Saturday, April 18, 2009

My New Toy

I've been taking a lot of pictures over the past couple of years and I've finally outgrown the little Sony Cybershot DSC-T7 point and shoot camera that I bought back when I first met my wife-to-be. It's a wonderful little camera that fits in the pocket and has been very reliable, but factors such as shutter lag and a lack of image stabilization finally caused me to start looking to upgrade. After doing some research online I came to the conclusion that I could either get an OK solution by upgrading to a newer point and shoot digital camera in the $200 range, or pretty much solve all my problems by going for a low-end digital SRL camera in the $500 range. I was leaning towards the cheaper option, but when I discussed it with my wife she thought we should go ahead and look at the SRLs.

The result is my new Olympus E-520 Digital SRL camera that my wife just got me for my birthday, and I've been playing around with it a bit. All the pictures in this post were taken with it. My initial impressions are very favorable. It performs as I'd hoped it would in terms of shutter lag (which is nonexistent) and image stabilization. The macro setting seems far superior to that of any of my previous cameras, although the lens casts a shadow from the built-in flash when you get too close to the subject, so I may have to get an external flash eventually, although careful setting up of the shot, or a run through GIMP to edit out the shadow, will probably do for now.

If you can't tell the difference between these pics and the ones I've been posting, please realize that most of the pics taken with the Sony Cybershot either used a tripod or some other means for me to physically stabilize the camera before taking the picture, whereas the ones in this post I took while simply holding the camera in my hands and shooting from whatever angle I felt like.

Note that in the picture of my Knights of Minas Tirith, the knights have yet to be glued to the horses, which is why at least one of them is leaning in the saddle a bit.

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