The Shape of Everything
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December 22, 2013

Two things recently pushed me over the edge towards finally getting a better camera.

Madeline had her 2nd birthday earlier this month, and we of course took lots of photos with our iPhones. Being in the Pacific NW, it was of course dark. So the lighting sucked. And because we didn't think to bring more lighting upstairs, the photos didn't turn out too well (the kid was moving around quite a bit, so they were blurry too. And noisy).

One of the better pics with my old crappy camera

This was a bummer.

A few days after this, I came across "How to Take Good Photos for Under $1,000" by Stu Maschwitz (via Daring Fireball) and it finally pushed me over the edge to getting a "real" camera.

Of course, I had to justify the expense. We're not a fancy camera family, so dropping $850 on a camera and lens is quite out of the ordinary. "What's wrong with the other camera you have?" she asks. Plenty (it's a Canon G9). But I won't go into that, because I'm talking about the justification for getting a new DSLR.

OK, how do I do this in the least painful way? We hate spending money on splashy things, but I really want one… and … and … I'VE GOT IT!

A long time ago, so long ago I can't even remember if it was six months or a year… I sold two copies of Acorn for 1.49 bitcoin. At the time the bitcoin was worth about $30 ($20 less than Acorn) but I didn't care. I just wanted some bitcoin to play around with for fun and to see what the fuss was about.

So I had a tiny bit of bitcoin and I just sat on it and mostly forgot about it until the recent run-up in price. Fast forward to a few days ago, when that bitcoin was now worth about a grand.

I think I just found a really good reason to sell it.

So as suggested in the Maschwitz post, I bought a Canon Rebel T5i body an a 50mm f/1.8 lens. It showed up yesterday.

Much better. You can even see that we forgot to wipe her mouth off after dinner.

The T5i will even take 14 bit raw images, so that's what I'm doing.

Wait what?


For under a grand. That's amazing. Fooourteen bits per channel RAW. Wow. It's a good thing Acorn has 16 bit image support now. So I'm opening the images up and adjusting the temperature + exposure a little bit, and that's it. Then I of course use the new Sharing options to send it up to Flickr.

(This is starting to sound like an ad, sorry. Buy a copy or ten today. Acorn makes a great stocking stuffer!)

It's quite amazing what a difference a nice lens and a nice camera can do. Kirstin was shocked at the quality. The cameras on iPhones are getting better, but they don't hold a candle to camera tech today.

I also foresee raw importing getting a lot better in future versions of Acorn. I've already filed a handful of feature requests today.