Camera, Lenses, Filters, and Hoods
Canon Rebel Line
I have two Rebel camera bodies: 1) the Canon Rebel XSi
; and 2) the Canon EOS Rebel T1i
Why do I have two similar camera bodies? Well, it started
when the Rebel XSi had to be sent for
repairs. I realized that not having a camera for the duration of a repair
limits my work ability. So I got another body, the Rebel T1i, and
I keep the Rebel XSi as a backup body that takes the same batteries,
lenses, and has similar controls as the Rebel T1i.
I would never go on a trip for photos or an important location
shoot without a backup camera body.
Get the Big Gigs
This 16 GB SD card is a wonder--I can photograph for hours on
it, even in RAW + JPEG top quality and still not run out of room.
The Rebel XSi shows 797 photos available to shoot on this card in
RAW + JPEG format.
Getting this was the best money I ever spent, because it has saved
me time, fumbling, and possible loss of smaller-sized SD cards.
My plan is to get a few more of these for longer trips where I need
to store photos before transfering to a computer.
Double Bubble Axis Level: this clear, two-axis
bubble level helps you adjust the camera on the tripod so that
it is level. I find this invaluable!
The clear plastic shows the bubble very clearly and
the bubble settles down quickly. The two axes
work for the landscape and portrait orientation of the camera.
I have astigmatism and literally can't see straight,
but with this level, the photos are level!
There are cheaper levels, but I knew that this would be
an important tool for me, so I wanted an accurate,
durable level, so I went with this Manfrotto model.
I can't say enough good about this tripod--I've used it for over
a year, and it fits my needs perfectly. It is reasonably
lightweight and compact when folded down. Its ball head allows me to position the camera as I wish.
It is reasonably steady--not rock-steady--but sufficient enough for non-gusting winds (you can
lower the legs down to a smaller size for more stability in higher winds).
A tripod, I would say, is mandatory for night shots, IR shots and HDR shots. For telephoto shots, this is extremely useful, as at long focal lengths, your camera rocks more than you might think.
I also have a Slik Tabletop Travel Tripod
which is also fantastic for the same reasons and holds the Rebel
comfortably and sturdily in a size that fits easily in a small backpack.
For trips I have taken this tabletop version only, and I've been pleased
with the results.
Get Big Power
I have three batteries for my Rebel XSi.
I carry a spare (second) battery pack in my camera utility kit. I keep
another battery at home in the charger ready to go. I swap
all these batteries regularly. I've never been without power
for the camera.
- Get some books to increase your knowledge.
- Get some cards to hand out when people ask about your photos: MOO MiniCards - $19.99 for 100 unique mini-calling cards. Make people remember you!
- You can get some gloves:
Terramar Thermasilk Glove Liners which are thin enough to be able to easily operate the camera controls and will keep your hands warm in cool weather.
- I have obtained some Modular Organized Durable Storage (MODS) Food Storage Containers by Snapware which hold the camera and lenses in my backpack. These cases provide a waterproof and crush-resistant carrying case which help protect the camera accessories.
- If you are on the road, you might want to have an extremely portable
computer to post your photos online. I find the EEEPC works well to provide me with ultramobility, and I've posted photos
directly from my camera's SD card to flickr using the EEEPC.
Avoid the Big Shakes
The remote is extremely useful for night shots, IR shots and HDR shots. For telephoto shots, this is also useful, as at long focal lengths, your finger pressing the shutter button rocks that camera more than you might think.
Use this remote to avoid touching the camera at all to release the shutter
for these types of shots.
Also useful for shots when you want to release the shutter and
be in the photo.
Uses CR1220 battery cells.
Sensor Cleaning Supplies
I discuss these supplies in "Digital Photography's Dirty Little Secret:"
- BriteVue sensor loupe:
This device has lights that illuminate the sensor and a magnifying lens that allows you to view the sensor surface. I find this device to be excellent, and a huge savings in time.
- Giotto Rocket Blaster:
Use this to force blown air on your sensor to clean it.
- Arctic Butterfly Brite Sensor Brush:
What this brush does is allow you to gently swab your sensor with
bristles that have been spun to remove dust on them and
charge them electromagnetically.
- Swab Method Kit:
contains the basics: the fluid, the plastic wand, and the lint-free cloth.
You'll need to get a supply of more
Pec Pads, as you'll use those up
You can also buy more Eclipse fluid
separately, but that seems to last a long time.
I also use these pads and fluid for cleaning camera filters and lenses.
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