Category Archives for "Photography"

Spec Smackdown: Nikon D60 vs. Canon EOS Rebel XSi

Nikon D60 camera

Nikon D60

Canon EOS Rebel XSi camera

Canon EOS Rebel XSi

Over the past several months, both Canon and Nikon introduced new entry-level Digital SLRs to their lineups. Both brands offer many new features, and better image quality. Boy, these cameras are sweet. Their light, portable, offer stunning image quality, and they are a huge step up from the previous version. It’s a Smackdown!

Round 1: Design

Both the Canon and the Nikon have wonderful design. The XSi features a huge 3 inch screen, while the D60 sports a 2.5 inch display. Being that the Canon uses Live View technology that allows you to see the image on the screen before you press the shutter button, I love the larger screen. Both the XSi, and the D60 feel almost natural to use. The buttons fall right where you would expect them to be, however, being a hardcore EOS 40D user for nearly a year now, I would love to see the addition of a “Quick Control Dial.” The D60 has the shutter button, preset modes, power switch, and command dial all at your index finger, allowing it to be almost identical to its 6.1 megapixel predecessor, the Nikon D40.

Winner: Both camera bring excellent design to the DSLR table. They both have many of the buttons placed on the right side of the unit, allowing your thumb and index fingers to do most of the controlling, without moving your left hand off the lens, making it feel almost natural to use. Canon’s XSi and Nikon’s D60 both get a 9 this round.

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The Canon 135L

Canon 135L f/2 lens

I’ve had the Canon 135 f/2 L series lens in my possession for over two months now, and it has completely exceeded initial expectation - now sitting in the line as my favorite lens, ahead of the marvelous Canon 24-70 f/2.8L.

Sharp wide open at f/2, super fast autofocus, a beautiful smooth depth of field at low aperture settings, and a perfect focal length for long range landscape/short range sports are a few of the areas where this lens really shines.

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The 50mm Prime

Long have I been a subscriber to the theory that those new to the digital single lens reflex arena should start their lens collection with one, relatively inexpensive piece of glass, the f/1.8 variation of the 50mm prime, in either a Canon or Nikon mount, depending on the users choice of camera brand.

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 prime lens

50mm f/1.8

As a Canon user there are two different relatively affordable variations of the standard 50mm prime lens. An f/1.8 and f/1.4 version. The f/1.8 variation is the lightest and the cheapest ($79 USD) of all three, it’s the perfect piece of glass to introduce an individual to primes lenses. I’ve owned this lens in the past and thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of inability to zoom. Owning the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 forced me to use my eye to its full creative ability.

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 prime lens

50mm f/1.4

Second in the line is the slightly heavier, and relatively more expensive ($329 USD) f/1.4 version of the 50mm lens. Advantages of this lens include a far more superior build quality, faster focusing, full time manual focus ability, and a larger aperture opening. I now own this Canon 50mm lens due to its advantages over its cheaper counterpart.

Also available is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. This is the only 50mm prime lens in Canon’s line which features the “L” tag, as a luxury series lens. It features the most superior build quality of all Canon 50mm primes, and is one of two lenses in the Canon EF mount lineup which will open to f/1.2 (the other being the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 USM) - allowing in a significant amount of light.

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Shooting Stats: December 2006

I thought I’d post my photography shooting stats each month so I can keep a tab on how my photography is coming along. A few of you who have asked for more personal and “statty” posts should enjoy this too.

Images Taken: 1,685
Images Kept: 966
HD Space Used: 5.57GB
Average Shots Kept Daily: 31

Shots With 18-55 Lens: 856
Shots With 75-300 Lens: 101
Shots With Other Cams: 9

Shooting Stats: January 2007

Here is the January 2007 edition of my photography shooting stats. I shot a lot of cricket for the first time this month, which makes up the high number of shots I didn’t keep and therefore deleted.

Images Taken: 1,312
Images Kept: 465
HD Space Used: 3.78GB
Average Shots Kept Daily: 15

Shots With 18-55 Lens: 223
Shots With 75-300 Lens: 242
Shots With Other Cams: 0