Our New Camera – The Canon 60 D

by Cliff Ravenscraft on June 30, 2012

in Our Blog

Why did I purchase TWO Canon 60D Cameras?

Canon 60D Camera

It’s no secret that when I develop a new passion, I typically dive in head first and stick with the motto of Go Big or Go Home! That’s what happened to me when I was bit hard by the Photography Bug.

Here’s the deal, for some reason, I’d never really taken photography all that seriously before. Over the years, I’ve had several point and shoot digital cameras. However, as the iPhones cameras started to improve, I stopped carrying an extra camera around and simply relied on the camera in my phone for the times when I wanted to snap a quick photo.

I had thought that the photos that I had been taken were pretty decent. However, that was until I went to NYC this summer and hosted a gspn.tv community and Podcast Mastermind meetup at John’s Pizzeria on Broadway.

During that dinner, I snapped the following photo from my iPhone… (Click Image For Larger Version)

Obviously, I figured that in low light situations, this would simply have to do. However, this is not a photo that I would consider sharing at all! I’m only showing it here to show just how horrible it is.

I was so happy that my good friend, Jason VanOrden, attended the dinner this night. He brought his Canon 60D camera with him. I noticed that he was shooting several photos through the night, without using a flash. I figured, due to the low lighting situation and the fact that he was not using a flash, that his photos wouldn’t be much better than what I got from my iPhone. However, when he shared the shots that he took, via DropBox, I found out just how wrong I was.

Take a look at the following shots that Jason took, in the same low light situation, without any flash at all, using his Canon 60D Camera. (Click Images For Larger Versions)

As you can tell, these images are AMAZING! I immediately created an album and uploaded these photos, and more to my Facebook account. I was BLOWN AWAY by the amount of “likes” and “comments” that these high quality photos generated.

This really got me to thinking. I had already found that when I made the decision to deliver the BEST AUDIO QUALITY for our podcasts, we immediately benefited by more engagement with our community and an unbelievable increase in audience retention. Quality REALLY DOES MATTER!

A few days later, Stephanie came to me and told me she knew what she wanted for her Birthday. She wanted a really nice camera so that she can better document the important events in our kid’s lives. She said her iPhone is okay in daylight, but it fails to capture any photos worth sharing, let alone printing, when indoors. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long to convince me of our need for a camera. I told her that I would begin investigating the potential purchase.

I reached out to Jason, my friend who took the great looking shots I mentioned above, and asked him if he would share some details about his camera. Here’s what he wrote to me…

I recommend the Canon T3i or the Canon 60D. The 60D is a nicer camera and worth the extra money if it is in your budget. I have the 60D.

That comes with what is called a kit lens. This is a basic, one-size fits lens that will get the job done. You can buy just the body, but I think it is worth having the kit lens when starting out. It is flexible and has nice image stabilization.

If you are interested in doing really nice photos and video with a nice professional blurred background, you need a fixed lens. That means that it doesn’t zoom, it just has one “focal length.” The advantage to this is that it will have a much wider aperture allowing for lower light use and the cool blurring effect in the background. That is what I was using in NYC.

Here is the lens that I had on the camera: Sigma 30mm lens

That is a similar set up to what you would see Pat using these days as well.

All the photos I post to FB of Calliope and Melanie use that set up. So look over my photos for examples.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Armed with this information, I began to do google searches and YouTube searches for reviews of these cameras. I determined that the Canon 60D was the camera for me.

A few days later, Stephanie said she changed her mind. She knew that I was interested, just as much as she was, in having a new camera. She said that she would rather have a Coach Bag for her birthday and have the camera as our anniversary gift to each other. Stephanie’s birthday and our anniversary are just a week a part from each other.

I thought that this was a great idea. Now this could be “OUR CAMERA” and that I could take it on business trips where I host community meetups. Also, the Canon 60D takes AMAZING 1080P video!

Here’s the deal, Stephanie said that she didn’t have any problem with me taking the camera, as long as it does not conflict with an event with the kids. I started to see red flags right away. The thing is that there are ALWAYS events going on with the kids. It was evident, after a 20 minute conversation, that we were going to be fighting over who would have custody over the camera any given day.

So what did I do? I did the craziest thing you could imagine. Not only did I order our anniversary gift to each other nearly two months early, I ended up ordering TWO OF THEM. The fact is that I just had 27 people register for my Podcasting A to Z course that starts on July 9th. This fact meant that there was ample amount of margin for these to fit in as a business expense.

Not only that, but I have a dream of one day doing a Late Night With Jimmy Fallon type of show when I finally create my full-blown video studio. With my Canon HF G10 and these two Cannon 60D cameras, assuming that Stephanie will allow me to use hers, I will be able to do a three camera video project. It’s going to be awesome!

I did as Jason suggested and I ordered the Canon EOS 60D with the 18-135mm Kit Lens for both Stephanie and myself. Knowing that I wanted to make sure that I could shoot the style of photos and videos that Jason spoke about, with the professional blurred background, I also purchased one Sigma 30mm Prime lens.

Stephanie and I could not be more happy with our purchase! Seriously, I am totally geeking out on photography. I’ve already taken more than six hours worth of training on Exposure, Lenses, and specifically how to use the Canon 60D. I will likely go through all six hours that I’ve already taken again. I also plan to take a course on composition.

However, after having my hands on my camera for just one week, I’ve taken the following first photos. See the Flicker Slideshow embedded below:

I think my favorite thing is that because I already have the Canon 60D and my amazing Sigma 30mm lens, I was able to capture, in full glory, the launch of Matthew and McKenna’s entry into the world of Entrepreneurship.

Today, Saturday, June 30th, 2012, Matthew and McKenna launched their first business selling lemonade. I am so excited for them. They made $46.00 in PROFIT their very first day! Not bad for selling a glass of lemonade for 50 cents and chocolate chip cookies for 50 cents. I’m sure we will talk more about this in episode 216 of Family From The Heart.

I posted an album on Facebook and on Flickr. However, here are a few shots that I wanted to share with you in this blog post. (Click Image To See Larger Version)

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please note that all links to the Canon EOS 60D and the Sigma 30mm lens are Affiliate Links. If you were to choose to purchase by clicking one of these links, I would earn a generous commission as a result.

So tell me, what type of camera do you have? What lens are you using? Please feel free to share links to any Facebook or Flickr Albums that you have set to public access. I’m just getting started, but I have a feeling that photography is going to become another life long passion of mine!

9 comments
JeffLong
JeffLong like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hi Cliff,

 

I have the Canon 60D and LOVE it.  I use it for my video production company and it gives a great image.  In fact, I'll be shooting a few videos this week with it.  I love the ability to use interchangeable images.  I use my Zoom H4n for audio (lav, shotgun, etc).  I'm glad you found a great camera for photos and video!  Thanks for posting this to the community.

Cliff Ravenscraft
Cliff Ravenscraft moderator

 @JeffLong Very cool that you are using the same camera.   I've been having so much fun with mine. 

Pastor Sam Auli
Pastor Sam Auli like.author.displayName 1 Like

I don't have a camera but these pictures that you took are AMAZING! Going to put this down for my Christmas list. Thanks for sharing.

hubertk
hubertk like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Cliff - you have a total photography nut in the neighborhood. Actually, I paid part of my way through hi school and college as a newspaper reporter/paparazzi, but that was a long time ago. I still own a film camera from those years, and (more importantly), that's when I started collecting Canon lenses. Right now, I have two Canon DSLR bodies (my main camera is a 7D and my backup a Rebel XTi), and a ton of lenses (most often used are the 50mm f/1.4; 28mm f/2.8, 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5; 24-70mm f/2.8; 60mm f/2.8 macro; 8mm fisheye; 70-200mm f/4; and the 85mm f/1.8). Plus three flashes, pocket wizards, tripod, monopod, filters, closeup rings, GPS, etc. I even have a professional photo studio in my basement that I am (occasionally) using for paid shoots. In my (ample) spare time, I am running a small photography club downtown. 

Cliff Ravenscraft
Cliff Ravenscraft moderator

 @hubertk Hubert, I'd love to have a chance to come and check out your studio setup and see some of your lenses.  

hubertk
hubertk

No problem @Cliff Ravenscraft. Just source a model, give me a ring and come over! @hubertk

EdithSolveigNeuBaker
EdithSolveigNeuBaker like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hey , Cliff. I have two DSLR cameras: a Nikon D70 and 3000. I love both. Just curious what online classes are you taking? I actually use numerous types of cameras to give me different results. If you go to my Flickr account you can see a huge block of my work. But here are a few samples: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esbaker/sets/72157609883226078/with/3022732143/ (these were taken with a variety of cameras) and here's a sample shot exclusively with the D70: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esbaker/sets/72157620156234880/with/3649450178/  and http://www.flickr.com/photos/esbaker/sets/72157614944969099/with/3340594834/ and one with the D3000: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esbaker/6275298482/in/set-72157627839457657

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