July 28 11

After spending the first week of working looking like a poodle-sheepdog hybrid because of all the rain and no umbrella, I invested a whopping $9 on a Wal-Mart deluxe umbrella and I carry it, daily, along with my heels, in a small, reusable bag from Jacob. Daily, except, of course, on the days when it actually rains. Because I am super on top of things like that. I am also soaking wet for the second time this week. But I guess all of the people who complained about the heat can stop whining and complaining now because it has turned wet and cool in Toronto today. So..silver lining? The lady on the subway this morning who was clearly over 60 and clearly dressed unironically as a Baby One More Time Britney Spears, complete with tied white blouse, grey cardigan, and plaid skirt, didn’t seem to mind being wet. It probably added to her ensemble. I guess I should be thankful she wasn’t wearing a snake? Another silver lining, perhaps?

I reeeeeeally wish my iPhone hadn’t been tucked so inaccessibly in my purse.

Which really brings me to the point of this post. I may not be great a carrying an umbrella, but I am certainly good with the segueway. And not the Gob Bluth kind.

Wheee!

So. I have been spending my spare time (Spare time, Ali? You have three kids and a husband and a dog and a full-time job and a several-hour-a-day commute and you are starting on book 3 of the Harry Potter series…what spare time do you have exactly?) (You know. The time that I would normally be doing 8 loads of laundry daily. Thank the good lord for my lovely, lovely nanny who does lovely, lovely laundry) taking online photography tutorials and actually, you know, LEARNING. My camera hasn’t seen the AUTO or the P mode in a long time, and I am super excited about it. I am learning what the camera does and how it works.

You see…this is how I learn things. When I learned to drive stick-shift, because my husband thought it would be a wonderful idea to buy a car that I didn’t know how to drive, I downloaded information on HOW A CAR WORKS, because once I understand what gears were and what they did and how they worked, it made it easier for me to learn to drive. (Although for anyone learning: Do not let your father-in-law teach you how. It’s just never a good idea.)

I am learning all about cameras. I do use a lot of trial-and-error and experimenting with lighting and settings, but I feel like when I have a grasp on WHY certain settings do what they do, it helps me take better photos. But what I am also learning is that I am only as great as my weakest piece of equipment. And while my lenses are truly, truly amazing (I shoot with a 50mm 1.4 and a 24-70mm f2.8) I am still using my Canon Rebel XSi, which was what I could afford at the time, and has served me more than well. But, it’s time to upgrade.

(It’s really, really too bad that my birthday is in May.)

I have started an ALI-NEEDS-A-NEW-CAMERA fund and am putting my ad revenue into it each month. Read: It will be a long time before I can afford this camera.

I have started my research.

And this is where you come in. The only two things I know for sure are these: I will be buying a Canon and I don’t care one lick about video. But that’s, um, about as far as I had gotten in this process. I am overwhelmed by options. I am overwhelmed by bells and whistles.

Help me please.

What do you shoot with?

What do you wish you shot with?

What is more camera than I will ever need?

What would you recommend for someone who loves to be behind the camera and kind-of-maybe-sort-of is learning what to actually do with the camera, but, you know, is still very much an amateur?

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  1. Please point me to some easy to read and understand tutorials. I am STUCK in auto mode. STUCK I SAY.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    JEN! I have some really, really great and simple ones. Will email them over to you!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jen on July 28, 2011
  2. I have the Canon T1i and I really like it. They’re up to the T3i now but I really don’t think there’s too much in the way of upgrade that makes a difference to me. The girl who shot my sister’s wedding (and does multiple wedding gigs a year) has the same camera I do so I figure I’ve got something pretty good.

    For learning cool stuff I really like http://digital-photography-school.com (I even wrote an article for them on how to shoot in the freezing cold, how Canadian of me!), and when I was first trying to figure photography out I found http://stopshootingauto.com pretty helpful.

    [Reply]

    Comment by sherry on July 28, 2011
  3. My assvice, because I have a Nikon, is to ask photogs and read Engadget, Tech Crunch, Gizmodo, Cnet, and Wired.

    You’re welcome.

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    Yeah. But when I read all of those articles…I end up being more confused. Hee. Whatever I get I will probably love…I just don’t want to get something that’s not enough of a bump up and I don’t want to get something that’s TOO MUCH camera for what I need.

    Make sense?

    [Reply]

    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on July 28, 2011
  4. I shoot with a Nikon D90, but my photog partner shoots Canon, he has the 50D.

    I wish I shot with the Nikon D300, and he wishes he shot with the Mark 11 5 or something or other :) (I always forget what it’s called)

    I think the 50D would be more camera than you’d ever need, as we use our equipment to shoot weddings. I think you’d do great with a Canon T1I like someone above mentioned, or even a Xsi. :)

    http://www.froknowsphoto.com is amazing at explaining stuff, but he’s a nikon guy, BUT he does have a page explaining what Canon gear he recommends.

    Have fun shooting!!

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    If I am going to upgrade…I am going to upgrade. Going from one rebel to another seems silly to me…so I definitely want out of the Rebel family. So, I guess I know that much.

    [Reply]

    Jaymi Spencer replied on

    Then definitely go with a 50D or 60D or somewhere in that family :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jaymi Spencer on July 28, 2011
  5. How do you like the 24-70 2.8? I’m lusting over it right now.. :) Do you find it’s all purpose??
    LOVE this post by the way..

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    I absolutely LOVE it.
    Like, I am in love with it.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Suzanne on July 28, 2011
  6. How do you like Harry Potter?

    (I know nothing about cameras.)

    [Reply]

    ali replied on

    I liked the first two books. Read them this week. I watched the first movie and once I got past seeing how TEENY TINY they were, I enjoyed it!

    [Reply]

    Comment by alison on July 28, 2011
  7. I swear I think people get on the subway just to give me something to talk about with my friends. I mean REALLY…you know that the 5 inch heels and spandex see-through lace tank top is not comfortable at 6:30 in the morning.

    I’m glad you share my pain. and my love for taking pictures of the fashion nightmares when appropriate. I once had a girl ask me why I took her picture (oops..not discreet) and I had to lie and tell that I loved her outfit so much I was using it as inspiration.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Laura on July 28, 2011
  8. I am impressed with your knowledge and skillz! Maybe when I’m there next weekend, you will remember to charge the camera and take some photos! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on July 28, 2011
  9. I had to take photography in college and I mostly rememberhow to develop film #dyingart but I do remember an early assignment where we had to take the same photo multiple times using different fstop and sspeed settings. Take notes so when you go back and compare you can see what the differences are.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Crista on July 28, 2011
  10. I am in the market for my first DSLR camera. After some highly scientific research, which consisted of fiddling with my Mom’s T2i, using a pro Nikon that I rented for one night and talking to you, Casey/Moosh & Heather I’ve settled on the T3i. Now I must choose a lens (so much harder!) and wait for my bank account to top off so I can order it. I have provided you with no help whatsoever other than to reiterate: go with your gut.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Daisy on July 28, 2011
  11. When I first moved up from the Rebel, I got the 40D. Last year, I went up to the 7D. I had some professional photographer friends tell me that they liked it better than the Mark…whatever.

    :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Angella on July 28, 2011
  12. I have the canon xti so I’m no help=/

    [Reply]

    Comment by scarlet on July 28, 2011
  13. I have the Canon T1i. It’s my second Canon Rebel and I can’t imagine needing more in camera at my level.

    When you get your camera the best advice I can offer is to take a course. I took one at our local arts center and the experience was invaluable.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Danielle on July 28, 2011
  14. i am very happy with my Camera 360 in my Smartphone Android system

    [Reply]

    Comment by Katie on July 28, 2011
  15. Hi there,
    I have a friend who is a photographer, I’ll ask her what camera she’s using :)
    Good luck BTW!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Michael on July 28, 2011
  16. I have 50D. I love. love.

    I drool over, 7D

    I have the 24to70MM 2.8 it is heavenly ;-)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rachel - A Southern Fairytale on July 28, 2011
  17. I started and still use my Canon 40D.

    I don’t care one bit about video either.

    The only reason I would upgrade is to get a higher ISO setting. Aside from that? I love my camera.

    When it comes to prints and standard sizes of frames (8×10, 16×20) a full format (Mark whatever cameras) would be super nice, not to have to crop images, the whole what you shoot is what you print thing.

    But it’s not worth the extra $3,000 to me at the moment to save myself some cropping.

    That being said if I were to go out and buy a new camera tomorrow it would be the 7D. I would say 60D but the only thing I don’t love about it is the whole flip out screen thing, that could just turn into one big broken mess. No thank you.

    (Also, as an aside? I’m very proud of you for learning everything and pushing your skill past the current limits of your camera body. So many people run out and get the bigger better camera before they even realize what their old one was capable of. That or they think the more expensive camera will somehow make them a better photographer.)

    [Reply]

    Comment by moosh in indy. on July 28, 2011
  18. You KNOW how much I love my brand new Canon 60D. Super fast focus processor capable of 8 frames per second, a whack load of focus points, spectacular ISO range, and a gorgeous 3 inch articulating screen with live-view capability.

    Love. ‘Nuffield said.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Ed on July 28, 2011
  19. great blog.
    thanks for sharing

    [Reply]

    Comment by Gokturk on August 1, 2011
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