I am often asked about the equipment I use in my photography so I decided that I would talk a bit about them on my blog. I’ll start off with my camera body and then create additional blog entries for the rest of my stuff. So, let’s get down to it…
(Photo) My Canon 40D Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.
My DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera is the Canon 40D. Now of course the debate between Nikon vs. Canon could be raised here but that’s not the purpose of the topic at hand. Coincidentally, the first SLR camera I purchased was the 35mm Nikon N2000 film camera when I was around 18 years old. You could say that it was this Nikon that I honed my skills and it became the foundation for furthering my development.
Before buying the Canon 40D, I read many reviews, looked at image samples produced by the camera and its competitors and heard the advice of many photographers who had far more experience than I did. The image quality of the big name brands are very good so I looked closely at features relative to my budget at the time.
In order to help narrow down your choices, you have to ask yourself some questions. Full Frame vs. a cropped sensor? What features are important to me? What type of photography do I want to concentrate on? For example: Fast, accurate focusing and high burst rates are very important to a sports photographer but much less so to a newborn baby photographer.
My particular needs straddled many styles so I wanted a camera that would perform well in many areas. I do like to capture fast moving subjects such as sporting events and animals and the 40D has served me well in those areas. The “AI Servo” focusing mode is very helpful for moving subjects. In this mode, the lens will continually adjust as necessary in order to keep your subject in focus until you fully depress the shutter button.
(Photo) The New Britain Rockats at bat against the Binghamton Mets.
So you may be wondering if I feel the Canon 40D is lacking in any features or performance. Well, the answer to that is “Yes.” Its low-light performance while being “good” is not what I would say reaches the stellar levels that full-frame top of the line models do. As you know, in dimly lit situations you can raise the ISO to higher levels to enhance the light sensitivity of your camera but doing this will introduce digital noise in your images sometimes to the point where they are unusable. As I go about my concert photography, I find myself struggling in the low light and doing whatever I can to provide the band and the fans with great shots. I do take advantage of my high-quality “fast” lenses and their wide apertures to capture as much light as possible. My tripod is set up in the very back of the concert hall which allows me to steady the camera and use slower shutter speeds to let in more light.
(Photo) The guitarist of Earth, Wind & Fire
A cool feature of the 40D is that it can save 3 of your favorite shooting settings for you that can be recalled at any time very easily. So if you consistently shoot in the studio at f5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 200, you can store these setting and recall it with a twist of a dial regardless of the camera’s current setting.
For ultra critical focusing applications such as studio or macro work, the Canon 40D offers “Live View mode” where you can see the subject on the LCD screen and zoom it in very closely to ensure the focus is spot on.
(Photo) Dew drops on leaves.
The overall build quality of the Canon 40D is rugged and feels very solid in your hands. It can be quite heavy when paired with a large zoom lens so the support of a tripod comes in handy at these times. The 40D can be used in full automatic mode for a beginner or full manual for those with more experience. With connections for an external flash, a remote trigger, a video output and more, this camera will be ready for the user as he/she grows in their photographic abilities. Used in conjunction with Canon’s huge array of EF and EFS lenses, the 40D user has numerous options to explore and elevate their creativity.
Five years is a lifetime when talking about technology and electronic gadgets such as cameras and computers. Upgrades and enhancements steadily appear at a lightning's pace. I've owned my 40D for 5 years and although many of today's current models have tons of new features and specifications, I am very happy with it. Many of the latest bells and whistles offer more conveniences to the user but in the end, we all seek to produce stunning images and no camera alone can do that by itself.