I'll be photographing a wedding at the US Naval Academy Chapel this coming weekend, using, among other things, a borrowed Digital Rebel XTi and a my brand-new Sigma EF 530 DG Super flash unit. So it was time to test, test, test.
Since I haven't been "in the yard" for several years, I schlepped my gear to the Naval Academy, about six miles from our house. As luck would have it, the Chapel was closed for Labor Day. But my trip was far from in vain, as it was useful to scout out shooting locations and note the location and movement of the sun (I went at 2PM, same time as the wedding will be Saturday).
In the process, I shot just over 200 pictures (many of which were just bursts of 10 or more images of the same thing, just to stress the camera, flash, new 2GB Compact Flash card, and the smaller battery of the XTi.)
I'm happy to say that all the gear came through with flying colors. I especially like the Digital Rebel XTi (400D) as compared to my camera, an "original" Digital Rebel. My now 4-year old camera uses the original Canon DIGIC image processor, whereas the XT and XTi use the next generation DIGIC II procesor. Whereas my camera takes about 2.5 seconds to "wake up", the newer models "wake up" instantly - sometimes this can mean getting or not getting a shot.
Beyond that, the control layout of the XTi and the way you use the very nice 2-1/2" LCD for all camera operations are well thought-out. The XTi is noticably smaller than the original DR, something I thought I'd have a problem with - but to me, it didn't seem cramped at all - it was just right (I don't have especially large hands, mind you.)
Although the Chapel was closed, many of the rest of the buildings were open. I stopped inside Dahlgren Hall and got this photo of a replica of a 1911 Wright Navy B-1, the very first airplane delivered to the U.S. Navy.
Dahlgren Hall has had many uses over the more than 100 years of its life, including an indoor ice-skating rink. Much of it is now given over the the Drydock Restaurant, which on this day seemed to be layed out for a mess.
After a while, I left the Academy and walked the few blocks to City Dock to get a bite to eat and watch the crowd enjoying the pleasant weather by Spa Creek.