and running. I plan to use a domain, if I grow to like the service as much as I expect to. 

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Miracle on 34th Street

After reading Thomas Hawk’s account of his bad shopping experience at PriceRitePhoto and good experience with B&H Photo, I wanted to pipe an endorsement for the B&H folks.

My family visited long-time friends in Fredericksburg, Va., on Friday. My good friend told me that she had ordered a combo camera/camcorder for her husband for Christmas. She called B&H, which didn’t have the device in stock. After she expressed disappointment, the sales clerk suggested calling Adorma, where she eventually purchased the camera. In an experience straight out of “Miracle on 34th Street,” she praised B&H for recommending a competitor and pledged to shop there again. 

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Girl in the Window

I am debating whether to keep the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens. My main reason for choosing the lens was the f/2.8 (and, of course, the “L” glass). I sparingly use flash and wanted a lens more suited to this shooting preference.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, I took the lens out at dusk for some difficult shooting. The picture here is of my daughter, goofing off through her parents’ bedroom window. I had to adjust this image quite a bit, using Apple’s iPhoto to change the brightness, contrast, and exposure. 

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Now I’ve got two Canon f/2.8L Lenses

Last night’s jaunt down Scary Perry left me rethinking my recent Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens purchase. I had such a lovely time shooting with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens that I decided to go back to Penn Camera for a possible trade in for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM.

Biggest concern: Size and weight. The f/2.8 lens measures 84.6mm x 193.6mm and weighs in at a hefty 1310g. There are computer notebooks that weigh less, and that’s not taking into account the heft of the Canon EOS 20D. After holding and shooting with the f/2.8 lens attached to the store’s 20D, I decided to take the chance.