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Monday, February 1, 2010

A New Camera


As I have mentioned lately, I got a new camera a few days ago. Both George and I have been looking at cameras for quite some time. I wanted him to get HIS first --but mine was in stock, so I got mine first. He will get his soon I hope!

George has been researching cameras for a long time, looking at different ones that we both like and can afford. My criteria: simple to operate; step or two up from a "point and shoot"; NO digital zoom (terrible for birding); and a LONGER lens for birding...

Here is the camera he chose for me: Canon Digital Rebel XSI 12MP Digital SLR Camera (Black) + Canon 18-55mm IS Lens + Canon 75-300mm III Lens + 4GB Cameta Accessory Kit. As you can see, there are two lenses with the camera, and one that I use for birding and long distance shots is the 75-300mm lens. The other one (18-55mm) will be used for everything else.

One thing I love about this camera is that it has an ' automatic' function which chooses all of the settings for me... It also permits 'semi-automatic' operations where I can make some necessary changes. Since I don't spend alot of time with manual settings (and don't understand aperture, etc.), this is perfect for me. However, I can change to a 'close-up' setting OR a 'flash-off' setting (which I use when shooting through the sliding glass door), a portrait setting, etc. etc. etc. There are many options --and I am gradually learning more about each of them.

In a word, I LOVE my new camera. IF you are a birder and are looking for a new camera, I definitely recommend this one!!! Here are some pictures I have taken since I got the new camera, in addition to a couple of shots George took of the new camera. Above is a picture of the camera showing the 300mm lens. Below are more!





This is the new camera with the smaller lens. I took most of my Saturday 'snow' pictures using this lens.





Here is a close-up of our FROZEN Rhododendron bush... It makes me wonder how bushes like this (with buds) can make it through such cold and icy/snowy weather.





In yesterday's blog (click HERE), I showed a picture of this bush (Confederate Jasmine) totally consumed with ice... WELL---after taking that picture on Saturday, we had another inch of snow. SO---I went back outside late in the afternoon and took a picture of the Jasmine again. I love this picture... BUT--just think!!!! First came the snow; then came the ice; finally came MORE snow!!!! Crazy weather, huh? Isn't it a pretty bush though with the latest dusting of snow on it???





We had beautiful blue skies yesterday ---and the icy trees were glistening... I took this picture with my longer lens --looking way up toward the top of the trees. Isn't this amazing??? Be sure to click on this picture to enlarge it.





Taking good bird pictures is much easier with the new camera. This little female Downy is standing on the clothes line (which is icy) --waiting for a turn at the Suet feeder.





We have TONS and TONS of Goldfinches this winter. This little guy looks like he is saying: "This clothes line is COLD on my little footsies"....





These are the types of pictures I have never been able to take until now. This little female Bluebird was WAY up in a tree... I captured her --using my longer lens. Neat, huh?????

I hope to be able to share LOTS of great photos with you. One thing that I can say for sure though: I am LOVIN' this camera!!!

Hugs,

P.S. We loved seeing the blue skies and the sunshine yesterday... AND---even though the temperatures were still below freezing all day, the sun was warm enough to melt the ice on the satellite dish... SO--our TV was working again before noon!!!! George was thrilled not to have to climb that ladder!!!

71 comments:

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Wow Betsy ! You've joined the big leagues, lucky for us, who love to see your pictures, especially the close-ups of the birdies.
Incredible detail....I love it !!

T said...

Very nice camera Betsy! You'll love the zoom lens.

Now we'll get you off the green square and using those manuel meters!

Big Dude said...

That looks like a serious picture taking machine - no wonder you get such great photos, which I sure do enjoy. Keep em coming and enjoy the new toy.

Kirigalpoththa said...

From here onwards, your pictures will get even better!

Looks like a good camera and a very good choice :)

Jayne said...

I loved, loved, loved my Rebel XT! Congratulations on the new equipment Betsy. You will love it!

We finally had enough sunshine here on Sunday to mostly melt everything, and I am feeling brave enough to venture out again today after the ordeal that was Friday. ;c)

Pam said...

I'm enjoying my snow day today!! No school!

I hope you enjoy your new camera. That is the same model I have only mine is much older and less mega pixels. I took a bunch of pictures of birds yesterday too!

Kelly said...

...I'm so glad you got a new camera. My brother has this camera and he and my niece love it! Your goldfinch photo is adorable!!!!

Darla said...

Congrats on the new camera, you are going to have a ton of fun playing with it. I am still trying to figure out all of the settings on mine...will only ever use a few of them I'm sure. I love your new header, you are the cutest! Looks like you are still getting your snow..

Arkansas Patti said...

Now you have the AWESOME power. Love your bird close ups.
Usually with those cameras comes free lessons in your area for mastering beyond "automatic." Mine were offered in Little Rock so I didn't take advantage.
Have fun.

Harriet said...

Great camera! Love the bird pictures.

diane said...

Now the fun really starts..learning a new camera. I got a new Canon EOS 1000 last June and I'm still learning, I think it will be a life long investigation.It has both automatic and manual functions so when in doubt use automatic. I have a Sigma lens which is both wide angle and telephoto so it saves changing the lens. It goes from 18mm to 250mm not quite as much as yours. Your shots in the past have been excellent so now they will be fantastic. Have fun. I can't get over how many clothes you need to wear over there to keep warm, I bet your fingers got cold holding the camera.Clck.click away!

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Betsy, your're going to love your Rebel...you have the newer version of mine...it is so easy to operate and takes fantastic photos...I'm so happy for you!!!

diane said...

BTW don't discard the little camera, it will come in handy when you are hiking up hills and around waterfalls if you don't feel like carrying a big one.

Robin's New Song said...

LOVE the picture of you in the header! All of them are beautiful. Enjoy that new camera, so we can too!

Beth said...

Congratulations on the new camera, Betsy---I know you'll enjoy using it. It is a wonderful thing for a birder to be able to take those high-up-in-a-tree shots. I miss so many of those with my point-and-shoot and it's really frustrating. Your shots look great.

Ginny said...

I am so glad for you about the new camera! Was your old camera a DSLR? What are the zoom lengths on the Rebel's lenses? I think I'm just too stupid to use one of these, but you make it sound so easy, it's very tempting. Was this one very exppensive? As a Christmas gift, we put money toward our daughter-in-law's new camera, and it was almost $1,000.000. On sale. Since George has researched the cameras so well, that would save me all the time doing that. I LOVE your new pretty red header and the beautiful picture of you smiling in the snow!!! You have a stunning smile, and are so cute in the snow all bundled up. The bird pictures are just great! I don't think your blog can get any better, but maybe with this camera....

Daisy said...

Very nice photos, Betsy. I'm sure you will enjoy your new camera. I'm looking forward to all the pictures you're going to be taking with it! :)

Tabor said...

Look like you are going to have some fun now! 1,000 photos and counting.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Fist of all, I have to tell you how much I love your new header photo. Your smile totally fits the title of your blog, and we, your readers, can tell how much you love snow.

Second, I'm so happy you are enjoying the new camera. Your photos are spectacular!

Sandra said...

you made a good choice, I have the same camera, but yours is the newest upgrade. mine is 3 years old and I have both those lens. i love my camera too and have 4 friends that have the same one.
I LOVE THE HEADER photo. what a great shot of you as a snowbunny. Love the Love part to. you are really doing good with your bird photos now with that long lens.

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

Hey Betsy, I want one of those cameras! Can you send me the reseach George did? I know he found the best price! XOXO

Di said...

Betsy, congratulations on the new camera. Last fall my trusty Kodak died, so I hurriedly replaced it with a Canon Powershot SX20 which does a pretty good job, but I love your Zoom capability. Sweet!

cindy said...

Betsy, I do not have knowledge of cameras. Jack bought a Lumix for me for Christmas last year aqnd I still have little knowledge of it.

So, I will enjoy your pictures.

mountain.mama said...

Congratulations on your new camera! Looks like you took to it like a duck to water.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I have always heard wonderful things about the Rebel and I think if I ever get an upgrade, this is where I will go. (I may start hinting at this, you will see it if I do!!!)
Your photos are great, and you will have many years of joy with this new baby.
The trees look so cold. Give them a blankie. :0

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: Great shots with the big camera, you sure are going to get some great photos now.

Pedaling said...

wow! you guys don't mess around when it comes to buying new toys!
looking forward to all your beautiful images....as usual!

isn't the hobby of photography the Best?!
Love It!

Small City Scenes said...

First off let me say I love the new header with the very happy grinning snow loving girl and all the red. definitely a keeper.

Wow what a great camera. I have a Canon also---a step down from yours but with a good zoom. Love it and am saving for a Rebel. Lucky you. Doesn't it take such nice pictures. You go girl!!! MB

Cedar ... said...

I can see the better detail you are getting now. The shot of the finch is outstanding!

Pam said...

Congratulations, that's a fantastic new camera, Betsy.
I always thought you photos were beautiful. I can't imagine how spectacular your birds and waterfalls will look now.
I'm glad to hear George stayed grounded :)))

Patty said...

Oh I am jealous, I have been wanting a new camera for awhile, probably wont get one till the end of the year. The photos are awesome. We got 6 inches of snow here too!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Betsy. Looks like you already have the basics mastered on your new camera. What fun you will have getting those bird photos. A lot easier to get close up of flowers and people too. You can stand back and just increase the focal length:)
Marnie

The Incredible Woody said...

You are going to love that camera!! Before long, you will be playing with all those manual settings, wanting new lenses, ...

Carla said...

Wowzer! I love your new camera! Bet it would be good for butterfly shots also.

calinutz78 said...

great the shots with birds.
i love it

The Retired One said...

Betsy: Congrats! Your new photos are so much more crisp and beautiful!
I have been thinking of upgrading to a DSLR.....but was afraid it wouldn't be as automatic as yours sounds....
would you do me a favor and send me an email at jhaara@sbcglobal.net and give me the specific model number and price? (Did you order it on line?) I got my lumix (which I love but want to upgrade to a better zoom) on Amazon.com and saved a lot of money...thanks so much. If I get one, maybe we can "tutor" each other as we learn. ha

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Great photos with great new camera!

Love your Header pic!

Happy February!
.♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.♥.

Diane said...

Hope you enjoy your camera for a long time Betsy.

Sometimes I think I should get one that would take distance shots but I'm just in love with this little Canon 550. Some of the shots aren't so hot but I can stick it in my pocket or pocket of my car and its always(???) there.

Maybe sometime. In the meantime I can enjoy your breathtaking bird shots like these today. Have a great day.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Betsy,I can see the improvement in the pictures.You will only learn to enjoy this camera more.Yours is similar to mine only a more recent model and I love my camera.Just wait and see,soon you will be using most of the settings.Have fun,it takes time to become familiar with some of the advanced settings.
Blessings,Ruth

Dar said...

Betsy, I am sooo jealous...what a wonderful camera and you already have the knack...your birds are wonderful. My daughter is a professional equestrian photographer, and all she uses are Canons...she swears by them and if you ever have problems, they are fast and easy to deal with for repairs. I love the automatic features of yours...that's my speed.
Have a blast...can't wait to see what you capture.
God Bless You Both

Tricia said...

OH BETSY! I've wanted that camera forever, just couldn't afford it - Congratulations on it - You're gonna love it, for sure!!!

I LOVE the sky shot through the glistening icy trees. It really IS amazing.

Your bird pics are GRRREAT! It's funny how a bird can land on that ice covered line & not slip upside down! heheheee

Cheryl said...

Oh Betsy your header photo is sooo cute! You are positively beaming!! And how I would love to have a camera like yours! Mine is a Canon PowerShot point and shoot and I am thinking my next one will have to be something like your new one. What great photos you have taken. I love the bird photos, especially the little goldfinch with his cold "tootsies"! Enjoy all the winter scenery with that new camera!

Cicero Sings said...

Conrats on your new camera Betsy. I got one too, only mines a Pentax K7. I haven't got the zoom lens yet ... can't decide which lens I want and am still trying to learn all the settings with the lens I got.

Sunny said...

Wow! What a fabulous camera, I'm totally envious.
Your birdie pictures are outstanding, the little Goldfinch looks like he's dancing.
I can't wait to see your upcoming pictures.
Sunny :)

JOE TODD said...

New camera time. I went with the Nikon D3000 with 2 lenses. Still using the automatic settings for most part.. I've always loved your bird pictures.. I'm heading south in about a week to do some golfing.. Could you please do something about the weather LOL

Ms. ~K said...

That is a serious camera!
These shots are incredible!
I look forward to many more!
Kit

imac said...

Way to go Betsy.

Karin said...

Congratulations on the new camera! That is one serious piece of equipment! Love your new header and the RED in honor of Love Month! Beautiful! Looking forward to all your photography genius! Hugs!

Jenny said...

Gosh, I'm surprised that lens doesn't tip you over forward! What a powerful lens you have there. And, as always, your photographs rock!

Snap said...

Look out birds! Here comes Betsy with her new camera! :D :D :D

calinutz78 said...

by the way....i have a canon eos 400 and i wait 24 mount to buy this camera, but is my "precious". :))
Canon is the best.

Ida from South Africa said...

L-O-V-E your Feb. snow photo!! It's beautiful and full of happiness! ☺

Congrats on your new Canon - enjoy every 'click'!!!

marmee said...

congrats on the new camera and lens. i am so happy you will be able to capture the birds and the things you want to photograph much more easily. the frozen leaves and trees are so pretty but i will be glad to have it all gone.
happy february.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Wow!!! Congrats on your new camera. I know you will get so much enjoyment out of it!

carolina nana said...

Thanks a bunch for the camera info,I want a new camera as all I have now is a point and shoot but like you I don't want to get too complicated. I think I will definitely check out the one you bought. I was just out walking and spotted a large wood pecker up on the side of a tree and was wishing I had a zoom lens. Happy Valentines and God Bless Marilyn

JKoenig said...

I am happy for you. Your pictures are beautiful and you have only just begun this new adventure. Learning something new is always stimulating.

Something I wondered after seeing pictures of your deck the other day. Does hanging your feeders from a clothesline deter the squirrls? It looks like it might make it a little more difficult for them. They are cute but my husband is not too happy when they climb up the screens on our screened-in porch.

Janie said...

Your bird pics are great! My son has a Canon Rebel and has been very happy with it.
Love your snow photos, and especially your new header.

Kay said...

That is some BIG lens you have there. I too use a Canon camera, but I don't have a big lens, just the one that is on the camera. I would like to have a big lens, but they are sooooo expensive.

Vicki ~ FL said...

Betsy, congrats on your new camera. I got the same one last summer and hubby bought me a Tamron 35-270 lens and a macro lens for my flower/insect close-ups a few months later. I'm still learning all the functions and I really like the 8 frames per second...comes in very handy when riding in the car even at 75-80 mph! Your bird pictures are wonderful

mothernaturesgarden said...

What a great camera to enjoy. I'm eager to see all your new photos.

Dorothy said...

Betsy, you're going to love that camera and lens! You will be get some great bird shots! Love that header!

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Beautiful, Beautiful pictures!!!!!!

Connie said...

Great photos Betsy. I have an older version of the same camera, and I love mine. I have the same lens too, but still rarely manage to get good shots of my birds. I love your new photos. I can't wait to see more photos from this camera.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

That is the exact same camera that I got last. I also have the XTi which is a little older but I love them both for all the right reasons. I am glad you got it and hope George gets what he wants too.

Mary said...

A very nice camera and you are getting great shots with it.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

You will love this camera Betsy, I have the Canon XTi and adore it. George made a great choice for you.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a wonderful camera Betsy! Enjoy it and keep taking all your wonderful photos!

Rose said...

I was gone most of yesterday and missed this post...believe it or not I was going to ask you what you got for a new camera. All I can say is have fun! I think you will be happy with it.

SquirrelQueen said...

Love your new camera Betsy, the little birdies will have no place to hide now. I think you will really enjoy the telephoto lens.

I took the weekend off for a little quality time with hubby. Also finished up our taxes today. So I'm catching up now.

Hugs,
Judy

storyteller said...

Isn't a new camera FUN??? I looked at the Rebel when I bought my Nikon D60 a year ago, but it was more expensive and seemed to have similar features. Love the nifty photos you captured with the telephoto lens ... very kewl ;-)
Hugs and blessings,
Small Reflections

Gracie Goddess said...

Hi, great camera you have there. Sorry, I'm bloghopping.. I just suddenly came across one of your comments and clicked on your name. Voila, I found your blog! I saw at once your dslr cam photo and searched for this post. Like me I also loved my new dslr, which I have wrote recently. I think we have same stuff, only the names are different :) Hope you'll come across my blog one day and see what I mean. Thanks, have a nice day!