One of my favorite things to do is drool over the latest camera tech, or lens, or software, or computer.. trust me, I’m a total gear head. My wife asks me more than once a week what video I’m watching and she doesn’t even look surprised anymore when I tell her it’s a product review or tutorial on the latest piece of tech. I love how quickly the industry changes and flows and I find that pattern both fascinating and functional. That being said, I’m still rocking a Canon T1i camera, with an assortment of lenses. One of my favorite quotes is “Its not the bow and arrow, Its the Indian using it” – meaning its not about the gear! As much as I love it 🙂 Sometimes a great image is from a great camera, more often than not though, a great photographer can produce the same great image w/ a lesser camera. This is both a way to compliment myself and justify not owning the newest camera. Of course I wouldn’t say I’m a great photographer – I’m just a guy who has learned a few things about it along the way, and hope to impart some of that onto the next group of photogs just grabbing a camera for the first time..
So enough already Tyler, What equipment are you using?
The workhorse – The Canon T1i
I purchased this camera – or rather returned a Nikon, and got the Canon – in 2010. I had purchased a Nikon (cant remember which one) after playing around with bracketed exposures and creating pseudo-HDR images with my point and shoot using JPEG mode. I wanted a camera that would shoot RAW files and really wanted to start jumping head first into the HDR waters. I cant tell you how excited I was at the possibilities presented by HDR! However, don’t ever ever take a JPEG image from a camera, open it in whatever software you use, drop the exposure 2 stops, and increase it 2 stops and then merge that together. That’s how I started and I thought it was awesome, but its akin to eating stale potato chips. If you have never had a potato chip, you only eat raw potato – then a stale potato chip is awesome! If only you knew that there were fresh potato chips, and they were barbeque flavored!! Making an HDR image from a single JPEG file is the same way. Its like eating a stale potato chip. Don’t eat that, make your HDR w/ RAW files and its like you have found the recipe book from Lay’s secret flavor kitchen – the world is your oyster at that point – more depth of light, greater color control – the possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
So I had purchased the Nikon – but It didn’t take bracketed images – you had to press the shutter for the -2 image, then press it again and change the exposure for the 0 image, then again for the +2 – etc etc. I exchanged it for the similarly priced Canon model, which i ensured did have bracketing as a feature – the Canon T1i.
I have used that camera for every image Ive uploaded except maybe a handful from a sporting even where DSLR’s weren’t allowed in.
5 years later, its still a boss of a camera for what I need. I do have some qualms w/ it. ISO at or above 1600 is pretty noisy (not good for low light), 15.1 megapixels is good, but there’s double that size image sensors out there now. 3 brackets is the most it will go, Nikons can go to 7 brackets.
Other than that, this camera is perfect for me – although it is time to upgrade and I have my eye on some new tech – see the bottom of this page for whats on my Gear Horizon.
The camera came with the 18-55 F3.5 kit lens, which pretty much acts as dead weight in my camera bag.
My next purchase was the 50mm F1.8 – the “Thrifty Fifty” – this lens is fantastic for portraits, foodie pics, shots of the dog, anything where you want that nice blurry background. I think i purchased this lens for around $100 and it was totally worth it.
Here are some sample pics from this lens –
Next I purchased the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5-5.6. I wanted a wide angle lens that would allow me to get really close to the subject and still have it in frame, or give me those epic landscape shots. This lens was about as expensive as the camera, in the $500 range. If you are serious about landscape or architectural photography, i would definitely suggest you look into this lens – its great!
Here are some sample pics from it –
The next and last lens I own is the Canon 70-300mm F4.5-6.5. I wanted a good zoom lens for attending friends weddings, or wildlife photograhpy. Being that the T1i is a APSC cropped sensor, the actual lens size will be 1.5x whatever it says on the lens. So the 70-300mm is equivalent to 105-450mm on a full frame body. This means you can get crazy tight on the subject from really far away.
Here are some sample pics from it-
1. Macbook Pro
2. Magic Mouse!
4. Canon Gadget Bag
5. Kata backpack
5. Sunpak Platinum Plus Ultra 7500TM tripod
6. Photoshop CC
8. Photomatix 5
9. Topaz Adjust
10. Topaz Denoise
27″ 5K iMac, with 32GB of ram