Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Out with the Old, In with the New


I currently shoot with a Canon Rebel T2i, a prosumer model from five years ago. Five years, my how quickly time flies.


I love my camera, it has been my constant companion through many adventures; trips to Alaska, Montana, The Great Smoky Mountains, Caribbean cruises, and local, small town, walk-about adventures.


My camera has taught me patience. It has taught me what I like to shoot and what I don't like to shoot,  it has stuck with me through many different photographic directions. My camera has seen me go from shooting in full automatic mode to a deep love of Aperture Priority Mode, and the occasional venture into manual mode.


It is with great sadness that I confession I am looking at replacing my T2i, and ending our five year relationship. Since the beginning of the year, I have been looking and reading; considering deeply how I shoot, what I shoot, what my future needs might be. I have been asking fellow photographer's opinions, and everybody has a different one. But ultimately it is about me and how I will be using the camera tomorrow, next year and five years from now.


With all that in mind I paid a visit to my local camera store last month. I needed to feel these cameras in my, large for a woman hands, I needed to ask questions and seek advice from the camera professionals. My starting point was the raved about mirrorless cameras. Honestly most were too small for my large hands, and just didn't feel right. One intrigued me though, the Fuji X-T1, that fit my hands, and is well liked among photographers and well reviewed.


Being a much smarter photographer than I was five years ago, instead of just buying a camera and hoping I liked it, I decided to rent the Fuji X-T1 and take it with me on my trip to Chicago. A trip like Chicago is exactly the kind of trip I would want a light weight, but fully functioning camera for. I rented from BorrowedLenses.com. I would highly recommend them if you are thinking of renting any gear, whether it be a camera body, lenses or accessories. I rented the Fuji for 10 days, allowing for a few days on each side of my trip. I had to watch a couple of You Tube videos once it arrived to figure out how to use it, not being familiar with Fujis. The videos were extremely helpful and I felt fairly prepared to shoot with it for ten days.


The first place I gave it a trial run was Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL. Deanna and I went there for the afternoon after I arrived at her house in Naperville, and while we waited for our other friend Patti to arrive.


Let me say I am not a huge fan of using the back screen as my viewfinder, it was very hard to see what I was shooting using the LCD screen, especially in bright sunshine, which I shoot in most of the time. It does have an electronic viewfinder which worked infinitely better once I discovered the diopter to adjustment the visual so I could actually see through it. I did like the fact that I could see the histogram in the viewfinder as I took the shot, and that there was a leveling line. I am hopelessly crooked on a daily basis.


I did love the light-weighness of it, and the 18-55mm f/2.8 lens that I rented with the camera body fit my needs well, and was also fairly light weight. In another fifteen to twenty years, as I get older, I can definitely see the possible need of a light-weight camera such as this. But currently I already have a light-weight camera that I adore, my iPhone, and that fits the "easy to carry" requirement quite nicely.


One other note, I was warned by some of my photography friends to be sure and rent an extra battery as the mirrorless cameras seem to eat up battery power. I am happy to report that I used the same battery the whole time and never had to recharge, or use the spare battery. If I had used the Fuji the day we went downtown Chicago I am quite certain I would have had to change the battery, but I was pleased with the battery power, more than I expected to be.


So while a lovely camera, it is not the right camera for me at this time. The cost of the camera and new lenses doesn't justify for me the ease to carry and photos that are on the same quality level as my current Canon T2i.


When I was at the camera store in July, the salesgirl did point out one other option to me as a possibility, the Canon T6s, which holds quite a bit of promise for my self-portraiture work. I have rented that camera body and it will be arriving later this week. I will let you know how that fairs.

21 comments:

  1. Great review and suggestion to rent before purchase (wish I had gone that route with a lens or two). Honestly, I am a huge proponent that it lies more with the photographer than necessarily with the gear - but having the right tools (the ones that fit YOU) can certainly make the task easier and more enjoyable.

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  2. i love the idea of renting first!!! and i love that by doing that, you knew this wasn't the right one for you!!! i can't wait to see your other reviews!!

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  3. Nice review - I've been wondering what your verdict would be.
    It does take beautiful pics, but watching you constantly struggle with the back screen for your visual was hard for me to watch. :)
    Can't wait to see what you think about the new Canon........

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  4. I think it's really important to have some hands-on contact with a camera before purchasing. After reading all the pros and cons of Canon vs Nikon, one of the main reasons I bought my Nikon D5100 was that it simply felt more comfortable in my hand. Your idea of renting was a very smart idea -- a great way to assess a completely different type of camera to see if it would meet your needs. Now you know it doesn't suit you. It was a wise investment of time and money.

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  5. A great camera report Sarah and the idea of renting is perfect.

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  6. I actually have this camera and I am enjoying it but it has been hard for me to learn since I have been using a Nikon for years. I have gotten to the point that I needed a lighter camera when traveling because my Nikon is so heavy. Good review and a very good idea to rent first before purchasing....

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  7. Great ideas and photos. I've been a Nikon user for many years and love my 800E. It is heavier because of its durability and the materials used to build it, but the purchase of a very good strap that crosses my body made a huge difference in my comfort. I love the idea of renting equipment. Thanks for the tip.

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  8. What a fun search! I am a Nikon girl myself and love my D800. Will be interested in seeing how your next camera trial goes

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  9. Great idea to rent first! I'm a Rebel gal, myself, so I'll be curious to see what you ultimately decide upon.

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  10. Great info Sarah. Didn't know you could rent a camera . . . perfect for finding "the best fit!"

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  11. Enjoyed your review of this camera, as well as your (as always) lovely images. It's the person who holds the camera and looks through that lens that makes all the difference, in my opinion. But I certainly understand that need to upgrade and find just the right fit. Have fun!

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  12. You certainly captured some beautiful photos with this camera. I'll be looking forward to seeing which one you try next.

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  13. Love your honest post - and you are absolutely right - the key is to find the best camera for you and the kinds of pictures you want to make. Renting makes great sense and can save lots of money spent on a poor choice. I've tried lots of cameras, but I love my Canon 7D the most and my film camera the Canon AE-1. I like a clean, lightly edited look so it's important for me to get the picture right 'in camera' as often as possible. Love your images and your adventures!

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  14. So wonderful to see some of your garden photos and even one from the Smoky Mountains. I upgraded my Rebel to the Canon 70D. Love it. I was thinking about the 5D MarkIII because it is a full frame sensor. I could not afford I but maybe someday.

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  15. I find your older camera photos more impressive than the Fuji...I just upgraded from my Nikon D90 after 6 years.

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  16. It never occurred to me to rent a camera before I buy. What a great idea! I'll be interested to know what you settle on. I'm kind of Nikon snob, I guess. But it helps that Bill has a Nikon and I can borrow his lenses if I want to. He's so generous and has some great lenses like a 300mm prime. I haven't used it much because the auto focus isn't compatible, but I could use it in manual. I should consider trying that out.

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  17. Renting is a great idea...like you, I love my big Canon's, the 7D11 and the Mark 111. Recently though, I did buy the Fuji, X-E-2 and now I love that also...but each has it's place in my photography. When taking the boys out on adventures the Fuji is perfect...light and small and the snaps are great..but for more important work and for vacations I take the one of the bigger camera's. I'm not sure which camera you used for the photo's above but I have to say they are all stunning...pleae tell. Your reveiw and final discission was also quite good but I don't think it's clear as to why you didn't choose the Fuji...this was a very thought provoking post Sarah and thank you for sharing it...

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  18. I've never heard of renting a camera. That's a great idea.

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  19. I'm contemplating a new camera too. But, maybe first, lighting. Nice to read your thoughts and experience.

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  20. Renting sounds like a great option before buying. - I've been considering upgrading as well and got advice from Brian King as I prefer to stick with Canon camera's. Your photos here were just so lovely. I enjoy scrolling through each one.

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  21. I never thought of renting before purchasing ... great idea. I've had my Canon 60D for about 5 years now. I love it....it's a great camera.....but he's been acting funny lately :-/ . Looking forward to your next review. Oh, great great great shots by the way :-D
    diane @ thoughts & shots

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)