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Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Beginner’s Guide to Taking the DSLR Plunge

I recently had the opportunity to upgrade my DSLR through an awesome online deal. In the process of setting up and playing with my new camera, I got to thinking about the road I've taken from casual point-and-shoot photography to using more serious photography gear. I decided that rather than bore you to tears with a deeply technical review of the camera, I thought I’d take this time to relate why I finally took the DSLR plunge and cover some of the things that you should consider if you’re on the verge of taking the same plunge.

My recent upgrade involved moving from a Canon T2i to a Canon T4i for only $130. I did this by purchasing the deal described in this post, and then selling my T2i body plus the 18-55mm lens from the T4i kit. It was a relatively minor upgrade, but I ended up with a camera that has a faster processor, articulating touch screen, wireless master capability, and better low-light performance for a relative pittance. Wait, $130 is a pittance? Not really, but once you take the DSLR plunge, you’ll see why it starts to feel that way.

So why do I call it a plunge? Aren't we just talking about buying a nicer camera in the same way that one might compare a Honda Accord to a BMW 5 series?

No, not at all.

I was once guilty of thinking that way about DSLRs, but I've come to realize that they are really more like Pandora’s box than a simple camera upgrade. A DSLR most definitely is a nicer camera than a point-and-shoot, but you won’t necessarily end up with better pictures, and it can’t always replace a point-and-shoot. It took me a very long time to realize why, and I’d like to help others avoid some of that frustration. Read on to find out what I mean and learn if you're ready to take the plunge.

Friday, December 7, 2012

SanDisk Pushes the SD Card Speed Barrier

I love photography. I might be horrible at it, but my fondness for recording my experiences runs unabated by my lack of talent. It closely compliments one of my other loves, travel. Anyone who knows me, and knows how much I love to travel, has probably heard me say that I don’t buy souvenirs when I travel. The only souvenir I like to take home with me is my photographs. They allow me to capture memories that I’ll still be enjoying long after a cheap souvenir has been relegated a storage bin.

To be sure that I don’t miss a shot, I like to have both a nice camera and a fast memory card. I’m not an expert in the memory card space, but I've long been happy with the speed and reliability of SanDisk cards. Not long ago, I purchased the SanDisk Extreme Pro 16 GB SDHC UHS-1 card (wow, that’s a mouthful). It might be overkill for some, but I like knowing that if anything is slowing me down, it’s not something I can easily control like the memory card. So how fast is it?