Wednesday, November 12, 2008

new camera?

I'm going to update this post with a photo that Alex took with his XTi and 300mm lens. Looks a lot nicer, doesn't it?
Anyway, this is Andres who just shaped himself a brand new twin fin with the colors of his Smack.
Sometimes it's good to have somebody in front of you, since you're forced to do a tight turn...


--------start of the original post--------------------

Taking advantage of Costco's crazy return policy (3 months! It used to be 6, but somebody must have taken too much advantage of it...), I bought (or temporarily borrowed if you like) a new camera.

It's a Canon Rebel XSi and it came with two lenses, one of which goes up to 250mm .

I know nothing about photography other than pushing the button of my trusty little Sony and I'm having a hard time (of course I didn't even open the manual). The first two shooting sessions were quite disappointing as I will explain hereafter.
First, let me mention the main (and only so far!) advantage I found in it: continuous shooting rocks!
Here's Patrick Bergeron in a sequence of a nice aerial yesterday (Tuesday) at Hookipa. I was impressed by how well he sailed also because, truth to be told, he didn't sail well at all the day before! I guess we all have our good and bad days...


Here's instead the disadvantages I found (so far) of an SLR camera:
1) heavier and bigger. You can't really keep it your backpack.


2) more expensive.


3) sure the quality of the photos is better (supposedly), but the size of the photos is way bigger. The shittiest smallest quality with the Canon means around 800k per photo. With the Sony it's around 300k. My disk space is limited and I don't want to bother with external disks or have to change my PC...
I take photos for my blog (and for the fun of taking them). On it you can't even notice the difference in quality (or can you?).


4) There's no way (or at least I didn't find it yet) you can use the LCD display when you shoot. This is Glenn.


I'm not used to the viewfinder and I wear glasses. It wasn't too bad... just harder to keep the horizon line horizontal, since often it ends up in the very top of the mini screen and I just don't see it!


In addition to tilted, the horizon line also appears a bit distorted (kind of concave) to me.


This is another little sequence. US1111 (still can't remember who's that...) is pretty well on focus in the first shot. I'm using the sport settings with super short shutter times (like 1/1000) and autofocus and the lens has Image Stabilization.


Now, can anybody tell me why in the second shot US1111 is not in focus anymore? Is that because I moved my hands? I'm not using a trypode (and I really don't want to).


In the third shot it's a little better on focus...


Oh, and the zoom of the 250mm is not even as strong as the 12x of my little Sony...
And in the fourth shot is mysteriously back on focus (kind of)...


Most (MOST!) of the photos were kind of blurred. Even this close up of this cute Spanish girl! When I saw this photo, I almost brought the camera back ahead of time... cute Spanish girls cannot be blurred!!!
That's actually going to be my answer to the customer service employee's question:"and... what was wrong with it?"


What can I say... I have a lot to learn and I should be reading the manual instead of posting bad shots...
Patrick again.


Philippe. BTW, sequences are nice but they take forever to load on blogger...


In the end, it looks like moving from longboard to shortboard surfing. A hell lot of disadvantages for a very little reward. But it's just day two...




Here's a couple of shots from today, instead.
The wind was light, gusty and offshore, very difficult sailing (at least for me, as usual). The new NW swell started to show up late in the afternoon. This guy caught the biggest set of the day.


Buzzy Kerbox took advantage of the offshore wind and got covered.


Oh look, a swiss beauty! Not particularly missing Guernsey, I's say...


Indoor shots are pretty good instead. How's that grab?


Allright, NW swell on the steep rise. The NW buoy shows 13 feet, 16 second from around 315 degrees at 7pm. I have no doubt where I'm gonna surf tomorrow morning: NOT at Hookipa!
Here's a well done video forecast

As they mention, the Triple Crown will start tomorrow morning at Haleiwa. If you don't live in Hawaii, check the live webcast online.

If you live in Maui, instead... see you guys in the water!
Don't forget the wax! The bikini one, I mean!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I recognise that last picture - it brings tears to the eyes. Do you make up the nationality of the girls you photograph or do you actually ask the question as a chat up line?

Mater x

cammar said...

Good idea!

Maicherinho said...

More of the Swiss beauty ;)


And nice pictures as every post!! Like it!

Fernando said...

Hey fella, check this kite cam from a friend down in Australia: http://blog.danielkron.com/

Sergey Andreev said...

SLR Rocks! But to really see the difference in pictures you also need quality lenses. The ones that they sell in the kits are lower quality. Otherwise the only advantage as you said is continuous shooting.

Great pictures anyway! Keep it up!

Sergey

Drew said...

I wanted to give you some feedback about your new XSi SLR. I'm an avid amateur Canon SLR photographer, and one thing I've learned is that the SLR will ALLOW you to take better pictures but it won't necessarily take better pictures.

The 250mm lens that came with your XSi is not a good lens. It's only $250 if bought separately, which is VERY inexpensive for a lens. The high end version of that lens is $1500 (70-200 F2.8 IS). It should take okay pictures in the middle of the zoom range but not at the extremes. For example, your blog asks why the 2nd 1111 picture is blurry. It could be because of camera shake, but that picture was taken at 250mm, the full zoom range of the camera. That's asking a lot of that particular lens.

The SLR files are huge and won't necessarily look better than from a point and shoot, as is. However, if you crop the SLR picture, you will find that you can often grab 1/4 of an SLR picture and it will look as good or better than from a P&S. The SLR has a larger sensor, so it simply captures more data, which is true even if both cameras have the same megapixels.

P&S do very well in daylight, so I'm not surprised that you've taken some great pictures with your Sony. If you can spare the money, I'd recommend getting a new lens, the 70-300 is around $600. Much better quality glass and the 50mm extra reach is significant.

I'll drop you some more info later. Email me at drewkim2@yahoo.com if you have any other specific questions.

Love your blog! I live in Texas and make it out to Maui about every other year.

uglyjiber said...

Hi GP,


I'm no expert, but...

the Rebel should have a couple of autofocus settings, one that re-focuses continually, and one that locks in focus from the time you hold down the shutter button...

Can you tell if the camera is refocusing during the sequence?

Drew said...

uglyjiber has a good point. Make sure your camera's autofocus is in AI Servo mode. That will make the camera continually refocus if objects move in the shot. You can also pick the autofocus point you want to use. For action shots, I typically set it on the center, which is where the subject is.

cammar said...

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Fernando, very unimpressive kite camera (seen many like that). What was impressive was the editing job, or the software he used to turn the image around so that you don't get dizzy watching it.
Also very impressive the video from land. But, for some reason, instead of going "wow, I wish I could do that", I personally go like "wow, thank god I don't do that..."
Completely different is when I watch kiters ripping waves apart in light wind.
THAT is appealing to me... we're all different.

Sergey and Drew, must be the lens. Let's see if I get to try with some friend's better lens...

Uglyjiber, that is a really good point. I'll find out... sooner or later. It's dawn of day three and I still haven't opened the manual. And considering that I can hear the waves from sitting on my toilet, I guess I won't anytime soon...

PeconicPuffin said...

Great looking top photo (nice looking board too!)

Ditto maicherinho on the Swiss.

Bob said...

I don't know GP. You've always taken some pretty impressive shots with your Sony

Sharon said...

Andres looks like he's king of the jungle, what a great shot.

uglyjiber said...

I will second Drew's note about the good glass. Also, I'm not sure if it's offered on the XSi, but my Canon 40D does have a LCD viewing option, which is pretty sweet for getting shots from awkward positions, etc, etc.

Perhaps Drew can tell you if that is an option on your Xsi - or I'm sure the manual can if you find time to get off the toilet ;-)

Pål Rype said...

i would go with the dslr if i were you. you spend some time taking photos and the light in maui and the quality of surfers,conditions and nature are amazing. read the manual,figure out the ISO,shutter,aperture things.use the manual settings,spend some time with photoshop maybe. sell the kitzoom and invest in maybe Canon fixed focal 300mm F4.(i want one) theyre not too expensive(ebay maybe ?). 300mm is what i usually shoot at Hookipa.(semi crap 75-300)i have just started with dslr and its fun !

PonoBill said...

You guys are all forgetting that GP is "borrowing" this camera from Costco. He's not going to be buying lenses. I'd say your biggest _correctable_ problem is how the autofocus is set up. I'm not familiar with that Canon, but generally you have an indicator in the viewfinder that shows what point the autofocus is using. I'm afraid you have to RTFM (read the f*@#ing manual).

SLR files are big because they take high resolution shots. You can automatically convert them with free software, the trick is finding something that does it in a manner you don't mind working with. I'm on a Mac, so I can't help. But I DO have an external USB hard drive that's surplus to my needs. I'll stick it in the Jeep and give it to you next time i see you. They're pretty cheap these days, but free is even better.

Matt Le Poidevin said...

Hi GP,
Looks likes Renata is enjoying the tropics. Cold here in Guernsey but windy but her husband Oly has been going for the doubles the last few sessions. BTW thought you might like this http://www.knickerpicker.com/dressing-room.asp

Matt (in Guernsey!)