Canon DR-C130

I borrowed a Canon DR-C130 to play around with. I’m looking for a way to scan receipts, documents, pretty much decrease my paper trail. So far I have mixed feelings about this device.

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Driver support is horrible. I’m used to seeing no Mac support but according to their website, it doesn’t even support Windows 8 either. It claims that Windows should detect it, which it does, but it doesn’t know what to do with it.

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I downloaded the Windows 7 version and that worked. Windows now recognizes the device. Next I used Adobe Acrobat X Pro 10.1.10.

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It does double-sided scanning without having to run the page twice. The quality is pretty good and at 300 DPI, it scans it at a fast rate. So for five pages, double-sided, it approximately took 15 seconds. Five page single-sided took the same amount of time. The feeder itself could be better. The paper detection needs improvements. I kept getting a lot of these.

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I had to keep adjusting the paper before it finally detected them and it started to feed. This was a big turn off for me after seeing great videos on Fujitsu scanners on Youtube. Those scanners took different size papers – wrinkled, folded, etc – and the feeder didn’t break a sweat. All of the papers fed through consistently. I was able to ignore the driver support since many of these scanners don’t support Macs anyways, but the feeder is a big deal. Not worth using if you have to constantly fix the sheets in order for it to be fed.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II… another one

I already have the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens but cannot find it. Luckily it went on sale to a price I couldn’t ignore. I found it for $92 then I price matched it at Best Buy. So not only was I able to get it for a lower price, I got points on my Reward Zone account as well. If you have a Canon DSLR, this is one of the lenses that you should have. It’s affordable and makes a great secondary lens. Below are some unboxing pics I took.

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Here are some photos I took just walking around.

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Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens

Canon released a new lens back in June 2012. It’s the 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. It’s using the new STM (stepping motor).With this feature, it allows for a very quiet focusing during video capture. I was able to play with the lens at the store using a Canon T4i (at the moment, the only camera that fully uses the STM). The lens performed well in low light environments. It focuses fast and near-silent. I took some pics during my unboxing. Also took pics with my other lens for comparison.

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Here’s some pics I took with the pancake lens.

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I was curious to see the difference between the 40mm lens and my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. I set the Tamron to 40mm as well and the camera on a tripod. I tried to take similar pictures to see if I can find any difference. The 40mm lens produced sharper pictures. I noticed it around the edges of the objects. Other than that, I didn’t see other differences. Based on that, I decided to return the lens since I was happy with my Tamron lens. I may re-purchase it again once I have a full frame camera.

So below is the pic I took using the Tamron lens.

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This pic was taken using the 40mm lens.

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The 40mm lens is a great lens to have if you don’t already have a lens that is in the range with a similar F-stop. It retails at $200 but I’ve seen it as low as $149.

My new Canon Rebel XS

I finally get a chance to spend some of my tax return this year. The last couple of returns was spent on a wedding, vacations, and petition fees. It always pays off filing early because you get your return early.

So with some extra cash, I decided to look for a digital SLR. I never owned or used one so it’s a big decision to make. I spent a couple of days researching online and visiting stores to play with demos. I ended up with 3 models, the Canon Rebel XSi, Nikon D60, and Sony Alpha 200. Why I even looked at Sony, I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to throw a third variable in there.

Since it was going to be my first DSLR, I didn’t want to spend too much. I’m not that all too familiar with manual settings or lenses. By the way, the most I spent researching on that Sony was to see how much it cost. After that, I ignored it all together. I never did like Sony cameras for some reason.

So I had to decide between the Canon and Nikon. What kept me away from Nikon is the simple fact that most of my digital cameras and camcorder are Canon. I’m already familiar with the interface and have some accessories from my PowerShot G9 that should be compatible with the Rebel XS series. Don’t get me wrong, Nikons make great cameras, but I’m just a Canon guy. Maybe one of these days I’ll give them a try, maybe.

Now I’m left with 2 cameras to choose from the Rebel XS and XSi. Here are the main differences that I saw between the two.

** XSi is at least $150 * XSi has 3” LCD display VS 2.5” – This isn’t a big deal to me since I’ll only be view photos on the screen and not using Live View to take pictures * XSi is 12MP VS 10MP – I’m not planning on printing larger than 8×11 and even if I did, 10MP will produce decent quality. * XSi has 9 AF points VS 7 AF points – I wasn’t too familiar with this so I asked my bro-in-law Al and co-worker Thomas and they both said, for what I’ll use it for and my current skill in photography, I won’t miss/need the addition 2 AF points and it wasn’t worth paying the extra money for it at this time.

So the winner is the Canon Rebel XS. So far I like it a lot. It came with a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. Also the package I got included another Canon lens, EF-S 70-300mm f/4-5.6.

I’ve been playing around with this camera for more than a week and am liking it very much. I’ve picked up a bag for it too – Lowepro Slingshot 200AW. It’s a very nice bag and it comes with a water resistant cover for the bag (AW = all weather). I checked it out at Best Buy but felt that the price was too high. I found one on eBay for $60 with shipping included. I’m able to fit the lenses, additional memory cards, charger, my Canon Elura 100camcorder and a charger, and still have room for other things. The sling design is great and my camera is accessible while on the go.

So far the two things that surprised me after playing around with the camera are:

  • It does not capture video. This isn’t much of a big deal. I still have access to my PowerShot G9, SD550, Aiptek A-HD+ 1080p.
  • It does not come with a lens strap. This bugged me a little. I don’t know why something like this isn’t included for the price of the camera. So far, the only ones I’ve found at the stores come with a lens cap, which I don’t need. I guess I’ll have to find some online.

My new Canon PowerShot G9

While preparing for our wedding next month, I decided that it’s time for new digital camera. I wanted a digital SLR at first but I’m a novice photographer. I won’t be using the camera’s full potential. I didn’t want another point and shoot camera. So I went with what’s in between. The first camera I looked at and have been wanting is theCanon PowerShot S5 IS. It has 8MP and 12x optical zoom. It uses the Digic III processor. This is the camera my brother in law, Al is using. It takes great pictures. The only thing I didn’t like personally was the 4 AA batteries. Where’s the rechargeable battery Canon? A couple of weeks ago I was about to ignore the AA batteries and buy it once and for all.

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Then I see the PowerShot G9. It has 12MP, 6x optical zoom, and has RAW support just to name a few features. It uses rechargeable batteries (which I’ve been looking for) and it’s also smaller in size compared to the S5. The camera can also use SDHC memory cards.I’ve only had the camera a couple of weeks and have been taking pics left and right. I recently ordered a lens adapter from Lensmate. This adapter will allow me to use lenses and filters. I hope to get my order soon. The other night I took some pics in the backyard. It was very bright. Here’s some pics I took with different settings.

All 4 pics were taken in the same area minutes apart. I love how I can adjust the lens speed and take a picture of a dark area and make it bright.

I’ve already taken some RAW pics. They are about 12MB per pic. Pretty large files and with the new patch for Leopard, 10.5.2, I’m able to view the RAW files with Preview. Unlike before the patch, Photoshop CS3 was the only app I can use to view it.

By the way, half of the pics taken at our wedding shower at work were taken with my G9, if you want to see more samples. The other half were taken with my co-worker’s Canon Rebel 400d XTi digital SLR (yummy!).