Dead Camera

While we were on our recent Danube cruise vacation, my beloved Canon 7D died. It was late in the afternoon in Regensburg.

Canon 7D
Canon 7D

As I have only one DSLR body, I frequently change lenses. I switch between my walk-around EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 to my ultra-wide EF-S 10-22mm. The camera had been acting strangely during the day. I could clear it up by turning the camera off and back on.

When it finally died, I had just completed another lens change and tried to turn it back on. It would not power on at all.

I removed the battery and CompactFlash (CF) card and reinserted them and tried to turn the camera on again, but it still didn’t work.

It was late in the day, and our boat would leave soon. So I decided to head back to the ship to try to troubleshoot.

On the boat, I looked up possible remedies. I changed the battery and the CF card. I found the time & date battery and removed that too. I changed lenses. Nothing worked.

Two days later in Prague, I tried one last effort, buying a new time & date battery. The new battery didn’t work either. My camera was truly dead. I was heartbroken.

Sony NEX-5 photo by decltype
Sony NEX-5 photo by decltype

Luckily, Rosa and I had purchased a backup camera, a Sony NEX-5N. As it was smaller, lighter and simpler, it was normally carried by Lemin. In this case, I borrowed it to continue for the next 3 days of photos on our trip.

But I felt empty inside. I didn’t feel like a photographer any more. I looked with intense envy at other tourists walking around with DSLRs hanging from their neck.

The Sony is a good camera, and I got most of the shots I wanted, and I really liked using the sweep panorama feature. But it just wasn’t the same for me.

When we got back home, I looked up my warrantee information. I had bought the camera 2 years ago from Henrys and I had bought the extended 3-year warrantee. I was relieved that it would not cost anything for the repairs. The downside is that it will take 4-to-8 weeks for the camera to be returned.

So in the mean time, I needed something I could use. I have tickets to the AirVenture Oshkosh in a few weeks.

I decided to buy a body on eBay and then sell it when my 7D comes back from repair. It would be much cheaper than renting a DSLR body for 2 months from my regular rental location.

After a lot of back and forth between a Canon 5D and an APS-C body, I settled on a Canon 50D. I won’t be tempted to keep it and it’s not too expensive. A Canon 60D or a replacement 7D would be much more expensive, a Canon 5D would lack many features, and a Canon 5D II would be too expensive. I was tempted by the full-frame sensor in the 5D series, but now is not the best time to experiment. I would also loose the ability to use my EF-S 17-55mm; although I do have the wonderful fixed EF 50mm f/1.4.

I will take the 50D with me, along with a EF 100-400mm rented from Lens Rentals Canada, to the Oshkosh Air-show.

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