EOS-70D Samples

Took some more photos this afternoon with the new camera.  I did try some plane spotting at OOL, but was in the wrong point to take any good ones (too far away).  Hopefully these give some more examples of the IQ from the new camera.

I know I predominantly take macro shots, but shall try include some more diversity when I can to show off the camera.  There’s a couple at the bottom.

My EOS-70D

Roughly 9 months ago I received my first DSLR in a long while – the EOS-M – starting my road back into SLR photography after many years of point-and-shoot and iPhone photography.  Initially I enjoyed it very much, but soon found limitations, such as bright sunlight on the screen and no viewfinder to overcome it.  It’s a great camera, but eventually I tended to use the very old 5D FF (full frame – equivalent to 35mm film) camera almost exclusively.  The problem with this, is that camera is coming up to it’s 9th birthday soon! So today, I start on a new adventure, with a camera I initially downplayed when choosing the EOS-M (it had just been announced, not even released), the EOS-70D.

Unboxing the new EOS 70D

Unboxing the new EOS 70D, #BadSelfie

To start with, it feels great in my hand.  It’s a nice size without being massive, feels solid, and has a ton of features I’ve read about in a few reviews since  ordering it.  There’s plenty of time to learn how to best use it, but so far, in Aperture priority and Scene Intelligent Auto it’s doing great.  The AF (auto focus) is superbly fast!  I’ve tried out live view, using the vari-angle display and it works great for shooting with the camera held above my head.

The photos are turning out great, helped by the great sensor in it with the highest pixel density in the DSLR lineup.  I had initially thought that I would travel with 2 camera bodies and 2 lenses… but it’s leaps and bounds ahead of the 5D, so I don’t know right now.  Plenty of time to flip-flop over the issue.

As you can see from the sample images I took today, the IQ is right up there and the colour looks pretty good in all the images.  I usually have to enhance or boost the colour on the 5D, but that wasn’t the case on most of the images today. I hope to get some more samples tomorrow at the airport after class.

Easter Shenanigans

Easter has passed for another year, and now we approach Anzac Day, and winter.  This long weekend I had Tae come down from Brisbane to stay, and as Tae was over, so was Chilli, who was a great companion until yesterday when she decided eating grass and dry plants around the house was a good idea.  Luckily I blocked off carpeted areas, knowing the signs, and she only spewed on the wooden floors.

Moving on from that unpleasantness, the weekend was decidedly lazy, mixed with some important study as I worked to complete a late assignment for ‘Indigenous World-views’.  Ultimately, I submitted that last night, with just over half the required words, but I could do no more.

I’ve done a lot of reading up on camera gear, as I work to firm up the gear I use and travel with.  I currently have two main lenses and two main camera bodies.  My beloved 100mm F/2.8L Macro, which I’m using more and more as a general purpose lens as it’s my longest lens.  I also have a 40mm F/2.8 “pancake” that’s been suggested as the lens I should use in a general purpose role.

My biggest issue right now however is deciding two things.  Firstly, if I need to expand to a Wide Angle or Ultra Wide Angle lens to supplement the 40mm.  This would allow more content to be ‘in frame’.  But as I look at those sorts of lenses, I start to wonder if I should take things right to the limit and choose a fisheye instead.  I’m not looking for distortions specifically, and certainly not keen on the ‘circular effect’, but have seen many examples on the web of mildly distorted images that work really well for land- and cityscapes (like I’ll encounter on holiday).  On that note I have been recommended the Samyang 8mm F/3.5, manual lens, as it’s cheap but of good quality, to save me the expense of the Canon 8-15mm F/4L, but I really need to have a play rather than judge it based on no real-world use.

Secondly, I quite like aviation and wildlife photography, something you can’t get too close to.  Having tried a cheap 75-300mm F/4-5.6 and experienced the CA (chromatic aberration – a failure to focus colours, generally at the edges of objects in images) and lack of IQ (image quality)  I know that you have to pay for quality.  The lens I’ve been looking at is the 300mm F/4L IS, rated as the best telephoto lens for the price.  Yes, a zoom would give better range, but similar zooms cost more and offer less extended range, which is what I think I need.  Do I need it?

I guess my main agenda should be to equip myself appropriately for my holiday, as I’m not going bird- or plane-spotting while on holiday.  After that, I can consider developing that other aspect of my photography.

In other news, no more flights till the end of May for me… I’m not sure how I’ll survive!  Haha.

EOS 100D in White

Back In December I posted about Canon’s entry-level DSLR gaining a white body in Japan and Korea, and the 40mm F/2.8 STM “pancake” also gaining the colour, despite not being an L-series lens.  I wanted the lens really badly, but it was bundled with the camera only, and took a while for distributors to unbundle it, such that I now own one.

EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM in White

EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM in White

It looks like the popularity stuck, because the UK market will be getting the same camera (marketed as the 100D over there), but with a different lens also in white.  This time it’s an EF-S (only for APS-C cameras) 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM.  

This time I’m not as eager to own the lens, as I’d prefer to keep my lenses compatible on both APS-C and FF, so I can continue to use my 5D and perhaps upgrade in the future, without worries of limitations.  This does make things harder though, with the crop factor on the APS-C.

Anyway, just wanted to make a note of the lens.

Night Terrors

So, last night I experienced what I think was a night terror.  I experienced one last year that I vaguely remember too, but I stayed awake for quite a while thinking about what happened that I can type about this now.

In my head, when it happened, I was already awake and saw something move across the floor and under the bed.  I jumped up and would probably have run out my room away from where I thought the ‘thing’ was had Dee-Anne not jumped up too and stopped me.

I was then focussed on a spot of light on the floor coming through a crack in the blinds, before I turned on the bedside light and slowly calmed down.  Replaying what I thought was real and what actually must have happened over in my head.

Not sure why this sudden night terror.  I had an early-ish night, I didn’t have too much to drink in Brisbane (AFF drinks) – 2 pints of stout, I had a meal, etc… so yeah.  Trying to keep more updated with my blog, and had something interesting to share!

It does appear to be related to “frontal lobe epilepsy”, but I’m not sure if that’s the one I have.  I’ll bring it up with my neurologist in May when I see him.

As an addendum, the last time I had one I ran out onto the landing.  I could have foreseeably fallen down the stairs, but didn’t, so it was good I had someone there to stop me on this occasion.

Tardy

I’ve been very tardy with my blog lately, but that just means I’ve been much busier in real life.  It’s a good thing.  I’ve been receiving grades back for various assignments, and am only late with one so far, but that’s in a difficult class.  I’m doing well.

I’ve also had some travel lately, flying to Sydney for a Qantas-sponsored lunch last Tuesday and again to Sydney for a Qantas Simulator session last Thursday.  I’ll hopefully do a bigger write-up on these two things when I can.

Everything is coming together for the Europe trip in June, with all but one hotel booked now.

More later… I’m in class and the lecture is about to start!

Don’t Trust Nextbyte

So, I feel now is the time to air my displeasure at the service I received at Nextbyte Pacific Fair.  Having previously been a frequent customers in the days of iBooks and PowerBooks (before Apple was popular) I would have thought they’d do the right thing by me.  Clearly not!

Last month I needed to take my MacBook in for a charging issue.  Put simply, the MagSafe port seemed to be dead, but the rest of the computer ran fine, I just couldn’t charge it so the battery level was slowly going down.  I took it to the Apple Store Robina first, but didn’t have a Genius appointment and wasn’t prepared to wait/book one a week out, so took it to NextByte instead, as was recommended.

At the store, I was seen to by the manager, who checked my computer over, saw it was working, display and all, but wasn’t charging, and checked it in.  A few days later I got a call saying it was ready to be picked up, but my screen was dead… and since then they’ve failed to take responsibility for how I could bring in a Mac with a working screen, and after they’ve tinkered with it, have a dead screen.

Off the record, an Apple store employee told me that had I taken it to Apple and that had happened, they’d be liable to fix the screen, it was in their care; and if had happened to him, he’d be asking them to take care of it.

So I called NextByte last week, the issue was forwarded to their head office, and I was promised a call back, however I had to call them 6 days later to find out that they wouldn’t be assisting me.

As their labour costs are $150 and Apple’s are just $39, I will now be taking my business solely to Apple stores, and if anyone is reading this and thinking about getting your machine serviced at Nextbyte, but can avoid doing so, then AVOID!  They’re not worth the hassle and will probably end up costing you more, in both labour and additional services.

First Results

I received my first result back for an assessment today, initially worried about it as it was a C, until I realised C = Credit. If I was to pass the unit with a credit that’d be the same as a GPA of 5, so I’m happy with that. The marks are HD, D, C, P, F, from highest to lowest.

Still Alive

Despite it perhaps looking like I’ve died, what with my lack of posting on my blog, or generally in any of my usual haunts, in fact I am still alive, I’ve just been busy fitting into my new routine at university.

It’s been 3 weeks, or at least this is the third week, and I’m talking to people occasionally, though still don’t really know anyone.  I’ve also been participating in class, so all is good there.  I’ve completed my first assignment (though it’s not due till Friday so I’m still waiting on my mark)… so now I just have 10 to go for this ‘session’ (like a semester)… although that’s over 10k words away collectively.

Centrelink kindly switched me over to AUStudy without any issues, which was nice of them, and I’m now living off $1.70-less a fortnight.

Perhaps the only subject I’m struggling with is “Indigenous World-Views”, which is video-linked from Lismore and we have no tutor on the Gold Coast to help us understand what – can sometimes seem very rambling – is going on down there.  I’m considering driving to Lismore each week for the lecture, hoping for a clearer understanding, but I’m not sure I’ll manage to connect either way as I’m lost on what the concepts are and it’s the third week!

If I didn’t mentioned it, the MacBook Pro mum gave me for uni work had a power issue, so I took it into Next Byte to fix it.  They fixed the power issue, but broke the screen (not cracked, but the screen simply doesn’t work anymore) and accepted no responsibility.  Thus I have a lovely laptop that works great with a monitor, but that doesn’t make it very portable.  I use my iPad in class to type with Pages, and that syncs back to my Mac at home.  I’d prefer a real keyboard though as my iPad (version 3) can sometimes be a little laggy.

I do find time for hobbies, despite a vastly busier life, such as my photography.  I took some really nice shots today, though don’t have the time to pick the good ones to upload just yet.