The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

It’s here, it’s big and it’s just a bit intimidating...

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Finally, 4 weeks after ordering it, my new camera is here. And it appears to be working this time.

My new Canon EOS 7D is a lovely bit of kit, by all accounts. It has been very well reviewed in the photography press and other photographers I know who have one are singing its praises.



Unfortunately when mine arrived from Calumet Photographic a few weeks ago, it failed to recognise any memory cards and I had to send it back. It transpired there was a bent pin in the memory card slot, and I was told that was usually caused by someone putting in the memory card the wrong way round.

Anyway, after much time, investigations by Canon, and several phone calls and emails to Calumet from me, I was told earlier in the week the bent pin was not in the usual place where these things happen so it was concluded it was unlikely to be something I’d done, so I was entitled to a replacement.

It arrived on Wednesday morning.

Unfortunately I’ve been so busy with last minute preparations for the launch of the exhibition this weekend that I only got it out of the box this a few hours ago.

Now while I am, of course, very excited about my new camera, I have to confess I’m also completely intimidated by it.

The manual is over 250 pages thick, for one thing. Usually this is because it also contains the instructions in 20 other languages, but not this one - it’s entirely in English.

There are so many dials, buttons and menu options, it’s going to be a long time before I become familiar enough to understand and be comfortable with all the things it can do.

So at the moment, I keep pulling it out, looking at it, pressing a button, then putting it back again and going away to do something else.

Once this weekend is past, I’ll have a proper play with it.
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29 comments

hope said...

Well, you've completed Step One: Remove camera from box. :)

Have fun!

Cindy said...

am green w/ envy

Dj-u' de serviciu said...

hi...I'm just a kid from Romania;I saw youre photos on 1x.com 2 hours ago and I am very impressed about the work you put in this art-photography.
All I wanna say is that I like very much youre pictures and I stay tunne on 1x.com and on youre blog to see more new photos with youre new Canon.
All the best,
Rares

Carole said...

It looks like a very nice camera. I am not sure how your pictures can get much better, but perhaps in the coming months I will see.

Fay's Too said...

Talk sweet to her. Stroke her strap. You know. . . .take it slow. Maybe some music, candlelight. . . . you'll get there.

Tiffin said...

Oh my, Kim. That looks serious. That is a very serious camera indeed. Perhaps the cat approach for a while: tiptoe around the thing, poke at it, maybe give it a sniff, then give it a firm smack so it knows who's boss.

Heather L. Truelove said...

one of the best parts of getting older is getting calmer and more methodical about new toys (IMHO). enjoy getting to know it. and hope you have a wonderful turn out this weekend for your exhibit.

emma said...

Your not one of those people who abandons instructions then? (one of those people=me).
Will be waiting to see your new photos!

Annie said...

Scary isn't it? I remember feeling the same way and thinking there is no way on this earth I'll ever be able to use it. But you get used to it bit by bit. The best advice I can give you is stick it in auto and practice and then use the AV setting (aperture priority) and have a play with the different depths of field. and don't be afraid to shoot in RAW. It took Craig refusing to let me shoot at the studio session unless I shot RAW to convert me and I've never used jpg since.

You WILL love it once you get the hang of it but don't try to learn it all at once. and above all, sit and stroke your new camera, give it some love and enjoy each others company LOL

Jasmine said...

I'm very jealous! Can't wait to see what you shoot with it. :)

Mimi and Tilly said...

Wow, that'a whopper.

starrlife said...

Ooh,ooh! So cool!

Eryl Shields said...

A 250 page manual is impressive, the sort of impressive that would make me feel nauseous. The camera, on the other hand, is about as gorgeous as a camera can be. I'd be happy just to sit it on the table and admire it myself.

See you tomorrow, can't wait to see everything in place.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - and with packaging these days, that's not always the most straightforward of processes...

Cindy - I see photography's a large part of your blog - what camera do you use?

Rares - thank you for your kind words :)

Carole - I have argued long and hard with some that it's not the camera, it's the person using it that makes a good photo. However, like any tool, a good camera makes it easier to achieve a higher standard of images. At the moment I do a great deal of work in post-production - making adjustments in Photoshop to make up for the inadequacies of the camera, the light or the curcumstances. However, I'm hoping the better camera will mean I can achieve more before I get to the computer stage

Fay - you mean telling her my best fart jokes isn't like to impress?

Tiffin - that reminds me of the wonderful line in Woody Allen's Play it again, Sam, where the Bogart character says, "I never saw a dame yet that didn't understand a good slap in the mouth or a slug from a .45"

Heather - getting calmer and more methodical about new toys - clearly I haven't aged then...

Emma - I start reading them enthusiastically, then sooner or later I start getting bored and then abandon them

Annie - I don't know if I have enough memory on the computer to cope with RAW files

Jasmine - so what camera are you using?

Emma - well, I don't like to boast...

Starrlife - it is a bit, isn't it... :)

Kim Ayres said...

Eryl - missed you in the ether there. So glad you can come along tomorrow - look forward to seeing you :)

Pat said...

There's no rush is there?
Leave it until the exhibition is under way and good luck.
RTFM haunts me and I still haven't got my recorder working properly. My brilliant step - daughter couldn't make sense of the manual nor her partner - using the internet so I'm giving in and getting a man round next week.
I hope your new treasure gives you hours of pleasure:)

mapstew said...

Best of luck with the exhibition Kim.

:¬)

Scotsman said...

When I got my first DSLR I was a little intimidated by the manual too. But I quickly learned to pretty much ignore the manual except for the odd item here and there.

Really the camera is a just a tool like your others, you just have to play with it, test it, see how it performs to your other equipment and then use it to its strengths. The operating of the camera probably won't change your photographing technique too much from anything else you have used in the past. Its probably the editing process of the images that you take with it that will change most.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Tasty!

Keepin' afloat - barely said...

See - I have enough things that are smarter than me now. Don't think I could handle one more. Good Luck with the show. And have fun with the new "toy."

Zaedah said...

I hope that manual comes with two aspirins and an umbrella drink!

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Ah, I LOVE a good sized manual :) Basically I ignore it till something goes wrong ;)

Lynne said...

NNNniiiccceee, I want one. I have a canon and love it. Okay I've had a few ~3 in film, 2 that still work and am loving my digital EOS. Can you tell I like Canons? ;-P

Good luck this weekend, only wish that I could see it in person.

Mary Witzl said...

Good luck with this weekend, Kim!! Wish we could be there to see your pictures (and you) and help support you.

I like Tiffin's cat approach suggestion. Nowadays, everything technological intimidates me, so a 250-page manual would definitely make me whimper and turn tail.

bonequinhoda bic said...

WOW,what a monster !
I can just imagine you pointing this at someone and thinking -Com´on punk,make my day !- LOL
All i have is a pee wee digital camera, but someday i wish mine will be as big as yours !
:)
Just kidding, enjoy it and take a million great photos.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - thank you :) - I'll just work slowly with it over the next few weeks, trying out different functions one at a time I think

Mapstew - thank you :)

Scotsman - i think you're right - it's just a case of learning how to use a tool that you handle in a slightly different way

TFE - yup

Keepin' Afloat - thank you :)

Zaedah - now there's a marketing promotional tool Canon have missed...

FLG - the bigger the manual, the harder you can wallop the equipment with it when you're angry...

Lynne - so which one's your favourite?

Mary - thanks - when will you be back in the uK?

Bonequinhoda - they say size doesn't matter, but few people really believe that... ;)

Jasmine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jasmine said...

I'm just using a regular Kodak digital camera, the Z885. It was affordable, and it takes decent pictures. Though, it would be great to have a nicer camera... I've always said it's not the camera that takes a good photo, but who is taking it.

Kim Ayres said...

Jasmine - you're absolutely right - it's all about the photographer. A better camera doesn't make us better photographers any more than a better hammer makes a better carpenter.

However, better tools can help to make a job easier or better quality :)

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