Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm loving the Canon EOS400D!

As you may have guessed from this blog, I love photography, particularly of places, people and scenery in new countries.

I've always loved photography, building up a reasonably solid Pentax SLR kit in my early twenties, and spending a fortune developing pictures of pasta shells and tinted cars (Cokin filters were all the rage!).

My next camera was one of the early Canon mini-point and shoot models - the predecessor to the Canon Ixus.

It took me ages to get into the digital camera age - I'd spent a fortune on the Pentax kit, and I loved the panorama shots the Canon compact could take. But it was just before a trip to New Zealand in 2000, that I bought the Canon Ixus. In the last seven years, I've thrashed that trusty little camera, easily taking over 15,000 photos. Thank god storage is getting cheaper!

Over the years, I watched as the digital SLR cameras improved in functionality and came down in price. The more photography I did with the compact camera, the more I began to miss the additional functionality that SLR's provide - mainly more flexible zoom options.

After my trip to Morocco earlier this year, I finally took the digital SLR plunge and bought a Canon EOS400D. It seems to be one of the most popular and well-reviewed cameras on the market, and seemed to be a formidable competitor to Nikon's D-range of cameras. I don't think I really could have gone wrong by choosing either brand, but after much reading, researching and speaking with Camera shop assistants, I went for the Canon.

I could have gone for the higher end camera bodies such as the 1D, 4D or 5D, but I figured that I'd re-familiarise myself with SLR photography and functionality before committing to a more expensive model. And for the same reason, I chose the standard kit lens - an 18-55mm lens, which so far, has been a great walk-about lens.

I have always been fascinated by zoom lenses, and decided pretty quickly that I wanted a bigger zoom lens. I was keen to get one of the new Canon ES image stablised zoom lenses, and again, after more researching and playing, decided on the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS lens.

This lens is equivalent to a 88-400mm focal length in non-digital/film cameras, which I reckoned was big enough to practice with while I got used to shooting with the longer lens. It's also one of the first EF-S lenses built for the digital camera bodies.

I've had this lens for about a month now, and have taken nearly 1,000 shots, in Singapore, London and Bratislava. It definitely takes some getting used to - as far as keeping the camera still, but I've been pretty happy with some of the shots I've taken so far, all of which I've done without a tripod. With any of this stuff, it's a matter of practice, practice, practice!

When I go to Turkey in two weeks, I'll take the camera and both lenses, a couple of batteries and a couple of memory cards - a slightly bigger kit bag than I'm used to, but hey! I know I'll need both the short and longer focal length lens. I can't wait to snap my way through Turkey - the images I've seen of the place are stunning, and I'm hoping I can come back with a few amazing pics of my own. :-).


CĂ©line said...

We've got EOS 400D too and love it. It's not top pro but good enough for those who are into photography. We need better lenses though, probably the same as you mentioned plus another one for close-up shots. When we go on holiday we're like two kids squabbling over a toy. In 4 days we take over 400 shots. Mad? Yes a little bit...

Melanie Surplice said...

Hey Celine!

Yeah, I think it's just a great all-round camera for amateurs. It's easy to use and takes a lot of the guesswork out of settings etc. I'd love a macro lens as's all very addictive :-).

Happy snappin'!