Over the past few years I’ve taken up a new hobby – photography. I can’t say that I had much of an interest in photography in the film days; I was your average point and click snapshot kind of guy. I found it more of a hassle to drop the film off to have it developed, only to find out afterwards that I had shots that didn’t come out. Even after buying my first digital camera back in 2002 (a Canon ELPH S330), I enjoyed taking photos, but I was only interested in the usual family and friends snapshots or an occasional special event.

A few years later and after researching several different point and shoots, I upgraded to a Panasonic DMC-TZ1. I was looking for something relatively small with a longer reach. The TZ1 fit the criteria – it was small enough to fit in a coat pocket, had a 10x optical zoom….and image stabilization too. It did an ok job, but as my kids were getting older and more active, I was missing a lot of the action. It wasn’t until 2009 that I really started my journey into photography.

In 2009 I decided to take the plunge into the DSLR world and bought a Canon XTi from a friend. I started out with the 18-55mm kit lens and 28-135mm USM. I primarily used the 28-135mm, but found the reach to be limiting, especially when shooting sporting events. I ended up adding a Canon 55-250mm to the mix a year or so later…of course, I hadn’t fully understood or appreciated the significance of fast glass until I started shooting my son’s night football games. The 55-250 was decent as long as there was plenty of daylight, but those cloudy/overcast days presented more of a challenge – and as soon as the sun started to set….forget it!

I used the XTi setup for the last couple of years and was really happy with it until this past fall after trying to shoot a few football games. I lost way too many shots – it was finally time to start looking at upgrading my gear.

So…this past November I stepped up to a Canon 7D paired with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 (non-IS version). Football season had already finished up by the time I upgraded, so I haven’t really had a chance to put it to the test – probably a good thing since I’m still learning how to take advantage of the features of the 7D. I’m extremely impressed with this combination so far and am really looking forward to venturing outside of my usual sports-centric photography and add in some nature, landscape, and urban photography.

My gear:
Canon EOS 7D w/ Vello BG-C4 battery grip
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM IS
Canon 28-70mm f/2.8L USM IS
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0L USM IS
Manfrotto 3001-Pro Tripod
Manfrotto X-PRO 3-Way Tripod Head
Manfrotto 681B Monopod
Carry Speed CS-1 MK II sling strap

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