New camera. First thoughts and photos on the Canon EOS 60D

The digital world never seems to stand still, and whilst my camera is more than capable of taking good photos, it’s sadly become a little dated. With a lot of thought i decided it was time to get something with lots of the new features the latest cameras seem to have now. Finances are very limited at the best of times, and worse now than normal with prices of everything rising. But it had to be now or never, so i dug deep and bought a Canon EOS 60D http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/Digital_SLR/EOS_60D/

Tuesday i only had the chance to play about at home and try to get used to the new style controls, which are generally quite well placed. With quick controls across the top, and a screen also on top, it’s easy to change the main settings, and also to see what settings you have without having to use the LCD screen.

The 60D isn’t as big and heavy as the likes of the 7D, 5D MKII etc, but it is a little chunkier than the lower level cameras. For me this isn’t a bad thing. It means my hand fits comfortably without using a battery grip, something i like to use, but it does get in the way at times. It’s also light enough for carrying around all day. The battery life is reported as being capable of nearly 1000 shots, so plenty for an average day out. At 18MP it does produce rather large files when shooting RAW, so decent sized SD memory cards are needed, or a good selection of smaller cards.

The LCD screen is one of these flip out and swivel type you get on video cameras, very useful for taking photos at low or high levels, and also for the video function. By turning the screen inwards it protects it from damage.

The menu initially looks quite daunting. There’s a few things i’ll need to look up, but mostly it’s a lot easier to understand than it first seems.

There are far too many functions to go into at the moment, so i’ll just mention a few things i really like.

The external flashgun can be used as a slave. By setting it up in the menu i can fire the inbuilt flash and also an external one (or more) at the same time. It doesn’t work over vast distances, but far enough for most usage. This is good for creative lighting.

The camera has an electronic level, very helpful for making sure horizons are level, but also useful anytime you need the camera to be level, perhaps for architecture, long exposure at night etc. The level can be used on the screen, but with a simple thumbing of a button it can be shown in the viewfinder too. I’m sure this will be a very useful tool at times.

Live view is something i’ve never used on a DSLR. I always prefer to use the viewfinder, but going back to the swivel screen, the live view will certainly make things easier at times.

Although i’ve not tried out the video properly yet, it is something i want to do more of. My video camera was stolen last summer when i got mugged, so a DSLR with full HD video will be a great way to get into it again. Focusing is manual in video mode, but that’s not a real problem, and with the lens choices i have then there’s good scope for creativity.

There is the facility to do in camera RAW editing that can then be saves as a jpg. It then has creative filters, Grainy B&W, Soft Focus, Toy Camera, and Miniature. Being able to do a quick edit in camera, and to also add basic copyright information can be helpful when on the move. A small laptop can be uploading whilst you get on with the job. So no uploading into your chosen editing software, just direct upload. My mate Gary has been doing this with his Nikon.

Perhaps the most useful difference between the60D and my old camera is the higher ISO capability. With newer processors and greater noise control then the limit of just 1600 ISO has now gone up the 6400, with expansion to 12800. This opens up the world of handheld nighttime photography. This was what i focussed on for my first trip out with the camera.

So onto a few photos, all taken at night handheld.

TPR-0107

Taken at 6400 ISO this photo would have been impossible handheld with my old camera as the building would be too dark. As it is i think i have a usable, and slightly spooky looking image.

TPR-0157

This photo is almost the same as one in an earlier blog taken on my now broken G9 (damaged when i was mugged). The G9 photo was taken at 1600 ISO, this at 6400. The larger sensor and newer show the different noise effect. Although i really liked the noise on the G9 at 1600, this is also quite nice, and more subtle.

TPR-0166

This version was edited in camera from a jpg file. I like the grainy look and the harsh contrast.

TPR-0098

This is the old Lock Up Yard in Derby. Again it's quite clean for such high ISO.

TPR-0075

This was taken at 12800 ISO. It was so dark, and i tried to zoom in, so had to use a higher shutter speed. It's starting to lose sharpness, but i'm not sure how much is due to the high ISO, and how much to do with the shutter speed perhaps still not being quite as high as it should, and so just a little camera shake.

TPR-0121

Finally a colour photos. This has no noise reduction. Although it can be seen, the noise isn't too bad, and could easily be cleaned up a little.

P.T.

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About PurpleT

Much of my photography is art and documentary. I try to capture a scene as i see it in my mind, whether that be black and white, colour, or somewhere in between. I try to make an interesting, and/or attractive image from what i see around me, not just what would be expected, but also subjects that would be seen boring, mundane, or ugly by many. But they all have an interest as art photography. I have also spent nearly twenty years working as a life model, then the human figure in art is very important to me, and is something i try to bring into my work at times.
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2 Responses to New camera. First thoughts and photos on the Canon EOS 60D

  1. bookmole says:

    I do love photographs taken at night. Where was the colour one taken? Made me laugh!

    The yard is nice too – most places have sodium lights, good to see white lights sometimes.

    • PurpleT says:

      The colour one was taken at a new (and ugly) riverside complex in my home town, Derby. The only places open so far are a bus station and two hotels. I saw the billboards and i laughed too, so i had to take a photo 🙂

      A lot of out street lights are no being changed to more efficient, and white lights. Great for photos.

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