Author Topic: A free Canon 350D camera body  (Read 518 times)

Offline Jet Cash

A free Canon 350D camera body
« on: October 20, 2019, 09:53:43 AM »
I try to help a few local charities, and one of them gave me this Canon 350D camera body and bag. I haven't tried to use it, as I am a FujiFilm fan, and the linked photo was taken with a FinePix HS59EXR bridge camera. The Canon is just the body with a bag, and two flat batteries, so I haven't been able to test it. This is a picture of the package I was given -
Canon 350D body and bag only
I managed to find a cable to connect it via a USB port, but I need a lens, charger and Compact Flash memory card to see if it is working. I hoped to test the camera without spending any money, but that doesn't look as if it is going to be easy. I can probably find a suitable memory card, but I don't have any Canon equipment. I've ordered a charger pack which includes another battery on Amazon. The pack cost 10 including delivery, and I decided to get the extra battery in case the two I have will not retain a charge.

I've been watching a couple of suitable Lens on Ebay, and I might purchase a low price one from there. I just need something to test the camera, and if it doesn't work, I thought that I could resell the lens anyway.

Offline Jet Cash

Re: A free Canon 350D camera body
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2019, 11:12:54 AM »
The USB cable is a standard type-A connected to a mini type-B which is fairly common. I found one,but it is charge only. I tried it on the off chance that the battery could be charged through the USB port. This was a pretty remote possibility, and I can confirm that it doesn't work. I'll update this post when I find a data cable and a working memory card.

Offline Jet Cash

Re: A free Canon 350D camera body
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 03:31:44 PM »
It's Monday tomorrow, so I'm going to cruise the charity shops to see if I can find a lens to test the system.
I'm not sure what I should look for to start, but initial thoughts are -
- A 50mm prime lens
-A 70-300 zoom
- A 14mm aspherical lens

I'm watching the 14mm lens in an auction, but I suspect it will become too expensive for this project. I can buy the zoom for 20 in a charity shop, and I may buy that tomorrow just to get started ( if it hasn't sold). If the camera doesn't  work, then I can always re-sell it.

[ Monday update ]

The 14mm lens was on Ebay, and it eventually sold for 125 ( including p&p ). That was too much for the project budget, although it was probably cheap. It was untested, but there was a good chance that it was in good order. A 14mm wide angle lens is a bit specialised, but it could have been used to create some interesting shots. I'll wait for the battery charger to arrive, and then I'll see if the zoom lens is still available. Again, this is not a general purpose lens, but it should be fine to test the system, and I may use it to take some wildlife shots at Petersfield lake if the system is working.

I missed the zoom lens, by the time I got to the charity shop, it had been sold. The CF card that I thought I had turned out to be an XD card. The battery charger is great, and it is charging the Canon battery at the moment. I put the Chinese battery that came with the charger into the camera, and it all seems to be working. Well all I could test was the menu and displays, the shutter andthe flash, and all of thode seem to be in good order. One of the charity shops I visited asked me if I could get rid of some unsold clothes for them. The clothes bank gave me 10.30 for them, and I paid 10.89 for the charger and battery, so the cost so far is 59 pence. That doesn't include the fuel costs of course.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 04:18:33 PM by Jet Cash »

Offline Jet Cash

Re: A free Canon 350D camera body
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2019, 08:03:41 AM »
A review of the batteries, and their recovery. I have 3 batteries now, and this is what I have noticed when attempting to recharge them.

The old Canon battery - I put a volt meter on this, and it showed that a small charge was still in the battery. I put this on charge, and it took 2 hours to gain an apparent full charge. This is about the time specified in the manual.

The old Chinese copy - This registered zero when I checked it with a volt meter. It has been on charge for over 3 hours, and it still hasn't achieved a full charge.

The new Chinese copy - This seems to be working well at the moment, and I haven't tried to top up the charge yet. I'll do this fairly soon.

Camera batteries don't like to be left without a charge, and I understand that this leads to rhe gradual destruction of the crystals in the battery. Chinese copies seem to have a reputation for only having a short life. and this is born out by my experience with my FujiFilm camera. I purchased this as a new item a few years ago, and the package included a spare Chinese battery. This failed fairly quickly,but the Fuji original is still going strong.

The moral here seems to be -
Always keep your camera batteries topped up.
Buy manufacturer's original batteries, and not cheap alternatives.

Offline Jet Cash

Re: A free Canon 350D camera body
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019, 07:42:08 AM »
Time to step back and broaden the scope of this project. I'm still short of a lens and a memory card, and I can't move forward without those. I'm still trying to make this project as close to zero cost as I can. It looks as if I would have to introduce a bit of trading to get started. I offered to clear some unsold items for a couple of the charities, and as I mentioned, I was able to sell some bags of clothes for over 10. I picked up a quantity of books and CDs as well, and an on-line buying service has offered me 22 for some of them. As I collected them in the hunt for a lens, I think I will add this into the buying pot. I was going to keep it to cover the cost of fuel used when hunting for camera kit, but I did incorporate a number of other activities in my travels.

I'm also going to try a bit of trading in the camera kit. I submitted a bid for 12 assorted and untested lens on Ebay, and I thought I could resell the ones I didn't want to recover the cost. The auction closed with a price of over 110, and I thought that was too much. I'm currently looking at a cheap FL mount lens. Rhe FL mount was used between 1964 and 1971, so it is a fairly old lens. It comes with a nice vintage case and lens caps, so it might be worth it just for them. The FL lens will fit on an FD mount, and I found an article about using FD lens on an EOS camera -
http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/manual_focus_EOS.html
If it stays at a low price, then I might buy it as an experiment.
I'm tempted to try to find a cheap digital camera with a CF card in it. I can remove the card, and try to sell the camera on Ebay. That might move me ahead on this project.

So far I am down 58 pence, and for that I have the following items -
Canon EOS 350D camera
3 batteries, and a charger
A soft camera case.
A short USB data transfer cable

I've also got a 22 trading profit, and I should receive that in a few days.

Offline Jet Cash

Re: A free Canon 350D camera body
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 09:56:23 AM »
I managed to buy the 200mm lens on Ebay -
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Canon-200mm-1-4-5-FL-Manual-Focus-Lens-with-Original-Case/193163944849?hash=item2cf977e391:g:algAAOSwiDRdqDyl&autorefresh=true
On the face of it, this may appear to be a stupid buy, but I only paid 12.10 ( inc. shipping ), and I think the case and caps are worth that much. 200mm is not an everyday lens, so I hope it will have had minimal use, but that means it could have some fungus or dust. It is also completely manual, so it will be good for me to learn about depth of field, aperture sizes and stuff like that. I think I will have to be very creative to take commercial images with it, but maybe I can enhance them with suitable software.  Hopefully this will allow me to get started with the project.

Offline Jet Cash

Re: A free Canon 350D camera body
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 11:02:19 AM »
While I am waiting for the lens to be delivered ( should arrive next Tuesday ), I've been looking at a few cheap options to add to the system. One is a converter to allow me to use SD cards in a Compact Flash slot, and I've decided against this. They are fairly cheap, but there seem to be a few dangers and pitfalls in their use. Compact Flash seems to be a reliable type of memory card, and the use of a converter reduces this reliability. It can also slow down transfer speeds. New Compact Flash memory cards are still available, and the 350D will accept up to 8Gb, and one bit of research for the future is to check if a firmware upgrade  will allow this to be increased.

Another cheap option is the use of a reverse ring adaptor. These are available for a couple of pounds, and they allow a lens to be reversed and fitted to the camera. This is a cheap way to add a macro lens to your kit. Of course the auto-focus will not work, but many lens allow the settings to be pre-set and locked in normal mode, and manual adjustment can be made in reverse mode. In view of the minimal investment, it seems worth experimenting with this option. It will have to wait until I can obtain a suitable lens, as the ring sizes vary between lenses.

I'm also considering advertising for damaged of broken equipment. Repairs will be interesting, and will help me to understand the construction and operation of various types of lens. It could also be a source of profit.

I've downloaded the operator's manual from the Canon site, so that will be useful reading. Unfortunately the firmware upgrades are no longer available though.

I was fed up with the hunt for a compact flash card, so I've just bought one for 8 on Ebay. It includes free click and collect, so I could be up and running soon. I bought a broken wide angle zoom lens as well, so I have a full review of the current situation in a couple of days.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 05:37:06 PM by Jet Cash »