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.
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,
And here’s the Wells Fargo building zoomed all the way in:
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),
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),
And the level of detail I could get was just thrilling.
Everything about the new camera has made me very, very happy.
And of course I love how I can capture the children with it, as well (whether they love it or not is not important.)
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.
In this family shot, I’m holding my phone behind Ali’s head to remote adjust and shoot the photo with my 6D.
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.
More answers coming tomorrow…feel free to ask follow-up or completely random questions!
8 thoughts on “All the Answers: Notes on Choosing a Camera.”
Wow, the new camera looks amazing! But since I haven’t even learned how to fully use my own unprofessional camera I know I’m not grown up enough to have one yet. Maybe one day. Haha :)
Wow wow wow!! What a difference! And my jaw dropped at those night photos. So beautiful. Looks like it was a worthwhile investment. Thanks for sharing.
Love it! The 6D is a great camera too. I was very tempted to go with the 6D when I needed to upgrade from my original 5D. Always love your Birmingham pics!
Wow, the pictures are amazing, really! The night photos without a tripod? I’m so jealous. I recently bought my very first DSLR and it’s a Canon EOS 70D. Not nearly as good as yours, but it’s a step in the right direction. ;-) My camera has the wi-fi function (and I was also completely surprised by this) and I love it, too! (Even though I just got a new phone with a great camera, too – an LG G4 – but that’s still useful because I don’t take the Canon everywhere.)
I love your new camera! Amazing quality. I’m pretty loyal to Canon too. I have an older digital Rebel.
The humidity (&sand) ruined my Tamron 300 mm lense a few years ago. I replaced it, but have never taken it to the beach since.
For beaches & other outdoor endeavors, I bought a Fuji Finepix XP 200 waterproof digital with wifi. It’s shockproof and so far seems to be kid proof – I can give it to them to take pictures and it’s not destroyed. The quality definitely isn’t as good as your new one, but much better than a cell phone. The wifi download is a great feature to have, especially for me, since I do most everything on a tablet instead of a real computer.
Glad you’re enjoying your new camera :)
For your readers who are interested, even if your camera doesn’t have the wifi capability, there are memory cards that have it. When your camera gets close enough to your laptop for the memory card to sync with it, it will download the photos to your computer over your wifi, even separating them by date taken. You can buy them on Amazon. Glad you’re enjoying your new camera so much!
So I hate to disagree with you, but the wi-fi cards are AWFUL. I have one and I never use the wi-fi function (and quit using it a couple months after buying it.)
Here’s why: with the wi-fi cards, you have to be in your HOME wi-fi network, then it will only transfer to your computer (or a computer on which you have the software. Or a phone with the app but again you have to be in your home wi-fi network.)
Also, it’s ridiculously slow. This is why I quit using it – it was easier to pop the card in my computer and copy and paste than to use the wi-fi.
Third, you can’t easily pick and choose what to send.
The difference with the camera is that the camera actually creates the wi-fi network so you can transfer the pictures anywhere to any device (they just have to choose the wi-fi and know the password.) Also, it’s crazy crazy fast. Basically instantaneous. And finally, you can preview and choose the pics you want to transfer one by one, so you’re not wasting time moving all your blurry photos.
Okay. Again. Sorry for disagreeing with you. I’m the worst.
Your photos are stunning!