Today I stumbled on a post by David Sifry on the gear needed to get started in digital SLR. For those who don't know what SLR is, it stands for Single-Lens Reflex and the best way to describe them for non-initiated people is like the cameras you see journalists carrying around, a black thing with a big lens poking out of it. I was surprised to see that I started some time ago (almost 3 years!) with a setup that is very very close to what he describes:
- Canon EOS350D
- 2 x 1GB cards
- External USB2.0 CF Card reader
- Circular polarizer and UV filter
One day I was in the supermarket and saw it there, waiting for me :) It was 20€, lightweight, plastic made but sturdy enough to allow me to take those long exposure shots I had been dreaming of.
- 4GB SanDisk Extreme IV CF Card
The 4GB card allows me to take over 1000 pictures in JPG or around 350 pictures in RAW+JPG. Having an extra couple of 1GB cards makes you forget about limitations and you can just care about shooting and trying to get the picture that will wow everyone when you get back home.
- 2 x Batteries
The 2 extra batteries will also help you to forget about autonomy. Normally I can shoot well over 400 shots with a single battery, so you can imagine that with these extra batteries power is not a worry anymore.
- Cable shutter
I found on ebay one of these cable shutters for the camera and as it was extremely cheap I decided to go for it. It has proven very useful for the long time exposure pictures in bulb mode. Like this I can shot 10min exposures without having any shaking in the images!
- Tamron 70-300 1:4-5.6 LD
This is the first extra lens that I bought. Until now I had been shooting with the crappy Canon 18-50 that came with the body when I bought it, and although it is not very good either it allowed me to do some nice portraits. It is amazing the kind of portraits you can get when you are so far that people don't think that you can take pictures of them.
- Sigma 10-20 1:4-5.6 DC HSM
This has been the last purchase and although it was expensive and had to think a lot about it, I am very satisfied with the results I am getting with it. The best of all is that for such a wide-angle lens it does not have much aberration in the borders and I have found myself shooting with it in many places I would have not thought I would.