Getting back into the swing of things

Now that my Iron year is over I'm looking to get back into more photography.  I've got a few interesting photography things happening:

  • I'm shooting the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on December 27th.   I shoot this football game at AT&T Park in San Francisco almost every year and it's usually a lot of fun.  The venue is amazing for baseball but really weird for football.  Luckily this is the last year it will be held up in AT&T Park because next year it'll be at the brand new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
  • I'm shooting the Cal Poly vs. Stanford men's basketball game two days later on December 29th at Maples Pavilion at Stanford.  I last shot there in 2005 and I've been going through my old shots to psych myself up for it.
  • I just bought a new-to-me camera for shooting sports.   More about that below.
  • There's a new opportunity to shake up my photography that might be interesting but I can't talk about it just yet.  I'll let you know if anything comes of it.

The camera is a Canon 1-D mkII, which was introduced in 2004.   You can read all about it at DP Review.   Back in 2004 this camera cost $4,500 and I used to rent it for $100 a day for special sports events.   It takes 8 megapixel pictures, has a great 45-point autofocus system for sports, and shoots 8 frames per second.  If you read Sports Illustrated 6 - 8 years ago you've seen plenty of photos from this camera.

The funny thing about digital camera bodies is that the cost depreciates like any other high-tech item.  So this camera that cost $4,500 9 years ago now costs $250 on Craigslist.  This particular unit was used by the San Jose Mercury News and has about 250,000 shots run through it.  The shutter is rated for 200,000 shots and it apparently broke sometime in that past and was replaced but the guy couldn't remember exactly when, so there's no telling how much life it's got left.

It came with 5 (yes, 5!) batteries but apparently they are all old so I invested $32 in a new one which should give me about 1,600 shots.   Way more than needed for a football game or a basketball game.

I've learned something funny about buying a 9 year old camera:  The rest of the technology world has evolved so far in 9 years that some thing that were a real pain in the past are not longer a pain.   Sure, this camera only shoots 8 megapixel files at 12 bit color depth, but do you know how fast Lightroom will process a 5 megabyte camera file?   Like lightening!

Back in the day I seemed to never have enough memory to make it through a full day of shooting a football game, the pregame, the trophy presentation, etc.   Now I have a 32 GB SD card that cost $40 and has a capacity of around 2,000 - 3,000 shots.  Problem solved.  My new MacBook even has an SD card reader built in so I don't have to carry a card reader and cable.   Super!