Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lights! Action! Camera!!!!

If there's one thing our motorhome does not lack, it's cameras.  When we started our travels in 2001 I believe we had one camera... probably a "point and shoot" Canon.  It used film...  while digital may have been around it was certainly out of our price range at that time.

As we traveled, I'd send my film to a company... I think they were located in Seattle or someplace like that.  A couple weeks later I'd get back my packet of glossy photos.  Somewhere in a file cabinet back in our storage place in Ohio I have albums of photos...  at least one album for every place we "lived".  There's the "Alaska" albums, the "Oregon" albums, the "Bosque del Apache NWR" albums...  and that's just for the first year.

 In 2003 my Canon took a swim out of a canoe when we were volunteering at Carolina Sandhills NWR in SC...  it drowned, never to be revived again.  Digital cameras had become more available at a price we could afford.  Again, I can't remember what we got, except I'm fairly certain it was another Canon...

I found that I could take hundreds...  thousands...  of photos and not be concerned about the cost of film or development.
Early Morning fog....  cattle in nearby pasture.

I started burning CDs of my photos and only occasionally printing something special.  We took a 6 week tour of Mexico and I looked around at what cameras other folks were using.

My fairly inexpensive hobby just got a lot more costly!
Oh WOW!  Look at those close-up photos of birds!  How do they do that?  
I'd never had any instructions on how to use a camera...  I knew nothing about what all those things like shutter speed and aperture meant.  I bought a Canon EOS Rebel...  probably the first model of all the Rebels to come.  It came with a 70 mm and a 200 mm lens.  It was expensive...  but I loved it!

Cattle Egrets in Field...

I took many, many photos with this camera.  In fact, I rolled over the 10,000 counter a few times.  
Of course as time went on, I wasn't happy with the 200 mm lens.  Yep!  Bought the 300 mm lens so I could capture those birds.

Cattle Egrets .... flying off...

The long lens made the camera kind of heavy...  and I didn't always want to carry it around.  So... next step...  bought a small Canon, pocket-size camera.  Now, here, I'll have to admit that I'm kind of hard on cameras... even with the strap I manage to drop them, knock them against things, just all kinds of bad stuff.  
My preference had been the Canon Powershot....  because up until recently they had the tiny viewfinder as well as the large screen.  Those screens just don't work well for me in sunlight.  

I think I've had 3, maybe 4 "Powershots", the last one is the SX230-IS.  It has 12.1 mega pixels and 14X optical zoom.  The newer version is bigger and better, but mine still takes great photos and is a good little "pocket" camera.

Turkey Vulture

Bill has a Canon Powershot A2300...  16 mega pixels, 5X optical zoom.  It takes quality photos as well.

And then, there are the cameras that are "included" on our cell phones....  I seldom carry my cell phone, but Bill always has his.  He can whip that sucker out and grab some great shots.  

When we were doing the gate guarding job I had problems with my 300 mm lens and ended up sending it to a company in Illinois to be repaired.  At that time I was trying to decide whether to buy a 500 mm lens for my Canon EOS Rebel, or buy a "does everything" camera I'd seen advertised.  I decided to buy the Leica V-Lux 4, and since my zoom lens would take about a month to be repaired I went ahead and ordered it.  

As it happened, the lens was returned (repaired) within a week, and arrived almost the same day as my new Leica.

So...  we have no shortage of cameras in our home.

Now...  a problem has come up.
My old faithful Canon EOS Rebel needed cleaned...  so I packed it up and sent it to the shop in Illinois.  It came back last weekend with this note:  
Returning camera ....  replacement parts no longer available.

After an e-mail and 2 phone calls, I was told that there are spots on the sensor and new sensors haven't been available since 2011.  What to do?  I called Canon direct...  was told pretty much the same thing... can't be fixed.  BUT....  they can sell me a "refurbished" camera for $342 + tax (with 1 year warranty) that would be a newer model of the Canon Rebel that I have.  I would then send them my old camera ... I guess you'd kind of call it a trade-in.

Now comes the hard part for me...  I have several very nice lenses for my Rebel...  while I don't use the long lenses everyday now, I like having the ability to shoot an eagle that's a half mile away.  
So, if the problem is "just" spots on the sensor that put spots on my photos (this was what I thought needed cleaned), I could continue just using Picasa or Paint Shop and erase the spots....  or I could fork over the cash and be "like new" again.

Obviously I have other options for my picture-taking hobby...  but I feel like I have a lot invested in lenses, and, more important...  while I love the Leica for many things, and still carry the little Powershot on me when I'm hiking or just don't want to carry anything bigger...  darn it!  I still love seeing the gleam in the eye of an eagle when it's scoping out its prey.

My style has always been to...
Shoot for the Moon!
(Did you see that moon last night?  Gorgeous!)

So whatever I decide I'm sure I'll be able to live with it.

That's All For Today!


  1. I envey you. You have some great cameras, lenses, and of course, pictures. I started out with an old box camera, graduated to Brownie, and then inherited my Dad's Argus C4, which I loved very much. I started my digital camera days off with one that held 3" floppy disks, Now I have two new modern digital camera, a Fugi and a Cannon.

  2. I'd do the 'trade in'. ;) Can't beat using that 300mm lens...

  3. I'm like you - have an abundance of cameras. I continually upgrade. It doesn't help my photography skills, but I like trying something new. Canon is one of the best. I'd do the trade in.

  4. If you have the money, do the trade-in.

    If you don't want to spend the money ... then retouch the spots.

    you could get hit by a lightning bolt tomorrow afternoon so what's $350 going to do ... rot in a savings account? buy gas? I think the over 50 set ought to spend money on whatever makes us smile.

    wish I got paid for this stuff.

  5. Do you read the July 19, Al was talking about using a sensor cleaning kit on his older camera, don't know if it's the same problem but worth looking at. Becki

  6. I sure hope all Canon cameras don't go to just screens, I love my viewfinder and hate using the screen. Good luck with your decision!!

  7. A viewfinder would be so wonderful, and that is not an overstatement. I recently figured out how to use my phone. Holy moly, what a handy device. However, for it's advertised quality, I find the pictures a little "tinny."

  8. Nice Moonshot! Speaking of cameras, I have a Canon Rebel t2i. It's okay, but nothing to write home about. I also use a Panasonic DMC FZ50 Lumix. I just ordered the Canon SX 260 HS pocket camera. Hope it's all it's hyped up to be.

  9. Good, I'm not alone. I suffer from dropsy and bangsy too! Great pics of the painted buntings. What are you guys doing for the winter? Anything in the RGV? You can always come down with us for a weekend. We will be traveling back and forth in October and November. You could ride along with us if you wanted. Drop us an email.

  10. You are a diehard bird photographer! I'm so impressed with your constant upgrades to get better shots.
    I am also very grateful at being the recipient of your determination.

  11. Now I know nothing about cameras...but enjoy your photos..and that moon is just beaming...beautifully...Keep them pictures coming..they always make my day...Thanks so much..God Bless

  12. That is a wonderful picture of the buntings in your header!!!