Published Jun 24, 2007

I got a new dSLR! Yay! It’s party time at my house! Also, thank Farmer’s Insurance time. I’ve been itching to take some photos for weeks now (of course I wanted to shoot as soon as I had no camera!), and there could be no better birthday present than finally getting a digital SLR again.

The big question was: whose system do I get myself locked into now? I’d gotten my old Minolta 5D because I already had a good set of lenses for my Minolta film body; with those lenses stolen, I was free at last! Free to spend my money on someone else’s products, that is. Canon and Nikon are the market leaders and I really didn’t feel like having the smaller lens selection I’d get with Pentax, Olympus, or Sony cameras. Given how big my reimbursement check was, only the entry-level bodies — the Canon EOS Rebel XTi and Nikon D40x — were within my price range.

So I went to my favorite, curmudgeon-filled local camera store, Trader Jim’s, to try out both bodies and see what I thought. Unfortunately, Trader Jim’s became Web-only a few weeks ago, so I went home empty-handed. That didn’t make for a good birthday, though, so I broke down and went to Samy’s Camera in Venice. I played with the two bodies there, spending probably far too long for the guy who wanted to help me, but the choice was actually pretty easy.

Fortunately, I have small hands, so the very small grip on the Rebel XTi wasn’t uncomfortable. I liked the Canon interface quite a bit better, especially the viewfinder.1 With the Rebel XTi I had to give up 3200 ISO, which was kind of a bummer, but I think I can count all the times I really used 3200 on my 5D on my fingers. The real clincher was the fact that there’s really only about six lenses that fit the D40x. Getting better lenses is half the fun of having a camera!

Samy’s actually had a pretty good kit with the body and standard 18-55 lens as well as a mediocre 70-300 lens that I can totally live with for the price, as well as a memory card and some other schwag. Pretty nice deal, actually! And fun to get home to.

So here’s what I got:

And of course I had to go outside in the lovely weekend sun and shoot Junior and the AIG’s adorable mutt, Jake, with my new camera! Since one is white and the other black, they make ideal challenging learning subjects, and they’re darned cute, too!

Obviously I haven’t quite got the exposure down for the deep blacks but that’s pretty good texture on the feathers for a white bird! A fun start to a new camera. Happy birthday to me!

1 I recall having read somewhere that Minolta copied the Canon viewfinders many years ago, which may be why I felt so comfortable looking into the Rebel XTi’s viewfinder.


Whew… I can finally be seen in public with you!

It IS party time at your house! Love, love, love the pics of the pets. And you, too.

I know! And now that I can borrow your lenses, imagine how much more inspired I will be to be seen in public with you!

Nice work, Wade!