New year, new gear!

Happy 2009!

While the Boule­vard shop­ping mall was blast­ing away with a short count­down fire­works dis­play on the 31st of Decem­ber, I was shoot­ing from a dis­tance away. Safe from the traf­fic and crowd. As I clicked away, clocks around Kuch­ing ticked their way into a whole new year.

Moments ago, I was blow­ing out the can­dles on my birth­day cake as my fam­ily briefly cel­e­brated my turn­ing into 19 years old. In a few hours, it’ll be 2009. That’s how long I get to be 19-years old in 2008 — a mere 24 hours. It’s a fact peo­ple seem to dawn upon upon know­ing my birth­date, while I look on for that sure chuckle that would follow.

Although, this — uh I meant — last year, I get to spend my birth­day a sin­gle sec­ond longer than usual. They say every sec­ond counts, don’t they? =P

Thing is, the high­light of that day wasn’t that minute sec­ond that was added to it. Rather, it was the fact that I got my first dSLR! Con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, I was still dSLR-less when I wrote my pre­vi­ous post. =P

Thank you so much, Dad for agree­ing to spon­sor half the price of this beauty! I’ve been want­ing a dSLR all my life. That urge only got stronger when I got to expe­ri­ence my uncle’s Canon EOS 40D in early Decem­ber, which is that dSLR I was play­ing with in the photo in my pre­vi­ous post.

When it was clear that all that pes­ter­ing and hint­ing of get­ting a dSLR wouldn’t budge my par­ents, I resorted to work­ing for it. But being a stu­dent with no full-time job, there is no way I could afford a dSLR all by myself. It was then when I realised I could only actu­ally cover half of it.

Upon get­ting a green light from Dad, I grew excited and started to scour for the cheap­est entry-level dSLRs avail­able in the mar­ket today and ended up with two choices — the Sony Alpha A300 and the Canon EOS 1000D. Ini­tially, I leaned heav­ily toward the A300 as it was a much bet­ter deal both in terms of fea­tures and pricing.

The A300 had a bet­ter Live View sys­tem that wasn’t as clunky and slow as the one on the 1000D. The A300 has in-body Image Sta­bil­i­sa­tion (IS) which works regard­less of what lens you’ll use. The 1000D on the other hand, doesn’t have IS built-in but comes with a IS-enabled kit lens. The A300 also has a tempt­ing 2.7′ tit­lable LCD com­pared to the 1000D’s 2.5′ fixed LCD. Then there is a fac­tor of lens and acces­sories for which Canon has the upper hand, hav­ing been in the dSLR mar­ket for a longer time. Sony dSLRs were rather new, and as such, acces­sories are a tad bit harder to find. I was vir­tu­ally torn between the two.

Trips to cam­era shops revealed that both mod­els are sell­ing for the same price in Kuch­ing. Dou­ble dilemma.

The shop’s tauke rec­om­mended I go for the Canon EOS 1000D. My Dad, an ex-amatuer pho­tog­ra­pher from those old days of film-based SLRs with his Canon EOS 888, was also in favour of Canon. The 1000D felt com­fort­able both in my hands, and it’s inter­face, for I’ve been using a Canon IXUS 75 point & shoot cam­era for more than a year now. So, in a way, I felt more at ease with Canon.

And so, after much con­sid­er­a­tion, on the 31st of Decem­ber I decided on the 1000D and jumped on the dSLR band­wagon, just in time to usher in the new year.

The next day, my fam­ily headed to a good fam­ily friend’s house sit­u­ated pretty far out from the city for lunch. I tagged along hop­ing I could make use of the rural set­ting to snap away with my new toy. The results are the select few pho­tos you see scat­tered above. They’re not per­fect, mind you. I still have a lot to learn.

That dog above is their dog, Bran­don, an 11-year-old which is equiv­a­lent to about 60 human-years old. He sure looks full of wis­dom, doesn’t he? =)

I’m still strug­gling with the man­ual mode, try­ing to get used to bal­anc­ing the shut­ter and aper­ture val­ues for that per­fect shot. It is def­i­nitely not as easy as my pre­vi­ous point & shoot, but that is what dSLRs are for right? To allow a pho­tog­ra­pher greater con­trol over how your cam­era take a photo.

Now if you’d excuse me, your’s truly, the photographer-wannabe has a dSLR to master!

P/S: Thanks also to Cedric, Fahriee and Teddy for those invalu­able advice and tips you’ve poured when I was torn in the deci­sion mak­ing for my first dSLR. I owe you guys one!


by shenghan in Food, Happenings, Life on 2nd January, 2009 at 6pm, Friday, January 2nd, 2009 06:02 pm GMT +8

15 Comments

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  1. teddY said

    Con­grat­u­la­tions for get­ting a dSLR :) the dilemma is indeed trou­ble­some — A300 and 1000D sport unique fea­tures that any pho­tog­ra­pher can kill for. Per­son­ally I think that it’s the pho­tog­ra­pher behind the cam­era that really mat­ters — you’re a per­son with such great cre­ativ­ity, you’ll have no prob­lems shoot­ing with A300 or 1000D, so no worries!

    Your ‘maiden’ pho­tos of 1000D are so smash­ing! It looks as if they’re shot by an expe­ri­enced pho­tog­ra­pher who has worked along­side with his faith­ful cam­era for ages. I love the fire­works photo!

    Now I’m itch­ing to see more pho­tos that you’ll be post­ing in the future!

  2. ember said

    Thank you! You’re right about what mat­ters really is the pho­tog­ra­pher himself. =)

    Although you should really stop look­ing so highly of me, Teddy! Your pho­tos are so much more bet­ter than mine, seri­ously! Glad you liked the fire­works photo though, there were only like three good ones out of 20 or so I took LOL.

  3. KiAm said

    er… haha… *speech­less* (made me won­der why u com­mented on my face­book sta­tus lol)

    so… i guess i shall keep wait­ing for more out­put from your canon before i decide on what­ever im plan­ning for XD

    (i think i see light­room on the inspiron)

  4. NOW I can say it (with the risk of, again, sound­ing con­de­scend­ing): WELCOME TO THE CLUB SHENG HAN!!!

    Zom­gawe­some pho­tos man. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeves next.

  5. wying said

    WOW. that’s nice!
    the pho­tos taken were pretty awe­some, except for.. the last one. LOL!
    cmon la han ge ge, you look far more hand­some than that.. that.. uhh..
    you aren’t try­ing to make urself look ugly, are you? with that smile.. =.=’

  6. ember said

    @Kiam, Very sharp! That is indeed Light­room I have run­ning on my lap­top. No need to wait for my pho­tos lar, they’ll only demo­ti­vate you. =

    Get your­self that A300 already, or bet­ter still, a 1000D so we can share gear and go on pho­tog­ra­phy out­ings. =D =D

    @Eli James, My plea­sure! We’ll never get sick of that phrase, heh! =) Glad you liked the pho­tos, very moti­va­tional com­ing from a pho­tog­ra­pher like you.

    @wying, You just can’t resist slip­ping in some crit­i­cism among your praises can’t you? =P Actu­ally, I’m try­ing to be a lit­tle mod­er­ate here. If I did indeed post my ‘far more hand­some than that’ photo, I’m afraid I can’t han­dle a bunch of cute girls rec­og­niz­ing me on the streets.

    Oh wait, that doesn’t sound so bad after all. ;)

  7. teddY said

    You’re not alone! When it comes to pho­tos, at most 5% of the pho­tos I take that are up to my stan­dard. The rest will just be in the archives doing noth­ing but occu­py­ing space. For exam­ple, I took 805 pho­tos on my recent trip to Genting and only 26+ pho­tos are post processed. What a high fail­ure rate :P

    Seri­ously, you don’t know how nice your pho­tos will be :) I’m not any­where bet­ter… haha.

  8. cdason said

    You’ve only had the DSLR for a few days, and look at your shots!! Amazing!!

  9. KiAm said

    i’ve been see­ing too many 1000Ds around so much that i feel noth­ing spe­cial if i get one myself XD

    out­ings? no! i’ll get u to shoot our animé cosplay/events! >D

  10. ember said

    @teddY, Wow, you put your pho­tos through a –very– tough screen­ing process! A 5% pass­ing rate is indeed very strict. I guess that’s what you have to be to main­tain a very high stan­dard — not sur­pris­ing com­ing from a per­fec­tion­ist like you! =)

    @cdason, Glad you liked them! You should get one too, Cyril! You have a pretty good eye for pho­tog­ra­phy too. ;)

    @KiAm, Cool, then we can form a Canon 1000D club in Swin­burne, LOL! Seri­ously, who else I know uses the 1000D? Care to fill me in? =P

    Any­way, don’t let the com­mon­place of the 1000D be a fac­tor in your deci­sion mak­ing. In fact, that could actu­ally mean a good thing — for you can actu­ally trade lenses or acces­sories among users of the same brand! And don’t for­get, it’s the pho­tog­ra­pher that matters!

    Hahaha! The animé club has enough dSLR users lah. No need a noo­bie like me. =P

  11. KiAm said

    regard­ing the 1000D users, i’ve seen bad out­put from one of them (dun wan men­tion name here, can find me in MSN :P ), also some­one who’s rather dis­liked by ppl…

    i doubt im going to go deep into pho­tog­ra­phy.… i bet im gonna stick with the kit lens for at least a few years before i even want to get some­thing dif­fer­ent… maybe just a few fil­ters or PL, but that’s it…

    hey u dunno us… we always need lotsa ppl to cover dif­fer­ent angles… well, u can also get blog­ging mate­r­ial from those events right? :P

  12. Fahriee said

    Hehe. Now I can really con­grat­u­late you! Man, I can’t believe I fell for your trick last time though. LOL. Well, maybe we can all get together now for TT ses­sions eh? :P

  13. Hey, tell me if you go out for a pho­tog­ra­phy out­ing, kay! I want to go too … =)

  14. teddY said

    Yea I guess I’ve gotta do some­thing about that per­fec­tion­ist inside me! Actu­ally many of the pho­tos are really bad — like the fram­ing, the light­ing and etc, teehee!

    I can’t wait to see the next update! :D

  15. ember said

    @KiAm, Well then again as I’ve said, it depends on who’s behind the viewfinder. I’ve seen pho­tos taken with 450Ds/40Ds that looks no dif­fer­ent from those of a P&S.

    And hey, you’ll never know how deep you’re gonna go as far as pho­tog­ra­phy is con­cerned! But then again, I’ll pro­lly stick to the kit lens too now that I’m too broke to my any­thing else. =(

    Hehe. You’re right about that. But I’ve kinda..grown out of animé. Dunno since when, I just.. stopped watch­ing them out of the blue lol.

    @Fahriee, Thank you! =D I didn’t really meant it as a trick though, I assumed my read­ers knew I played with my uncles 40D awhile ago since I twit­ted about it then. Sure thing!

    @Eli James, Same here! =D

    @teddy, I can relate to that, haha. I get a lot of those fail­ures too, got too used too the ease of point and shoot with a uh, point & shoot cam­era. =P