Why the right tools matter

A few years ago, I went off to Japan to visit my friend Chris. I took along my (at the time) fancy digital camera: a Canon Pro 90 IS. Fancy in that it was big mega-pixels (for the time) and had an image stabiliser built-in (that’s what the “IS” stands for). Like I do now, I used it to document the heck out of my trip.

One thing Canon had on its prosumer cameras at the time that they took out of the DSLR line was the panorama assist mode (I don’t think it exists in any of their models now — does it?). A handy feature, it let you create panoramic views by being able to line up your previous shot. Then you used some included software, and BOOM!, you had a panorama.

Or that’s how it was supposed to work.

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My Canon Rebel XT doesn’t work

It’s weird. I’m not sure what it is. When I was in Panama a few weeks ago, I was out happily snapping pictures when, for reasons I simply don’t understand, the auto-focus stopped working.

My first thought was condensation. My camera had been inside an air-conditioned room for a day or so, and Panama is warm and humid. Bad combination for cameras, I tell you. I figured enough time to warm up and allow the condensation to leave should be enough.

It’s been a few weeks. The auto-focus still doesn’t work. The camera still seems to take decent pictures (manual focus is still available), but I’ve come to rely on the auto-focus to make sure my pictures are tack sharp.

I’ve checked the AF regions. I’ve reset all the settings. I’ve cleaned the pins and lens contacts (it happens with both my lenses). I’ve cleaned the mirror, too.

Anyone know what might be wrong? I’m outta ideas, and sending my camera to the shop to fix here in Costa Rica raises a number of language-based issues.