PC User [Critofur]
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Back in the 1970's when I was a little kid I participated in a summer program at the park in my small hometown city, we built pinhole cameras, took pictures, and made our own prints and developed our own film and prints, and also did creative stuff with the enlarger. It was wonderful to have such an in depth exposure to the whole process of photography at such an early age. Jump 30 years forward and I volunteer to do the job of photographing hundreds of works of art for a Brooklyn artist's group anual big show. Digital SLRs were neither common nor affordable, after many hours of carefully considering which camera to buy I ended up with an Olympus C5050 ~ what a great camera that was. The work was hard, but rewarding. I guess most folks wouldn't think much of taking pictures of paintings; but there really can be a lot too it. To do a good job it's not simply a matter of good even lighting and snapping the shot. I sometimes spent as long as 10 minutes on a single painting adjusting lighting, tweaking the shot, trying to really capture a particular image that suited the painting. Some would argue that I should have just tried to replicate the painting as accurately as possible, but that quickly flys out the window when one gets the reaction from the artist when they see the photo, one woman was astounded how the photo showed her painting, details she thought might be lost showed clearly through the photo and she loved it. That's the only professional work I've done, it got published in some newspapers and magazines. I guess, since a painting has texture and is actually a 3 dimensional artwork, a photo by definition has to be an interpretation of it. My C5050 was a little noisy in low light shots, dispite the wonderful f/1.8 lens, and I longed for a little more than 5 Megapixels. Since that camera lens no longer extends (after it took a short fall) I'm soon to be the lucky recipient of a Canon Rebel XT. After doing gobs of Internet research and reading a dozens of reviews and looking at many sample images I've come to the conclusion: the Rebel XT is capable of taking a near perfect image in the right hands and there's really no need for anything "better" other than to give you more flexibility or faster burst rates for action photography. I'd read some poor opinions about the "kit" lens, but in the end it is an excellent lens, so long as you are aware of its limitations. Even thousand dollar lenses have limitations. Between the kit lens and the $75 f/1.8 50mm all I'll be missing will be: high magnification macro (I'll try an extension tube), stabilized long zoom, and maybe super wide angle. I'll be able to get a lot of good shots with those two under $100 lenses though, I think. I won't be buying any more other lenses for the forseable future, unless I earn some $$$ doing photo work or otherwise strike it rich. You can see some of my non-professional (done for fun!) photos on my http://critofur.deviantart.com web page.