While it isn't etched in stone yet, it looks reasonably certain that we're going to travel to Costa Rica next July. We had concerns about how wet it was going to be at that time of the year. July is the "Green Season" in Costa Rica (which is their tourism board's nice way of phrasing "Rainy Season.") We didn't want to go and spend two weeks in the country and be soaking wet the entire time.
However, we think we've got parts of it sussed out. We'll spend a few days in the rain forest (where, you know, it tends to rain regardless of the time of year) and then head down to the Pacific coast where it's drier. It still rains, but from what we're reading when it does rain, it tends to be in the late afternoon, early evening, and for not that long.
So we're now in the early stages of figuring out what we would like to do, the exact places we're going to go, if we're going to go by ourselves or on a tour. I also need to get my vaccinations sorted as I should get my Twinrex for Hep A and B. So there is all sorts of things to get straightened out.
So what have I been doing the last few days? Checking out new cameras.
The theory being that if we're going to go to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and scenic countries in the world, then I want a really good camera. My current camera, a Sony DSC-F717 is only three years old and it's a perfectly fine camera. And hell, it's the photographer, not the camera. Ian took some great pictures of Auyuittuq National Park with a Sony that is probably not as good as mine.
Hell, look at what Ansel Adams produced using a camera that was little more than a box with some glass and mirror. However, I am not Ansel Adams. Not even remotely close. So I need every bit of help I can get. That means getting a very nice digital camera.
I was reminded of all of this by looking at some of the great pictures Dups has been putting up on his blog recently. Now Dups is quite the good photographer. However, he's also helped by the fact that he's using a Nikon D70. It's a heck of a nice camera. It's also a heck of an expensive camera, further confirming the suspicion that Visa and Mastercard are going to have to start pimping Dups to get their money back from him.
Anyway, I'm in the middle of doing research for a new camera. There are a bunch of good camera review sites - DP Reviews, Steve's Digicam, Image Resource and Digital Camera Resource - that I've been going through. The problem is they're all pretty much saying the same thing - they're all really good cameras I'm looking at with a few faults that might bug you. So it's a matter of sorting through it all.
Of course, I still need to actually hold the cameras in my hands. Reviews are fine and all, but there is nothing like holding the camera in your hands, seeing how it feels and actually playing with it a bit.
What am I looking at? These are the contenders...
Pentax K10 (which is coming out next month)
Canon Digital Rebel XTi
Olympus Evolt 500
So yeah, a few toys to go through. And not cheap. The base, without any lens, is going to be between $700-$1,000. Plus the costs of at least two lens, memory card, maybe a flash, plus a camera bag. It's going to be expensive, so I want to make sure. Plus, once you commit to a camera name brand, and start to buy their lens, you're kind of stuck with them for life. Well, you can switch, but it is a pain in the ass.
Not sure when I'm getting it. Probably in the new year, unless someone out there loves me enough to buy me one for Christmas or my birthday. You all love me, right? I provide amusement and entertainment. You want to buy me a ridiculously expensive gift, right?