A Week with the Canon EOS 600D
** Disclaimer – this is NOT a formal review of the Canon EOS 600D. It is of a reflection of my first week taking photos with it. **
I knew I wanted to change my camera, to upgrade it, but I had no real expectations of the 600D beyond the fact that it shot with 18MP, rather than 10.1MP, which was the most my 400D had to cope with. So, when I set out last weekend, I thought I would see how things went. The new camera would not make me a better photographer, but it should allow me to capture what I wanted in better detail.
If I am honest, I was a little snobby about the video aspect, and I have no real desire to make use of it. (To my mind, an entry-level DSLR – any upwards of that – should be about photographing, not videoing. For that you use either a lower level camera or your phone or, heaven forbid, a video camera!)
The differences I found were ones I can learn to live with, not to build a portfolio of thing I hate about the 600D.
Starting off with the basics, the camera is lighter, but still feels solid. The flip-monitor is a useful tool to protect the screen, but it a case of getting used to turning it around, and having to when checking the photo you have taken is a pain, but something I will get used to.
The higher ISOs (3200 or 6400, instead of the 400D’s 1600) will take some getting used to as well, but that’s more about when I would use them, as opposed to remembering to do so (as well as reminding myself where the ISO button is, as it is in a different place on the camera to the 400D).
I like the inbuilt filters – grainy b/w, soft focus, fish-eye effect, toy camera and (my favourite), miniature effect – but once again it’s going to be about remembering to use them as much as anything else, and doing so on the camera before deleting the images from the chip.
When it comes to the chip, I blogged earlier in the week about my frustration that the camera uses a different battery and SDHC (as opposed to CF) chips, so I had to buy new ones. Having said that, the card I got (a 16GB, 45mb/s one) is more than suitable for my needs, being able to store 440 images (at Large + RAW quality).
I have used the Live View Shooting option a couple of times. (Again, in my snobbishness, I feel that cameras beyond simple point-and-shoot should force the photographer to use the viewfinder.) While I can see its usefulness in allowing you to see what you’re taking when photographing close to the ground, for example, it’s not something I can see myself using a lot, as I like the randomness of that kind of image.
One frustration I have found in the last couple of days, however, it more of a post-shooting technical one. I use Photoshop Elements 6, but, since using the 600D, have fond that the system cannot open .CR2 files of that new a camera. The option Adobe gave me was to upgrade to to Elements 11, but, having spent out a load of money on a new camera, oddly I don’t have more available funds to spare. A DNG converter was the ‘Googled’ alternative and, after a few attempts, I managed to get the relevant one downloaded. It works, but means that I have to process the images before I can process the images (if you see what I mean). Again, a pain in the proverbial, but something I will now doubt get used to (or upgrade to Elements 11 anyway).
So, there you go. Short and sweet, but I am sure I will be expanding on this as the weeks and months go on. In the last seven days I have taken close to 400 photos with it the 600D already, and I can honestly say that it’s a nice little camera to use. Yes, if I had had the money, I may have gone for a higher-end model, but I was – and still am – happy with the 400D, and saw no reason to change level. More experimenting will follow, no doubt, and I am sure you will see the results in the coming weeks.
Oh, and as for some photos? I’ll kick those off from Monday!