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BIRDS AS ART ON-LINE Bulletin #74 March 28, 2002


As stated a while back, digital photography is a phenomenal teaching tool.  On a recent SW Florida IPT, Jim Gluckin was shooting digital with his D-30 and the Canon 500 f/4 L IS lens.  On a rainy morning in Venice, while we were hanging out in McDonald’s, the group was able to view and critique a good number of Jim’s better images made during the first four days of the tour.  All felt that it was an extremely valuable experience. 

 As I have become somewhat familiar with digital bird (wildlife, and nature) photography, I have come to the following conclusion: if you are a serious hobbyist and do a considerable amount of photography, say three weekends a month with a few trips during the year, if you are not marketing your work extensively, and if you make prints either once in a while or most of the time, then you should absolutely using a digital camera for your photography.  Why?  1-Expense.  Your costs for film, processing, and duplicating will be $0.00.  These savings will pay for your camera and a few flash cards in short order.  2- The 1.3 or 1.6-multiplier effect is a tremendous advantage for all types of wildlife photography. 3- Superb prints can be made from files in the range of 4.5 to 6 mega-pixels. 4-Instant gratification. 5-There is no need to carry-on film during air travel. 

A while back, I announced the BIRDS AS ART would be getting a Canon EOS D-60.  Lots of folks jumped to all sorts of conclusions.  Here are the facts: I am getting the D-60 for my friend Linda to use.   She is currently photographing birds with the Canon D-30 and the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.  She loves the camera, she loves digital photography, and she made many wonderful images on our recent Texas trip.  Many folks asked, “Why the D-60 and not the 1D?”  Here are our thoughts.  At 6 mega-pixels the D-60 yields a far larger image file size than the 1D.  It is lighter.  It costs $3,000 less.  With the 1.6-multiplier effect of the D-60, you have autofocus with the 1.4 tele-converter at 1120 mm (500 X 1.6 = 800 X 1.4 = 1120).  The 1D offers (only) a 1.3 multiplier effect.  With it, you have autofocus with the 2X tele-converter at 1300mm (500 X 2 = 1000 X 1.3 = 1300mm.  For a hobbyist, is this small gain in magnification worth $3,000? 

Do note that the 1D offers much faster and more accurate autofocus and has a much faster frames per second rate than the D-30.  If and when I get a digital camera it will most likely be the 1D or a future generation of the 1D.  In the meantime, Linda is learning about digital photography and I am learning from her.  Who knows, I just may borrow her D-30 one of these days…




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