Canon 10D Discussion


Monkey Costa Rica

 Costa Rica Beach

I hope this discussion will give yousome insights as to why I chose to purchase a digital SLR and inparticular the 10D.  I had spent many months researching digitalcameras in an attempt to make an informed decisions.  Hopefullythediscussion below will aid in your decision.

I had been shooting film formany years.  My SLR broke about 4 years ago and I did not replaceit because I was ready to start over and jump into the world of digitalphotography, but at the time I did not think any of the availablecameras were acceptable.   There was my concern over thenumber of megapixels, the lack of functions, poor auto focus,inaccurate exposure, etc.  In the summer of 2002 the Nikon D100and Fuji S2 Pro arrived at 6 megapixels and I was primed to finallymake my purchase.  Yet, after reading numerous reviews Ihesitated.  The price back then was still around $3000 for justthese bodies, and in my opinion at that price these cameras should haveallthe functions I want.  The S2 Pro lacked 1/3 EV steps for exposurecompensation (only 1/2 steps); reviews reported some moire; there wasno histogram highlight indicator in play back mode to easily alert youto blown highlights, and the camera had two different sets of batteriesbecause this camera was still a hold back from the film body it wasbuilt on.  The D100 seemed to have everything I could have everwanted, but some reports of the noise level left me a little worried,andthe price was still over $2000 at the time.   I really wantedto wait to see what Canon's answer to these two cameras was.

Well, in Dec 2002 Canon came out with the full frame 11 megapixels1Ds.  Now this camera is a dream come true, but for $8000 itwasn't going to happen for me.  Finally, in May of 2003 the Canon10D was released at $1500!  It had unbelievable resolution and nomoire; terrific color; amazingly low noise even at 1600 ISO; a terrificand fast auto focus system that worked in well in very low light; andall metal body; and more, for only $1500.  I could wait no longerand went out and immediately purchased one.  Now that I have usedthe camera for about 6 months I am happy to report that the Canon 10Dis one of the best purchases I have every made.

Making the decision to purchase the 10D was a big step, but actuallyonly the first step of many.  Now I was faced with so many otherchoices.  What lenses to buy, flash, CF card.  The hugeadvantage of purchasing an SLR over a standard point and shoot camerais exactly this;  you have so many choices in terms of lenses,flashes, filters, and more.  These choices are as important asyour choice in camera.  Unfortunately, in photography yourequipment is only as good as your weakest link.  This means youwill be quickly spending a heck of a lot more money on all the othercomponents needed.  I hope that reading each of my equipmentlinks will help you make an informed decision as to what particularpiece of equipment you should purchase.

Now why did I buy an SLR over a point and shoot?  For me it wasimage quality and the immense possibilities for focal length. Mostpoint and shoot cameras are 5 megapixels or less.  This is finefor 4x5 prints and even 8x10 prints, but I enjoy printing my favoritesat 11x14 or more.  A 6 megapixels sensor will give you betterprints at 8x10 and beyond.  The more expensive  point andshoot cameras give you focal lengths from 32mm at best up to 300mm atthe top end.  Canons wide selection of lenses for it's SLR camerasgives you the ability to choose lenses from 22mm up to 1920mm and witha 2x Extender that becomes 3840mm (All focal lengths are multiplied by1.6X to give 35mm equivalents).  Now I don't have the money to layout $10,000+ for a 1920mm lens, but a 450mm sure is nice.  Inaddition to the great range of focal lengths available there is a largerange of lens quality available.  Canon's top L glass lenses aregoing to give much better photos compared to the small lenses on pointand shoot cameras.  (I go into lens choices in more details in thelens specific equipment sections).  So lens selection is a greatfactor to consider in choosing an SLR over a point and shoot, and Ididn't evendiscuss specialized lenses such as macro's, tilt/shift lenses, andfisheyes.

Lenses and larger sensor sizes are not the only factors.  Manypoint and shoots today give you lots of manual control, but the layoutand ease of use of the manual control features are far inferior tointuitive layout of the 10D.  Once you break away from the moreautomatic settings such as portrait, landscape, etc. and moveto shutter priority, aperture priority, or full manual mode; the cameralayout and displays become much more critical in giving you the abilityto easily adjust the cameras settings.  I don't want to go intotoo much detail here, but a good SLR will give you much more controlover the camera compared to a point and shoot.  Finally, thingssuch as build quality and ability to add peripherals are someadditionaladvantages.

At the top of the page are threepictures that I took with the Canon 10D.  I chose these threeimages togive you an idea of the terrific image quality of the 10D, as well asto show you how the incredible number of lenses you can choose fromgives you the incredible flexibility to capture virtually any shot youwant.

The flower was taken with a16-28mm (26-45mm equivalent) lens with a EF12 Extension Tube attached.  The extension tube allows for macrocapabilities, and when combined with such a wide angle lens greatmagnification is also possible.  The actual size of the flower wasabout 2" in diameter, even though it appears much larger in thephoto.   You can also see the terrific color and clarity thatispossible.

The monkey on the other hadwas taken with a 70-200mm (112-320mmequivalent), with a 1.4x extender.  This specific shot was shottaken at 448mm.  Themonkey was approximately 30 yards away.  This shot would never hadbeenpossible if I did not have such a powerful lens.  If I hadpurchased aneven more powerful lens I could have captured even more detail.

Back at the other end of thespectrum, the photo of the beach wastaken with the 16-28mm lens without the Extension Tube attached thistime.  It was shot at the widest angle possible with this lens,26mm(equivalent).

The ability to take all ofthese types of photos with one camera iswhat makes an SLR so appealing.  This range of focal length, macrocapability, and image quality is not possible with any point and shootcamera on the market today.

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Photos by Rob Bukar