I’m on a quest of sorts.

I’m really focusing on expanding this little photography venture that I’ve gotten myself into, but I didn’t anticipate how quickly I’d want to move up on the equipment side of things.

I don’t know exactly why, but I told my friend Baron one day that I was going to use some money I’d saved up to buy a video camera. “Great idea!” he said. I returned it about 3 days later. He was right; it was a good idea, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Not long afterwards, I told him I was looking into getting a camera. This time he said something surprising: “Great idea!”

This time he was right. It wasn’t just a good idea. It was a fantastic idea for me.

I’ve loved looking at photography since I was very, very young, but hadn’t actually bought a decent camera my entire life until last May. I knew absolutely NOTHING about what I was doing, but I took the plunge and bought my Canon XTi. It’s a fantastic camera, and I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it, but I’m wanting to step up to something else a bit more professional: the 40D.

I’m going to have to sell some more stuff on eBay and really scrape together the cash to get it. Let’s face it college student + young marriage + job as student pastor doesn’t exactly = Donald Trump pay. But everything I’ve spent on photographic equipment thus far has been worth it; I don’t expect this to be any different.

The problem is that the more work you build up, the more money you have to purchase equipment. The more equipment you get, the better your work looks. The better your work looks, the more money you make per shoot. The more money you make per shoot, the more money you have to upgrade your lens/bodies/accessories.

I’m beginning to wonder how far down the road I’ll get before I actually make money from doing this.

And yes, Baron…I’m aware that I’m never going to make money until I start charging people more than the scraps I currently do. Point taken.


7 thoughts on “40D

  1. Mel Watson says:

    Hey Ryan… the gear bug is totally infectious. One thing you could do if you can’t get the 40D right now is get a 30D. Definitely a big step up from the Rebel at least in ease of use. You can get a body only new for $700 now and used in the $600 range. My husband and I both shoot with 30Ds and they are fantastic. We know plenty of other pro photographers who use them too (and are making a very good living with them). Or just look for a used 40D… same goods but cheaper. 🙂 We buy a lot of used gear through the Digital Wedding Forum from other photographers. Moral of the story… once you’re bitten by the gear bug its hard to shake. Your flickr photo stream looks great by the way… you have some beautiful work.

  2. steven myers says:

    hey there bro… blog looks great, and I’m glad to see youve still got the bug.

    give me a holler sometime, we need to get together… im over your way several times a month.

    im liking the photos on your flikr

  3. ryanaustindean says:

    Hey, Mel. Thanks for stopping by with the comment. I wish someone had told me about this addiction beforehand; I got hooked too quickly. ; )

    I would pick up a 30D, and even a used 30D if I hadn’t already gotten my hands on a few 40Ds and absolutely fallen in love with it. I love everything about it. I wish it was full-frame, but there’s no way I can make that jump yet. You guys are pulling some unbelievable images out of that 30D. I’m not sure if you’ll follow up on your comment here, but if you do, could you clue me in on your favorite lenses?

    LOVE your work! My wife and I were gawking at your site/blog last night.

  4. ryanaustindean says:

    Thanks for the words, Steven. I definitely have the bug–stronger than ever. Still check your work as soon as it’s published to your blog. Thank God for RSS feeds.

    I’ll Facebook message you; we definitely need to hang out sometime soon. I need to warn you though, I’d be picking your brain a bit.

    I tense up a bit when you and Mel say you’ve been examining the Flickr account, especially since that’s a lot of personal photos, more along the lines of Facebook or MySpace rather than nothing but “work” stuff that I’m actually proud of. Thanks nonetheless though.

  5. Matthew D. says:


    I am curious as to why exactly you think the 40D will improve your work? The AF system on the Xti is so much better than the original AF system (the same as the 30D AF I think?), the sensor on the XSi outresolves the 40D (not really important anyway), etc…

    I know the 30D and 40D feel a heck of a let nicer to hold… don’t get me wrong there. But honestly I think you’ll see the biggest quality difference in a good bag of sharp, fast lenses. I spent more on my favorite lens than I have on any of the bodies I’ve had (a 6mp, 10mp, and 14mp) – and I’d rather have just that lens and the 6mp body than a so-so lens and the 14mp body.

  6. ryanaustindean says:

    I’ll be honest, Matthew, I’ve vacillated back and forth between the 40D and a new lens or two. There are a few technical differences between the 40D and the XTi however; most notably the noise at higher ISO levels. They’re not HUGE, exactly, but they exist.

    I’m at a loss as to what to do, quite honestly. My budget is extremely limited…and it’s one small step at a time. Perhaps I would be better off getting a better wide angle, or perhaps a 70-200 f/2.8, since the longest lens I have is the 85mm. I’m definitely not going to jump off the ledge without thinking about it quite a bit more and talking to several more people.

    Ohhhh, complications…

  7. Matthew D. says:

    I tell you what.

    Find an excuse to visit Dallas and I’ll let you borrow the 70-200mm f2.8. Then you can shoot the 15-30mm on a FF.

    You will no longer want that 40D… 😉

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