In which I admit to spending money and get into trouble…







It was about half way through last years 365 project that I (eagerly) bit the bullet and upgraded my little point-&-Shoot for a DSLR. I was still very much a newbie* and, looking back now I can see that l allowed myself to be swayed by the preferences of the salesman and by the kinder price tag.

I came home last year with an Olympus E 450 (fondly nicknamed "Athena") and I loved her so. I loved the degree of control I had. I loved the feel of her. The weight of her (yet the lightness compared to other cameras). I loved the choice presented to me by her lenses and functions. And I loved - LOVED - the looks people would give me when I wielded her instead of my little Olympus (yes I'm that shallow, I enjoyed the 'oooo photographer’ vibe).

Teacher Smudge

Athena saw out my 365 project and took some of my favourite photos. She went with me to Melbourne and Brisbane. She photographed birthdays, weddings and formals. She griped with me when we got roped into photo gigs. And she was carried with me practically everywhere.

But slowly little irritations started to creep in. Like the auto-focus issue that resulted in a two week stay at the head office. Like her epilepsy-inducing flash. Her complete refusal to cooperate under less than ideal light conditions, the general slowness. And then, the final clincher, her stage fright around Lisa and her camera which made con-photography a complete write-off. It didn't matter how many little chats we had, Athena continued with her little eccentricities.

So I got to thinking (always dangerous) and realised several things in quick succession.

  1. I did not want to deal with these problems while backpacking.
  2. If I didn't make the change of camera (and likely change of brands) now while I was relatively accessory-free I never would; and
  3. There was no way that the money Grinch that will be 2012-Me will allow me to buy a camera.

I started my research that night.

Better armed with what I wanted I started looking, and asked Lisa for her recommendation. She suggested the Canon EOS 60D (the equivalency of her 50D which I've used & love) or the next model up, the 7D.

These two fit my needs and were my leading choices but I also wanted to check out some of the mid-range Sonys (Alex has a Sony which, again, I love and find so easy to use). After a bit of price scouting and camera-handling l headed to Harvey Norman (hoping for a Christmas sale - not so lucky)

After just a little more camera-fawning (what? the guy kept handing them to me!) I had it narrowed down to two choices: the Canon 60D and the Sony Alpha 65.


Both does exactly what I want but there was, for me, one glaring difference - the weight. The Canons are just so damn heavy (especially the 60P with the alloy frame**). Even with the heavier Tamron lense I'd decided on the Sony was noticeably lighter.

I'd told myself that if it was under a certain price I'd buy it on the day. The Tamron lense (eliminating the need to carry two lenses while traveling) did push it over the top a bit but I did manage to talk him down a bit and got my UV filters, screen protectors and extended warranty for zilch so I walked away pretty happy.

So now there's just the little matter of a name...


* wow, doesn't that sound like l now know what I'm doing? Not so much, but now I know what my camera needs are and know that my Olympus wasn't meeting them.

** and I’ll admit, despite knowing it would probably never be an issue, having to hold on tight to something made of alloy (to which I am allergic) makes me nervous.

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