Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Upgrade Saga Continues

I sit here with a large mug of hot Smores flavored coffee, glance out the window at the rainy day, and ponder the cruel fate of the photography pantheon. Upon visiting the camera shop yesterday I learned no current DSLR body nor converter rings are compatible with my 35mm set up. I have now been set to square one of the digital camera upgrade research project. I picked up as many informative phamplets as the shop could offer, most of them being from Canon. The Nikon brochure just laid out additional gear to buy, with not much in the way of assisting a shopper starting from scratch. So I shall be continuing the knowledge quest. No longer focusing on the Alpha series, but now tackling the choice between Nikon or Canon. It seems as though Nikon has a wider range of lenses to expand with. But the salesman seemed to be saying that the Canon Rebel was more user friendly. What do you in the DSLR using world think? What is your favorite camera and why?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

upgrade woes

It has recently been made blatantly clear that my digital camera is longing to be upgraded. The main source of this realization was discovering that my camera system was not compatible with my PC Operating System. Thank goodness I can still get the images onto my PC albeit in a round about way: I load the images onto my laptop, then transfer over to the PC on our network. Then nine times out of ten uploading to flickr occurs with several of the images. I've been doing this for a month or two now and it's feeling more tedious each time. Yet despite the fact that my digital camera model is nearly a decade old (Sony CyberShot DSC-S50) it's held up extremely well against my abuses and the image quality is still meeting my standards in the technical regard. So, I would not be in as big of a hurry to upgrade but something happened which got me back to enjoying the SLR manual focusing rather than point and shoot with minimal focal point adjustments.

I unearthed my old camera bag. And found over 10 not-yet-shot rolls of film. Color and Black and White format. Multiple speed options. So that set me on a shooting spree and I've loved getting behind an SLR again (Minolta X-7a). It feels like sight has been re-gifted to me! But developing film is adding up! At least last time I took in a batch for developing I wised up and skipped the printing in favor of just the negatives and CD.

Here is where the mild agony comes in. I am almost certain I want to go with one of the Sony Alpha series cameras. A couple years ago Sony bought the camera division of Minolta so the lenses I'm using now should be compatible with those bodies. And if they aren't straight off the bat friendly with each other than I've been told there's converter rings to settle things out just right. But I'm not sure if I actually need to make the leap to DSLR just yet. Photography is just my hobby- I take snapshots of my daughter, silly little macros of things around the house, and random scenery or objects that catch my interest. Is getting a camera with a several hundred dollar price tag overkill for casual shooting?

Then I look at the investment I've made in my 35mm system. I have three lenses and several filters. If it all were to be laid out and had it's value appraised it wouldn't surprise me if the cash value came out to a couple thousand dollars. The equipment is really old. At least from the early 80s or 70s I'm guessing and some of the filters are even from the 50s. My parents bought the 'starter kit' for me when I got chewed by the shutter bug in high school from my teacher who had bought the equipment when he was in college if I recall correctly and I've been adding in bits and pieces over the past 10 years. Some of those pieces were left overs from one of my Grandfathers. There is a ton of sentimental value here, obviously. Don't think selling these babies would be an option.

Looking off to the not so distant future I can see the possibility of attempting to sell some of my better quality images as art for people's walls or desks, but I don't know how high of caliber my works are. There is still an infinate amount of photography basics that still need to be re-learned. Then if I go and get a fancy model of camera that opens a whole new vat of worms in the learning department.

So how will carakitty attempt to gain peace and knowledge in this matter? She will get herself and the fully loaded camera bag to a reputable camera shop when she finds one in her area. She will dismiss the comment from the Ritz Cameras Sales Associate who told her she should sell her 35mm system. She will get hands on play time with the Alpha cameras and continue to read reviews and bug her photo friends about camera models. She will keep the husband updated on her findings. Finally she will wait to see when exactly the shiney new camera arrives- there is the immediate future, Christmas, and January holds her Birthday.

I hope you enjoyed that drift into third-person drama. After nearly a full hour of writing and editing things are getting a little incoherant in here ;) I'm considering the next topic being 'Responsible Pet Ownership'. I bid you adeiu for now.