Thursday, February 10, 2011

Camera Gear - Yes I'm Tracking a Pacakge *Again*


WhiteDragonOnFours, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I ordered a new camera.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Didn't she just get a camera? What's all this about *another* new camera? Has she gone nuts or something?"

No, I haven't gone nuts. I mean, yes, I have. I mean, heck I *am* nuts already, right? But, no, I haven't gone nuts actually getting camera gear.

For several years, I've shot a Canon Rebel XT. It's not the best camera that Canon ever made, but it also wasn't the worst either. I got it pretty cheap (about $350 which, to this day, remains one of my greatest steals in terms of camera deals) and I used it to death. I loved it. I loved that camera, really I did. I love the idea that I can go about the world with a $350 camera and take pictures that retail for more than what I paid for my entire camera rig. Really I do. It's a great way to make money, not that this is what I'm all about, you see, but it is. All of these people who buy $10,000 worth of camera gear so they can sell prints for pennies on the dollar? Good luck getting rich with that kind of a business model, it's backwards. Better to buy cheap, shoot a lot, sell plenty and afford your own upgrades, which is exactly what I did with the $350 bargain XT.

But then something happened. My camera stopped working. And, I didn't have a backup camera. Things got hard. It became harder and harder to even order cameras. Out of stock. Price increases. Things crazy with the economy. These are hard times and, in hard times, hard things happen to otherwise good people. So, I decided it was time to upgrade and upgrade I did.

I have always shot two cameras. I shouldn't say "always" but, pretty much most of the time I've shot two cameras. I use one as my "main" camera and one as a spare, a backup of sorts. I like having a spare body. It's great to have in case something happens. I hate to travel without at least two bodies, it's just a sort of insurance policy, if you will. This past summer, when I was up in Santa Fe, my camera died and I had to do without. That's not pretty. That's not fun. That's not why I took up photography. I don't want to struggle through things, I want things to just work, so I can focus on what's important in the making of images that I do. It's hard enough to make the kind of images I make, to do the kind of things I do and the kind of things I want to do without being saddled with old, crappy broken equipment.

I kind of decided that I'm sick of having a once great but now crapping out on a regular basis $350 camera. I didn't want my camera to be the weakest link. I hated the idea that I had to re-schedule shoots because I maybe couldn't get my camera working that day or that time or I was just afraid to schedule something important and have my camera crap out on me yet again. My $350 bargain was turning into an albatross around my neck. I was starting to hate it.

Then, around the end of last year something else happened. I started making some serious money. I sold some commercial work. I sold some prints. I got lined up for some teaching gigs. Everything just started looking up and money was coming in. That's when I decided to do it, to pull the plug, to pull the trigger, as it were, on some serious new camera gear. I had shot the $350 bargain for a long time, more than gotten my money's worth from that thing. It was time to retire the little buddy and invest in some serious upgrades.

If you recall, during the end of last year, I had started looking at cameras and could not decide between the Canon T2i and the Canon 7D. Each had some advantages, yes, and each had some drawbacks. I was torn, very torn, between the two, so much so that, when I pulled the trigger on the Canon T2i, I was seriously wondering if I had made the right choice.

Some time went by and I started shooting with the T2i. It's a good camera, don't get me wrong, I like it, I like it a lot. But, something about it, just felt "small" to me. Like it was a baby camera. I just didn't like the feel. It's hard to put words to these things sometimes, as we're artists and we sort of have to work a lot with guts and intuition.

So, I decided to get the 7D. I ordered it earlier this week and expect it to be here early next week. I can't say I'm over the moon about it, but I am excited. I'm very happy to have two cameras again. I miss that. The whole having a backup body is a great thing. Like I said, I've always done it before and now that the megapixel wars are sort of behind us all, I felt it a good time to do it again. The timing was just right about it.

I plan on getting a third camera too, at some point. Sometime, maybe in the near future, maybe in a year or two, I'll get a full frame camera. I've decided to put this purchase off a bit, at least until I get the crop camera all sorted out and comfortable. My current plans are to keep the T2i and also the 7D. For now, I plan on making the T2i a dedicated Lensbaby camera and using the 7D with my other lenses. Eventually, I'll convert the T2i into an infrared camera (to replace my other Rebel XT which has already been converted and is now my infrared camera.)

So, the current break down for the rig is going to be something like this:

Canon Rebel XT (converted to infrared)-used for infrared work
Canon Rebel T2i - Lensbaby and general "walkabout" camera. Uses SD cards which are more readily available and cheaper. Not as good with lighting rigs so won't be used much for studio work. Is light and more compact so good for photo walks and lighter work.
Canon 7D - To be used for macro work, copy work, night work, and any kind of tripod work. Heavier but more weather resistant.

Now that it's all sorted out and I've actually ordered the camera, I'm waiting for the package to arrive. I've started tracking my package, it's currently in Maspeth, New York, waiting on the UPS guy to pick it up. You can follow me on Twitter to get more detailed updates if you are curious. It's safe to say though that the new camera is on its way to me and should be here within the next could of days.

Please help me say hello to the new little buddy once he arrives. I've got so many camera bodies now, I might have to start naming them or some such thing, just so I can keep track.

I also got a bunch of accessories to go along with the new camera and, of course, a bunch of flash (and SD!) memory for my upcoming trip to Hawaii. Look for the 7D to make his debut about the same time as I head for the middle of the Pacific. (Maybe I should name it Aloha! in honor of its timely arrival?)

This is another dragon from the lot. Taken with the T2i and the Lensbaby composer, evaluative metering mode, flash did not fire.

Until next time...

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