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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Pizza Man, Night

Actually, the camera is quite good at focusing in low-light conditions.

8:32:49 PM    

D day has arrived and I'm off to B&H. I've read all the reviews. Wandered through the pixel-peeping threads. Gnashed my teeth. Asked the cat (he thinks this digital thing is a passing fad). Gone through old negatives. Checked my finances (not too closely). And tried to figure out what direction I'm going in. God only knows what I'll come back with.

- - -

The most difficult thing was getting down to B&H. The Lexington Avenue line wasn't running at all (pictures to follow). A bus, some walking, a train, and I headed over to the demo counter. Well, there they were: the two top contenders: 350D and 20D. Handled the 350D first. Man it was / is small. Put the viewfinder to my eye: man it is dark and not only that but had that looking down a tunnel feeling. Well, they had a slow zoom lens on it so I put my 50 f1.4 on. Not much better. Then - as everyone has noted - my pinky began to hurt. I swear, the edge of my pinky just had nowhere to go and was rubbing up against something. It really fell into what I call the Contax G2 camp, i.e. a good camera for blind shooting. And yes, quiet but quiet and dark? Well, continued on and began pressing various buttons and hit the self-timer / shooting mode button by accident a couple of times. A guy sidled up to me who had two 20Ds and also was looking at the 350. He seemed to like it. "Greater dynamic range," he whispered.

The 20D wouldn't turn on because the gizmo that B&H has to safeguard the cameras was out of alignment and you couldn't get the "on switch" all the way on. But I put my 50 f1.4 on. Very nice. At least you can see what you are aiming at. And it felt good in my hands. I walked over to the "buy" counter and asked the sales guy for a 20D so I could put a card in it and do some shooting. It took me about two seconds to tell him I wanted one.

Oh yes, it is louder. But I don't care how good the processor is - a quiet camera that you don't feel comfortable holding and can't see well through the viewfinder - I've been down that road before.

So the 20D is still in the box. I'm going to get some lunch and then start fooling around with it.

- - -

Pigeon on Rail

First posted shot from 20D (just taken on my way to get coffee).  The thing that got me was a) how quick the focusing was (I'm not used to that); and b) how quickly I ran through a 512MB card when I put the thing on continuous shot.  Also, how nice is it to have the LCD on the top?  Very nice.  I suspect that it will only take a couple of days to be very comfortable with the camera.  The one thing I can tell you is that if I miss a shot, it ain't gonna be the camera's fault, it's gonna be the fault of your humble (well sometimes) reporter.  This was done about a foot and a half away and no the pigeon didn't take off because of the noise.  New York pigeons are quite used to being photographed for test patterns.

9:33:52 AM