What is a fantastic new hobby for a full-time university student to take up when she has 1) just quit her PhD (and therefore quit her scholarship), and 2) her only job is occasional research assistant work? How about the nice expensive hobby of DSLR photography?!
Well that is exactly what I have done. The desire to learn how to do photography properly (and not just with my old Canon Ixus 40) and the travelling I will be doing once my masters is complete has led me to take the plunge and spend a grand on a DSLR camera. Eeek! Luckily for me, I received a nice payment for a journal article I helped write for my professor just when I was debating whether I could afford to get a DSLR.
My DSLR Camera
Now I would like to introduce you to my new camera, a Canon EOS 1000D – also known in other countries as the Canon Rebel XS or the Canon Kiss F.
The Canon 1000D is a 10.1 megapixel camera that came out mid 2008. As an entry-level DSLR, it is one of the cheapest out there but it gives me the option of upgrading to quality canon lenses. Reading the reviews led me to focus my search down to either a Canon or Nikon camera. I don’t have a particular allegiance to either, but I chose the Canon over a Nikon because: a) the quality is comparable between the two, and b) the Canon camera body and future lenses purchases are cheaper than comparable Nikon ones.
Ohhh I love this camera! It is nice and light and curves just right in my girl-hands. At first I thought the plastic body of the camera was getting scratched by my nails when I was holding the camera – but it turns out my nails were just getting filed down by the camera surface, which is still nice and smooth.
Because I came from using a Canon digital, I found this camera very easy to pick up and use straight away. All the buttons are in reach of my right thumb and index finger when shooting, and the “menu” and “display” buttons (which aren’t used very often) can be easily reached with my left thumb.
For those new to digital SLR photography, you will easily be able to pick this up and use intuitively. However, I do recommend working your way through the camera manual while playing with the camera. The manual is very easy to read and you will learn a lot of important functions – even if you aren’t ready to advance beyond the auto settings on the camera.
I got my camera with the two kit lenses: the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS, and the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS. The Image Stabiliser kit lenses apparently have better image quality than the ordinary II kit lenses, plus they have the image stabiliser function. Both Canon and Nikon DSLRs have image stabiliser technology in some of their lenses, rather than in their camera bodies (unlike other camera brands). These lenses will give me a nice range to learn photography techniques and understand what future lens purchases will suit my style of photography best.
If you want to find out more about my camera and lenses I would recommend reading some of the very thorough reviews online by professional photographers. I don’t have the photography experience to offer more detailed comments about specs than what I have.
More amateur photography adventures to come in future posts!