Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Converting Prize To Toy In One Quick Step

"Last week, after returning from our most excellent Easter visit, I went to a nearby shopping center to dispose of a few gift cards.  Two of the gift cards were the prize money from the Nebraska Geopicting contest and the other was a card given to us by our neighbor for blowing their snow all winter.

Now I need to clarify something.  After I won the contest they asked me if, instead of sending me a laptop, I would mind getting gift cards from either Dell or Best Buy instead.  I said sure, Best Buy would be fine, and, at their request, I promised to buy a laptop with the $1,000 worth of gift cards.  After thinking it over for a few months I decided to buy a very specialized form of laptop.  Specifically it is optimized for capturing and processing images and it's small enough to fit on my lap.  I bought this:


A Canon EOS Rebel T1i DSLR.  I know it isn't exactly what they had in mind but it seems an appropriate prize for a photography contest.

My first grown-up camera.  While I've had it for a week now, I really haven't played around too much with it. The main reason is that it didn't come with a data card so I ordered one and had to wait for it to arrive.  I did have a 32 MB card lying around but it only could hold two to three pictures before filling up and I couldn't even take one picture in RAW mode.  I now have a 32 GB card that will allow me to take over 1,300 pictures in RAW so I'm set.  Today I received a second battery pack (It uses a rechargeable battery pack - I would have preferred AAs but whatcha going to do).  Now the only thing stopping me from taking it out of the house is the lack of a camera bag.

That brings up a problem that I'll have to get over.  The camera and the telephoto lens together cost $1,177 (including tax).  While I only paid $127 out of pocket (89% off!!!), I'm still a little afraid to take it out into the real world.  Add the card ($59.99) and the extra battery ($16) and it starts being real money.  Once I've got a case I'll feel more comfortable and I'm sure it will start going on hikes with me.

As I've already suggested, I will be taking my pictures in RAW.  The instructor for the photography class I took last year really pushed the use of RAW vs JPG.  RAW makes it harder to share pictures when you are on a strange computer without the necessary software to convert stuff to JPG but it does mean you have much more power to manipulate the pictures you take.  JPGs always lose a little in the compression.  Having said this, the software I use the most, Picasa and GeoSetter, along with the software that came with the camera, all handle RAW just fine.

I still have a whole lot to learn to really get the use out of it.  For one, I'll have to get used to switching lenses.  But I think I'll enjoy it once I've got the hang of it.  Here's my first picture using the new camera and card:


One more thing.  A few quotes from the letter that came with the 32 GB card.
"For All Our Memory Cards We Using The Drop Ship Option..."
"Please If For Some Reason You Unhappy With Your Item ..." 
"If You Wise To Make Money On Ebay And Amazon And Sale Our Products ... Its Guaranty You Will Make More Then $500 ..."
She seems to have problems with her 'ares'.  Attached to her letter are two business cards.  One is for an Electronic Product wholesaler.  The other is for a free hair styling and hair straightener trial.  Odd business combination you have there, Jessica.

3 comments:

  1. Ah, the .jpg vs RAW debate, will it ever end?

    My current setup doesn't shoot RAW, although I've found a replacement firmware that will apparently allow me to do so. I always used to shoot raw until I took a couple of photo workshops from a professional, published author who told me he shot everything in .jpg. He said that, given how many shots were thrown out in editing, he'd rather have the card space. The keepers would be saved in native PhotoShop format, which is non-lossy, and none of his publishers minded a bit (nor did he lose any work).

    So if I got a camera that gave me the option? I have no idea what I would do!

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  2. Ooooh this is nice. I mean that is REALLY nice!! I'm more than a little envious. But COMPLETELY get the nervous about taking it out. :D

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  3. GH: For now I'm taking pictures in RAW. There are too many differing opinions.

    Miss McC: Thank you. I now have a bag so It will go on more field trips soon.

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