Friday, 24 September 2010

Unit 205 D1 Photo Imaging Equipment - Camera's and accessories

Camera and accessories

A bit about me....  and my cameras.
My first experiences of photos or more precisely cine-films were of my uncle‘s, family films and having to sit through hours of shaky, out of focus films at the family Christmas meetings, I think I was around 5 or 6 years old.
Then on my eleventh birthday my mother brought me a little Kodak brownie camera (which I still have to this day), the one using a 110 cartridge film and the flipflash bulbs. I set to taking pictures of everything and anything from my brother’s bike to my sister standing outside and a vase set on a window sill trying to make it look like she was small person standing on it.
Next up was a Praktica TL3 a 35mm SLR, I thought I this was the business, with a split screen focusing system, TTL metering and a Carl Ziess lens I found this very easy to use. Of course I knew nothing about any of the settings or what they did, I just experimented with everything learning as I went, It was very expensive learning curve as all my film when to Boots for development. Eventually after I learned how to take a reasonable photo, I brought a 200mm telephoto lens, some Cokin square filter kits, graduated filters, reds etc .etc. then it broke!, first it was the frame counter, then the nail in its coffin was the shutter defiantly staying firmly shut.
I lost interest after this; it wasn’t until something like ten years later with a young family and a fresh interest in photography ignited I started to take photographs again this time with a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC P50 2 megapixel digital format camera. 
The sky was the limit ... no film to process, I snapped away to Paula’s discontentment with many a cry of ‘not again or put that thing away’, I continued on unperturbed. When I came to the camera’s limits I purchased a wide and telephoto adaptor lenses. Getting a good picture and excellent colour reproduction I carried on with this camera for many years, perhaps longer than I should have. I eventually succumb to a new camera mainly because of this camera’s veracious appetite for AA batteries, and the fact that every time I went for ‘the shot’ the batteries would expire.
An Olympus FE230 was purchased mainly for its mega pixels and for its lithium battery life, I soon became bored with its limitations, no depth of field and a poor colour reproduction. I wanted more!
It looked like an SLR but it wasn’t it was a Fujifilm Finepix S5700 bridge camera; with a 10x zoom ratio I was getting good candid photos from farther away. It had good colour reproduction; seven mega pixels and very easy to use and a creative zone, shutter, aperture and manual settings. I was getting the bug again, I started going to a camera class trying to learn how to use the camera properly. The more I learnt or saw the possibilities the more prolific I became taking pictures at every opportunity, everything from the standard holiday shots on the beach to the 10.00 o’clock  stint looking for the sunset shot on a windy Welsh  sand dune with a borrowed tripod and micro shots of flowers etc.
I still wanted more the Fuji used AA batteries; I was scarred by the Sony and hungered for the supposed safety of the Lithium battery and the versatility of an SLR digital camera. I started looking at all the options; basic Vs pricey, good or better. I looked at the Canon 40D a cropped sensor with a magnesium body; it was good, Very good but was it £800 good. I looked at the Canon 450D it had all that the 40 had except 3 frames per second less and no magnesium body! But it was half the price I was sold, now all I had to do was to find out how to buy it and secondly how was I going to tell Paula!
Canon 450D
The EOS 450D is a digital SLR for those who want to go beyond snapshots. Compact and lightweight enough to carry wherever you go, it's purpose-built for creative photography. Features include 12.2 Megapixels, 3.5fps continuous shooting, wide-area 9-point AF system and a 3.0" LCD with Live View mode, plus the Integrated Cleaning System.
·    12.2 MP CMOS sensor
·    3.5fps
·    9-point wide-area AF
·    EOS Integrated Cleaning System
·    3-inch LCD with Live View mode
·    DIGIC III processor
·    Large, bright viewfinder
·    Total image control
·    Compact and lightweight
·    Compatible with EF/EF-S lenses and EX Speedlites
Canon 18mm -55mm f3.5-5.6 IS Kit lens                                                                                
In response to demands of photographers, this standard zoom lens is designed with Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer technology while retaining the compactness and lightness of previous models. Its stabilization allows sharp hand-held shots at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than otherwise possible. It consists of 11 elements in 9 groups and uses an Aspherical lens element to correct aberration for excellent image quality throughout the zoom range and a circular aperture for exquisite rendering of out-of-focus backgrounds. Without a lot of size, weight or cost, this lens expands picture-taking possibilities any time slow shutter speeds are needed.
·    Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
·    Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
·    Diagonal Angle of View: 74° 20' - 27° 50'
·    Focus Adjustment: AF (DC motor), with manual focus option
·    Closest Focusing Distance: 9.8 in./0.25m  
Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Lens (Canon AF)
This high zoom ratio lens is exclusively designed for digital SLR cameras and capable of covering a wide range of focal lengths from wide-angle to telephoto. Two Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements and two hybrid aspherical lenses offer the utmost correction for all types of aberrations, and enables this extended range super zoom lens to be housed in a compact and lightweight construction of 70mm diameter, and 78.1mm in length, and weighing just 405g. The new lens coating reduces flare and ghost, which is a common problem of digital cameras and also creates an optimum colour balance. This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm at all focal lengths and has maximum magnification of 1:4.4.

The lens design incorporates an inner focusing system, which prevents the front of the lens from rotating, making it particularly suitable for using circular polarizing filters and petal shaped lens hoods. The overall length of the lens does not change during focusing, ensuring convenient handling and ease of use. A zoom lock switch eliminates 'zoom creep' during transportation, a convenient addition when travelling.
·    Lens Construction: 15 Elements in 13 Groups
·    Angle of View: 69.3 - 7.1°
·    Number of Diaphragm Blades: 7 Blades
·    Minimum Aperture: F22
·    Minimum Focusing Distance: 45cm
·    Maximum Magnification: 1:4.4
·    Filter Size: Diameter 62mm
·    Lens Hood: Petal Hood
·    Dimensions: Diameter 70mm X Length 78.1mm
·    Weight: 405g
The Canon 5D Mark II
This is the camera I will be using for my images mainly because it's mine and has a large resolution and is a full frame, 21.1 megapixel Digital SLR featuring 3.9 fps continuous shooting, high ISO performance - up to an incredible 25600, 3.0-inch LCD with Live View and Full HD movie recording.
The Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens is a lightweight professional lens with Image Stabilizer plus dust and moisture resistant construction.

21.1 Megapixel full frame CMOS sensor.
For the ultimate in creative shooting, the 5D Mark II features a full frame CMOS sensor (36mm x 24mm). With no cropping or magnification effects, enjoy a true wide angle experience through the large, bright viewfinder. Redesigned pixels minimise noise, while a 21.1 Megapixel resolution surpasses the standards demanded by the leading picture agencies.

Canon’s DIGIC 4 works with the 5D Mark II’s image sensor to deliver outstanding reproduction of colours and subtle tonal gradations. DIGIC 4 also delivers split-second start-up times, Face Detection AF in Live View mode, and additional HD movie recording.

High ISO
For handheld shooting in low light, the 5D Mark II offers ISO speeds of up to 6400. For dark scenes where using flash is undesirable, this can be expanded to an incredible ISO 25600.

Full HD movie recording
The 5D Mark II complements outstanding still imaging capabilities with Full HD (1080) video recording. Users can even shoot video to memory card without losing the ability to capture still images. An HDMI connection allows High Definition playback of footage and images on an HDTV. 3.0-inch High Resolution LCD
The 3.0-inch Clear View LCD features 920,000 dot resolution, wide viewing angle and dual anti-reflective coatings – allowing ultra-detailed image review in a variety of conditions. Live View displays real-time images on the LCD, offering three types of auto focus: Quick AF, Live AF, and Face Detection Live AF, which locks onto faces detected in the frame.

Up to 3.9 frames per second
The 5D Mark II offers continuous shooting at 3.9 frames per second. When shooting JPEGs to a UDMA card, maximum burst is limited only by card capacity. 9-point AF + 6 Assist AF points
Precision auto focus is assured by Canon’s AF system, which employs 9 selectable points and 6 Assist AF points.

Integrated Cleaning System
Canon’s built-in dust prevention system offers three ways of guarding images against the effects of dust: reduction of internal dust generation; an in-camera sensor cleaning mechanism; and the ability to map stubborn dust spots for removal with Digital Photo Professional software (included). Durable, compact design
With a magnesium alloy construction, environmental protection and shutter durability of 150,000 releases, the 5D Mark II is equally suited to location or studio work.

Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Kit Lens
A professional lightweight standard zoom lens with fast auto focus, Image Stabilizer, dust and moisture resistant construction.

In the next installment..... My camera choices

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