Sunday, April 26, 2009

Camera Indecision

Best Friend modeling her Canon XSi

Karl says to me, "Do you love all the compliments you get on your blog?"  Such an easy question to respond sarcastically.  Too easy.  So, yes, I love them.  I do get an occasional, "Mom you look pretty" or "You are a really good cook" (after I opened up a can of raviolis), but as far as compliments go, I don't get a whole lot since most of my time is spent with a 4 year old and a 6 year old.  Most of what I do doesn't really drum up compliments (laundry, sweeping, you know...), and that is natural and normal, I suppose.  But, really, who doesn't love a compliment?  

In short it goes like this:
Christina, would you rather
a) clean the toilet
b) clear the self-clutter-producing counter, again
c) go stop Samuel
d) go encourage Eva to hurry
e) read a nice comment on your blog

Answer:  Easy, e.

So, thanks for the photo compliments.  I love them.  They are such a nice little break from the same old routine (or non-routine, we are kind of chaotic).  It is especially nice to get compliments on something I worked at.  I also love compliments like "Your kids are so cute" or "Your kids are so funny" but I didn't really work at that, they just came out that way.  

I took a couple of classes (not like the community ed. one we took a few years ago) from Nicole Hill (a for reals pro photographer) and it made me take my camera off "auto" and opened up a whole new world to me.  I know I will never be a pro or anything but since I take a billion photos, it was really good to get some direction.

My birthday was about a month and a half ago.  Karl gave me a big ol' envelope full of cash to go and buy a camera.  But the problem is, I can't decide what to get.  Isn't that always the case?  If you can't have something, you know exactly what you want.  

I have been using a Pentax k100.  I bought it from my sister for a few hundred dollars and it has been a really good camera to learn with.  I love it.  I also love that I have dropped it a few times and Samuel has dropped it even more and I don't need to have a heart attack whenever it happens.  The problem is that I need (yes, need) to get some lenses and it isn't worth it to invest in lenses for this camera.  I want to go either Nikon or Canon and am leaning towards Canon just because I have noticed that the photographers that I admire use them (of the ones whose cameras I have seen).
Canon came out with a Rebel with a video mode called the T1i that I am leaning towards.
Pros:  Small, video mode might be fun with cool lenses, eliminates the need for me to carry around a video camera in some cases.
Cons:  I might wish I got something fancier.  The handle is a little awkward.  It isn't out until May.

There is also the XSI that is kind of like the T1i but without the video mode and records in a few less megapixels.  But I don't need that many
Pros:  The cheapest option
Cons:  The cheapest option

But then it makes me wonder if I am going to spend the money if I should go for the heftier 40d 
Pros:  6 frames per second (perfect for taking a bunch of dance and play shots and then choosing a decent one from the sequence).  Only $90 more than the T1i.  
Cons:  Would be too heavy to take some places.  So big it makes me look like I know what I am doing.  Uses a different memory card so I would have to start a whole new system.

or maybe I should "invest" and get the 50d.  
Pros:  6 frames per second.  Bigger viewing screen.
Cons:  More money.  All the same cons as the 40d.  The envelope that was provided might need to be added to on Mother's day and our anniversary to buy this one.

I do know that I want these two lenses:
The Canon 18-200 mm lens, kind of a jack of all trades, all in one that will let me take pictures of my kids and my food when they are near and far.
The 50 mm f/1.8, a relatively inexpensive lens that will let me take photos with a low f-stop with means I need less light and the background with be more fuzzy. 

I hate decisions.  If you are a good decision maker, please help me.  I change my mind every few minutes but maybe writing this will get me one step closer to a decision.

I meant for this to be a short post, but apparently, I am incapable.


Anonymous said...

Good Luck! I wish I had some good advice, but my small digital camera with a zoom lens is all I have an it is plenty for what I am doing. Jesi has a Kodak and loves it. Not sure what model, but it takes great pictures.

Courtney said...

May is maybe 5 days away. It sounds like the video one might be a good option. Is the video supposed to be okay quality?

Christina said...

The video isn't super great. I read all the reviews and it is just ok. I imagine like the stuff we get on our point and shoots.

Nick@Nite said...

Amy's husband Brian here..

I would definitely get the 40D or 50D which rather than the Rebel. It's sort of considered a "prosumer" grade camera (professional mixed with consumer). Some professionals use it but many have it for a nice back up camera in case their 1D Mark III needs repair.

If your choice is whether to get the 40D or the 50D, I would opt for the 50D only because that will lengthen the time before the camera becomes completely obsolete. Cameras are like cars these days, buy one as new as you can afford and drive it into the ground. (I own the 10D and have driven it into the ground)

As far as the lenses are concerned, you have picked a pretty good mix. The only problem with that 18-200 is that it has a high minimum aperture at 200mm (probably 5.6) which will keep you from using a fast shutter speed in low light. The advantage with the 50D is that the higher ISO ranges hold up much better than they used to in older "D" models.

As far as getting a still camera that shoots video, that's what your husband is for. You shoot the stills, he can shoot the video. I'm sure it would be a nice feature to have, but you don't really want your still photo ability to suffer just because you want one that does both. Unless you want to upgrade event further to the 5D Mark II which I've heard has AMAZING video capabilities. It's in the $2600 range.

I would be happy to chat with you more about it or you can find my email at or


Nick@Nite said...

Here is a video created with the 5D Mark II before it was released. This video looks amazing but he also had a bunch of help with lighting, which makes a big difference.

mmm.chocolate said...

I read your post and made Brian read it to get his thoughts (I hope you were wanting a long comment from a photographer).

I love that you have a fat wad of cash to spend on a new camera!!! Hooray!

I am the same with decisions. My mom just got me a KitchenAid for my birthday. First, I couldn't take it out of the box for a week because I was thinking about exchanging it for a different color. Now, I've been using it and I lay awake nights thinking I should have exchanged it for a Bosch. Good luck! :-)

amelia and crew said...

I love the pictures you take. I'll buy your old camera from you (if you don't know what to do with it) since I don't think I'll be able to get a new new camera for a while. Think about it.

Abbigail said...

You sound like you have put more research into this than I ever did. I am now going to come to you with camera questions. I vote for the 40D or 50D since it is such a passion for you, you deserve to have the best! (50D, 50D, 50D) In fact, maybe I need to get one too! ;)
Can't wait to see you.

Lindsay said...

That was so interesting and I am SO clueless. I really want a nice camera someday...and if I ever do get one I really hope I am smart like you and can actually figure it out. It sounds like a whole other language. :)

Emily said...

ummmmm. . . can I have your old one?

seriously - I'm amazed at my camera ignorance! I can't WAIT to see you pictures after this. . .

Christina said...

Wow. Amy and Brian, thank you so much. That video is amazing.

I better start lifting weights because I am leaning towards the big one, now.

I will keep the trusty Pentax because I can throw it in my purse and go, no worries.

Yikes. and Thanks.

Christina said...

Oh, and I have TOTALLY done the Bosch vs. Kitchen Aid dance, too. Kitchen Aid still wins. Guess why. Because it is prettier. Lame.

mmm.chocolate said...

So funny! All of my friends say the same thing - Kitchen Aid = way more stylin'.

Dianne and Sean said...

Go with the Nikon, Not so bulky and still 4.5 frames a second.

Alyse said...

I have no idea what makes a camera good or not, but I say get the most expensive one! It will never let you down.

Seriously though, you are an amazing photographer. I just wish I lived closer so I could hire you to take photos of my kids. I went to Sears portrait studio today. One word: lame. That is one place where spending the most money will not get you the best product.


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