It was precisely 2 years ago today I started doing digital photography using an SLR camera. I've now taken more then 35,000 pictures using two SLR cameras; the Canon D300 (aka. Digital Rebel) and the Canon D20. Of those pictures, I've made almost 3,500 proofs-- so about 10% of the pictures I take are used.
In August of 2002, I bought my first digital camera. It was a Aiptek "PenCam", a 1.3 megapixel camera a little larger then a pack of gum. Pior to this, most of the pictures I had to work with came from scans of photographs, captures off video and other people. Compared to some of the digital cameras I'd worked with in the past (cameras that only had resolutions of 640x480), this little camera took great pictures. The PenCam really caught my eye—high pixel count and dirt cheap ($70 at the time, which was amazing for a digital camera). It was so cheap, buying it was a no-brainier.
I took over 1,100 shots with this tiny device. In June of 2003, I started riding bike regularly, during which the PenCam road along. This is where I started stitching several pictures together to make large panoramic shots. It worked and I remember being pleased with the results. Ever since I had my first computer, I had done graphic work and it's has always been something I've enjoyed doing. Taking pictures was then just a source of images to manipulate—especially for my fractal site
. It was biking around that summer in 2003 when I started becoming interested in doing more photography.
The more I shot with the PenCam, the more I knew I was out growing my toy pretty quick. Each picture took about 5 seconds to capture and almost everything had to be shot panoramic. You pretty much had to have daylight and battery life wasn't great. But above all, a large amount of work was required to clean up the resulting pictures. There was a lot of noise and the colors were often way off.
Most digital cameras at the time were going for around $300 or more, and I was willing to spend this. I wanted something that would take good pictures, but I wasn't sure how dedicated a photographer I would become. I started looking into various cameras and the Canon Digital Rebel grabbed my attention right away. It was the site dpreview
that sold me. There, I found not only a good description of the camera, but test pictures it had taken and comparisons to other cameras. I knew the Rebel was what I was looking for, but it'd take an other 6 months of mulling over the idea before I decided to spend $800 for this purchase. I'm still very happy I did.
Pictured is Amanda, shot 174, taken the day my Canon D300 arrived.