Friday, September 15, 2006

A step deeper into the Digital Age

Tara the cat, better known as Our Lady of Perpetual Motion

I took a big step this week that has been months in the planning.
Increasingly frustrated at the many limitations of my tiny point-and-shoot digital camera, I splurged on a Canon EOS Rebel XT digital SLR. I want to get back into photography, and I think this camera is my ticket.

With the weather growing more agreeable for long walks, I want to resume my New Jersey-to-Brooklyn treks and my explorations of lower Manhattan -- and I think I finally have the piece of equipment that will enable me to record these adventures the way I've wanted to preserve them.

It doesn't take much to lift my mood.

Also this week, my eldest sister and her husband visited the onetime home of one of my favorite authors, Herman Melville. The home, named Arrowhead, is in Pittsfield, Mass., in the Berkshires.
One of my favorite Melville works is the tale "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street." This souvenir T-shirt says it all.

Neither does it take much to make me laugh.


C~ said...

Our Lady of Perpetual Motion---brilliant! :) Can't wait to see all the wonderful pictures you'll be taking now! Weeee!

Michael said...

Hi C,

Yes, I'm looking forward to getting back out on the street, so to speak. So many photos to take, so little time ...

Oxeye said...

Nice camera michael. I have been thinking about getting a new one also but there are so many good ones out there.. It is hard to decide on just one. I think I may get a real tiny one that i can just slip into a pocket and have with me all the time. Have fun with your rebel!

Michael said...

Hi Oxeye,

I did quite a bit of research before I purchased my camera. The consensus among the three professional photographers I consulted was that Canon cameras are superior to Nikons in that the sensors are much better developed. Nikon, evidently, hasn't quite kept up in this respect.
Among the Canons, the two that were highly recommended to me were the EOS Digital Rebel XT and the 5D.
I don't know about the 5D, but the kit lens that comes with the Rebel XT is a piece of garbage. Instead, I took these professionals' advice and invested in a 17-85mm lens with Image Stabilization. So, I can now shoot at very slow shutter speeds and take photos with minimal blur.
All this said, I have no plans on getting rid of my tiny Canon IXY digital camera, which is smaller than a pack of cigarettes.
First off, it has been my experience that when you do street photography, the fastest, most sure-fire way to intimidate people is to pull out a camera with a big lens. They get less defensive with a point-and-shoot.
So, there will be room in my camera bag, literally and metaphorically, for both my cameras.

Matt Kohai said...

A good point-and-shoot is the new Casio Exilim 7-megapixel model. It's not perfect, mind you, but they've been incrementally improving the line with each generation, and the cam itself is as small as it gets - it's actually small enough to more easily handle single-handedly than two-handedly.

I also hear that the Sony point-n-shoots with the internal zoom lenses are good - better than the earlier models, which had fuzzy focus issues. I loved the Konica Minolta Dimage X series when they originated the internal zoom, but they stopped making cameras altogether after the X50 5-megapixel model, I heard. Internal zoom lenses have a huge advantage in point-n-shoot simplicity - I had a pocket camera get its retractable zoom lens jammed in the deployed position once.

Michael said...

I'm sure all of these cameras are fine, though I have a built-in bias, which may well be unjustified, against cameras with optics not built by noted camera makers.
To me, the best affordable optics are those built by Canon, Nikon and Olympus (whose manual-focus 35mm SLRs I swear by).
If I had more money to spend, I would choose Rollei or Leica optics.
I just can't see optics made by Casio or Sony or Samsung as being anywhere near the quality of lenses made by lens makers.
Again, I could be wrong, but that's how I feel.