Sunday, 19 July 2015

Early Birthday Present

Several years ago I inherited my son's Canon EOS 350D. It had a sticky shutter release and when he traded up I took it over and had it repaired. It has done me good service not only with my toy soldiers but also in my trips round the world with Mrs T.

Alas the shutter release has become sticky again, so I went into the local camera shop to have it looked at. Same problem, same price. Is it worth having it done every three years?

The shop (Skears Cameras up the Welly Road in Northampton) is a terrific little shop, doing its best to compete with the internet. Having premises slightly out of the town centre helps. Plus they're very helpful and they will price match and so on. And they sell second hand cameras.

Sitting in the window was a brand new looking camera body for a Canon EOS 550D for about £200. This is the camera my son had traded up to. A quick check on my smart phone revealed it was out of production but still very well regarded. A quick text to Master T confirmed he was still in love with his camera, so I took the plunge. Well, birthday is only a couple of months away, and they gave me a trade in for my previous model as well.

When I got it home it was like it had never been used. The box was in perfect nick and all the accessories were in there, some still in their packets. It even had a spare battery. The strap had a slight, - very slight - discolouration - but that was all. The original receipt indicated it was 4 years old, but you'd never know.

And this model takes SD cards rather than flash memory, so much easier to upload photos.

Is it any good at taking pictures?

Bit early to say yet, but here are some pictures of some recently completed Chilean infantry:


This lot are a National Guard unit of the second campaign. They are distinguished by having  grey trousers. I've painted the kepis without the normal covers to give them a splash of colour.


The Cazadores del Desierto from the second campaign, who wore grey uniform jackets and white trousers.


Both units side by side.

The main problem with these pictures is the light, because they were taken on my painting desk, just using the flash. I'm also getting used to using an SLR with a decent sized LCD screen, rather than using the view finder. Not sure which is best.

More to follow, no doubt.

14 comments:

  1. The pics and figures look fine to me.

    Regards, Chris.

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    1. Thanks fro the vote of confidence. Much appreciated.

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  2. Nice pics for me...and beautiful job on these units!

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  3. Your painting deserves a decent camera. I keep pondering a 'proper' camera so I'll be interested to see how you get on with the Canon.

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    1. It's the wet-ware behind the camera that's really important. Mr Steele has been using an obsolete Canon compact for years and takes very good pictures. Mind you he has a good eye, takes his time, then chops and crops afterwards. I just snap and post.

      Rob T says he is very pleased with his 550D and has used it in all sorts of conditions for the past 3 years. NB My price above was body only, - a decent second hand 300mm telephoto will set you back c£100.

      I like using the 300mm. It means you can take close ups the length of my table.

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  4. Yes, it takes good pictures. Nice work on those Outpost figures. I'm looking forward to the Osprey for The War of the Pacific in January.

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    1. Wasn't aware of the Osprey, so just checked it out. Seems like the UK & US editions have different covers (or are there two books??)

      Puts the kybosh on my half formed plans to write one myself.

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  5. What you mention in your post is right - good lighting is the key to better photos, as well as taking the time for a bit of photoshopping afterwards. A tripod doesn't do any harm either. Good luck with the new kit.

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    1. The light in Shedquarters is really good for photography, so I'll go out at the weekend and try again.

      I've had mixed experiences with tripods, - I've got a mini one which works quite well, but I really need a remote shutter release. The ISO speed of modern cameras means that hand held is good most of the time.

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  6. Getting a decent backdrop helps as does shooting from a distance with a longish lens to get the right depth of field helps. Btw are you Northampton based? I live out towards Moulton and I'm looking for a friendly group of gamers who are local.

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    1. Yes, I like shooting with a longer lens, but mainly so I don't have to walk about.

      I'm over at Brixworth. When I'm gaming regularly again I'll invite you over. Strictly Historical gaming these days tho'

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    2. Historical is all I do anyway ECW and Ancients. Mostly 6mm but I have my original 25mm Hinchcliffes stored away complete with mid 70s paintwork!

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    3. Well, you'll know my preferences from the blog. I'm sure we can find something in common.

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