Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Canon EOS 6D - Part 2 | On the job usability

Welcome to part 2 of my write up where in this article, I will focus on actual practical usability and versatility of the Canon EOS 6D. Over the weekend I spent some time in Genting with the family and this is where the brilliant high ISO performance and built in HDR function came in handy for lowlight indoor shots. Ok it might not be really low light in Genting but you get my drift haha.

Setting the HDR is really easy. Just enable the HDR Mode then select the range you require +-1,2,3 EV or even auto and you're off. The camera will take 3 continuous shots within this range and you can set the camera to either do this for every single shot you take or just for 1 shot. You are also able to set Auto Align or leave it disabled. Normally the settings I used is +-3 and Auto Align Enabled.

Below is a shot taken at ISO10000, f4, +-3EV built in HDR and handheld! Yes ladies and gentlemen, you no longer have to worry about shooting events, weddings under low light conditions anymore. I could have shot easily with a higher f-stop and the camera would have managed it without any fuss. With the superb low light focusing, metering and the new options available to you, all you need to focus on is composition and let the camera worry about the rest. 

Few more shots below taken using the same technique. No post processing was really required other than to watermark the photos. 

Switching between the HDR mode and your normal shooting mode still requires accessing to the menu and hopefully in the future, there can be a quick switch button. I have not tried the custom functions C1 and C2 yet so maybe that might work. 

During the course of the shoot, you have the option to activate the wifi for quick and secure access to a list of devices. I connected it to my smartphone to view and retrieve the images using the EOS Remote app, before posting the photos online.

Just select the Camera Image Viewing option as shown in the screenshot below from your smartphone.

The photo layout in the app is easy to view with sections showing the date of the shoot. The connectivity between the phone and the Canon EOS 6D is really fast and there is no lagging felt. This is really a plus if you have lots of images to go through.

After you have selected the image you want, just download it to the phone by clicking on the bottom left icon and within seconds, your image is stored in your Gallery under the Canon EOS 6D folder. You can then just upload it online. How cool is that!

There are now functionality that will enable me to immediately project my images live during an event shoot and remote control multiple Canon EOS 6D placed at different strategic locations within the shooting area all from my smartphone. Imagine this scenario where you have the 6D placed from a balcony focusing down as the wedding couple walk into the grand ballroom. You can be with them covering them as they walk in while remote shooting from above or other locations. You'll be cutting down the number of assistants required at the same time.

For in studio shoots, clients who are with you at the time can view and immediately select/download the photos from your camera. Previously the troublesome USB cable which had a maximum length usability issue, was the only way to connect to a laptop/desktop other than to get a separate wifi grip or wifi card.

Hope this review in part 2 answers some lingering questions that some of you may have and feel free to share this article or drop me a line if you have any questions. Till part 3... cheerio!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Canon EOS 6D - Part 1 | Initial View

After a long wait, its finally here! The all new entry level Canon EOS 6D released just in time for Christmas by Canon. I didn't get the Canon EOS 5D Mk3, as during that time, rumours were already flying around of this entry level full frame DSLR being developed.

Initial look and feel is very similar to the Canon EOS 60D without the swivel LCD and pop up flash. Layout of the buttons are typical Canon so most users will have no issues navigating through them. However the WB button was not included in the rows of buttons on the top LCD for quick access, so a little navigating through the menus was needed to change the WB. Canon have included a quick switch to video mode similar to the Canon EOS 7D which was good as I do switch between these 2 modes during assignments. If you've used the Canon EOS 60D, 7D and 5D MkII, this camera would have an incorporation of many of the features found in those bodies.
Next I browse through the menu and holy cow, there were a long list of menu pages spanning right across the whole LCD. You could really really customize this camera which is great.

There were a few things that I was looking for in this camera notably high ISO performance, AF speed and  image quality. After shooting with this camera for the first couple of hours, I was grinning from ear to ear. For one, the AF speed was super fast bearing in mind I was comparing against the 60D, 7D and 5D Mk II. Even under extreme low light conditions, focusing locks on without any hesitation and this is a feature that comes in real handy when shooting in dimly lit dining halls and so on. Not a single shot missed the target even with the aperture wide open. Full marks for the AF from me for the 6D.

Next up was the ISO performance. What can I say other than WOW! Look at the 3 images below all shot at seriously high ISO under low light conditions - handheld! The ability of the EOS 6D to retain image details at such high ISO without noise is simply amazing. Look at the image of the lamp and the same image cropped. You will notice that the wordings on the light bulb did not break. Color rendition and overall image quality is maintained and there is no noise.

Do note as well that I've already resized these images for web posting and the original image is much better.

The 6D has built in HDR, multiple exposure and silent shooting mode where the latter becomes real handy in street or otherwise non intrusive shooting situations. The built in HDR works very well with the ability to set up to +-3.

Sample image below is shot with the built in HDR with ISO set to 100.

I've done some minor editing on the photo below but overall image quality is superb, holding details well throughout the range.

The initial impression of the Canon EOS 6D is very promising. Weight wise this is perfect as I sometimes shoot up to 16 hours straight and anything heavy will kill my back This camera is THE camera to get for those thinking to upgrade from the EOS 60D, 7D and the 5D MkII. I will be writing up on the wifi capabilities next which will cover remote shooting and how it can be applied during assignments.

Below are the screenshots from my Samsung Galaxy Note to remote control my EOS 6D using the downloaded EOS Remote app.


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