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Getting a “big boy” camera…

January 20, 2016, 1:44 PM

Last Thursday was a lot of fun.  I got together with Elyse, with the intent of getting some sample material to evaluate for the future purchase of a new camera.  This new camera will be a digital SLR, as I am quite confident that I have outgrown the “prosumer” level of camera that I have operated on since Big Mavica in 2002.  I discovered that in 2014 when I photographed Brighton Dam and Triadelphia Reservoir with a borrowed Nikon Coolpix P510.  The photos with that camera came out well enough, but other than a few extra pixels because of the higher resolution on that camera, I didn’t get any better features than my existing camera.

But first, after Elyse and I got together, we had lunch at Jimmy John’s.  I had a sandwich, and Elyse just had one of the day-old rolls that they sell:

Elyse eats one of the day-old rolls.

I commented that with a photo like that of her eating something, she could totally run for office.  After all, you can’t hold elected office until someone has taken an awkward photo of you eating, right?  Seriously, go Google “politicians eating”.  You’ll thank me later.

After lunch, we headed up to Micro Center in Towson.  There, I pulled out my laptop, fished out an SD card, and plopped it in a camera to start firing off some test shots.  After all, I was going to do this camera testing in a methodical way: I was going to take photos, and then evaluate them at home later.

I started with the Nikon D3300:

The carpet.
The carpet.

Close-up of Elyse.
Close-up of Elyse.

To the left of the camera display.
To the left of the camera display.

To the right of the camera display.
To the right of the camera display.

Then I went to the D5500:

The back of Micro Center.
The back of Micro Center.

Close-up of the keys on my laptop.
Close-up of the keys on my laptop.

Part of a burst shot. Elyse was wearing my coat and flapping her arms around.
Part of a burst shot.  Elyse was wearing my coat and flapping her arms around.

The next shot in the burst series.
The next shot in the burst series.


I shot a video. No idea what that weird sound is.

Then I went to the D3200:

The camera display. Unfortunately, those Canons were secured in such a way that you couldn't put an SD card in them, because the security mount blocked them.
The camera display.  Unfortunately, those Canons were secured in such a way that you couldn’t put an SD card in them, because the security mount blocked them.

The side of Micro Center.
The side of Micro Center.


Another test movie.

Being unable to test the Canon models, we were done at Micro Center.  We later found ourselves at Best Buy, and we continued, starting with the Nikon D7200:

Wheelock MT up on the wall.
Wheelock MT up on the wall.

Fiddling with the selective color feature.
Fiddling with the selective color feature.

The other display cameras.
The other display cameras.

Elyse got a photo of me with the selective color still on. Because of the coloration, Elyse said it kind of looked like I had eaten a smurf.
Elyse got a photo of me with the selective color still on.  Because of the coloration, Elyse said it kind of looked like I had eaten a smurf.

Then I tried the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:

The Wheelock MT, again.
The Wheelock MT, again.

Elyse smiles.
Elyse smiles.

Then finally, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i:

Close up of Elyse's eye.
Close up of Elyse’s eye.

Elyse fiddles with my phone.
Elyse fiddles with my phone.

Elyse also got an action photo of me while she had my phone:

Playing with a tethered camera.

We also swung by the Sprint store near White Marsh, since I’m eligible for a phone upgrade, but not quite ready to take that plunge just yet, since I’m not dealing with a new phone until after I replace the camera.  So I just got a feel for what the field looks like, and tested the camera for the Note 5:

Elyse, once again.
Elyse, once again.

The front of the Sprint store.
The front of the Sprint store.

Group selfie.
Group selfie.

Individual selfie.
Individual selfie.

So all in all, the field looks pretty good.  I’m probably going to go with a Nikon model for my next camera, since the Canon models were a bit more expensive, and didn’t seem to provide as much bang for your buck.  In any case, I’ll let you know what I get, and then, of course, the first photo set with the new camera will be forthcoming some time after that.

For those keeping track, speaking of cameras and first photo sets, Wal-Mart was the original Mavica’s first set, Autumn Leaves was Big Mavica’s first set, NSM Counter-Protest was Duckie’s first photo set, Operation Sea Arrrgh was the Kodak’s first set, and then March on Crystal City was the Canon’s first set.

Most amusing was whenever we would inadvertently set off an alarm at any of the places.  We would always be quick to rat out the other person to the salesperson who came to turn the alarm off.  “HE DID IT!” and “SHE DID IT!” became common phrases whenever that happened, depending on who actually set the alarm off.  Of course, I’d like to know who decided what the length of those bloody tethers should be in the first place.  If most of those places would add about three or four feet to the tether, it would make it far easier to actually test the camera, and probably cut down on accidental alarms.

And lastly, Elyse and I went to Tilted Kilt for dinner.  This is when I realized how bloody mature I have become.  For those not familiar, Tilted Kilt is one of those restaurants where the servers are all women, and are wearing skimpy outfits, designed to show off certain parts of the body.  The clientele, as you might imagine, is mostly men.  Ten or so years ago, I would have so totally enjoyed the view, as some photos at Hooters from 2003 can attest.  At Tilted Kilt, with similar, likely even skimpier outfits, I barely noticed.  I noticed the acne scars on the face of one of the servers more than any of the servers’ outfits.  And Elyse and I commented more on the fact that the guys were also wearing kilts.  That surprised me more than the women’s outfits.  I guess I expected that the guys would have worn pants.

And the only photo that we took?  The food:

Dinner at Tilted Kilt. This is their southwestern wrap.

And I will say that the food was pretty good.  This was their southwestern wrap, and Elyse and I both enjoyed it.  So, yes, I went to Tilted Kilt and just read the articles.  If you don’t believe me, ask Elyse.