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Camera OMG Camera
Tuesday, 2008 December 30 - 5:21 pm
I finally have a real camera. Now I just need to find a bowl of fruit, a guy jumping something with a skateboard, and a woman on a horse, and my journey to becoming a photographer will be complete.

It's a Christmas gift for myself, I guess. It's the Canon EOS 40D digital SLR.

Canon EOS 40D

This replaces my old trusty Canon Powershot G2, which has a bug in it. No, literally, an actual bug, or part of a bug, or a piece of a leaf, or something. It's embedded within the lens assembly and can't be removed (though the Internets have suggested trying to suck it out with a Shop-Vac, hmm).

Canon Powershot G2 with Bug

The bug doesn't really seem to affect picture quality much, but there were other things with this camera. The compact camera sensor didn't take good low-light pictures. It takes for-freaking-ever for the camera to turn on. Shutter lag was loooong, due to the slow autofocus. If you wanted to take a picture, you had to prepare like three hours in advance. It would have been faster to paint the picture on a canvas.

Okay, I exaggerate about the slowness. But it did bother me that I missed many candid and action photos because the camera wasn't ready fast enough.

And as for photo quality... take a look at these pictures. The first was taken with the Powershot G2:

Photo taken by Powershot Canon G2

And a similar picture taken with my new 40D:

Photo taken by Canon EOS 40D

Both were taken using manual exposure settings: for the G2, ISO400, 1/30th shutter, F5.0 aperture. For the 40D, ISO400, 1/20th shutter, F5.0 aperture. Here I resampled the pictures to the same resolution (449x449 pixels) in Photoshop.

The G2's version is reasonable, certainly good enough for a blog snapshot. But when you blow up the pictures to look at the detail, the differences are much more evident. Here's a detail from the G2 photo:

Detail of photo taken by Powershot Canon G2

And here's the same blowup from the 40D:

Detail of photo taken by Canon EOS 40D

You can see that the G2 picture suffers from noise artifacts; this is because the small sensor on the G2 has maxed out its light capturing ability at ISO400, while the 40D has headroom to go all the way up to ISO3200. And of course the 40D is a 10.1 megapixel camera, whereas the G2 is a 4.0 megapixel camera.

So the net result: sharper pictures, especially in low light. This will be great for capturing extra-clear pictures of Brett's late-night antics.

By the way, I opted for the 40D in favor of the newer 50D, because various reviews I read suggested that the 50D's higher resolution sensor (15.1 megapixels) didn't provide substantially better picture quality or low-light performance over the 40D, and 40D is quite a bit cheaper.

Anyway... I'm looking forward to posting greatly improved photos in the future, just as soon as I get over being nervous about taking my new baby out of the house.
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Posted by Ken in: lifetechwatch


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