Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Watch Out World - Yo's Got a New Camera

So, I've been whining at people for weeks... months, really... that I needed to get back into my photography. I was able to accomplish a lot with my dinky little Olympus (which has cranked through a whopping 30K of photos in it's three year life), but I often chaffed at it's limitations. Like, "Damn it, it's not responding fast enough to get the shot!" or "I want to tweak that focus!" or "I want an ISO setting over 400, damn it" or "Sheesh, I wish I could control the exposure" or...

You get the idea.

The universe has ways of making me sit up and take notice, I'll say that. Last week, one of my managers, KJ (who is now someone I like a lot, despite my initial trepidation... go figure), picked up one of the open box cameras on a steep discount at the store. It was a Canon Rebel 300D, and the pics he showed us were AMAZING (especially when displayed on one of the 30 inch LCDs Apple sells... woo!). I expressed much envy and outright lust, and wished that I had realized what a deal was right under my nose. I REALLY need to pay more attention to those things, I thought to myself.

Then, the day before yesterday he walks up to me and tells me that, that very morning, a special clearance price list was posted for the existing camera stock. I could get the SAME camera, NEW in the box, for the same price he got it for.

"Oh hell," I thought to myself.

Later that day, the transmission place (an AMAACO in Oakland... which I HIGHLY recommend -- Clay, the guy I dealt with, totally rocked!) called to let me know that if I really wanted to get the Bug's trainy rebuilt it would run me 3495.94, I understandably demurred. That was way over what I had budgeted (about $1000), and simply not worth it. After all, there's still probably a good two years in that car as it is, especially if it remains a local commute vehicle.

After I hung up, it hit me: I suddenly had more disposable income. Gah...

Well, I needed to make sure it was a good choice for me. I knew we had two in stock, and thus had some time before the rest of the store knew about the deals. So I did some online research, and found that no one had anything bad to say about the camera. In fact, people spoke of the camera in ways that reminded me of Apple fanatics.

One of the first reviews tickled something in my geek soul, something about how a lot of the hardware on to 300D was the same as the much pricier 10D, and that it was probably just firmware tweaks that "crippled" some of the fancier features. DING!

SO I tried a quick google search, and there it was: An entire community of people dedicated to re-programming a digital camera. In fact, the firmware update was quick, easy, and REVERSIBLE (important for those times it may require a warranty repair), that implemented about 80% of the "crippled" features. Even more intense, there were guys trying to add NEW features to the camera. Whoa...

So, for about 500 bucks I could own a camera with the same features as a 1500 camera.


I took a quick set of Sarah Jayne this morning, after taking about an hour before she woke up to familiarize myself with the basics of how the cam works. I suspect it'll be MONTHS before I can say that I know what the hell I'm doing, even though I've used SLR's before. If she's inclined to let me, I'll post a shot or two in fat_art to show how I'm doing.

I know it's hard for some people to understand, but I got this feeling as I used the camera that I was going to get to know it really, really well. SJ kept laughing at the noises I was making, a combination of admiration of her... and the fact that the camera did what I WANTED it to do.

This is going to be SO cool!
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