September 24, 2013

Gear Hacking

I love capable gear. Gear that can take abuse. And it has always been a fascinating thing to push gear to its limits. Sometimes this occurs with hacking software, firmware or hardware. My brother has long been a fan of the CHDK(Canon Hack Development Kit). On my Canon DSLR's I've used different iterations of the inimitable magiclatern hack as well as an amazing Russian hack that allowed HD video on the 50D. I've tweaked lenses and bodies and CF cards. Lots of exploring.

The most recent major hack that I did was one that I didn't even consider calling a hack. But it has influenced my photography in a major way.

I had my eyes lasered. I was somewhat nearsighted. The surgery was an outpatient procedure that lasted all of maybe ten minutes. Most of that was prep.

How did it affect my photography? It seems to me that removing the frames that defined my world since childhood would have been a big deal. Not so much. I'd used contacts in the past so that was nothing new. The new found clarity was a big deal. But really it is the ease with which I now see. Vision is no longer a challenge. Which seems to actually negatively affect my photography.

Why? Not sure. Perhaps I liked capturing scenes and things so that I could review them. Now that I see clearly and easily I can get a correct view the first time around. So I find myself looking for harder things to shoot. Not bothering if it is merely interesting or mundane.

Was the hack good? Bad? It has been very freeing in other parts of my life so overall it is positive.
It has been 5 months since the surgery and I will continue to see how it plays out.


July 13, 2013


There once was a DSLR. It was happy just doing its job as a crop sensor camera. It was named 7D.

Honestly the 7D is one of the worlds most capable DSLRs. At over 8fps and capable of HD video this little beast is a force to reckoned with.

And I reckoned with it. I have taken it all over the world. I put it to the test. And it came through like a champ.

But there always comes that day. The day gear is phased out. Or lost. (Like my 50D in Uganda -Story for another day!)

Some months ago I acquired a 5DIII. And although the 7D still retains some speed advantages and the crop sensor can reach out and capture farther distant subjects, it found itself being left in the bag. Constantly. Consistently.


Image quality. The images that come out of the 5DIII are so clean. Even the high end ISOs are amazingly clean.

Does this mean the 7D has no place in the world?

I am keeping it in my bag still. For now. But regardless we give the 7D a salute for what it is. And what it did.


February 20, 2013