Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Camera

Juvat in a comment asked me to talk about the camera I got, and I'm happy to oblige.

It's a Canon EOS 20D DSLR Camera. My first DSLR, and my first SLR of my own for that matter.

Bought used in a deal I absolutely couldn't resist, it was ten years old before I got it last month. While Only 8.2 Megapixel, it works great and is the fastest camera I've ever owned. Of course there's a lot newer and better DSLR cameras out there, but this will certainly do for a start, and the lenses can be kept and still used if I ever upgrade to a more powerful camera body.

The Camera came in its original box, along with the kit lens, The EF-S 17-85mm IS USM Lens, which took pretty much all the ground display shots.

The real reason for the great aerial pics is this lens:

It's the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens, and it's absolutely outstanding. You can pickup one used from KEH camera and its pretty darn affordable over buying new.

Even as a total rank amateur photographer, just after reading a lot of how-to guides online about taking airshow pictures and using the camera and of course after RTFM, I was able to turn out some pretty decent pics if I say so myself.

The camera took pictures fast and the auto-focus worked great. I still need to learn a lot about the camera and its settings, but it's a fantastic starter camera. If you're on a budget and want to go DSLR, the D20 combined with a nice lens works quite nicely.

There are a few drawbacks going with a 10-year-old used camera: The LCD screen at the rear is quite small compared to today's DSLRs, so it's hard to see if the picture you took came out crisply; it can't do video; and it is a bit low on the mega-pixel count. Those are about the only serious drawbacks that I would be concerned about with this camera. To remedy those issues, you just throw more money at a more recent camera body - couldn't do that right now, so I'm happy with what I've got.

There was however a hardware bug. Murphy's Law can verify that it looked like Murphy's law was about to strike my debut with the camera.

This particular hardware bug was a real bug in the camera. It was a tiny round one with small legs. He might have been a camera mite. He showed up in great detail on the viewfinder and was moving around in a slow yet most frisky manner, typically trying to hang around the very center of the rangefinder. He wasn't on the outside of the lens, nor at the base of the lens, no, he was inside the camera body. Luckily he was in the upper mirror, otherwise every single one of my pictures would have had this bug photo-bombing the planes. How he got into the camera body I have no idea. He's apparently gone now but I think an internal cleaning of the camera body is in order. Thankfully he didn't mess up the pictures.

Oh, and there's an underwater case available for it......but that will be a post for another time.


Keads said...

Nice! I just got a Nikon DSLR and am struggling to figure out how to work it. Those were great pics!

Aaron said...

Thanks, and there's more to come.

The key I've found is that digital film is cheap, actually it's free, just keep on taking lots of pictures and trying different settings as you work your way through the manual.

I still haven't used most of the settings available, and did have a few settings that were quite wrong, but I'm learning.