(first photo taken with the canon!)

my new camera arrived today and i couldn't have been more excited. i slowly unwrapped everything, documenting the "reveal" in the process, gently laying each item out like some fetishstic ritual. the first thing i opened was the 70-300mm telephoto lens, about the size of a small thermos. the next item was the camera box where i found the camera body, wrapped up in this diaphanous cobweb-like material. the canon came with a 18-55mm lens, less than half the length of the telephoto lens (collapsed).

i was so excited that i called my father when i received the shipment, and he came over to check out the new camera. we just happened to have an unused old canon rebel (film), and we were able to salvage its 28-105mm USM lens, surprised that it still worked on the new camera. we tested the wide angle range of the 18-55mm (wide enough to take a snapshot of a single wall in my living room), the macro capability of the 28-105mm, and the telephoto reach of the 70-300mm. the telephoto is my favorite, how it works is like magic. the way i had to shoot telephoto with my nikon coolpix 4500 is by attaching an 8x kenko monocular onto the 28mm thread of the camera for a combined maximum zoom of 32x. that might sound cool, but the images were always fuzzy and for every decent photo i got with the poor man's telephoto lens, 20 of them would be too blurry. now with the 70-300mm, i feel like a paparazzi. without any problems, i could easily take photos of pedestrians crossing the road at the end of my street, with a clarity helped by image stabilizing technology within the lens itself. this opens up a new world of nature photography for me; birds high up in trees out of reach with my usual combination of small lenses can easily be captured now with this telephoto lens.

my father stayed long enough to sample some of the noodle stir-fry i made last night (i ate the box of curry rice noodles he brought) before going back to work. i went back to work as well (in my room, coding), occasionally taking a break to play around with the canon 350d some more.

there's something very tactile about a digital SLR camera. it definitely feels more like a regular camera than it does a digital camera. with a regular digital camera, i'm used to using the LCD display as a viewfinder. i'm also used to waiting for the camera lens to focus, and waiting for the image to save. with a digital SLR, most of the action happens inside the viewfinder. i'm not used to pressing my nose and face up against the back of the camera (in fact, my face hasn't touched a camera ever since the day i went digital). the automatic focus is amazingly fast to the point of scary, and holding the camera in my hand, i can feel the lens twitching to grab a focus everytime i press the shutter release button halfway. the digital SLR camera is heavy and it's big, compared to my nikon coolpix (and i thought the coolpix was big!). the digital SLR is also noisy; not beeping like an electronic gadget (although it does, but you can turn off the sound), but the actual sound of the reflex mirror flipping up when i snap a photo. because of all these qualities, i feel that taking photos with a digital SLR is a more immersive experience. listen to me, talking about these cameras like i'm some sort of expert! i haven't even taken a single "roll" of images yet with the canon!

something else came today via UPS that totally got lost in the excitement of the new camera: a new internal DVD-burner for my pc. after i finished with work, i unplugged my machine and installed the new device. after i reconnected everything, i was surprised that XP was able to find the new drive without any problems. the thing is, i don't have any software for the burner, and when i tried to play a dvd through windows media, it said i didn't have any dvd codecs. i pulled some cheap program online that was able to eventually play a disc, but the sound was fluttery. so the drive is going to go unused until i can scrounge up some decent dvd playing/burning software.

i ate the rest of my leftover stir-fry noodles for dinner (it actually wasn't so bad after i added more soy sauce and sesame oil) and relaxed with one of my guilty pleasures: beauty and the geek! i love that show! the premise is craptastic but every episode is worth the price of free admission. i caught the first season through reruns, but i think the new season starts tomorrow or something, so i'm going to be camped out in front of my tv (as if that's any different than any other nights). i also watched project runway: magnet girl is gone! she was one of the weakest links anyway, and i didn't like her nerd girl passive-aggressive attitude.