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Yesterday - cameras, beer & aliens 
4th-Nov-2007 10:15 am
The morning started well - I worked out why I couldn't configure my new terrabyte drive: it turns out specifying an IP address (rather than using DHCP) blocks some admin functions!

Andy & I headed downtown to look at toys cameras. (Thanks again for all the input last week.) We went to Henry's because it was closest, and compared the weight/feel of the Canon Rebel XTi, Sony A100, Nikon D40x and Pentax K10D. (I think we also looked at the Olympus E-410 very briefly but I'm not sure.)

I ruled out the A100 quite quickly because the buttons just felt in the wrong place - my trigger finger just didn't find the shutter release as easily as it did on all the others. (Unfortunately the Sony is the only one that could take my existing Tamron AF 28-300mm lens.)

The Pentax felt nice (weighty, like a "proper" camera) and has anti-shake compensation (neat!) but it's also a fair bit more expensive (~$100-150 more before tax).

They didn't have the battery pack at the Henry's Outlet so we went round the corner to the main store (I didn't realise it was so big!) and had another play comparison. With the BG-E3 battery holder attached it feels a much better size & weight. The added bonus of it being doubling as a vertical grip (with some buttons duplicated for ease when you're shooting "sideways") is nice but probably not something I'll use all that often. (The grip is $160 or about $250 (I think he said) bundled with a second battery & bag.)

Anyway, after all the "window shopping", we headed over to the Sony store (in the Eaton Centre) to see if they had replacement rubber bits for my noise-cancelling headphones. They don't but they pointed me at a place nearby (King & River) so we headed over, only to discover they're closed at weekends.

We had talked about going to Volo for a beer or two but being as we were so close to the Distillery District we headed over to Mill Street brewery's brewpub. Andy bumped into someone who he was at school with and now works at Mill Street, who very kindly bought us a couple of pints.

We tried a few that we hadn't had before: the IPA, Cobblestone stout, ESB and the pilsner. I liked the ESB but it overpowered the pilsner when I tasted Andy's pint. The stout was quite tasty too - I would probably stick with the coffee porter if I was only having one pint but for an evening I'd go with the stout. :)

The evening ended with a cooperative game of Halo 3 - we're saving Death Match for Monday night. :)
Oh, I forgot - I played Bioshock for a few minutes before we went out - looks good but it seemed to be leading me through a set path.
4th-Nov-2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
How did you like the Canon and the Nikon?
4th-Nov-2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
I liked the D40x too but it felt just as light as the XTi and only the XTi has the extra battery pack (according to the guy in Henry's). It's a pretty close call but I prefer the Canon over the Nikon (and the others I tried yesterday).
4th-Nov-2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
There will likely be a grip being released for the D40, since there are the contacts in place for one. In the meantime, there's an aftermarket provider
4th-Nov-2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
Aargh! I was hoping I'd ruled the others out and made a decision :)
4th-Nov-2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
I'm here to help obfuscate things.
4th-Nov-2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
Not at all - you've certainly helped me not just jump at the first one I saw. Now if only there were more-obvious differences between them :)
4th-Nov-2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
The XTi has more bells and whistles.
The D40 has only what you'll need and a price to match. The price difference can go for a better lens.
Both have the same image quality.
4th-Nov-2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
The D40 is "only" 6MP so I was looking at the D40x, which is almost the same price as the XTi.

(I'm loving photoprice.ca)
4th-Nov-2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
6mp will get you equivalent prints up to 11x14, you know?
4th-Nov-2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
How many pictures do you plan on taking?

I got my D40 the end of September, and I've only charged it twice now. Once when I got it, and once when I ran the battery dry after that inital charge. Including flash pics (from the onboard flash), I got over 500 shots (close to 600 actually) before the camera died due to lack of power.

I can't really honestly see the need for a battery pack :)
4th-Nov-2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
It's not the battery life that's the problem - it's just adding something to give the camera a little more weight. I suppose I'd get used to it but I found a lot of them felt too light/plastic.
4th-Nov-2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
in that case, you'd probably be better off doing what golfers do (and now that you mention it .. maybe I might try it to offset imbalance)

and put on lead stickytape (dunno what it's called .. it's strips of lead with an adhesive backing) on the bottom. Adds the mass without all the bulk :)
4th-Nov-2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
That's an idea ... and like I said, I'd probably get used to the (lack of) weight anyway.
4th-Nov-2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
We went to Henry's because it was closest

You did notice that Downtown Camera is on the same block as the Outlet store, right? :)
4th-Nov-2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Not on the way in to Henry's, no, but we did spot it as we were heading back to the Eaton Centre ... and I've been in there (Downtown Camera) before!

Andy was trying to convince me Vistek was in the same area (as we were walking towards Henry's) and I was saying it's on Queen a bit further east, so we weren't really paying attention :)
4th-Nov-2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
I don't think Vistek is in the same area .. I think it's East on Queen a fair bit
4th-Nov-2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
Correct. It is almost at River Street.
4th-Nov-2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
496 Queen Street East = almost at Schumach ... so I won that argument with Andy :)
4th-Nov-2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
Downtown will almost always beat the retail price of Henry's. The outlet is good if you want used, but I'm not sure I'd want used. I looked at a lens they were selling there... dusty as hell on the inside. pass.
4th-Nov-2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
I'm not looking for used - we kind of fell into the Outlet without realising but the guy was very helpful.

I don't buy used CDs so I definitely wouldn't buy a used lens. :) Mind you, I've got some lenses I'm hoping someone else will buy!
5th-Nov-2007 11:49 am (UTC)
Terrabyte Drive up and running now?
6th-Nov-2007 03:14 am (UTC)
Yep - I distilled my notes into a HowTo because some was a leap of faith and the rest was just an educated guess!

I left it doing an rsync last night (to backup all my data) - it's not quick but that's why it's now a nightly batch job.
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