Camera Gear That I Don’t Really Need

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve toned down on the spending.  I think spending any more than I already have really crosses the line from photography being a hobby into something that really only professionals would be spending their money on.

70-200 f/2.8L IS.  I still keep a craigslist feed hoping some ridiculous deal for a Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS shows up, but seriously, how often would I really use that?  The only times I forsee myself using that lens is at weddings and at the zoo.  Probably doesn’t warrant the $2000+ price tag that that lens commands.  If we go on some African Safari someday, maybe I’ll pick one up.

Pocketwizards.  The new ones came out this week, but how often would I really use them?  I got some cheapo remote triggers from Amazon and I haven’t even used those yet!  For some reason the built-in wireless trigger on the 7D suffices for me.

Full Frame.  This is probably the only item I’d consider if a huge sum of cash were to appear in my bank account out of nowhere.  I’ve still got the 7D on my 3-year no interest from Best Buy, haha.  I pay like 40 bucks a month for it.  Once that’s paid off, I suppose I’ll consider the next step.

Now, I sorta lied.  We’ve spent some money on camera stuff within the past few months, but I think it’s been worth it.

T2i.  This deal showed up online for a T2i body for $400.  Kristine has had a T1i for a while and I was able to get rid of that for $360.  I felt that a $40 cost to get 24/1080p video was worth it.  The T1i could only do 30p/720 and 20p/1800p or something crappy like that.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5.  I really felt like I needed a good decent camera for those times when the DSLR was just not appropriate, lol.  i.e. a lot of casual outings.  Plus, Kristine doesn’t even like to use her DSLR and would rather carry around this thing now.  It was on sale at Amazon for like $265 so we jumped on it.  It’s been pretty awesome and we’re happy with it.  Especially the fact that you can shoot in RAW with it.  What really attracted me though was the f/2.0 on it. The other option would’ve been the S100, but that probably wouldn’t come under $400 bucks for a long time.

Panasonic DMC-LX5. 13 seconds. f/8.0.

Panasonic DMC-LX5. 1/1250 second. f/3.3.

Wedding Photography Etiquette

It’s been a few weeks since we last attended my cousin’s wedding up in Vancouver, but I knew I had to vent on this particular topic.  Disclaimer:  I’m not a professional wedding photographer.  I just have a DSLR with some non-kit lenses, lol.  Anyway, I have a list of guidelines that people need to follow.

1.)  SIT YOUR ASS DOWN. (1 previous offense witnessed)
Here’s the thing – when I’m at a wedding, I stay in my seat.  If you’re not the official photographer, SIT YOUR ASS DOWN.  If you want good pictures, find a good seat and STAY THERE.  It’s effing ridiculous when you have people that own DSLRs getting in the middle of the damn aisle and blocking people’s view of the ceremony.  I’m surprised the official photographer wasn’t getting upset.

2.)  TURN OFF THE DAMN BEEPING ON YOUR CAMERA (2 previous offenses witnessed)
We were at a wedding in Houston where this one old lady was reviewing her pictures and going through the menu and a BEEP was going off every time she hit a button on her camera.   WTF Mate?!  It’s so distracting.  The offense was also witnessed at a wedding here in Austin.  The lady was sitting right behind me.  I turned around, gave her a nasty face, and told her to turn off the Auto Focus beep.  Turns out she was a relative of the bride from Hawaii 😛  Oops.  That doesn’t absolve you though from proper wedding photography etiquette.

Follow these rules and you’ll be on your way to avoiding a nasty look from me.

One of my more favorite shots…  Shot w/ a 70-200 f/4L

Some Shots as of Recently

I picked up this Canon 24-70 f/2.8L sometime in March or April off of Craigslist and there’s a reason why this lens is so popular.  Luckily, I scored it for $950 but had to drive down to San Antonio on a Monday night after work to get it.  I used to run around with a 17-50 Tamron f/2.8 and I think the sharpness of pictures are really noticeable with the L glass.  The colors are definitely more vibrant too.  I find myself doing less color correction. I also use a 70-200 f/4L (non-IS) which isn’t technically mine… It’s Kristine’s, but she doesn’t really use her camera, lol. This lens is completely adequate for most outdoor situations. Forget about using it indoors. At least it’s nice and lightweight – as I’m told a 70-200 f/2.8L is pretty heavy. Anyway, here are some shots.

Update: After changing my theme, I’m realizing that I really need to get a single-column layout if I’m gonna be posting more pictures on here.  This sucks, haha.

Canon 60D

I’m really looking to upgrade my current DSLR to something with a better build and something with HD Video capability.  There’s a couple things that still differ from the 7D like the number of AF points and the number of continuous frames per second, but I think those are things I can live without.   I’m really excited about the Speedlite transmitter which was only on the 7D before.  It comes out September 22nd I think.

Picking Out a Wedding Photographer

So as you may or may not know, Kristine and I have an impending wedding coming up. I was talking to one photographer today at this vendor expo we were at and I asked him what kind of camera he had. He said he was a Canon person and he had a Canon 50D Mark II. There’s no such thing as the 50D Mark II. I’m pretty sure he said 50D. Not 5D. I’ve crossed him off my list of possibilities, lol.

It’s hard to narrow down and pick a wedding photographer. There’s so many of them and the market is saturated. So it comes down to personality and whether or not it looks like the photographer will work well with you. And sadly, that’s why I’ve eliminated photographers who look like they don’t know how to operate a computer.

Another scenario – We passed by one vendor who had a gigantic blowup of a photo… let’s say 2 feet by 3 feet… but the photo was badly pixelated. Okay, so on my last post about High Definition, I said “Megapixels don’t matter”. That’s not entirely true. If you’re gonna blow up a picture that big, you need a lot of megapixels. These people did not understand that. The worst part of it is that this same vendor had packages starting at $5000. That’s absolute garbage. Be educated.

Some photographers also used some really crappy pictures in their sample albums. The point of a portfolio is to show your BEST work. Honestly, if people see one really bad picture, they’re gonna make judgments of your work as a whole… Common sense, right?

So not all photographers are bad. Like I said, it’s gonna come down to personality with these vendors. Most of them are nice, some were awkward, some of them know their stuff. Hopefully we’ll come to a decision soon!