Sunday, 12 February 2012

For serious photo hobbyists | Canon 60D

For serious photo hobbyists: 
Canon 60D + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 (in picture, with a video viewfinder)



Some people like to start from below, like me, when the time comes we climb one step at a time. I just like the compact body and keeping my equipment below 1kg limit for the comfort of my neck and shoulder. But this decision haunts me sometimes with inaccurate AI SERVO, slow burst speed and noisy mirror flip mechanism.As you go up in the price range, these things gradually get better. As a traveler mobility is everything to me but for those who can sacrifice for the sake of excellent quality photos, there are some higher end options, which costs an arm and a leg so hobbyists must allow some give and take.

I can recommend an enthusiast oriented entry level camera which is Canon 60D with Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. For those of you who are really into photography, learnt the basics and are looking forward of jumping in as an enthusiast, this is the best bang for buck.

The US$ 899 Canon 60D has 18MP APS-C sized sensor with reliable performance. The approx 22x15mm sensor gives pleasing shallow DOF at large apertures and produces digital noise free images until ISO 1600. At 3200 and 6400 it is still usable. It has better mirror flip mechanism than Rebel line, having shutter speeds until 1/8000s. The 60D has improved focusing system with 9 cross type AF points for quicker AF in difficult situations, 5.3fps burst rate, good battery life at 1100 shots per charge and an LCD panel on the top for quicker access to exposure settings.

In terms of video it shoots very high quality 48Mbps MP4 format full HD video with options of 1080p, 720p and VGA, all with manual exposure settings available. 60fps video is available at 720p and VGA, the 1080p max frame rate is 30fps. It does not autofocus at all in video mode, so you have maximum control over it. The flipping screen is proven to very useful in video recording.

Let's go to the lens. The kit lens might be something good to start with but images sometimes are not that sharp. The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 produces better photos with fast shutter speed along the whole zoom range as the aperture does not change. Although the lens focuses slightly noisy and doesn't feature a focusing motor, it is fast and accurate. A missing feature is it doesn't feature an image stabilizer in the lens, so you must really hold the camera steady while shooting photos and videos. But the sharpness and speed is worth the US$ 439.

There you have it. Our recommendation for stingy photo hobbyists,
Canon EOS 60D with Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens.
US$ 899 + US$ 439 = US$ 1338 (approx MYR 4028, KRW 1,494,000)

As I was researching about this, I realized that my 600D is only US$ 100 cheaper from the 60D which is way better. I was like NO! But in the end of the day, the most important thing is how your own talent and techniques to make masterpieces out of it.

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