Journey Part 2 (Why I Chose Canon, Fuji and Panasonic)
…I resolved to get a DSLR (making my officemate’s prediction come true – this was July 2011, a mere 3 months since getting the S4000). I began researching online on what good DSLR to get. As with most would-be DSLR owners, there’s that point where I have to decide whether to get Canon or Nikon. I’ve read many forums, articles, reviews, etc. and got the conclusion that they’re both good.
Eventually, I chose Canon. Today, I remembered why I chose Canon over Nikon:
1. Canon has a better service support here in the Philippines. Nikon is serviced by a distributor, CDSC, who is notorious for bad service, especially for units purchased in the grey market. Canon has a Philippine subsidiary and has several service centers.
2. Canon has better and cheaper lenses. Better in the sense that it has some lenses that Nikon doesn’t have (MP-E 65mm, TS-E 17mm, 800mm). I’ve also read that Canon has more expensive bodies but generally cheaper lenses (compared to Nikon equivalents).
My first project, water drops, shot with 60D and 100mm macro.
I bought a 60D (the fully-articulating display swayed me) with 18-135mm lens and a 100mm macro lens. I initially intended on buying the 18-200mm (for a beginner coming from a bridge camera, zoom counts) but I read that the 18-200 is as good as the 18-135 but is much more expensive so I chose the cheaper option and use the savings on a macro lens (a very good decision).
That was in July 2011, in August 2011, I’ve added a 50mm f1.4 to my lenses. Wonderful lens. Great contrast, great bokeh, good resolution (like the 100mm macro). Very good for low-light situations.
In October 2011, we went to a place where I really wished I had an ultra-wide angle lens. The rocks on the beach demands to be seen and take over the picture. My widest angle (18mm on APS-C or 28 equivalent) was not wide enough.
I finally got a Canon 10-22mm ultrawide lens in November. The first time I used it (in Mt. Batulao) I was so not used to the very wide view on the viewfinder that I almost fell on the side on the mountain since I thought that the edge was still far.
Somewhere in between getting the DSLR and the lenses, I got and learned Lightroom (makes a big difference, much more than getting a new or higher end camera or a lens). I also bought a wired remote for night shots (which I rarely do).
In December 2011, a splash of wave (on a boat on our way to Polilio Island) caused my 60D’s lens mount and flash to rust. I had to use my nails to pick up the flash and the lens would sometimes fail to dismount regardless of the amount of force I used. It was still taking pictures anyway.
In January 2012, the days of my Canon 60D came to an end. I climbed a rock f,ormation and had a friend take my picture. A big wave came and drenched my camera (and of course my friend). That was the end of 60D.
One of the last pictures of my 60D, me on a rock formation in Baler, Aurora.
I brought it to the Canon Service Center (great service) but the seawater and the rust it caused has corroded the LCD, the mirror and sensor assembly, the lens mount. It was repairable but at a price where it is more practical to just get a new one. Thankfully the lens (18-135mm) was ok and the battery was still working.
For awhile I had four lenses and no camera. Since the photographer in me has been awakened, I cannot do without a camera. While my 60D was in the service center, I bought a Fuji X10 (have always wanted one since it was announced). Wonderful little camera!
Boats in early morning (Tondol Beach). Shot with Fuji X10 in EXR mode.
Fuji’s innovative sensor and excellent lens are simple a wonderful combination. The good thing about the X10 is that I can just leave the exposure mode dial to EXR and let it make all the decision while I worry about composition. It also does good macros. It’s not perfect of course – EXR mode produces only JPEGs, there’s the white orb issue and other small quirks.
After learning the price of repair for my 60D, I just decided to get a new unit. I thought of getting a 60D again but I guess the lack of weather-sealing has scared me in getting the same model so I upgraded to 7D and happy days began again. I was able to use all my lenses again. And since the 60D and 7D uses the same battery, I now have a spare battery (not that I ever needed one). Unfortunately, the 7D has a different remote port than the 60D so I needed to buy a new one.
Since obtaining a DSLR and Fuji X10, I knew that there’s no place for a point-and-shoot for me, except for one – an underwater rugged camera. For my birthday, I decided to get one (along with the 7D).
Sunset in Morong, Bataan (right) and an underwater shot of myself in Puerto Galera, both shot with Panasonic TS3.
Before buying one, I did several research before settling on the Panasonic Lumix TS3 – the best reviewed rugged compact at the time (up to now since the new generation of rugged cameras are not properly reviewed yet).
The TS3 is ok, for a compact it takes good pictures in good light. It has nice macro capabilities and is the only one I can use for underwater or on the water or near the water shots. I was able to get pictures that is impossible with my other cameras (like a low angle shot of the sea like the sunset above).
And so here I am, in less than 2 years, I bought 5 cameras (the 7D, X10 and TS3 I’m still using, the S4000 I sold to a friend and the 60D still broken), 4 lenses, 2 wired remotes, filters, tripods and other accessories. Photography is indeed an expensive hobby but whenever a picture I took makes me smile, I think to myself that it’s all worth it.