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Topics - Beautor

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Canon General / Camera advice requested for parents in Africa
« on: December 13, 2012, 11:29:34 AM »
Here's the situation: My retired parents who are in Malawi, Africa doing humanitarian work were recently robbed and their point-&-shoot camera was among the things stolen. They have asked me to find a good camera for them to use when they take a little time off to visit some of the game preserves in the area. They do have a 2nd hand cheapo PS camera now for taking pictures of people, and things up close. My parents are not photographers, nor are they particularly tech savy. What they want is a camera with enough reach to take pictures of wildlife as they travel around the game preserve. My Dad estimates that what he is looking for is to be able to get a reasonably close picture of a kudu or a hippo from about 200' away. They are not especially wealthy so a setup like a 7D and 100-400L is unfortunately out of the question. They just want to be able to take good pictures of the amazing wildlife that they see when they go out driving.

After talking to them it looks like their budget is in the up-to $600-$700 price range. Currently I'm debating between a new good quality point & shoot like the Canon SX150 IS because it has a 12x zoom (28-336mm equivalent), it is compact, and is easy to use. This option is less expensive, but would hopefully give them much better reach than their 2nd hand PS that has a 3x zoom. Being a compact camera also makes it easier for them to carry with them without inviting undue attention from unsavory individuals.

The other option would be a Rebel with the 18-55mm & 55-250mm lenses. I think I can do the Rebel kit for around $600, or maybe even lower if I'm lucky shopping Kijiji for 2nd hand equipment(Craigslist isn't big in my area). This option provides slightly more reach, but is way bulkier. If they go with this option the camera would primarily stay in their appartment and only go out when they go sight-seeing because of the probability of being robbed again in the future. As for use, I highly doubt that the camera would leave the green mode, so the extra features of a DSLR are not especially needed.

What I'm asking is for feedback on the options I've come up with. I haven't used a PS style camera for quite a while so I'm not certain of the quality, and if it would be sufficient. Does anyone have any other recommendations in their price range?

Canon General / Canon Warranty Service Experience = A+++
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:45:46 PM »
I just wanted to share our experience with sending a camera body in for service. I've always heard that Canon's customer and warranty service is excellent, which is one of the reasons my wife and I are Canon users, but we've never had to use our warranty until just recently.

About 6 months ago I bought my wife a 60D to replace her T1i. Shortly after buying it we noticed that the rubber grip was loose in spots, and was peeling slightly. At first it wasn't enough to convince my wife to send it in, but a few weeks ago it started getting worse, to the point where it affected how you had to hold the camera. She went to the camera store where we purchased the camera, and they told her they would ship it out free of charge for service for her, and that it would take 3-4 weeks. She decided to check with sending it to Canon directly, and they estimated 10-14 days, depending on the type of service needed. My wife decided that sending it to Canon directly was the better option because she couldn't handle being without her baby for as long as the camera store was estimating.

She got a return authorization from Canon service and shipped it on the 3rd of April, and we received it back on the 9th of April. 6 days round trip, including 2 holidays! We have to say that we were ecstatic with the service. They sent us notifications when it was received, completed and shipped with a tracking number. The new grip on the camera is perfect, and way better than it was originally out of the box.

Now sending it in through the camera store could potentially have been this fast too, but having worked in retail, I know that often stores will stockpile warranty items and bulk ship them once a week or so. I don't know how this store handles it so we decided to not risk it, and take care of it ourselves. I must say it was a very positive experience.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Why the hate for video capable DSLRs?
« on: February 09, 2012, 10:33:32 AM »
I've been reading on this and other forums for quite a while, and I see a lot of hate coming from photographers who are upset that Canon and other manufacturers are including video capabilities in their DSLR's. I don't get how a camera being capable of recording still images AND video is a bad thing? Does it make you take worse pictures? I own a 40D and a 60D. We have used the video capability of the 60D exactly twice. I'm not a videographer, and I'm not really interested in shooting video. I have no interest in buying a video camera when I almost never shoot video, but I'm glad that I have a camera that's capable of it when I want it.
I'm not an engineer or an expert, but my basic understanding is that the capability to record video is primarily a software thing, and the only extra piece required is a mic or mic input. Magic Lantern software has enabled video on a 50D (albeit without a mic), which supports my understanding that it doesn't require any major changes or extras in the camera. I'm pretty sure that there's thousands of people capturing fantastic images on the 5Dii and other DSLRs that can shoot video. So unless there's something about video capable DSLRs that I'm completely missing, why the hate?

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