Suck: Camera edition

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting my sister and her wife in the mountains. Great food, great company, even our menagerie of hounds behaved well (except for the torn off nail from “zoomies”) I even brought my “big” camera to take “good” pictures. Sigh.

My main digital SLR is a second hand Canon 5D. Bought from a good friend, who lovingly maintained it, it was in great shape in 2010 when I bought it. I also have a couple of the fabulous Canon L series lenses, so the combination takes great pictures.

However, since I bought a Canon G12, I haven’t used the 5D as much. This weekend was to be different.

eos_5dI pulled the 5D out of the bag, put the 24-70 F2.8 zoom on (a MONSTER chunk of glass) and the troubles started instantly. After a couple of frames, the reflex mirror “fell off” the frame. Fuck. Not broken, just flopping around loose.

Sigh, my father was there, with his canon Rebel Digital SLR, so I figured he could borrow the lens. Quickly he realized that it wasn’t autofocusing. Fuck.

So, now my best DSLR body, and the best glass I own are both knackered.

(I still have my older 20D body, so I tested the lens on that, yep, no autofocus).

Time for the shop. Hope it isn’t too expensive. At least I will get the sensor cleaned really good too.

Everytime I see a DSLR with a kit lens, the Baby Jesus cries

Been on the road lately, and spent a couple days taking in the sights in London. Central London, tourist heaven, so much to see, so much to do. As a bit of a photographer, I take notice of what gear I see people shooting with. I can’t help it, I am a geek.

And I am absolutely stunned how many people I see with decent DSLR cameras from Canon or Nikon with the standard “kit” lens.

Most DSLR’s, until you get to the pro-sumer or professional grade, come with a lens. That lets people use them immediately, and get some results. Universally these lenses are inexpensive, fairly low quality, and often built with plastic elements. Yes, you can take pictures with them, but they are without a doubt the weakest link in the package.

You are supposed to step up to better optics. The whole concept behind the DSLR is to allow you to switch lenses to match your style. Doing sports photography? a long telephoto is in order. Landscape photography? A wide angle zoom is in your future. Portraiture? A small telephoto lens with a wide aperture for rockin’ bokeh.

You don’t have to jump to the ‘L’series from Canon to get great pictures, but you can.

However a large number of people are schlepping around their DSLR with the gawdawful kit lens. If you are going to do that, you might as well be using a Canon G12.