Friday, 18 November 2011

Camera Upgrade: Canon EOS 600D

Yay I am officially an owner of a traditional DSLR! Oh yeah traditional...
My new Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i/Kiss X5
With the camera being revealed, gotta discuss the specs and the lens. About the body, I was going for the Sony Alpha SLT-A65, but the problem is, the flood which occurred in Thailand since last month stopped Sony's plant, making it incapable of producing enough cameras to the needs of the market. So the batch that made out from the plant is all sold out and the hard part is new shipment is only going to be available only after two months. This is after they transformed a car audio plant into a camera plant located somewhere else, also in Thailand. The news is published here.


Then there was the price. I am going to use the official price recommended by the manufacturers. Let's say I am buying the A65, which costs around US$ 899 with a 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM which should be around US$ 599, total is US$ 1498. For the camera it is worth the money but what if I had other options, lets say the 600D. The body costs US$ 699 and the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM which costs US$ 200. Total is US$ 899. Well isn't that convenient? I can save some more to get some lenses to go with the 600D. What's up with the A65 being so expensive? It is newer. Some might think that new is better. But that depends on your definition of better. The translucent mirror makes focusing lightning fast. But at the price of losing half a stop of light. When I mean half a stop I mean like you're using f/2.8 but the shutter speed you get is like using f/3.2. So even though it shoots 10fps, the loss of shutter speed is going to make the subject blurry if it is moving too fast. If you're shooting a football match on a blinding sunny day, its going to be fine, but if you are going to shoot a basketball match indoors or at night, you're going to notice it. Traditional DSLRs doesn't have anything blocking the light ray from the lens to the sensor. Low light performance means high shutter speeds in low light conditions! I need low light performance! 


Then the buffer depth. Buffer is like a RAM in computers, where the images are stored temporarily before transferring to the memory card. In burst shooting, the camera can maintain its burst speed until the buffer is full, and resumes a very slow burst after that. So serious sports photo enthusiasts need large buffers. Now the file size of a 24 megapixel image is going to be around 6-8MBs. And the fastest cheap card, the SDHC Class 10 can only transfer 20MB/s. The A65 shoots 10fps, ten 8MB files in a second or in total 80MB/s. Imagine that. So the camera needs a large buffer. The A65 buffer size is capable of holding only 17 frames in one time. . Sounds fine? Then you've a victim of advertising. The 600D buffer holds 40 frames in one time. How's that. The burst rate is slower at 3.5fps but it will be fine I think. 3.5 is still faster than my previous camera.


Now to the video part. The A65 features lightning fast autofocus during video mode. Nice but the problem is the AF only works in apertures smaller than f/3.5. Any larger aperture like say, f/2.8, you gotta go for manual focus. Besides that, the video recorded on the Sony is highly compressed AVCHD compression with a bitrate of 28Mbit/s. The Canon is less compressed at 45Mbit/s using H.264 compression. Difference? To normal people like me they don't mean anything but to pros they would highly appreciate the low compression of the Canon. The A65 is capable of shooting 60fps or 24fps at 1080p. That's impressive. But I love the options of 1080p in 30fps, 24fps and 720p in 60fps. Family vacations and all, who want all those big full HD files? 720p might be enough.


Ah not to forget the ISO performance. Since the A65's sensor is a 24megapixel APS-HD sensor, it is just too much for an APS sensor. It is a new sensor anyways. The sensor working its way in the 600D is an old sensor which can be found in the 550D and the 60D. Don't underestimate it being old okay. Being old means that it has gone better over time since its first release. The ISO performance of the A65 is worrying. At high ISO it suffers from random coloured pixels called digital photo noise. Clean noise free photos are only possible at ISO 1600 max. But the 600D takes noise free photos at ISO 3200 with ease. The video mode is also limited to ISO 1600 on the A65 while the 600D is like "do whatever you want and you suffer the consequences" with its unlimited ISO. But only Panasonic GH2 and Sony NEX-5N users will have the courage to record at ISO 3200 without any noise in the video.


So the Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i/Kiss X5 is a great camera. It might not have the features that I want, like 10fps burst but it has all the things that I need, like high ISO performance. To my housemate Khalish who said, "We don't review, we buy", so when are you buying? It would be fun to shoot each other. I can be in photos too rather than taking photos of others. About cool artsy photos, never think of it as a talent. It is never a talent. Photography is a skill like doing maths. You get better once you've acquired the know hows to make a photo look good. Now in the 44 people who came to Korea together from Malaysia early this year, two are using Canon 550D, one is using Canon 600D and another guy using Nikon D90.


Gotta post some photos taken using my new camera! I love the f/2.8 on the lens. It makes good bokeh in shots at 1the widest focal length.
Me and hatta, taken at ISO 1600 and the shading is caused by the petal lens hood. Wahaha sorry. DOF is also so shallow I am in focus, Hatta is slightly outside the DOF range. Sorry!
The lens's 'sweet spot' is at f/4, the center and corner are sharp and no noticeable vignetting at this aperture. F the technical speak, this is Khalish in a restaurant at school.
Low light shot without any tripod. I love this camera. This is not even possible on my old camera. This is the path I walk to school every morning. There's no grass on the much trodden track. WAIT! Look closely, see the vignetting?
I don't need tripods anymore for simple night photos... Just use high ISO and wallah! Blur free photos!
I am loving the nighttime photos using this camera with this large f/2.8 aperture lens. Now I am going to start collecting money all over again to get some other lenses for telephoto like a Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD, which costs around US$ 450, and produces photos almost similar in quality with a Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM that costs a little extra at US$ 490 or an extreme L version which costs one and half grand. Why? Because it an L lens. Lol! Any updates will come quite late coz I am thinking of 'jumping ship' if there's something interesting offered by Nikon or Sony perhaps?


I recorded myself opening the box of the camera. Just for fun of having an unboxing video.

1 comment:

khalifah said...

ok..serius jatuh cinta ngn ur camera...harga pun tentu mahal kn..kalau ambil gmbr pmndgan kat korea..msti cntik2..

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