Tuesday, 24 June 2014

New camera and other stuffs

So I bought myself a Canon 70D. The EOS 350 had served me well for nearly 10 years, so it was certainly time for an upgrade.

The 70D has far too many features to discuss here, but it has a few that I am already finding indispensable. Firstly, it has a revolutionary new focussing system, which enables it to more or less instantly decide which direction (nearer or further) to go when focussing. The 350 was fast, but the 70D is near-instant, which is crucial when photographing insects. A fully-articulated rear screen enables me to take shots above my head or down at ground level. 20 megapixels means I don't have to get so close, so depth of field can be better. It can operate over wi-fi, so uploading images means less wear and tear on memory card transfers from camera to computer and back again. Video mode means I can tag images with a piece of voice annotation.

Here are a few shots:

This is the 10mm. micromoth Celypha lacunana, which is out in very large numbers on my local hedgerow:

The micromoth Celypha lacunana

 And this is the strange-looking hoverfly Xylota segnis:

The hoverfly Xylota segnis
The first time I saw it running quickly over leaves, I thought it was a wasp of some kind with those long, grasshopper-like rear legs.

Formica fusca is the ant which is most numerous in my heathy area, and they can often be seen climbing Willow bushes to 'milk' their aphids. This one was behaving very strangely, cropping the fine hairs from a Bramble leaf. I have absolutely no idea why it was doing that.
Formica fusca, an ant
Orchids started flowering last week, so now is the time to see them at their best.
Common Spotted Orchid, with a touch of Heath Spotted

'Cleaner' Common Spotted Orchid

I also took a record shot of the white version of Bush Vetch, which is still slowly expanding its range along a ditch:

White variant of Bush Vetch

 It's still early days for the camera, but I think the results are shaping up well for the future.


Gill said...

"The EOS 350 had served me well for nearly 10 years" - Good grief, is it that long?!

Those insect shots are certainly superb, and I like the flower pics with the out-of-focus backgrounds to isolate the specimen. The detail on the micro is incredible - you can see far more than you ever could with the naked eye, and of course no moth is going sit there while you put a hand lens on it....

stuart dunlop said...

I think this is the 350's 9th year: it has certainly served me well.
The 70D is quite a bit larger and heavier, but still good enough in the hand to use for extended periods. The extra sharpness demands more steady shooting, but I just take more shots...throwaway ones are still free. The colours seem to be more accurate too, with more subtlety.

amanda peters said...

Photos looking good, especially the photo of the Ant, the detail is very good. I'll be interested to see how you get on with this camera .
Amanda xx