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New Camera

So I bought this camera last night:

I was getting sick of dreaming of having a decent camera and after the woman who looks after switchboard and media services equipment bought the one below it and asked me to test it out... I went out after work and bought it!

The woman bought the Canon EOS Rebel T3, which was about $150 less than the one I got (that was a sale). I got the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and it wasn't on sale. Really, for me, it was the difference between 12.2 MP and 18.0 MP.

I'm not sure I have an opinion on the screen flipping out or not... I guess I can turn it around if I don't want to use it... That would probably save on the batter life. The controls looked about the same, just in slightly different places. Mind you the T3i did have the button the pop the flash up, and I didn't initially see that on the T3.

I also bought a basic UV filter (more so I'm not touching the end of the lens). I got a sling bag so it'll be easier to carry around and it not only has the strap across your body but one for around your waist, further securing it if I were to climb about (whenever I get out geocaching again or something). I was also initially looking at a 16GB memory card, but the guy who sold me the camera (someone I went to school with) said he had a 32GB for less because it was leftover from the black friday sales. He also sold me the 3 year warranty for the same price at the 2 year. The 2 year warranty was $99 and the 3 year was something like $114.

All in all it was a good day. I'm not going to be looking at my bank account for a while. My pockets are on fire!

10 blog comments below

Nice. So when is your first geocaching trip with the camera? I want pictures!! laugh
standready on Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:09 am
Great buy TG and looking forward to photos. Would have to be pretty damn good to be able to triumph the ones you've shown us that have been taken with your BlackBerry.
deanhills on Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:55 am
The T3i is a pretty good bit of entry-level kit; I think you made a good choice. Canon makes a solid camera, and though I prefer Nikon, I think more people choose Canon... which means used lenses and the like will be readily available and kinda cheap! The extended warranty was also probably a good idea, granted it covers things like the battery and such too.

The screen flipping around/out is kinda useful. Closed, it's protected, and flipping it around/out means you can film yourself and see what the picture looks like, if you're interested in that feature (handy for vloggers and the like).

Practice playing with Manual mode... that's THE only reason to buy an SLR, and if you're not using it, you wasted a couple hundred dollars (IMO). Getting a sense for how aperture, shutter speed and ISO interplay will let you really make your photos come alive (though framing is equally important Wink ).
Ankhanu on Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:58 am
So far the pictures I have been taking were with manual focus. I want to play around with the shutter speed, aperture and ISO once I get a better understanding of what they are and how adjusting them will affect the shot. The canon website did have a new section on the site where it let you play with those settings with this bedroom scene with a toy plane with a moving propeller. I addition to the manual that came with the camera, canon included two small booklets about taking good pictures. I'm also watching these instructional videos on composition, exposure, black and white shooting. There was another called the practicing photographer that also introduced a number of interesting topics and things you can do when taking pictures. The guy in the video is great and the few videos I've seen have kind of made me go 'oh, so that's how these people do it!!!' These videos are on and the university has an agreement with them that allows staff and faculty to view the material. I love it!

I really want to make something of myself in this area. I love photography and I sort of have an area that I love (cats!!!). I really want to nail down some of the techniques and I really need to 'see'. The guy. In the videos often talks about really seeing what is around you. Looking for good light. Interesting lines and shapes. Being careful that your brain isn't filtering everything because the camera will see everything and whoever looks at the picture won't always know what they're looking at (intro to his compossition course).

Right now I'm about to work my second Saturday in a row and I also mostly go to work when it's barely light out and it's always dark when I come home. I've also been super tired these past few weeks so I literally crash when I come home. I'm not sure if that's a funk I've fallen into or what but I need to get myself out and I need to get more energy and I think getting out will certainly help.
TheGremlyn on Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:22 am
Well if I've seen what you've accomplished. A new fish tank with fish, rearranged your apartment, purchased a camera, taken it out of the box, studied some of the manuals, and done your daily grind at work, sounds pretty energetic to me. Judging by the photos you've already shown to us, I'd say you have a fantastic eye for photos, particularly of cats as well. I wonder though if it is only the ability to see, or also the ability to interact with the subject/s you are photographing that is important for a successful photo. You seem to be very good with both.
deanhills on Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:32 pm
Sounds like you’re off to a good start, Grem.
.: Aperture is a bit like your iris. The wider open it is (low F-stop), the more light gets in, the tighter it is (high F-stop), the less light gets in. This has an effect on your Depth of Focus (DoF), or how deep/narrow an area will be in focus, the lower the F-stop (more light) the less DoF, the higher the the F-stop, the higher the DoF. If you want to blur out your background, you want a low F-stop, and vice versa.
.: Shutter speed is how long light is allowed to hit the sensor/film. The longer the shutter is open, the more motion is going to blur and the steadier the camera and subject have to be to get a sharp image. The faster the shutter, the less motion blur you’ll get.
.: ISO is analogous to the reaction speed of film… the lower the ISO, the slower the sensor/film processes light, but, the resulting image is very clear. High ISO processes light faster, but at the sacrifice of clarity (the picture is grainy or noisy).

Taking a technically good shot is a balance between these factors, and where that balance sits depends heavily upon the end result you want to achieve.
The great thing about digital is that you can snap away thousands of shots and just experiment… you immediately see the results, and can learn quickly what does what. Eventually you don’t even really have to think about it, you just dial in what you think you need and it’ll generally be pretty close.

deanhills wrote:
I wonder though if it is only the ability to see, or also the ability to interact with the subject/s you are photographing that is important for a successful photo.

It somewhat depends on your subject and what you mean by interact Razz If by interact you’re talking about your position and framing, then, absolutely, in all cases… if interact means actually manipulating or influencing the subject itself, no, not necessarily.

Framing is exceptionally important, and is a skill that you need to work on to get good at. There are some basic rules, like the rule of thirds and symmetry, but, they’re not hard and fast. Framing should simply be chosen to create a good eye flow around the scene, and highlight the subject in its best.
Ankhanu on Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:40 pm
No interact means just what it says. TG talks to Mynx, not only verbally, but there is a special relationship that brings out certain poses and expressions from Mynx that Mynx wouldn't have had perhaps if someone who is not channeled in with her the same way would have brought out. Same with small children. If you're able to relate well with them and the other way round, then it makes a difference in addition to framing and all the other technical things you've mentioned. You being the expert and all that. Razz
deanhills on Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:01 am
Yeah, forming a relationship with a living subject can go a long way to the end result... and it's not necessarily something I'm good at Wink Some of that is having the subject comfortable, at ease, or otherwise enjoying/sharing the experience... but some of that is also being able to recognize reactions/actions in the subject that will be worth capturing. The photographer-model relationship is a tough one to really generate, but the results speak volumes.

Just wanted to clarify that that was the angle you were approaching the idea from... as when you're shooting scenes, objects, or "found" or candid situations/scenes it doesn't make as much sense Smile Context is important, so I wanted to make sure we were using the same one.
Ankhanu on Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:59 am
Thanks for the explanation Ankhanu. That has now been saved to a word doc and printed out Smile I'm probably going to keep that with my camera bag and refer to it whenever I get confused (which happens often enough). I think, after reading your comment, it kind of helped when I was taking some pictures the other day. I remember years back when I was playing with my sister's camera and I had referred to the manual for tips on these settings. Somehow the book never made sense to me.
TheGremlyn on Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:56 pm
Yeah, the book with my father's old Fujica film SLR never really made sense neither.
From the sounds of things in your new thread with sample shots you're on a good road to learning. I'd agree with your thought that deciding your aperture for intended DoF is sensible, then getting the other settings somewhere appropriate to get the exposure right. This is usually the approach I'd take as well... though there are instances where you want to something else as primary for a desired effect. For example, many people love taking waterfall or stream pictures where the water is basically a blur of motion; here you'd want to use as slow a shutter speed (and ISO) as you can manage, and adjust your aperture to get the exposure right; ensuring that long exposure will give you the motion blur.

I don't think I can explain it well, so I'm not going to try, but, I suggest learning how to look at/read the colour/brightness histograms that are available in the camera image viewer. They just look like noisy mountain ranges, but they convey a lot of information on colour saturation, white balance, exposure level, etc. They're a fantastic learning tool, once you figure out how to read them Smile
Ankhanu on Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:32 pm

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