Flew back last night from our San Francisco workshop. 9 participants, great group, some very interesting images made by the participants on our "walk abouts". It was certainly a different kind of photography for me. Uwe strongly encouraged me to leave home my tripod and so I was shooting hand held. I tried out a new camera bag - the Tamrac Velocity 8X. It was compact and easy to use - it was marginal for my 70-200 L IS lens simply because the shape of the back is circular on the bottom and the side pockets aren't quite as wide or deep. I could easily place the lens upside down with the lens hood at the top but that way means sometimes as you bring the lens out it detaches from the lens hood and falls back, hopefully into the camera bag so I prefer putting it in front first. It just fits, especially if you place the camera so the short side of the camera is towards the long lens. Why don't I put the big lens in the middle? Because then I can't put the camera in the bag. The sling system worked great, no diff. sliding the bag round to the front to access items or push it back round again to over the right hip or entirely round to the back which is better. They do make a 9X and if you have a big zoom, I'd recommend that.
I have been very impressed with the sharpness of my new 18-55 IS - this kit lens from Canon is a real departure from previous inexpensive lenses - it's darn good - sure it feels like a toy with it's plastic lens mount and less than brick like build but it works - sharp corner to corner at most apertures and entirely useable wide open.
I have been very impressed with the 40D - it handles very well. I love the my menu which does my formating and mirror lock for me. When hand holding I used ei. 400 to 640 and in one case really opened up the shadows in editing - sure there was noise but it was fine, sharp, looked like tri-x grain (well processed) and sure didn't bother me. Unlike consumer cameras which when pushed to higher ISO's result in a great loss of detail - there was no problem at all from noise suppression - very impressive.
Would I do more hand holding - sure - though I do find that when hand holding, exact framing is more challenging - you look at one corner and get it right, then look at the other corner and oops - I found myself zooming out a little just to make sure I got both corners adequately. Sure makes photography more fun and spontaneous. I might well start doing more walk abouts (but I mmight just take a light tripod too).
I'll post my walk about images when I catch up on my sleep.