Canon doubts

I use Canon – whatever the reason is. EOS 450D. But sometimes I just can’t fight off some doubts. There’s that stupid idea with EOS Utility instead of making the camera itself simple plain USB mass storage. Well – I can live with that, at least this utility sorts out my photos in some way I’m already used to. But when you want to show a few pictures to a friend, you’re just lost unless you have card reader (luckily, more and more common). This, however, leads us to the need for the utility even if one would not want it for some additional features. (What additional features? :-))

Recently I installed Windows 7 and I slowly go ahead installing all the software I use. Now I’m around Picasa and Canon utils. “God knows where I have my CD, let’s just download it from internet, right?” No, not right. After you choose your OS and language, you see only “EOS Utility Updater”. “Well perhaps it somehow installs the software even if it’s called ‘updater’.” No, wrong. Canon simply is not there yet. After running the updater I was asked to insert the CD coming with the camera.

I found it. No problem after all. But why? Why I have to stand up from my chair for a stupid driver? Why can’t I install the fresh one right away? I don’t know…

Maybe for the same reason the camera is not USB mass storage. Maybe because it’s Canon.

Maybe I just didn’t find the driver. But even then Canon would be to blame. Anyway, you can check more about this whole nonsense here and here. So, dear Canon, you want us to mess with registers or buy some f-ing CD?!

Wake up, Canon! It’s 21st century already. For nearly 10 years actually!


Upgrade to Canon EOS 450D

I was always crazy about SLR cameras – since my father used to borrow me his own old Fujica (bought around 1984). Fated like this it’s no surprise my first camera was SLR. It was Canon 3000N with 35-80mm kit lenses for a good price I could afford (that time I really couldn’t afford better) – and it was in November 2002. I wanted some digital SLR badly but I knew it would be some time yet to pass for DSLRs to be affordable. Why did I join Canon camp? Well, I somehow liked Canon because one my old love had one (much better and older too) and it was the best offer price-wise that time. With additional 80-200mm zoom lenses by Canon I had easy choice when I decided to move into DSLR business. It was Canon EOS 400D and it was in January 2007. I was never that “rather buy better lenses” type because really nice lenses start quite high with prices, you know. Because I had a friend who rather bought the whole set with telezoom from me for a price lower than a new 450D kit I was recently able to get EOS 450D with newer kit lenses offering IS (image stabilization). I would probably not buy 450D just for the new body but 18-55mm IS kit lens are reportedly better + that IS can help in some situations. And prices are much lower than anytime before. Instead of 80-200mm zoom (so I had a “hole” in 55-80mm range) I ordered newer budget model EF-S 55-250mm with IS as well.

Just today I’ve read interesting Nikon vs. Canon comparison which I like even when it has been written by user preferring Nikon’s SLRs. I tend to agree with some points. Don’t get me wrong – I’m rather non-demanding user who simply likes the photography. But when I’ve read about that “two-green-button reset” it has sounded like the great idea! I often have to check display after I turn the camera on to find out what I’ve left set (and how) since the last shooting. Then there is that USB mass storage device issue – why Nikon can act like the drive and Canon can’t? (I’m pretty sure it can, but they rather don’t want that for whatever reason.) I have to buy another reader or bear with a very slow (for my taste) image transfer using the EOS Utility.

Now let’s just compare 400D and 450D from my perspective. 450D is simply better in every aspect – as expected. What I can’t understand though is why I can’t confirm some settings with shutter button as I could with 400D? ISO can be set like this, but white balance or timer can’t. I have to get used to Set button and live with my misusages of the shutter button since then. I really like those new lenses – I do have better feeling from them in terms of AF performance and image sharpness. I also like live view. Pros can tell whatever they want – I simply like SLRs, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t utilize live view shooting with hand over some fence (typical ZOO situation) or over the crowd. Focus in live view is not to my taste on the other hand. Digital focus (contrast, like on compacts) is slow – VERY slow – and precise mirror-down-and-up focus holds the mirror up until I release the focus button. Strange. I also dislike AF assist beam – the same like on 400D – because I preferred “reflector” style of 3000N – why I can’t use the lamp that is used for red-eye reduction? Flash strobes are unbelievable annoying – even for me as a photographer! I remember myself to say at least five years ago something like: “I want DSLR where I can choose what I use to help AF in dark (I even want some invisible method – maybe ultrasound or whatever) with live view for non-standard situations.” Good thing is that we’re pretty close to this already. 🙂

I want to end with good thing – because I really like the camera! I like My menu – that is simply great addition! I like Auto ISO, I like bigger display, I like better viewfinder, I like the whole thing and I’m really satisfied. I even like features that I never used on 400D because I’ve just forgotten them while getting familiar with more important things (jumping through pictures for instance). That all said – DSLR cameras are now extremely affordable (there is 1000D out there!) and my previous 400D dropped with price a lot. Some might rather want to buy those better lenses 😉 – but if you can get away your 400D somehow, go for 450D (that is if you still want Canon of this line) because the body + better kit lenses are just a very nice package.