niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

getting focused again (Monday October 23rd, 2006)

category: photography

I persevered for a month with my darling 300d’s broken auto-focus before I did my research (aka. “Price check!”) and headed to Ted’s on Saturday afternoon to haggle myself a good deal on a pretty little black Canon 400d. Some initial thoughts..

The 400d is smaller than the 300d and feels significantly lighter (although the specs say there is only a 50g difference!) – maybe it’s the weight distribution or just the thrill of a new baby in my hands.

The larger LCD screen has me fearing all sharp things due to the accident that my 300d suffered early last year. I eyed a photographer at the Red Riders in-store who seemed to have some kind of hard plastic cover over his camera’s LCD screen so there’s a little gadget I might go investigating. Otherwise the larger screen is pretty, but I don’t really find it a necessity.

The smaller buttons on the back of the body are taking a little getting used to, and the switching of position of the Disp./Info and Menu buttons feels strange but I’ll get over it.

On the top of the camera there’s a little green light to show that it’s switched on which is somewhat annoying. I don’t see a reason for it, and having a little green glow in a dark gig makes me feel like there’s a neon sign over my head (more so than a camera glued to my face?). Perhaps it can be made to not come on so I should read the manual, or otherwise I guess I could colour it in with a black marker pen.

I’m not so keen on having to view the large LCD screen for settings. Again, in dark venues having the 400d’s large glowing screen, rather than the 300d’s small strip panel with a backlight that can be easily switched off and on, is frustrating. However I found that pressing “Disp.” stops the information from appearing so once you’ve got everything set you can just switch the screen off and use the dials to make adjustments by referring to the information in the viewfinder.

The shutter sound seems louder and crisper on the 400d.

There are an extra 2 auto-focus points but the order of selection has changed so that it switches from all points to the centre point before going through the rest from left to right, rather than from all points then left to right. This is another quirk that will take some getting used to (but should mean less playing with the dial).

I think I’ll leave the comparisons there for now. I’m still getting used to the 400d, and despite the comments above I really really do love it. I just have to break some old habits and I’ll fall more in love with it I’m sure.

And I need to get myself the EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens that’s out of stock in the 7 or 8 shops I’ve trawled through over the last couple of days. One of them said they’ll have some in later this week. Fingers crossed.

In the mean time I’ll just keep snapping anything in my way.

one comment to “getting focused again”
Dan said on October 29th, 2006 at 2:30 am:

Happy snapping! Sounds like a great piece of kit.

I’ve a feeling I’ve heard somewhere about being able to switch off that green light – try running through the Custom Functions, which on my 20D are the last item on the setup menu.