I haven’t had a lot I time with the 600D so far, but I spent a few moments in the garden today taking snapshots of this & that. Below I have posted a couple of photos from this mornings lot. These two images are the only ones I have kept of about twenty images in total.
They are shot at ISO 800 and a shutter speed of 1/500th sec, with the 18-55 IS II kit lens, and I have to say I’m reasonably pleased with the performance of this lens. For a kit lens its no too bad. Sharpness in the photo of the rose is more than good enough for me to print at A3 size which is all that I really require from a camera and lens combo.
As for the all in one solution. There has been a scarcity of lenses in the used market in the 18-200 & 18-270 range. Indeed at this present point there are none listed for sale. There is however a smattering of good used 18-135 mm Canon lenses for sale. Giving it a little more thought I decided to pull the trigger on a lightly used Canon 18-135 mm IS lens for the princely sum of $200 NZD. Well within the Frugal Photography requirements. A new STM version of this lens would run to $788 NZD and the USM version is currently for sale new at $995 NZD. Anyway you slice it, the lens I was able to buy was a bargain and while it might not be a world beater performance wise its certainly a step up from the standard 18-55 kit lens that came with the camera. Eventually I will move on both lenses in favor of an 18-270 or similar, however for now this will do nicely.
Once the lens arrives in the mailbox I will endeavor to get some sample images sorted and displayed here for others to compare.
One of the most noticeable traits of the 600D is how noise free the images are at ISO800, moreso than the 650 & 700D’s I’ve had in the past. Its no doubt one of the reasons Trevor Jones of “Astro Backyard” found it good for astrophotography. Some of his images taken using a 600D are outstanding, definitely check out his YouTube channel.
A couple of months back I wrote that I had sold off my Canon 700D and kit. I was never totally satisfied with the camera or its image quality. Photos didn’t seem as sharp as they should have been and the focus/Auto focus always seemed a little off. Its metering didn’t appear to be as accurate as my 650D had been and often images were under/over exposed, with adjustments to the Ev seemingly doing little to help.
The camera still took nice images but I had to work a lot harder to get them than I had with my 650D. I wasn’t impressed with the performance of the STM lenses either. Auto focus was OK at best and the 55-250mm STM Telephoto didn’t seem a great deal sharper than its predecessor or particularly faster autofocusing.
I don’t believe it was a problem with either of the lenses, I feel that the camera body was the issue. The biggest problem was trying to track down what was causing these issues. In the end I couldn’t isolate the cause for these issues and moved the camera and kit on. For someone wanting to have a two lens kit who primarily shoots Auto & Jpeg the camera still performed well, but for more advanced work it just didn’t measure up. Very disappointing, and costly to boot.
With my impending Retirement this July what was I going to replace the camera with? I stated this before, I’m a big fan of Bridge-cameras and the all in one solution. That meant the choice really came down to 3 cameras, The Panasonic FZ-1000 Mk II , Panasonic FZ 2500 or the Sony RX10 MK IV. In the end the Sony would be my preference, the two primary factors for choosing it were the 600MM focal length and the Phase detection autofocus. It would have been nice if Sony had included ND filters in the camera as well, but I guess you cant have everything.
Meanwhile, I have been suffering from lack of gear for photography. I have my Fuji HS20, which is showing its age and struggles with the focus, and tends to miss a lot more shots than I would like. My film camera doesn’t get much love these days and to be honest I cant justify the cost of film and processing for such a small amount of images. I might still take it out with a roll of film, but this will be a rare event and if I’m being honest the amount of processing I have to do with scanned images doesn’t enthuse me.
Filling the gap, what’s out there? A trend I have seen grow over the past twelve months, quite alarmingly is the rapid increase in the prices of pre owned camera gear. Our local version of eBay “TradeMe” has some nice gear for sale, but the pricing is astronomical. Take for example a Canon 700D, Identical to the kit I sold recently for $650.00NZD. Even the lowly 450D is selling for anything up to $550.00 NZD. Of course there are plenty of bargains to be had as well. One of the most common cameras selling on Trademe at the time I write this is the Canon 600D. Prices are by and large pretty good for this model with the price range typically in the $300 to $550 depending on what’s offered.
Yesterday I picked up what is essentially a brand new Canon 600D from Cash Converters in Hamilton. It had at the time of purchase 646 shots on the shutter count. The body is totally unmarked and still has that new sheen to the body that slowly disappears over time. There were no dust particles in the groves of the zoom ring either, which is extremely rare to see on a used camera. The same could not be said of the zoom ring on my HS20, which looks like its rolled around in the dust a time or two. After charging the battery and firing off a couple of dozen shots I can confirm the response is snappy and accurate. The 18-55 IS ii lens seems far more responsive than the STM version I had on the 700D. Colors are good and the metering appears spot on. This is how my 650D used to perform, and confirms my feeling that something appeared to be off in the 700D. I’ve come to the conclusion regarding the 700D in that I suspect the firmware update I did after getting the camera may be the issue. I’m not going to change the firmware on this camera as there seems little reason to do so. As time goes by I will keep reporting back as to how this camera performs.
What about the all in one solution? Should this camera body perform as well as I hope and as it appears to, I will look at the following options as an all in one solution.
These are the three main contenders for an all in one lens to go with the 600D. The weight for all of the lenses shown above in combination with the camera body total out at around the one kilogram ( approx. 2lbs) which is relatively lightweight compared to the bulkier and more expensive L series lenses from Canon. The tradeoff of course is the better lowlight and sharpness those lenses bring to the table. The down side to going for L series lenses for example is the large jump in price and whether your wallet can afford or justify the premium lenses.
For those with a mind to invest a little more theres the Tamron 18-300 and 18-400 as well as the 18-270 mm lenses. The 18-270 mm lens has been around for a decade or more and has proven to be a popular lens for those wanting a little more reach for a similar price to the Canon 18-200 mm
How does all this stack up to the Sony RX10 IV? The Sony brings a great deal to the table in terms of sheer functionality and with the inclusion of phase detect autofocus, its a compelling piece of kit. If I were a video shooter or someone wanting to concentrate on video work then the argument for the purchase of the Sony becomes considerably more feasible even though its an expensive piece of kit.
Does it stack up to the older Canon 600D? Up to a point yes. Where the Canon wins is in the larger sensor size and its greater dynamic range as well as its lowlight ability. Having said that its not a huge difference, but when photons count the larger sensor area has the Sony beat. Theres another reason I went for another slightly older DSLR, astrophotography. This is one area where the DSLR wins with its larger sensor and variety of lenses, but more importantly I can mount this to a properly mounted telescope for Deepsky astrophotography, something I’m hoping to pursue going forward.
Frugality plays a part here as well. Its not uncommon to see the lenses mentioned above show up on Trademe and eBay with regularity making it a relatively painless purchase. For those of us more budget constricted, picking up a good used lens in the three to four hundred dollar range is more preferable than eight hundred to a thousand for a new lens depending upon what focal length you opt for.
To date the Canon 600D with the 18-55 mm kit lens, battery & charger included cost $369 NZD. The camera strap was missing, which is no problem, its easy to make them and I think I have a spare Canon camera strap tucked away somewhere. I Purchased another OMP camera bag for @ $20 NZD, a second battery for $15.50 NZD and two circular EW-60C Lens hoods for $11 NZD. In keeping with the Frugal photography mantra with a small amount of good fortune I should be able to have a nice APSC all in one solution ready for the start of the coming spring & summer, when hopefully as a full or part-time retiree I will be able to devote more time to the hobby. Total cost should be under $1000.00 NZD. Thats about €511 UK or $725 USD. It may well cost a lot less than that depending upon whether you buy new or used for the lens of choice.
Two circular EW-60C Lens hoods for $11 NZD.
Kaster Canon battery $ 15.00 NZD including freight