Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer Laura Hana

Canon or Nikon?

Mar 28, 2008 Posted in Articles

First of all, let me start out with a few disclaimers:

  • I do not have a loyalty to either brand. In fact, I highly recommend both.
  • I know there are other brands (e.g. Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Pentax… etc.) that offer great cameras too but I’m not familiar with them.
  • I’m no tech junkie and I don’t do rigorous testing. All comments are subjective.

So there you are. I’m sorry if you were looking forward to a great battle but there simply won’t be one. I titled this post “Canon or Nikon” because most people will ask me that question.

I’ve heard on many occasions that Canons were designed by engineers and Nikons were designed by photographers. So does that mean Canon has a lot of bells and whistles and Nikons are purely functional? Bah. Both brands have their pros and cons, yays and nays, strengths and weaknesses. After reading about these types of things all the time, you start to wonder if you should even buy a camera at all! So don’t look too deeply into those fanboy arguments on the forums out there. In the end, you should buy the camera that is right for YOU.

Here’s what I did:

  • I shot a lot of kids with my point and shoot camera so I knew I preferred taking portraits as opposed to landscape, sports, cars, etc. I knew what kind of “work” I’d be doing.
  • I did my research and found out what the cameras I was looking into were capable of doing.
  • I went to the stores and played with all the models I was interested in and examined the fit and finish, feel of the grasp, weight, buttons, dials and of course, shot a few test photos of the salesman when he wasn’t looking.
  • I read a few reviews and comments on the internet from users who had already bought those cameras but took it with a grain of salt.
  • I scoured the internet to find the best price for the model I finally decided to buy. I love bargain shopping and the internet is my friend.
  • I closed my eyes and clicked the “Checkout” button!

Okay, so I didn’t buy my first DSLR online. I actually got it price matched at a local store who also gave reward points, which scored me some extra bonuses! Nice!

If you want tips on how to get the best price, watch for a future post on it!

So now you’re probably wondering which camera I bought and why. But I just told you to get the camera that is right for you! Were you even listening? Just kidding. I’d want to know too.

My husband and I eventually decided to buy the Nikon D50 (now discontinued) way back in the summer of 2005. At the time, we just liked it better than it’s Canon competitor, the Rebel XT. He says that based on what he’s read, the Nikon produces more true-to-life images and slightly better image quality. (He’s the researcher in this partnership!) I simply couldn’t wait anymore and grew tired of the comparison discussions he LOVES to have and just went for the one that fit better in my hand and was more intuitive. I could barely hold the XT and could imagine getting hand cramps after a while. So Nikon D50 it was! And I’ve been using it ever since. 50,000 clicks later and it’s still working fine.

But I wanted an upgrade. Five AF (auto focus) points just weren’t cutting it for me anymore. So, to my hubby’s delight, we went through all those steps again during the past 4 months and finally clicked that “Checkout” button and bought a new camera! Want to know what we got? I’ll let you know next time. =)

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.

Close Up

Mar 28, 2008 Posted in Daily Pic

Close up

focal length: 50 mm
shutter speed: 1/200
aperture: f/1.8
ISO: 1600
flash: none

You may have noticed that many of my pictures are close up shots. One method of isolating the subject is to get rid of the background almost entirely by zooming in close.

Here is Sophie in the crib that she’s never slept in yet! She’s a finicky sleeper that one!

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.

Play

Mar 27, 2008 Posted in Daily Pic

Play

focal length: 18 mm
shutter speed: 1/80
aperture: f/3.5
ISO: 1600
flash: none

I used my zoom lens for this shot at the widest setting to try to get this perspective. I got down on my tummy and shot upwards for a more interesting image. Trying different angles can make your photos more dynamic and fun! I only wish the background wasn’t so cluttered and busy.

Sophie loves playdates because she can play with new toys!

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.

Sweet

Mar 26, 2008 Posted in Daily Pic

Sweet

focal length: 50 mm
shutter speed: 1/50
aperture: f/1.8
ISO: 1600
flash: none

This photo is a little ’soft’ due to my subject moving around. However, because the total time she had the blanket draped over her was a few seconds at most, I have to settle for this shot. I wish I had a slightly different angle as well, but this was the best I could do while holding her with my left hand and shooting with my right!

After this shot, Sophie had a major case of hair static!

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.

Mommy-Turned-Photographer

Mar 25, 2008 Posted in Articles

Last night, I got to thinking about how I got into photography and when it all started.

I remember receiving my first camera when I was 9 years old. It was made of cheap red and black plastic but I loved it! That year, my fourth grade teacher taught us how to develop prints in the darkroom we had at school. I still have the prints I developed back in the ’80s! My dad had a film SLR (Canon A-1) that he used to take portraits of us four siblings back in the day and I’m so glad that we have such beautiful photos to cherish even today.

Fast forward to the last decade and there were more film point and shoots, a few digitals and a lot more pictures! All of my siblings are totally snap-happy; we must’ve inherited the picture-taking gene from our dad.

So, I suppose I have always had a bit of an affinity towards taking photos. However, I believe that it was in preparation for the birth of our daughter when I really caught the photo bug.

An article on Crave caught my attention last week. I can see why 51% of DSLR users in the US are women and are most likely to have children under the age of 6. I guess I fall right into that category! I knew a regular point and shoot just wouldn’t cut it. Mind you, I have a compact digital camera that I carry around with me everywhere for “emergencies”, but it’s not my first choice when it comes to trying to capture a moving child. The response time is much too slow, the direct flash is unflattering and I have little control over how my photographs will turn out.

Knowing this, we bought our first DSLR a couple years before having our first child, so we could hone our skills. But it was only after we had our baby that I really started to shoot seriously and because my new “job” meant being with the baby 24 hours, 7 days a week, I’m usually the one to grab the camera. I have about 50,000 actuations (clicks) on my DSLR and I’d say about 70% of those took place after little Sophie came into the world. If you’re not a parent yet and you think you take a lot of pictures, just wait until the little ones arrive! You just can’t resist!

I’m a mommy-turned-photographer. Are you one too?

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.

[dōl-chā piks]

[n.] a resource for beginners who wish to take sweeter pics.

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