One camera leads to another: the itch to move on up


Photographer Ryan Marshall of Pacing the Panic Room always makes me smile.

I found him for the sweet, innovative maternity series he shared of his wife, and stayed because he's one of those photographers who is, frankly, a little cantankerous (the good kind) thanks to his vision. He's atypical, and lights creative fires. He can make just about anything happen -- from an ongoing documentary shoot sponsored by American Apparel to music videos to features in Pregnancy Magazine to a charity album featuring some of the coolest kids' music ever.

Lately, Ryan's been sharing videos that he's created with a borrowed Canon 7D. Which makes me want a friend with a Canon 7D. I'm going to start hanging out at Atlantic Photo, trawling for new BFFs. Kidnapping is not out of the question. That's my plan. Because look.

I've got a Canon Rebel XTi, plus a Canon Powershot that records video. But it's point-and-shoot video, and I've been jonesing for more. "Tell me more about working with it," I asked him.

At first, all he had to offer was "This @*$&#%*!! thing is incredible!" Then he elaborated. Here's what he said.

The controls and menus are intuitive and make sense, so it took just a few minutes with the camera to feel comfortable about how to control and balance the image. The low light ability is incredible, I was shooting with an ISO setting as high as 3,200 at one point, with no real consequence to detail, after that the noise creeps in and the quality starts to drop off.

The big drawback was how lightweight the camera is, so it is a battle to keep it smooth and reduce shake, and the LCD screen is useless in full sun. These are the only two problems I ran into while shooting. In ideal conditions, this camera is capable of capturing vibrant gorgeous images. There is no continuous autofocus function in this model, so be sure to be ready to go manual to keep things sharp...

WANT. WANT WANT WANT. I've run out of words. The notion that you could take video as artfully as you can capture images with an SLR -- with a variety of lenses and the ability to control exposure and aperture -- I can't shut my head off for all the ideas. With the ink on the second edition of my book drying as I write this, I'm lit up with the idea of putting together a video promo. I've got the locations. I've got the storyboard. I've even got the music.

But, as of yet, I don't have the BFF with the Canon 7D. Atlantic Photo has it on the shelf right now. I know. I was just there. I left slobber marks on the glass.

In the meantime I dream and scheme, and pace Ryan's panic room muttering It will be mine. OH YES. It will be mine.

Guest contributor and author Kate Inglis of sweet | salty spends a lot of time with her camera in-hand, chasing light, and writes for Shutter Sisters as a founding contributor. In November 2009 her first novel was published — The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, a book January Magazine calls "a spirited tale, gorgeously rendered." The second edition lands in Canada and the U.S. in April 2010.