Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cameras, Cameras Everywhere

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My “C” topic for the A-to-Z Challenge today is: Cameras!

A girl can never have too many cameras!  My brother loves to call me “gadget girl” and I admit to being guilty as charged. My first job out of college was working at a professional photo equipment company.  For years, it seemed as soon as a new wiz-bang camera model was announced, I started coming up with reasons to justify why I needed to buy it.

These are 10 of my cameras (taken with yet another camera, my iPhone!):

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In addition to these, I also have a box of antique cameras tucked away in the back of my storage closet that I inherited from my grandfather.  Prior to his long career as a minister, he ran a photography portrait studio in small town in Kansas, so I guess he’s to blame for my “camera collector gene”!

Let me take you on a tour of the cameras displayed above.  The two oldest on the top shelf are film cameras.

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The silver and black camera to the left is a Hasselblad 500, a legendary medium format camera from the 1960s.  Fully manual with a waist-level viewfinder on the top and a film magazine in the back that takes 120 film (where on earth you’d be able to find that nowadays is a mystery!).

Next to the ‘Blad, on the right, is my last film camera, a Nikon N2000 from the 1980s.  Still works great, but again, finding 35mm film is becoming increasing difficult and not worth the effort.  I’ve mainly hung on to these 2 cameras for sentimental reasons.

The second row of cameras from the top photo are my “point and shoot” collection.  I’ve owned a lot more of these, but would give the older models away to my family members as I got new ones.  The one on the far right in the top photo is my current favorite, the Canon s100, that I shot these close up photos with.  If you’re looking for a high-quality point-and-shoot, the s100 will serve you quite well!

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The other 2 cameras from that middle row are the first ones I acquired that combined HD video with still images.  The black camera on the left is a “super zoom” Canon SX1 with a rotating LCD screen that flips out from the back.  The lavender camera to the right is a Kodak PlaySport, a fixed-lens camera that I mainly bought for it’s waterproof & underwater capabilities.

The bottom row of cameras from the top photo are all of my Canon digital SLRs.  Here they are in closer detail:
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At the far left, is the oldest of the bunch, a Canon 20D, which I had converted to an Infrared camera a few years ago (so it is now only used for black & white images).  Second to the left is the camera I used almost exclusively all of last year, the Canon Digital Rebel T3i (with a rotating LCD screen).  I wrote a post about how I used that camera last year—love the combination of LiveView with a rotating LCD screen and sure wish all DSLRs had them!

The 2 cameras to the right are my full-frame 35mm cameras.  The Canon 5D (2nd to the right) was my main landscape camera for the last five years or so.  Perhaps one of the finest cameras ever made!  But in recent years, I found myself using the Rebel T3i more because of it’s more modern features (LiveView, HD video, etc).  When Canon brought out the 5D Mark II with these features a few years ago, I thought for sure I would buy it immediately, but after picking up and holding one at the camera store, I realized it was not nearly as comfortable to my smaller hands than the original 5D.  So, I waited, and waited, and WAITED, for Canon to come out with a smaller, lighter weight full-frame model. 

Finally, this year, they did!  The Canon 6D (far right) is my most-recent addition, fits my hand like a glove, takes wonderful photos, and has all the modern features (including a cool way to wirelessly focus and shoot via adhoc Wifi from a companion Canon iPhone app—more about that in an upcoming post!).

But, alas, a full-time RVing girl can indeed have too many cameras!  So, I will be getting many of these posted “For Sale” to Craigslist soon as I start downsizing my household possessions to fit into an RV.  I’ll likely be hanging on to the 6D, 20D, and s100 and selling all the rest.  If you’re interested in any of these, just drop me a line (winnieviews@gmail.com) and I’ll give you additional info and a great “friend of WinnieViews” deal!

2 comments:

  1. I've been using a Kodak dx6490 for years, and have loved it, but am thinking about making the leap to a camera that is more manual, less point-and-shoot. Can I ask your opinion about a traditional DSLR vs. the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras?

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  2. I've only seen the mirrorless interchangeable lens systems at the camera store and have not owned one directly. Before buying my Rebel T3i a couple years ago, I strongly considered the Panasonic GH with it's Micro 4/3rd lenses. I liked the size and features a lot, but ultimately went with the Rebel because I could re-use the Canon lenses I already owned, the Canon's APC sensor was bigger (better ISO capabilities for low-light shooting), and I still preferred a true mirror reflex viewfinder vs. an electronic one. Canon just recently announced a new Rebel SL1 which will now make the camera body even smaller. So now, it would seem body size is extremely close and the real difference will be the lenses (Canon's will still be larger than a Micro 4/3rds or Sony NEX system). But, if you've got no existing lenses and are buying a full system from scratch, I'd say either system could be quite capable depending on your budget and what feels "right" in your hands. Best to find a large camera shop or electronics store and see if you can compare them in-person-- written specs are worthless if the camera does not feel "right" and controls don't feel intuitive to you.

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