November 2007

Well after lots of looking around, reading reviews and all that, i finally realized that all compact cameras which are available currently suck. So my choices where down to getting an old analog camera or a DSLR, now “analog” film is just too inconvenient for my lazy self so i choose a DSLR, more precissely the EOS 400D, thats also what mans recommanded though mans recommandition was not really why i choose it. The EOS 400D is certainly not perfect but there arent many options, many cameras are just too expensive for my taste and then there are: sony alpha (crappy noisy sensor) pentax (non functional IS and IS is the only advantage over cannon), olympus (too small sensor), nikon (lens compatibility with their cheap DSLRs is no good and no real advantage over canon)

So is the EOS400D good? Well its not bad, it could be smaller and lighter, its viewfinder could be bigger and brighter, at least ive no problem using the viewfinder with glasses but manual focus at large apertures is not possible with it because the viewfinder limits the view to f/4 or so . I wonder if one of these 3rd party focusing screen replacements would help here?

The EOS400D also sadly doesnt have live view, that is viewing what you shoot on the LCD, but there arent many DSLRs which do, the 40D being one but its too large, heavy and expensive for this small extra feature, and note the only reason why i care about live view would be better manual focus ability

Lenses, well, getting a good lens for my DSLR turned out so far to be quite a bit more tricky than i thought. First lenses are expensive, it seems they are all sold at 10 times their production cost. Second you cant just read reviews and buy a lens based on that, the lenses provided to reviewers seem handpicked and perfectly adjusted by the manufactors, what you buy in a shop is not. But i didnt know that or rather i underestimated the sample variation some people claimed exists with lenses so i bought a 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Tamron lens, according to reviews and images there (as well as other reviews) this lens has better image quality than for example canons 17-85 IS USM and it of course has a much larger focalength range though its not that good at the larger focal lengths but then having all that range in a single lens seemed quite convenient. Well to make a long story short the 18-250 lens i got was so bad it went back where it came from at the first oppertunity. At 100mm one side was so much more blurry than the other it was immedeately vissible at 1024×786, there was no need to zoom in and look at pixels 1:1

Luckily i also bought a 50mm f/1.8 lens from canon, one of canons cheapest lenses but still vastly outperforming the 6 times as expensive crap 18-250 tamron i received, so the sample images below are all shot with that 50mm lens. Also note that i had to recompress the images to lower quality as wordpress refused the files due to their filesize

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For a long time that flower was on my balcony, now its in my grandmothers garden, and it doesnt seem to do that well as you can see :(

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Strange tiny tree, we bought a while ago, its needles are completely soft instead of sharp and it doesnt seem to grow

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Some random weed i think

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One of my grandmothers unique plants, this one is quite representative for many of them though not all, some are breathtakingly beautifull like her roses …
My mother said its a oleander, my grandmother disagreed, i dont remember if she said what it is

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Birds, overexposed IMO, it was very dark and rainy, also they dont look good at f/1.8 aperture

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second try at f/4, sadly most birds where gone already, also the image looks worse then the origial before the recompression needed to make wordpress happy filesize wise

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My mother wanted to take a (few) picture(s) as well, well, she tried, and tried but it didnt work, half pressing the shutter button, waiting for the autofocus and then full pressing it apparently isnt that easy, so the above image was taken by my mother with manual focus. What i learned out of that, well the EOS400D shutter button is very well build as it still worked after my mother was finished.

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After you fight your way through thickets you find in a corner of the garden some firewood perfectly protected from rain to dry, currently my grandmothers only means to heat her house as her more modern heaters broke down (not counting electricity based ones). Somehow i suspect the firewood will still be there in the spring and the heaters will still be broken and the electricity bill will be near 0. In normal houses you need to wear warm closes when you leave in my grandmothers house you need warm clothes when you enter.

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Tasty looking apples (emphasis here is on looking)

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My mother identified it as parasol mushroom and said its edible, my grandmother said its poissionous (thats what my grandmother says about all mushrooms), i tried to convice them to try it ;)
btw, iam a little curious what it is, i am almost certain its not a parasol

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White roses (in the rain like everything else on that day)