the single focus of today was to be here when my fedex package arrives with my new canon 80D camera and lenses. that meant only quick trips to the kitchen or bathroom, so i wouldn't miss the doorbell. fedex tracking revealed the package had turned up in natick last night at 3:46am, and was on a delivery vehicle by 3:59am, but no additional info, like an estimated delivery time. if history repeats itself though, the last time i waited for canon refurbished equipment via fedex was november 20121, and my package arrived around noontime, so i'm going to assume that's the fedex delivery sweet spot for my area. as for my other package, the returned 80D body, it'd arrived in romeoville, IL and was also on a delivery vehicle since 4:59am this morning, destination aurora, IL. it's important to follow this package as well because that's a $690 refund.
around 10am i saw a UPS van drive by my house, making a delivery to a neighbor down the street. looks like i used the wrong carrier, should've gone brown! 11:45am a fedex vehicle came rolling down my street. excitedly i left my station to receive the package, but the van then turned a corner and disappeared. false alarm. 1pm another UPS van came down my street making deliveries. i pretty much stopped caring about the package by that point, and was instead shooting a video out the window, when it finally arrived at 1:45pm. i'd heard the thumping sound of a nearby car speaker but ignored it. then i heard a gentle knocking on my door before i saw someone tapping on my window and noticed the fedex truck parked outside.
the box was a lot bigger than i'd imagined. for a second i thought maybe they'd shipped my old camera along with the new one, but that wasn't the case. inside were two more boxes, labelled "EOS PowerShot VIXIA" which is all encompassing reference to canon's DLSR-P&S-videography divisions. i was worried they sent the wrong items, but sticker labels on the boxes confirmed that one was the telephoto lens while the other contained the 80D camera body and kit lens. i opened the telephoto lens first. i was surprised by how light and skinny it was. it felt sort of cheap because of the all-plastic body but it looked nice, and later i'd find out how it performed.
i then went about unboxing the camera body. it included a manual, but printed on flimsy newsprint instead of better paper, though still much appreciated in this day and age when companies typically just refer you to their online pdf manual. to be honest, i'd already downloaded the manual, and the digital version is easier to follow because it's in color.
even though this was refurbished equipment, i couldn't tell the difference. i tried looking for signs of usage, but there was none. everything was pristine, everything seemed brand new, even had that new equipment smell. i attached the kit lens (also light-weight which gave it a cheap quality) and put in the included battery. the camera didn't turn on. i then put it one of my spare batteries (wasabi power BTR-LPE6-JWP), which has a lot more juice than the canon LP-E6N battery - 7.2V 2600mAh 18.7Wh versus 7.2V 1865mAh 14Wh. a few things happened: the camera turned on, but i got a screen asking if i was using an actual canon-branded battery. when i answered no, i was afraid it wouldn't allow me to continue, but it just gave me a warning saying it wasn't responsible for 3rd party battery damages. then it put me on the date-time screen. i waited too long trying to find my phone (so i could get the official atomic time), and the screen disappeared. when i woke the camera back up, it just threw me into the regular menu screen, so i had to manually navigate back to the date-time screen to make the correct settings.
the default autofocus setting on the 80D is 45-point automatic selection. so that's what i used to take my first photo, watching in awe as it instantly focused on the subject. 45 focus points is quite a lot compared to what i was used to before on my 60D which was just 9. i immediately adjusted the settings so it matched what i was used to with the 60D. for one thing, i changed the focus to the AF-ON button instead of half shutter click. beeping was also turned on as default and i quickly turned it off as it was annoying.
my first impression was the 80D felt very much like the 60D. definitely lighter, but that's because i'm used to the extra weight of the 18-200mm instead of the plastic kit lens; once i get my old lens back i'm sure the 80D will feel exactly like the old camera. a few of the button placements have changed during the evolution from 60D to 80D: the position of play, erase, and menu buttons have all changed. i found myself through muscle memory hitting play which is now delete, tor trying to delete but it's now the menu button. there is no option to reassign these buttons (or is there? i haven't really dug through all the custom functions yet), i'll just have to learn to get used them. i'm sure canon has a good reason to make the change, but for now that's my biggest gripe. i had the camera set to multishots and wasn't ready for just how many photos it can take in under a second (7 photos); i ended up having to dial back the multishot, to just 3fps instead of 7fps. the 80D also seems to do better in low light situation, kicking the ISO into the thousands, with images that are still surprisingly in-focused instead of blurry.
the kit lens was all fun and games, but there was no challenge. so i switched to the 55-250mm telephoto and decided to shoot some moving subjects out my living room window. wow. not only was the autofocus lightning fast, but every single one of my photos came out razor sharp. maybe it's because the IS on my 18-200mm lens is broken and i've just gotten used to blurry images, but the 55-250mm paired up with the 80D was black magic alien technology. the 250mm also gave it a longer reach than what i'm typically used to. a part of me was depressed as well as impressed. depressed in that had i had this camera earlier, i could've gotten so many better photos instead of all the blurry ones i tossed out. i couldn't wait for some of the parades that'll happen later during the summer. and i was still doing all this with 45-point autofocus, so the camera itself was figuring out where to focus, like a magical focusing fairy living inside the 80D.
some more observations: i also tried focusing with live view. it's able to lock on to whatever target i choose using the touchscreen, but it can't seem to autofocus unless i manually press the AF-ON button. later i learned that when i disable AF on shutter click, live view loses its ability to autofocus. this isn't the case in video mode, where it focuses instantly wherever you touch on the screen. not sure if it's a bug, but this camera has the latest firmware, and it's been a few years since the camera's been around, and canon has never bothered fixing it, so i don't know if they will. just learn to work around it. another thing i quickly discovered once i downloaded these images is that they large. the 60D had 18 megapixels while the 80D has 24 megapixels, an increase of 30%. each image is around 10MB in size, which can quickly add up, especially given how i like taking multiple shots of the same thing. i just have to learn to be more conservative, or invest in larger hard drives (i'm not even shooting raw files, which are even larger).
i had a moment of panic when inspecting some of the photos in-camera i noticed a dead pixel. just got the camera and already a dead pixel? how much of a hassle would it take it return it or is it something i can live with? i did some research online and discovered there was actually a really easy fix: just put the camera in manual cleaning, wait 20-30 seconds, turn the camera off and on, and viola! dead pixel eliminated! the dead pixel is still there, but the camera doesn't some kind of remapping where it compensates for any dead pixels after a manual cleaning. it's quite the trick, something that should put in the manual, saves me the headache of having to return the camera after having just gotten it.
i had a spare plastic film screen protector for the 60D LCD screen that i decided to use on the 80D. it definitely needs it since with the touchscreen it means there's more chances of scratching. however when i went to apply the protector, i discovered that the 60D and 80D don't have the exact same size screens. i ended up having to cut the protector to make it fit, which made a real mess. the screen is protected for the time being, doesn't look pretty, but i ordered a correctly sized glass protector from ebay which will hopefully arrive in the coming weeks. i also ordered a 58mm UV filter. the kit lens is currently "naked" and only protected by the lens cap, which i found an old 58mm CPL filter and put it on the telephoto.
the fidget cube i ordered off of ebay for $1 arrived today as well, sort of overshadowed by the camera news. it works but 2 of the buttons on the 5 buttons face doesn't click. it's not enough to raise a complaint about since i paid so little for the toy.
annie came home at exactly 5pm. i wasn't going to bring it up but she came to me and asked if i was still interested in going to market basket. so we walked down there. the temperature was a little on the chilly side (60's) and i was only in my t-shirt and shorts but i didn't bother putting on another layer. i was expecting MB to be packed on a friday night after work, but it was surprisingly quiet. the union square construction has really put a dent in MB's business. i don't think MB is in any danger of closing, but the decrease in customers is definitely noticeable. i ended up taking annie on a tour, as i've become quite the MB expert. after she saw some of the prices, i knew she was a convert. annie's supermarket of choice is target, which unbeknownst to her is not really known for their groceries. when she saw the price of MB beef she nearly cried, because she'd recently bought some meat from target for almost 4x as much. she only got a few items, not even any ice cream which i thought was the whole reason we were here, though she did make a bunch of mental notes for next time.
i bought a simple manager's special ham and cheese wrap which i had for dinner as soon as we got back home. i'd already finished my food while annie was still in the kitchen picking through her bag of rotten salad like a homeless woman.
later in the evening i did another water change of the lotus jar after it started to get cloudy. i noticed one of the seeds - the sample seed with the serious cut - seemed to be germinating. hopefully some of the others can catch up. i can't imagine it's because i didn't sand them down enough, because just a little nick should be enough to trigger germination. in the meantime, i'll keep on waiting.
1 that's not entirely true. back in november 2017 i was waiting for li's refurbished canon T6s. however in that case the carrier was UPS, and it ended up getting delivered the next day because i wasn't home at the time to receive it. UPS arrived around 6pm.