Canon EOS 10D

The Canon EOS 10D was my first digital SLR. Up until this camera came out, digital SLR’s were way too expensive and only good for three or four megapixels. The 10D came out with six megapixels and a price that was thousands of dollars less than other digital SLR’s at that time. But the fact that it could capture six megapixels for such a low price is what sold me. I knew that I’d be able to make decent blowups, 11×14 or maybe larger, from “negatives” with that much data. And since I already had Canon lenses for my EOS 3, a film SLR, all I needed to buy was the body and some memory cards.

I used the 10D for landscape photography and beginning bird photography. At first, I would take my old film camera and the 10d, and take similar photos with both cameras to compare the results. I quickly figured out that the digital images were just as good as the slides I took with my EOS 3e. I loved how I could see my results right away with digital, while I had to wait a week or more for my slides to be developed. And I could take all kinds of experimental or practice shots without worrying about running out of or wasting film. Not to mention that even a 1GB memory card held a lot more images than a roll of film and changing memory cards was a lot quicker and easier than changing a roll of film! Eventually I realized that I wasn’t even using the film camera any more, it was just taking up space in my bag. So I sold it and gave away my refrigerated rolls of Fuji Velvia and haven’t looked back since!

The EOS 10D gave me great results for landscape photography and got me started in bird photography. I have images created by that camera that are sharp blown up to 13×19 inches and I sell in that size. One of the advantages of this digital camera is that there is a “magnification factor” due to the size of the image sensor, which effectively multiplies the length of a lens by 1.6. So my Canon EF 100-400 zoom lens was now a 160×640 zoom. It was like getting a new longer lens! This helped out tremendously for bird photography, since I could now zoom in much closer that I could with my film camera. Then I bought the Canon teleconverters, a 1.4x and a 2.0x, which multiply the length of the lens again. So with the 1.4x teleconverter, my 100×400 lens became equivalent to 224×896 after the camera’s multiplication factor and the teleconverter’s 1.4 magnification. The 2.0x made it a 320×1280, if you can believe it, but unfortunately autofocus doesn’t work when you use the 2.0x teleconverter with that lens. But even without autofocus I was able to get some good images of birds, like Wood Ducks in Oregon, that I couldn’t have done without magnification.

I was really happy with this camera, but there were a few drawbacks to it, like the nearly two seconds it would take to wake up after being in its power saving sleep mode (it would go back to sleep after 30 seconds or so). Pushing the shutter button would wake it back up, but it would take what seemed like forever to get ready, which in the case of birds, was way too long. This cost me quite a few great bird images! Sigh…

One of the neat things about the Canon EOS digital series of cameras is that they come out with new improved models fairly often. Back in the days of film cameras, it would take many years before you’d see a new model with new features hit the scene. In some cases, it took decades. But the EOS 20D, the replacement for the EOS 10D, came out only 18 months after the 10D. The EOS 20D featured “instant on,” which was a big enough deal for me that that feature alone was worth the upgrade! But it also had a bunch of new features and its image size was increased to eight megapixels, which made easier to get great blowups 13×19 inches and larger!

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