Maui Photographer discusses Portrait, Landscape, Stock, Wedding, and Event Digital Photography and reviews his canon DSLR, EF Lenses, and other camera gear
Monday, July 13, 2009
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS Lens Personal Review
Aloha! I've been using the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens for about 2 years and have to say, it's the best all around lens i own. It's not TOO heavy, like my 70-200 L lens, and it has a great range. It is my most used lens. When i only feel like taking my small holster camera bag, i take this lens. The Image Stabilizer feature really makes this lens useful in low light situations and allows me to leave my tripod at home.
Pros: Super Sharp Fast 2.8 Lens Nice Background Blur Lighter than the 24-70 L lens Wider Range than 24-70 L lens Image Stabilizer is very effective Cons Not weather sealed The zoom creeps out when the camera is pointed down. does not come with a hood
Back Up your Digital Photos with an External Hard Drive
I back up my digital photo files using a 500GB desktop external hard drive. but you can also choose from the more portable external hard drives currently available. i've selected two different drives for your convenience below:
To be safe, I also back up my important photo files to DVD's as well, so they're in more than one location.
canon powershot and waterproof housing case review
I recently purchased a Canon powershot SD870IS (edit: 7/2009 the latest version of this camera is the 880IS and is featured in the amazon box below) and its matching canon waterproof housing and i have to say i'm very pleased with the result.
The combination has allowed me to get shots like this:
as well as take my digital camera places where i wouldn't want to take my DSLR and L lens combinations, like under waterfalls and long hikes where it could possibly rain.
i picked this combination specifically because of the wide angle capability of the camera, so i can get wide shots in tight places, like inside the tube of a wave.
my only problems so far is when getting pounded in shore break, sand gets into the crevices and seals of the case, and it's impossible to get all of it out, unless you unscrew parts of the case, which is not recommended.
there is a little shutter lag as well, but not as bad as my past two combinations of canon powershots and cases. you just have to time your shots about half a second before it happens. i guess i'm spoiled with my DSLR.
outside of the case, the 870IS has been a fun camera to use, it's not as predictable as my Rebel XTi, sometimes the flash is overexposed, etc. but the ability to take video clips makes up for its shortcomings.
you cannot take video in very low lighting, it doesn't really come out.
i included a couple other cheaper options below that will save you up to $100 or more, but the other two combos don't have the wide angle capability (good for tight places and group pictures and landscapes) and does not have Image Stabilizer, to get sharper shots in low light and steadier video shots. so it's a give in take of features for price affordability.
Good luck in your decisions! the only difference in the SD1000 and sd750 is the 750 has a bigger screen and no viewfinder. i'd personally get the sd750 for about $20 more than the sd1000, even if it's slightly larger in size.
I am very happy with this kit of three lenses, and use two canon EOS cameras to mount these on. On each camera I have a speedlite, and vertical/battery grips. i have found this set up to work great for shooting weddings here on Maui. one only addition i can think of would be a fish eye lens. Reviews of these lenses coming soon...
I own both the the older Canon Rebel XT and the newer Rebel XTi.
I was quite satisfied with the Rebel XT, at 8 megapixels, and such a low price. But when the XTi came out, I had to give it a try. The new 400D is better in these respects: -10 megapixel (more room to crop) -larger screen to review picture detail -Reduced the steps to change settings (no need to press set)
The XTi does have one shortcoming for some. And that is its tendency to underexpose images. If you are a point and shoot type of photographer, that usually shoots in the Full Auto mode (the green box) or in P mode, you'll often find you pictures looking on the darker side. The Rebel XT did not have this issue. While initially, this really bothered me, I realized that this is a blessing in disguise for those that tend to do post-processing on their pictures anyways! if you open your photos in Photoshop you will have more room to work with when a photo is underexposed a bit, vs. if they are overexposed and the highlights are blown out. This is very useful for wedding photographers who are constantly dealing with bride's white dresses which can be difficult to retain detail and not become a glaring white ensemble.
So, which camera do i end up using more of these days? i'd have to say the rebel XTi, as it gives me a larger file that i can crop and saves me from blown-out highlights. But, if you think you'll be shooting mostly in auto and developing 5x7 prints, the Rebel XT 300d should work just fine for you, and you can save a few hundred dollars!
Adobe Contribute CS3 website editing and maintenance software (was Macromedia)
Being a professional webmaster as well as a photographer, I often recommend this program to colleagues and clients that wish to maintain and update their own websites. If you know how to edit a word document, you should be able to edit your own webpages with Contribute. I've mostly had experience with the Macromedia version of this software, but the Adobe CS3 version should work equally well, if not better.
Getting started in Digital SLR (DSLR) Photography on a budget - Canon kits
I'm well into this hobby of digital SLR photography, and let me tell you it is definitely more fun than the little point and shoot cameras, delivering more professional looking results.
On the other hand, DSLR's can also be more addicting and because they are so highly upgradeable and customizable, open up a possible doorway for spending alot of your paycheck on lenses, filters, etc.
But one positive to remember, if you buy Canon brand, high quality gear (like the "L" lenses), you can resell them later for around 90% of what you bought them for!
If I was gonna do it again, I would probably have started with the Canon Rebel XT Kit to make sure i like the hobby, but once i was certain, go straight for a "L" lens combination. Instead, by slowly upgrading, I've bought 6 lenses and sold 3 of them, losing a little on resale and filters that no longer fit.
Here’s what I recommend depending on your budget:
Prices after current Canon Spring Rebates:
Low budget Just the rebel xt and kit lens $640
Rebel xt: $640
With kit lens included
70-200 f/4 lens: $554 amazon
Rebel xt body only: $580
17-85 IS USM lens: $499
70-200 f/4 lens: $554 amazon
Rebel xt Body only (or canon 30D $1399): $580
17-40L f/4 lens: $615
70-200 f/4 lens: $554 amazon (or 70-200 f/2.8 IS for $1660 - amazing lens!)
Canon 30d body $1399 or Canon 5d full frame sensor 12MP ($2,550)
10-22 ef-s lens $800
24-70 2.8 lens $1130
70-200 2.8 is lens $1670
Oh, and then there’s the flash and vertical battery grip and all the accessories and bags!!