Man, do I love my Canon Digital Rebel XT camera. Its been an invaluable tool on this trip. I have to admit I still have a lot to learn about it, though. Like many tools, you can pick it up and use it without a lot of research or reading, but to understand its capabilities I really have to stick my nose in the book.
This trip I've been exercising the “Sport” program setting, which puts the camera into a fast shutter speed/multiple shot mode. Its worked well for shooting fish up for the bite or jumping - got some great stuff that way. And, I played with the Macro program a bit in Los Suenos, but I have to admit the manual features still largely escape me. Been years since I’ve had to do any “real” photography, so I think I’ll bone up on theory and practices as well as the camera’s features. Maybe even get back into the zone at some point.
Next trip down I’m going to bring some backup gear. I’m sure there are a load of guides on the Web about how to provision for a trip to nowhere, but here are a few of my thoughts. One, if you’re solely going to shoot photos, you need a backup plan. In my case I just threw the Rebel, the kit 18–55 lens, a UV filter, battery and charger into a bag and off I went. Not thinking to bring the 75–200 lens or D30 body I lent to a friend a couple of months back (for his Costa Rica trip, coincidentally), and not having enough time to get a circular polarizing lens (but thanks for trying, Leeann).
Next go around, I’ll bringing both bodies - the D30 just to back up the XT and probably to let others shoot with - and the 75–200 unless I invest in in the Tamron 18-200 lens (which I think nets out to around 28–300). A circular polarizing filter would have been awesome for in-water shots (the couple I got were OK, but they would have been awesome sans glare). Extra lens caps or a tether (lost the cap yesterday), maybe an extra XT battery. Couple of extra UV filters (in case I bang the filter/lens on the boat – nearly done that a couple of times). Probably covers things unless I think I can get away for a day, and then I’d add a light tripod to the mix.
All in all I’m very happy with the Rebel XT. I have a calendar project coming up at work that I used the D30 for last year, and I’m really looking forward to shooting it this year with it.