Monday, August 27, 2007

Replacing a camera is hard!

After the theft of my cameras and the fantastic response by Amica, I am left with the seemingly simple task of replacing my 5D and 20D with something new. Over the past few months, though, Canon has started updating their whole camera line to their latest technology including Digic 3 processors, self cleaning sensors and an updated interface. They announced the 1D Mark III in February and the 40D and 1Ds Mark III just a week or so ago. The one camera they have not yet announced an update for is the 5D. Everyone knows it's coming, but no one knows when.

I borrowed a 1D Mark III from Josh for a couple of weeks and it was really nice. So much easier to use than the 1D Mark II which required lots of kooky multi-button gyrations to change any of the settings. The new model is significantly improved in that area. The shots look great, though I did experience some of the autofocus problems that many users have described. Updating the firmware might have improved this but I didn't get a chance to try (and I was hesitant to do this on a borrowed camera).

Clearly, if my 5D had not been stolen, I would have been quite happy with it for some time to come, but knowing that in 6 months or so I can get an update that has much lower noise, automatically gets rid of the dust on the sensor that is the bane of my existance and probably has a much better sensor make me wonder if I should just wait, or jump to one of the 1D series cameras.

The 1Ds' improvements are really awesome, but going from full frame and ~13 megapixel to a 1.3x multiplier and 10 megapixel is painful. Even if it is significantly faster and still a great camera. The 1Ds solves the framesize and megapixel issue (being full frame and 21 -- gack! -- megapixel) but at nearly $8,000 it just doesn't seem worth it. What I really want is the 5D Mark II.

Maybe that is the answer...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Amica to the rescue!

After my camera gear was stolen on the flight from Johannesburg to London, I contacted British Airways (whose response was abysmal) and Amica, my home insurance carrier. The folks from Amica were not only very sympathetic, but also very responsive. I spoke with a representative from the Seattle office a couple of days after the theft and today, lo and behold, I received a settlement check for the items that were stolen.

Now THAT'S service!

While British Airways has lost a customer for life, Amica has gained one.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Blue Angels Weekend

It's Seattle Seafair weekend again and I made it down to the I-90 bridge with Peyman to take some shots of the Blue Angels. After doing this for several years in a row, I've gotten most of the shots already but today one of the solos did a full speed run very low over the bridge and I saw something that I've not seem before -- a pressure wave (or something like that) building up behind the wing. Very cool!

It wasn't quite the same without my 5D -- the 400D is nice but not nearly as fast or clean as the 5D was. Still, it beat any of the old point and shoots for responsiveness and the 100-400L IS lens got pretty close, including my closest helmet shot to date.

Some other nice shots are available here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Most expensive movie... ever...

Leslie and I went and saw the Simpson's Movie tonight in Leicester Square in London. 11.75 GBP per ticket. Times two tickets. Times two for USD conversion. $47.00 just to get in the door.

Then there were 25 minutes of ads.


The movie was good and really funny at parts, but I'm not sure ANY movie is worth nearly $25.00 per ticket.