Monday, December 6, 2010

Chilly Updates

OK, maybe the title is slightly misleading, since it might be implying that something dark and sinister, horrifying, or any adjective of that nature has happened, which is not the case.

This morning we left for Durham so my mom could get a massage.  As you probably know, I'm always looking for good camera deals on Craigslist.  Recently, I saw a listing for a used silver Canon EOS Rebel XSi kit for $395, which included the kit lens, a 4gb SD card, extra battery, battery charger, and more.  Since my budget is about $400 (unless it's an amazing deal like the one for $650 I mentioned recently) and especially because the XSi in question was silver, a rarer, more expensive color option that I like better than black, I contacted the seller and offered $375.  He said that would work if I didn't want the SD card, but he couldn't go lower than that.  That worked just fine for me, since I already have a 4gb SD card as well as a 1gb, and even if I didn't , I could get one for less than $10.  Unfortunately, somebody else had already bought it yesterday.  

Right now, my camera is listed on Craigslist, and I've been gradually lowering to price to get a buyer, but I won't go lower than $400.  The problem is, if I manage to sell my camera without getting another one first, I'll be out of a camera, but if I get another camera without selling mine, I'll be basically out of money, and if another great deal comes up, I won't be able to take advantage of it.
Optimally, I would be able to sell my camera and upgrade nearly simultaneously, but things don't always work out as you'd like them to.  Since I'm pretty sure I could sell my camera (at least I'm hoping I can) for $400 or more, I'd rather have two cameras and be broke while waiting for a buyer than having $400, no camera, and no good deal to take advantage least, that's what I'm thinking.
Because of that, I'm wishing that I'd bought one of the used XSi kits on Amazon or Adorama that were listed at less than $400; the fact that they're black rather than silver doesn't bother me much, but I'll have to wait for another deal to come around.

In case you're wondering why I want to upgrade to an only minimally better XSi rather than sticking with my XS, here are a few reasons, although there might be more:

1) If I can sell my camera for, say, $400, and get an XSi kit for the same amount, I'll be no worse off money-wise and I'll have gotten a slight camera upgrade in the process.  If I can sell my camera for more than I buy another one for, I'll have even made money in the process.

2) Due to the Rebel XS being the entry-level Canon DSLR, lots of beginners have them, and although a pro can do wonders with any camera, I have a feeling that I'm more likely to be taken seriously as a photographer if I don't have the DSLR that everyone else does.  Of course, lots of beginners also have other Rebels, from the XSi to T2i, and sometimes even a 60D or 7D if they have the money and decided to start off with a mid-range or semi-pro camera body.  Besides, having something with more or better features is kind of cool.

3) Like one person who offered to buy my camera (for $250 - I declined) does, eventually I hope to be able to buy camera equipment at good prices and cycle through cameras, selling them at a profit, and gradually upgrading.  Of course, I won't be able to do it as easily as he does, since he lives in Charlotte and goes to Raleigh for work (so a lot of the listings are nearby).   

4) I've seen XSi kits listed multiple times, in multiple places for $400 or less, which I can afford, although I'll definitely need to sell my camera to make the money back.  If I can do what the guy I mentioned above did (get a 40D with 18-135mm lens, battery grip and more, for $300), I'd do it in a heartbeat, but I think those kinds of deals are much rarer.  The fact that my camera uses SD cards rather than CF is convenient for me because I have a built-in SD card reader on my netbook and on my desktop as well, but I'd naturally forgo the convenience if I had a 7D, 50D, or maybe even 40D (I might sell that one and get a T1i, though, even though I like certain things about the 40D, such as ergonomics, ruggedness, and shooting speed, more), which all use CF cards.  

OK, back to what happened today.
First, the reason for this post's title is quite simply the fact that it's been cold recently, at least to me.  For you people who consistently have sub-zero or at least below-freezing temperatures, the '40s might be warm to you, but when it's that cold inside, I really don't like getting out of bed.  Not that my lazy self ever likes to get out of bed ;) , but it's even more difficult when it's cold.

Now, back to the day's events.
We stopped by a Whole Foods and might have bought something like a bag of marshmallows, but the main thing was we found out where the nearest public library was.  I stayed with my younger siblings there while my mom get a massage.  The library was certainly little-kid-friendly, as it had large cardboard boxes decorated to look like Old West buildings, where little kids could sit and read in, and coloring tables.
Helpfully for me, the library had free Wi-Fi internet access, and I'd brought my netbook with me.  Yes, the wireless network was unsecured, but unlike a place like Starbucks, I doubt there were any hackers waiting to steal my information, and I didn't/don't do work or make purchases like that, so I shouldn't have anyt info worth stealing.  Besides having to break up the quibbling little ones from fighting and keep them quiet and occupied, I didn't have to do a whole lot, since the older ones of my younger siblings just found books and read.  Unfortunately, Noble ("The Gnome") had a dirty diaper, and there wasn't anything I could really do about that since I didn't have wipes and diapers.  He played in the cardboard houses for a while, colored, and did some other stuff, but after a while he pulled the "Mama" whine that I'm sure you're quite familiar with.

I took the two little guys outside for a little while, and both managed to slip on the ice and fall, but there were no real injuries other than a possible bruise.  

I got some photos outside of the snow; it wasn't snowing then, but it must have earlier.
I still won't be finishing this post tonight, but here are a few photos:
He wasn't in a good mood

After my mom got back, we went to eat at the 'Ole Time Barbecue restaurant, and the food was pretty good, even though, sadly, they didn't have any apple sticks that we had had last time (kind of like mini versions of McDonald's apple pies).  Since we were right by the European Performance service center and dealership (the dealership is part of the same place, but I forgot its name - something Motorcars), my mom didn't mind that I wanted to stop and take some photos this time.  Here's one:
Porsche 911

'67 Shelby Mustang GT500

I think you should be able to tell which photo I haven't gotten around to editing yet.  The GT500 (a '67, I think) has a price tag of $295,000, if I remember correctly.
It was kind of cold outside, but I got dome decent photos - I wish they'd turned out better, but I'm not that good just yet, and my lenses and camera aren't that great (I know, I know, it's the photographer more than the equipment, but I think if I had better lenses, I might be able to get better results sometimes).

I think we went to the Whole Foods in Cary after I'd kept everyone waiting for a while. 
We all got to try the samples the store had to offer...that's one good thing about the one in Raleigh - good samples!  There was cheese, egg nog, white chocolate peppermint pretzels, and more, and it was all pretty good. :)  

I think that about sums it up.
A few more photos, as promised:

Porsche 911

Porsche 928S
Ferrari 512 BB (replica?) 


lisaschaos said...

I hope you're able to do the upgrade you'd like. Unfortunately each time we upgrade we end up getting less out of the one we sell than we bought it for but we've used it a while too so we figure it works out. Not familiar with the XSi - but I liked my XTi well enough. We shoot mostly weddings and we use 2 5Ds for it and have a 50D as a backup. Seems most the photographers around here are using 5Ds.

Maximillian said...

Thank you for the comment! :)
I don't plan on buying new unless I get a really good deal, so I think I should at least be able to break even. Well, that's what I'm hoping to accomplish anyway.