Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Camera talk

When I first started listing on Etsy and posting to Flickr (and all the rest) I thought that the whole photographic process would be the death of me.   I hated EVERYTHING about it and I'm sorry about the capital letters here, but in my mind that everything is ten feet high at least.  Composing the picture, the background, the lighting, the 'branding' (or lack thereof!!!), the editing, were all uniformly tough to deal with.  The only spot of light here is the view of someone raised in the film era, at least one doesn't have to wait for processing and you can cheerfully format over all your hideous errors.  This is where I can love technology.

All this hatred coincided with the purchase of my first point and shoot SONY, (can't remember the model) which actually took quite decent macro shots. Although, it took me a long time to learn to use it effectively...Then it was stolen in our house burglary in 2008 (along with all the photos in the computer which I had only half backed up...).  I bought another SONY (DSC W210, around 200$) which, as I discovered, did not let me get nearly as close in macro mode as I would have liked as it had a wider angle lens on it than my original.  Grr, no money to buy a better camera.....

Of course, as I embraced technology, I realized that I would really like to have a DSLR, but the cost was high for its primary use.  Do I need to shoot RAW format, shoot in low light a lot, need massive telephoto lenses as long as my arm - or indeed, do I need to be able to change lenses at all?  No, I don't think I do - to all of those things, really.

Long story short, I started checking ebay and local sales for used high end point and shoots.  I was looking for 12 mp, really decent macro shots and some manual focus capability and some aperture and shutter control.  Missed out on a Canon G10 for 250$, but finally found this:  (free shipping, too!)

In case you can't read it, it's a Canon Powershot 650is.  All for only 125$, perfect body condition and function (so far, at least...).  It is the next step down in the Canon line from the G series (roughly, DSLRS, G series, then this series.)  It's worth checking out the used route as there are always people upgrading and this camera does everything I could ever need!  I'm not attempting to shill for the Canon corporation, merely pointing out that there are great cameras to be had used from the top manufacturers that are now outmoded, but perfectly serviceable for internet stuff.

I also like the swing out monitor even though I thought I wouldn't.  It swings shut and protects the monitor from clutzes like me - also the camera is large, but very comfortable to hold (curved grip), which again I thought was a negative, but turns out to be a plus as I find the tiny point and shoots kinda difficult to hang on to!  This camera just melds into my largish hand.  Also, it takes 4 ordinary alkaline batteries, which is also a plus, as  I can't count the number of times I've forgotten the charger for the custom batteries of my other cameras while travelling.  So far, the battery life is impressive.




And wow, aperture control on macro!  Now I can do those lovely background (or foreground ) blurred shots that really bring the details of the work into the eye of the beholder!  Gee, I might make the Etsy front page!  It has a host of other features that I haven't even explored yet.  The best thing about digital photography is that with each camera, the learning curve is shorter - really!



 It will focus as close as 1cm from the object!  Excuse all the not very informative pictures, but immediately, I love this camera!  The swivelling LCD makes it very easy to get shots from strange angles, or over people's heads, for that matter.

Hey, maybe I'll actually enjoy photography again.   And not just studio work either....


11 comments:

Roberta said...

I love my Canon Powershot G9. Canon makes the best camera. I don't care what anyone says!

And those beads are to die for....

Claire Maunsell said...

Thanks so much, Roberta! Another Canon user!

Genevieve said...

Hey those macro shots are great! And you need that, your work has so many lovely details!

Doreen said...

Well, I think you got the right camera! What magnificent detail in those beads. Makes me want to go do some scratching and painting on my beads right now! Love your pics and your beads!

Jenni said...

Great photos ClaIre, that camera is a keeper! You could join "I Heart Macro!" with those beauties.Great detail.
jenni

Jen V. said...

It's so great to hear a success story with regard to photography! The shots really highlight your work and the fact that the camera isn't driving you mad is a total bonus!! :)
Jen

Janice said...

Great post Claire. Your photos look amazing - if we get any closer we'll be inside your beads! (which are fabulous by the way) I'll be bookmarking this page so when I'm in the market for a new camera, I'll look at the Canon!

JuLee said...

Wonderful detail. I am in the market for a new camera and these photos are making think I should really check this camera out.
Did you use a light box? And can you use rechargable batteries if you have a mind too - or does it only use disposables?
These are great beads by the way - Love your work

missficklemedia.com said...

Wonderful shots!!!!!
I use a sony powershot also and love it. My photography is still lacking character as I just focus on the piece itself but with good lighting and a good camera, it is hard to mess up!
Congrats on another milestone and I look forward to seeing what you shoot with your new camera.
Shan

Claire Maunsell said...

Julee, you can use rechargeables with it - Canon makes a set of good quality Nimh ones to go with it, but the convenience of being able to use drug store batteries is great for people like me who forget everything! I'm going to try my energized rechargeable alkalines next and keep them charged for at home use...So you know, I don't think you will find this camera new any longer, you would have to get one of the G series. But used, sure!

Violette Laporte said...

Tout simplement bravo!! Photography IS fun...