Evil camera manufacturers

Every year without fail in the fall, evil camera manufacturers unleash their sexy sirens on us all.

Let’s face it: We’re the biggest group of suckers there is.

Doesn’t matter if we only shoot snapshots of our kids and family or do the occasional bar mitzvah, wedding, graduation, family vacation, the World Cup, high fashion or chase ambulances and fire trucks for a living.

Inside each and every one of us that is smitten with photography, is a gear hound waiting to be let loose.

Previously, when we shot film, a new camera body came around maybe once in 5 years, so we could only get into limited trouble.

Since we’ve all evolved into higher beings who shoot with digital cameras, now we not only have eyes for cameras with bigger file sizes, higher ISO and other specifications, we are also being bombarded by new releases of software promising “Content Aware” fill or High Dynamic Range made easy.

And we can’t forget those skinny sexy output devices like the latest laptops or the iPads.

It’s enough to make Ansel Adams trade in his view camera for an iPhone.

Something most buyers of cameras don’t realize is the shutter, the part of the camera that moves the most, that takes the most wear and tear. So, it understandably has a limited life.

Higher-end models have something like 300,000 actuations before they expect problems with the shutters. Typically the prosumer models have 150,000 actuations. These specs are usually available from the manufacturer’s website.

What exactly does that mean to you the owner? Well, what do you train your camera at? Even if you’re a hobbyist and you shoot fast moving wildlife or sports and you typically hold down the shutter button indiscriminately as if you are shooting video, you’ll likely to encounter the shutter failure sooner.

Can you tell I’m itching to buy a new camera?

As luck would have it, my Canon 40D is ill. 😉

Her symptoms? She doesn’t want to take a picture even when I load a freshly charged battery.

When her shutter does trip, she turns herself off.

So it fires the shutter but immediately after that it, it turns itself off so that the image is not written to the memory card.

Strangely, when I use the battery grip BGE-2 on the body, it works.

I’ve updated the firmware on on the camera to version 1.1.1, so I’ll let you know if that works.

I should be distraught but I’m not.

Why should I be? For about $1K, I can get the latest Canon 60D, due out soon. More megapixels, HD video capture. It’s all good isn’t’ it?

Here’s the thing, a newer camera comes at a price:

  1. My closet is already full of chargers. Aren’t yours?
  2. I have a fortune invested in Compact Flash cards, this latest 60D uses SD cards
  3. With the video capability I’ll be eating up hard drive space more than ever.

Previously if I took bad pictures, they were single images, now I can choose 24 or even 30 frames a second of bad pictures especially if I’m bad a shooting video.

I’m happy to be learning new skills but the question that begs to be answered is:

“Will my wife buy this?”

Do not watch the embedded movie if you’re a patsy.

4 thoughts on “Evil camera manufacturers”

  1. DeeAnn,
    At my prime I remember never shooting more than 6 or 7 35-exposure-rolls tops for football. It seemed like if I did more especially for a day game where I stayed the entire game, that meant I had a good game.

    If I had more than 6 rolls, that meant I was in trouble and was either in the wrong place or missed critical plays. That was in the days when autofocus was just in its infancy.

    These days I imagine everyone who’s still busy shooting have a higher percentage of keepers.

  2. SD cards! WTH?
    Thankful cleaning my Canon 300 2.8 lens and 40D new camera has kept me from lusting after new equipment.
    After helping high school photography students at last nights’ football game (monopod adjustment, believe it or not) I warned them to edit more while shooting. Their Instructor laughed after handing out another CF.
    Remember when we tried to keep football to a roll of Tri-X? College/Pro games meant more film, but it taught us to Keep It Simple, Stupid’.
    If your equipment/tool is helping your work, then buy/keep. Can’t work with broke tools, whether its a mop or lens or fire Pulaski.
    Good luck in your quest Peter!

  3. Hello Jude,
    After I wrote that post, I went online to see if there were any firmware updates for my Canon 40D. Turns out there was. And here’s the link on how to update your firmware for your camera.

    It’s a good idea to do that since the newer Firmware won’t hurt your camera. I just Googled “Canon 40D firmware update.

    So far, the camera is has responded and the problem has gone away. So I”m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Doesn’t mean I’m not lusting for a newer camera.

    I feel your pain Jude. When I worked at the paper, I used the best equipment and the best lenses. Now that I”m on my own, I know that when I buy something, I absolutely need it, instead of want it. So indeed Jude. Good luck and start saving.

    Just remember to be a little patient when you have that new camera. Downloading 21 Mpx files will take longer. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  4. LOL – I sympathize. Last week on vacation I got to spend the day with my brother’s 5D MKII and experienced a serious case of the ‘I wants’! He also has all L series lenses (4 of ’em – sigh!). Let me tell you the photos I took with that camera put my XSi with Tamron lens to shame. So I got home on Sunday night from vacation and immediately opened a savings account. The deal? If my bonus this year is half the price of the camera – and I can save the rest to pay cash I’m making a visit to the camera store (well – website – we have no camera stores here in Albany, NY)!

    Wish me luck! 🙂

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