There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Sunday, October 12, 2003

New Toy

I got a new toy. I've had two years of holding off on buying new toys. Either I was unemployed, or I was working for a company that considered paying its people optional, or I was clamping down on expenditures to make sure we had enough money to buy our new house, so for a variety of reasons, there's a backlog of desire that's just been waiting to burst out. There was a minor outbreak just after I got my current job when I bought an iPod, which I use constantly. Now I've gotten the next most wanted item on my list, a new digital camera.

My old Kodak DC-260 was a decent camera in its day, but it was already getting a little long-in-tooth when I bought it from my friend Tom, who is a talented photographer. It was great for static shots, like sunsets, which I love shooting, but the delay between button press and shutter click meant that it did a lousy job at catching quickly changing action, like my lovely wife dancing on the boardwalk during the summer, or our niece and nephews tearing around the beach house like maniacs. Plus, I wanted a camera with a decent zoom so I could capture some of the abundant wildlife in our new backyard. I was lusting after the Sony DC-F717, which has an excellent Zeiss lens and a not-too-shabby 5x optical zoom. Tom, my friend who replaces his digital cameras every couple of years, has its predecessor, the 707, and I could see that it took gorgeous pictures. One of his pictures taken with that camera is hanging in our dining room right now, in fact. If I had bought a camera a few months ago, I would have gotten the 717. But the delay enforced by the then-impending house purchase changed my mind. In the interim, Canon came out with a camera that was just perfect for what I wanted.

I've had a Canon EOS Elan SLR 35mm camera for about ten years. I love the camera, but the price and inconvenience of developing film meant I didn't use it as much as I would have liked to, and as a result, didn't develop my skills as much as I want to. I have a couple of lenses for the camera. So when Canon introduced their new EOS Digital Rebel (a.k.a. EOS 300D), which takes the same lenses as my Elan, I was intrigued. The more I looked into it, the better it seemed. For under $1000, I could get a camera that would do everything I wanted and be flexible enough for me to keep for a very long time. With the help of my lovely wife and some internal justification of it as a belated 40th birthday present, I jumped at it.

The camera came on Friday. I haven't had a lot of time to shoot with it yet, but I can tell already that it's everything I wanted. The limitations that some of the reviewers talk about aren't that big a deal; I didn't use those functions on the Elan, and I don't miss them on the Digital Rebel. Not yet, anyway. I could use one more lens to complement the ones I have. I've got three that fall into the wide-angle to medium range, but no telephoto lenses. But hey, that's why I bought the camera; if I need a new lens to do what I want, I can get one.

[ The babbling brook in back of our house ]

I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with this. It's nice to have such a great tool that's at the leading edge of what's available.

Posted at 10:06 AM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Ooh, nice. I have a Canon EOS Rebel 2000, which was all I could afford when I was after a new film camera. Despite being pretty low in the range, I like it very much. I never get to use it enough, though, for the same reason you have of the expense of buying and devloping film.

When I bought my digital camera last year, though, i went for the small and pocketable Canon Ixus V3, which is fantastic for what it is. I wanted a proper SLR digital, but my budget didn't (and still doesn't) stretch to that.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I took 375 photos during three days in NY last week. I hate to think how many I would have taken if I'd had a higher quality camera with me. That said, probably a lot of them would have come out better had I a decent zoom.

Still, you get what you pay for, and the Ixus is very good value for money, considering. (Although I'd still like a digital SLR. Oh well. Maybe when I get a job.)

Posted by Suw at 4:43 PM, October 12, 2003 [Link]

Ah, nice link to the lens review. I'll probably go for a 75-300 USM when I get a second lens to accompany the Digital Rebel's 18-55.

Posted by Mike at 12:52 PM, November 2, 2003 [Link]

The 75-300 USM looks like an interesting lens. Don't forget, though, that the Rebel has a 1.6x multiplier effect on lens length. The long end of that lens is going to be roughly equivalent to 480mm. At that length, even the slightest movement in the camera is going to be magnified. You're going to want to shoot those shots with a tripod at the least.

I'd like to get a really nice piece of glass in that range to shoot some of the wildlife we get in the back yard. It's a little expensive (about $500), but I'm considering the 70-200L. L-series glass is supposed to be a decent improvement over the regular stuff, and the 70-200L is about the least expensive lens in the series. It's very tempting.

Posted by ralph at 9:30 PM, November 2, 2003 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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