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Entries in canon (24)

Sunday
Jun282015

A Beginners Guide To Auto Focus (AF) Modes On Your Canon dSLR: One Shot, AI Focus & AI Servo 

(Please click here if you can't see the video.)

C'mon, admit it, when was the last time you read your camera manual? Have you even tried any of the alternative Auto Focus Modes? The reason I'm being a little pushy here is that what your camera can do is amazing - it'll track moving objects as they get closer or further away from you, perfect for wildlife, sports or little kids running around...

Back in the dark days of manual focus it was relatively easy to track a moving subject - just roll the focus ring. With one-shot auto focus you can't do that. Half-press the shutter and the camera focuses... and stops. You can try to keep half pressing, but chances are you'll end up with some soft images. Play around with AI Servo and AI Servo.

Thanks, Rob.

Tuesday
Jul302013

Canon Sureshot BF Compact 35mm Film Camera Video Review - Lomo Style! 

(If you can't see the video, please click here.)

The beauty of cameras like the Canon Sureshot BF is that they're cheap, light, run off AA batteries and can take a half-decent photo.

As you can see in the video, I've customised mine by darkening the edge of the lens with a marker pen and also dabbing on the exposure sensor with the same to make it over-expose slightly too. I think this has made the photos look a little more lomo, a little more vintage, and they probably have a little more character.

I'm not saying you should do this to all your film or digital cameras, but before you splash the cash on one of the "hipster" film cameras, like a Diana or a Holga, perhaps grap a cheap 35mm compact, draw on the lens, and shoot some cheap colour film.

Thanks, Rob.

 

Monday
Oct032011

Canon EFS 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS II Zoom Lens Review

(If you can't see the video, please click here.)

Way back in the mists of time I bought a Canon EOS 50e from our local car-boot sale. This camera caught my eye because it sported a 28-80mm EF mount lens - just what I needed if I was going to stretch my meagre gear budget to a dSLR body.

What I didn't appreciate at the time was the crop factor that is involved in Digital SLR's. What this means is that the sensor on most Digital SLR's is smaller than a piece of 35mm film, which makes subjects appear closer than they would on a film camera.

The result of this is that the angle of view that you get out of lenses is different depending on if you're using a 35mm film SLR or a digital SLR. With a dSLR you're closer to the action, which is great for telephoto work, like sports or wildlife, but means that for wide-angle architecture or landscape photographs you're too close, so you have to back up or fit a different lens.

View Towards Fawley, Lee On Solent

So that old film SLR lens I got, the 28-80mm, wasn't that great for lots of the photography I do, landscape and architecture. What I needed was a wide-angle, and the regular Canon EFS 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS seemed to fit the bill.

At 18mm this lens is the 35mm equivalent of a 28mm, which is nice and wide, and it includes Canons IS or Image Stabilisation system, which means that you can use your camera hand-held when otherwise you'd need to use a tripod.

House, Lee On Solent

This is the standard kit-lens that comes with most of Canons entry to mid-level SLRs. I purchased this example from a buyer on eBay who was selling it with the 55-250 IS. They had bought a Canon 60d six months ago with the 55-250, but now were upgrading to L glass, so I got the pair of lenses for about £160, which was a bargain.

The 18-55mm isn't the fastest (in terms of light) glass out there, it's f/3.5 to 5.6 is pedestrian at best, but it more than makes up for this with the IS system. I have been very impressed with the sharpness I've achieved with this lens, and that's only after a couple of months. I'm sure that with a little more practice I'll get even better results.

IMG_5381

 The 18-55 IS feels a little plasticky, but that does mean it is incredibly light. When I've got it on the front on my 350d, the camera seems like I could carry it around for days. The zoom is quick and smooth, and if you put the focus switch to manual the focus ring is easy to use as well.

It's worth noting that the front element does spin while focussing, so when using a Circular Polariser Filter, you'll have to adjust it after locking onto your subject.

Atomic Clock, Gosport

Since starting to use the 18-55mm it has probably become my favourite lens. Always on my camera, I love the angle of view that this glass gives. The IS means that you can stop the lens down without fear of getting camera shake blur, so you can use a smaller aperture (like f/5.6, f/8, etc)  to improve the overall sharpness of the photographs.

New Building, Lee-On-Solent

If you bought your Canon dSLR with a kit lens, it probably came with this glass, so you'll know how good it is, but for those of you who need a wide angle lens and are on a budget, you can't go wrong with the Canon EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II.

Spent Cornfields On Portsdown Hill

Cheers, Rob.

Sunday
May152011

A Bruiser Of A Compact - The Canon Powershot G12

(If you can't see the review video from CNET, please click here.)

 Let's get the boring bits out of the way first: The Canon Powershot G12 has a 10 megapixel CCD sensor, a 5x Image Stabilised zoom, that starts off at 28mm, can shoot .jpg and RAW, takes 720p High Definition Video, has a fold out LCD screen, an optical viewfinder and a proper flash hot shoe.

Above and beyond the features listed above, this is a great camera that pushes the boundaries of being a compact, but that feels incredibly solid, reliable and like a real workhorse. In a time where CSC's like the Olympus Pen range and Sony's NEX cameras are becoming increasingly popular, the G12 keeps beating it's own path as a fixed lens camera with most of the features and qualities of a dSLR.

 The G12 feels large and solid in the hand. The optical view-finder is bright enough, but what does it for me is the way that alll the main controls are at your finger tips on switches and dials on the body of the camera. ISO, exposure compensation, metering, etc, are all there, ready to be played with without having to delve into confusing menus via an LCD screen.

There's a lot to be said for having a camera that's small enough to (just about) fit in your pocket, but that has the chops to pull off professional photographs. A bag full of lenses and bodies will often get left behind on family outings or holidays, but with a small camera like the G12 you don't have to sacrifice image quality or control for size.

To see the quality of photo's that the Canon G12 can help you make, check out the sample images over on dpreview.com, and while you're there, make a coffee, then read their full review. I haven't made any prints from a G12, but the shots look great on my PC screen, and I've no doubt this camera will live up to Canons usual high standards.

I like the G12. I like its weight, I like its size, and I like it's fixed 5x zoom lens. This is a camera that dares you to take it anywhere and shoot anything. It laughs in the face of SLR's and CSC's with their fiddly lenses and dirty sensors, and snorts with contempt at smaller cameras that slip through your fingers and feel like toys. The G12 is a tank that means business and is ready to rock!

The Canon G12 is by no means perfect. Read the reviews over at cameralabs and the photography blog for the full low-down on some of the shortcomings, mainly lack of AF in the Video mode. I think that for most people though, if you're in the market for a fixed-lens high-end compact that packs a punch, the G12 should be near the top of your list.

Recommended!

Cheers, Rob.

Buy A Canon Powershot G12 from Amazon.co.uk.

Or if you're in the USA, get a G12 from Amazon.com.

Friday
Mar042011

Canon Selphy CP780 6x4 Photo Printer Review Video

(If you can't see the video, please click here.)

Don't expect poster sized prints from this little bundle of magic from Canon, but do expect perfect postcard sized 6" x 4" photographs that could last 100 years and are as good as any from a lab.

1297798473256

As digital photographers we've got to recognise that unless we make some sort of hard-copy of our photographs, they probably won't be here in 40 years time. Hard-drives will have failed, cd's and dvd's will have deteriorated beyond readability, so we need to be printing out our work so our kids and grandkids can have something to look at from their crazy ancestor with all the cameras.

The Canon Selphy CP780 makes photos that are rated to last 100 years if stored appropriately, and that's no bad thing. Being a dye-sublimation printer, paper and ink are sold together, and if you buy the big packs the per-print price works out to be about 25p a photograph. That may seem a little expensive, but the prints are of a great quality, and I've talked to people who have this type of printer that has been serving them for several years, and you won't find many ink-jets that last that long.

You can connect the CP780 direct to your PC, or it will work as a stand-alone unit which accepts SD, Compact Flash and all the popular memory cards. You can even buy a battery pack to use it away from a mains power source (NB-CP2L). It's the size of a small box of tissues, but the footprint doubles when you add the paper tray, and make sure you leave enough space at the back for the paper to come out.

True, if I've got a lot of prints to do I'll get them done at a lab, but for the sheer joy of being able to print out beautiful 6 by 4's whenever I like, the Canon CP780 (or the newer CP800 ) can't be beat. 

Thanks, Rob.