Preparing for Death Valley


About a week to go now, and part of preparing for a trip like this is to take inventory of my camera gear and make any necessary adjustments such as cleaning, replacing, and adding anything I think I might need.

Number one on my list would be to add a new camera, but alas, that is not to be at this point. I have been chugging along with my trusty old Canon 20D for several years now, and having seen various upgrades come and go – 30D, 40D, and 50D – I never really felt the need to buy a new camera… until recently that is.

Two Canon models have fairly recently hit the market, and to be honest I would admit to having just a tad of camera envy. The 5D Mark II is a full frame, 21MP camera that was introduced maybe two years ago and is now the camera of choice for many landscape photographers. Every review and every online discussion board thread raves about its performance. However, with Sam getting ready to go to college, and the camera retailing at around $2500 it is not quite within reach right now. What’s the big deal about college anyway?

Another Canon model released recently is the more affordable 7D ($1600 ish). Again a big step forward with research and development, and a camera that I would like to get my hands on. Both of these cameras sport many new features including authentic HD video that I would love to take advantage of, but most importantly, their image quality appears to be significantly improved over my faithful 20D. I have created large 20×30 prints from the 20D that are quite something, but I would love to see the detail obtained from either of these two bodies. Enough camera envy…

Things I am able to do to prepare include cleaning the sensor of my camera, cleaning the joints on my tripod legs, making sure all of my batteries are holding a charge, formatting all CF cards, making plans for backing up on the road, and generally confirming that everything is in good working order.

One new purchase I did make is a remote release which, in addition to the functionality of the manual version, will allow me to program the camera to trip the shutter remotely over time creating opportunities for doing some time lapse and star-trail photography. This is new and exciting to me… it is always good to try new things, and I am looking forward to both the process and the outcomes.

6 thoughts on “Preparing for Death Valley

  1. colette boggs

    Yeo Fat Pat
    who would have thought you had so much talent????!!!!! Thank you Lori for putting this website in your christmas card.. it wonderful!! you have a beautiful family!
    Can’t wait to read about your trip….

  2. Des

    How’s it going. Busy snapping away. I took some snaps in the snow that we had over Christmas – must put them on snapfish for you to see. Have a good trip.

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