All the Answers: Notes on Choosing a Camera.

In my recent round of Ask Me Anything, Sheri asked what kind of camera I use. Since I was planning on blogging about this soon anyway, I decided to give this question its own post.

So you remember a couple of months ago at the beach, I broke my camera. Or rather, the most evil humidity broke my camera.

And since I run a ministry based on my photography, I had to replace said camera as soon as possible.

I spent several days angsting over what camera to buy, and how much it was going to cost, and the fact that I’d need all new lenses if I bought certain cameras, and HOW MUCH IT WAS GOING TO COST.

But. It had to be done. And I’d been wanting an upgrade anyway, and now was clearly the time to swat the Accountant Conscience off of my shoulder and just do it.

So then it was down to which one. I’m a Canon girl, so that narrowed it down. I wanted to move to the professional line and I didn’t want a used camera, so that narrowed it down to three. The 7D Mark ii, the 6D, or the 5D Mark iii (In cost order from least to most expensive.)

I then marked the 7D Mark ii off the list because it wasn’t full frame, and if I’m moving up I might as well do it right. Even though that meant (whimper) buying all new lenses (slowly. Over time.)

So then it was between the 6D and the 5D Mark iii, of which there was a $1,000 price difference. I didn’t want to pay more, but at the same time, again, if I was buying, I wanted to buy what I needed. The deciding factor came down to actually holding the cameras. Thankfully, that made it really easy: the 5D Mark iii was FREAKISHLY heavy and so wide that it was very uncomfortable to grip in my dainty lady hands. I did not need a camera that would knock me off the hill I was shooting from.

This was quite relieving, because it saved me $1,000.

So ultimately, I went with the 6D with an L lens – my first in Canon’s upper echelon series of lenses. I also used some credit card points and a buyback of my broken camera to also get a wide angle L lens, which is the most necessary extra lens for the kind of shooting I do.

(For reference, my old camera was the Canon T4i, which was in the upper end of their consumer DSLR line.)

I was pretty excited to try out my new camera, but also very, very scared.

Because you know what all the people say…`

“It’s not about the camera – it’s about the photographer. A good photographer can take great pictures with any camera.”

What if I’d just paid a ridiculous sum of money to take the same quality of photos that I’ve always taken? It was a fear worth fearing.

I put it up to my face with much fear and trembling. I shot. And shot some more. And realized that I was going to have to relearn all my normal settings for this new full frame deal. And I shot some more.

And from the second I zoomed in on my first picture, I knew.

All those people who say “The camera doesn’t matter”? THEY ARE LYING.

OH MY GOODNESS AT THE DIFFERENCE.

t4i-6D-comparison.jpg

My old test of “is this picture clear or not” was “can I read Wells Fargo?”. With the new camera, not only could I read Wells Fargo, but now I could see the individual panes of glass behind Wells Fargo, which stunned me, considering how greatly I had to zoom in to see it.

For perspective, here’s a shot from my normal perch,
150810e-Buildings-of-Birmingham

And here’s the Wells Fargo building zoomed all the way in:

150810e-Buildings-of-Birmingham_thumb10_thumb_thumb.jpg

And the new photos print crisp and gorgeously.

I was now able to get night shots like I’d never dreamed of getting (without a tripod),

150813e-Night-3.jpg

150907j-Night-Reflections-at-Railroad-Park.jpg

150907l-Reflections-of-Blue.jpg

I also managed to grab my first ever lightning picture on the first attempt (I have taken thousands of pictures in the past trying to capture lightning),

150810b-Birmingham-Electrified.jpg

And the level of detail I could get was just thrilling.

150819b-Lily.jpg

Everything about the new camera has made me very, very happy.

150821-Railroad-Park-in-the-Mirror.jpg

And of course I love how I can capture the children with it, as well (whether they love it or not is not important.)

_MG_9948

_MG_9955

_MG_9977
MG_1890.jpg

MG_0750.jpg

The best new feature of the 6D, though, was a feature that was a complete surprise to me, as it wasn’t explained very well in the specs. The 6D can create its own wi-fi network, meaning that I can easily download pictures from my camera to my phone. This is game-changing for me, since I’m usually taking sunset pictures and sharing them immediately. My previous strategy had been to share my iPhone pictures immediately, then edit my real pictures and post them later on my website. Now I can post my real pictures immediately, and I’ve found myself not even taking iPhone pictures when I’m shooting for Picture Birmingham.

Also cool, the app that connects the camera with my phone allows me to see the screen of my camera, adjust all the settings, and remote shoot from my camera using my phone.

IMG_3440.png

In this family shot, I’m holding my phone behind Ali’s head to remote adjust and shoot the photo with my 6D.

2015-Family-Beach-Trip_1

If I had realized the 6D had this feature, it would have been hands down the obvious choice for me (the 5D mark iii does not have it, as it is an older model of camera). The ability to download instantaneously from my camera to my phone is infinitely valuable, besides the remote shooting capabilities (which is just added fun.)

Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled with the 6D, and I’m excited to see what all I can do with it through Picture Birmingham to further support The WellHouse.

150813f-Through-Birmingham-FLIPPED.jpg

More answers coming tomorrow…feel free to ask follow-up or completely random questions!