Canon EOS 20D Part III

13 09 2007

I thought long and hard about why did I buy a 20D when I could have bought a 400D (10 Mega pixels, self sensor cleaning etc). To tell the truth, the most important factor was the fact that 20D felt much better in my hands than 400D. Xti or 400D felt too small and flimsy in my hands. Of course it is an excellent camera, but me being someone who prefers cf cards over sd cards cause they feel better in my hands, I found 20D feels just right in my hands.

Another factor was speed. 20D had great reviews about its 5fps shooting. Though I am yet to use that kind of burst, I decided its better to have that.

Then the most important factor. High ISO performance. 20D is known to have a good performance at high ISO. My shootings are generally done during the evening. Low light situations are a fact of life for me. So I decided to test the performance of my 20D and at the same time test my 50mm F1.8 cheapie too. So here goes

ISO 100, F1.8 (Full size image can be found here)

ISO 400 F1.8 (Full size image can be found here)

ISO 800 F1.8 (Full size image can be found here)

ISO 1600 F1.8 (Full size image can be found here)

As you can see clearly from the images above, even ISO 1600 is usable, it just needs a good whipping through the noise reduction software. Actually you can get perfectly usable images for 8×12 prints. BTW, all the shots in the test were taken on a tripod, captured in RAW, resized to 8×12 and white balance corrected in CS2 and saved for web. No NR and no sharpening was applied.

Lets continue with the images taken at different aperture. At this point, I have no doubts about ISO performance, I am just checking at what aperture my 50mm is sharp.

ISO 400, F2.8 (full image can be found here)

ISO 400 F4.0 (full image can be found here)

ISO 400 F5.6 (Full image can be found here)

ISO 400 F8.0 (Full image can be found here)

Now, I have teh following two conclusions from my little test.

1. I do not have to worry about ISO performance. ISO 1600 is no problems for this baby. 😀
2. My 50mm gives a great background blur (*i don’t know what it is called*) and is quite sharp from F4 onwards.

One gripe I have with 20D is, I always smudge my LCD whenever I am taking photos. I would love to have a plastic protector like Nikon D80 has.

Anyone planning to buy a DSLR should look into refurb 20D units. If you check Adorama or B&H, you will get a decent canon refurb unit for @ $700. Obviously with the introduction of 40D a lot of 30D/20D are going to be sold and their prices are going to be affordable as well. All in all, Canon DSLRs buyers are going to have a lot of choices.


How American intelligence is gathered

6 09 2007

Was going through my old data and came across this picture I saved long time back. I do not know the original source for it, but I am quite sure it must have been one of the email forwards. Kudos to the original creator 😀

This is how Americans intelligence is gathered


Desert Safari

5 09 2007

Desert Safari. You will obviously see desert, and Dubai has a lot of it. Don’t feel shy, hire a whole 4×4 for yourself/group and enjoy the fun.

First Element - Earth
Enjoy the thrilling ride while your ladcruiser drives mad around these crazy dunes. Trust me it takes some good off roading skills to drive around here.
Desert Driving

Enjoy the thrilling ride while your ladcruiser drives mad around these crazy dunes. Trust me it takes some good off roading skills to drive around here.

Falconry is an old tradition of Middle-East. I hurts me the most to see these magnificent birds to be treated this way. When you go to “Desert Safari” you come across a lot of things. One of them is these captive birds. You can take your picture with these falcons. I hate to see some ignorant parents letting their kids run wild and let them torture these birds. There is always an adventure in handling a predatory bird, but I have seen kids harassing these helpless birds. Pulling their wings, hitting them. Wish their parents can make them understand.

Bird of prey

And then one of the highlights of the evening 😀 The Belly Dancing


the Evil twin

4 09 2007

It looks like our black cat is not alone. She got some company. Here she is with a friend, sitting content after devouring some chicken (courtesy our kitchen).


3 09 2007

For the first time since I started using wordpress, I have seen a 100 views on my blog stats. And guess what, Fuji S9600 page seems to draw most of the attention here. I never knew that lil camera would be able to draw such attention.


Missing Home

2 09 2007

There was this angry river which had water for only those 20-30 days during rains and angry it used to get. In its full glory, it would make traffic stop for hours. Crowd will gather around the river to watch the natures fury. No sooner the rains stopped, the river became the dry river bed. Nothing but huge mass of sand. It was Sukhdi River (Sukhdi = Dry in Marwari).

From our roof, I could see the Aravali range. I would sit there for hours imagining I saw a tiger move in the mountain. It was addictive. Next to our house there were attached houses, some abandoned ones as well. We would jump around those houses and have our own private adventure in ghostly places. It was a world of unexplored places, where we could just take a walk around in our schools, find secret places under the bushes. Butterflies were in abundance and so were snakes. But then we all need fairies and villains in our stories, don’t we?

We used to have a resident male sparrow, that used to sleep behind our doorbell in the night. As winters get too cold in Rajasthan, we used to cover our roof grill, effectively closing any opening in the house. At those times, we used to wait for the bird to return for the night before we will cover the place. Once we covered the roof before he can return to his resting place, but in half and hour we had to rush and open it a little for letting the little guy return. He always came back.

We used to take vacations and spend money in bigger cities. Used to marvel at those buildings. Used to be jealous of people who had such fascinating life. Used to eat in hotels sometimes as a family event :-).

And one day, I grew up. The tree was just another tree in the road. The town was not a good option for making a career. The secret places were nothing but the bushes and pockets in shrubs. The bird was a fact of life. The river was just another seasonal sensation for people.

I came to city. Glittering lights, fast food, small apartments, congested roads, strange people, big money.
Then I left the city and came to another country. Glittering lights, fast food, big apartments, more congested roads, stranger people, bigger money.

And now, we take vacation into more secluded places, more peaceful remote palces. Marvel at photos of villages and wish we were there. Wish I was there. Wish home was not so far.

Good luck

1 09 2007

Who says cats don’t bring luck?? This lil guy seems to be guarding our luck most of the time 🙂