As some have already noted I recently bought a new camera. No, sadly not for me, but for my work project. Thus I can use it for all research-related issues, but for my private stuff it will still be my trusty old Canon EOS 400D.
What did I buy?
Already in use are a Canon EOS 650D with the 18-135mm kit lens, with a polarizing filter, and a Canon 500m prime lens. The latter is intended for photogrammetry work, especially when done with the aid of tripod, rotating table and flexible lighting sources.
To come: a Tamron 70-300 mm lens, a polarizing filter for it, and two UV filters as protection for the two zoom lenses.
Why did I but this?
First of all, I wanted a better camera available simply because I realized that I will be doing a terrible lot of photographing specimens in the future, and not always under ideal circumstances. DSLRs have improved tremendously over the last few years, and my own camera, which was a cheap one to begin with, is simply so far away from being on par that it often pains me.
Secondly, I have often found myself holding my camera at arm’s length and odd angles to get photos of dinosaurs or other specimens in museum exhibits. With my old camera, that means guessing where the lens is pointed, and hoping for the automatic program to do exposure etc. right. The 650D has a freely rotatable display with “live view” – i.e., the display shows you what you’d normally see through the seeker.
And lastly, there are new and very helpful automatic and semi-automatic modes for taking pictures that also are interesting to me.
Here is an example:
Well, can you see anything?
This is a lamp in our living room, photographed in fully automatic mode without flash. Yes, I could manually increase the exposure time, but that requires fiddling with the camera. The next photo was taken using the Night Portrait mode:
much better :) But there is more to experiment with. Admittedly, the mode I used for the third shot below is best suited for a tripod, but hey, I tried free-hand and it worked.
HDR Backlight Control mode rocks! This takes three photos at different exposures and computes them into one. Me happy :) The picture gets cropped a bit in the process, but that’s not too bad.
More experiments soon to come :)