141 Airmiles…

26 02 2012

Canon T2i...

Update: Got the Airmiles  I needed and T2i has been ordered. I can get a decent flash from Airmiles so that’s my next mission. I’ll probably have to pop for a fast prime lens, but that’s okay. Crisp rainforest MTB action shots here I come…=-)

141 Airmiles is how many I am short from being able to order a Canon T2i DSLR for free. The Canon S95 I bought last Dec has been a big improvement over my older point and shoot cameras. It combines improved image quality [especially in low light] with a small form factor that is easy to take with me anywhere I go. My main photographic challenge is action photography in the forest. Even in summer light levels are low and in the winter we have very short days. The S95 does great with a tripod and for slow action moments, but as soon as the light levels drop and/or action gets faster it struggles.

All the angles...

So I’m back looking at DSLRs since I can get fast lenses for them and shoot ~3-4 frames/second in burst mode to catch all the action. During my last attempt to love a DSLR I couldn’t justify the weight/size for the results I was getting. However, that was in Alberta where getting lots of light for my typical photo needs was no problem. Living in the BC rainforest blurry photographs are a regular occurrence. I can either bring a more capable camera and deal with the hassle of a heavier/bulkier form factor or I can live with the image quality currently have.

What I suspect we’ll end up doing is to bring the DSLR along on rides that we determine are going to be particularly photo-centric for one reason or another. For the rest of the rides we’ll stick with the Canon S95. Hopefully we can strike a useful balance between image quality and hassle.


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16 responses

15 02 2012
Anthony DeLorenzo

You may want to consider a mirrorless system camera system. Most manufacturers have joined that game now. Much smaller and lighter than a DSLR, they have great image quality and interchangable lenses.

I bought a Panasonic GF2 for mountain biking, with the pancake lens it is very small and easy to pack around.

15 02 2012
thelazyrando

Unless it’s free from Airmiles with ~7000miles it’s not an option for this year. I’m operating on a 40% budget compared to 2011.

15 02 2012
thelazyrando

I’m actually really happy with the S95 for my general photography needs. Anything not moving quickly in the rainforest it rocks. So I’ve got this one specific mission to sort out, but given how much I bike in forest it’s a regular problem for me.

I’m headed to AZ to MTB soon and the S95 will be fantastic there…due to plentiful light.

15 02 2012
Misha

Vik, just one more option for you to consider maybe: you can get Olympus E420 DSLR with a pancake F2.8 lens. It’s incredibly compact and light combo with a pretty fast lens! http://tinyurl.com/828sczg

15 02 2012
Misha

Wated to but forgot to add that it’s a pretty cheap option in comparison to Canon/Nikon world.

15 02 2012
Misha

Damn it, please excuse me, i’m having terrible spelling problems today…

15 02 2012
Humanist Action Hero

I have the T2i and I highly recommend it. Very fast burst mode, sturdy body, and good selection of lenses without breaking the bank for a professional body. One thing you’ll have to consider getting in addition to any fast lenses is a good external flash. Having the option to do things like high sync or second curtain flash will open up tons of options for your action photography. In fact, I kinda wish I’d gotten my flash before any extra lenses. Now that I have it I find myself mostly using the zoom that came with the camera for flexibility, instead of using a prime to get a faster shutter speed.

15 02 2012
Vik

@Misha – the Canon T2i is free once I collect a few more airmiles so that’s pretty hard to beat. I also have had other camera brands in the past and if you don’t stick to one brand you have to remember several sets of menu’s and how to operate each camera. I find with all my Canon’s it’s fairly easily for me to navigate them as they share a lot of similarities.

15 02 2012
Misha

@Vik – I see. Well, the better it will work for you, the better the blog pictures will be :). Hope you’ll get it soon, already looking forward to some more of your stunning bike-life posts/shots. :)b

15 02 2012
Misha

Hm, the smileys look somewhat crazy..

15 02 2012
Vik

Funny…I don’t normally pay much attention to airmiles, but taking a quick look at a grocery store flyer it seems I can score 150 airmiles easily next time I go shopping by buying a few supplies we need anyways – TP, paper towel kleenex, etc..

15 02 2012
Bryan

Have you seen a Cotton Carrier (http://www.cottoncarrier.com) chest harness? Works well for me when backpacking and road bike riding. I just bought a mountain bike last week so we’ll see how well it works for that.

Here’s an action video with some mountain biking in it…

15 02 2012
Vik

Thanks for the camera harness info Bryan….that’s my next mission once I get the camera. If I can’t deploy it without taking off my backpack it won’t see as much use. So a chest mounted setup was my first idea.

15 02 2012
Steve Fuller

The T2i body itself will be more than adequate for your needs, but depending on your definition of low light, you may find yourself less than happy with the results due to the lens that ships with the body. Good thing is that a lens a few stops faster is relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things. (look at the Canon 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 for a fixed focal length lens)

If you didn’t have all that credit built up, there are some nice cameras that are in the compact/semi-compact category that have wider aperture lenses for low light photography.

15 02 2012
vik

@Steve – for sure selecting a camera based in Airmiles points isn’t the ideal way to buy gear, but it’s that or no camera upgrade until my cashflow goes back to normal.

I figure the T2i will be useful step in the right direction and your right a faster lens and a flash are probably required as well.

18 03 2012
Shakedown Ride… « The Lazy Rando Blog…

[…] down to the beach where we shot some video for Porcelain Rocket and I got to play around with my new Canon T2i. Between my iPhone, Canon S95 and T2i I really do have a perfect set of photographic tools for just […]

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