I’m a bit of a photography hobbyist (if you know me, you’ll realise that’s quite an understatement). I’m one of those photography nuts who is never anywhere without his camera. If you invite me to a BBQ, I’ll bring it with me. Whilst I won’t take it into a meeting, my camera is waiting for me at my work desk too. Camping – yep. Beach – yes. Wedding – naturally. Nightclub – sadly. Café – snap!
It has weather seals and I usually carry it in a smart (read: geeky) waterproof camera bag, so it really can come with me anywhere. Last year at Golden Plains festival, despite the torrential rain that destroyed Melbourne for a weekend and turned the festival into a cesspool – my 50D was there, dry as a <insert your local colloquialism here>.
I got into photography in much the same way that many people find their interests – it was an accident. I was given a Braun Paxette just like this one and that was that. Serious photography has always been an expensive medium and really required commitment. Film wasn’t cheap (for a teenager especially), you had to be selective (which is a great thing actually) so as not to waste it. Then you had to pay again to get it processed and printed. However, these days, whilst serious photography still requires a good deal of commitment, it doesn’t necessarily require a great deal of expense.
Getting a better camera can help folks make the jump from a $200 pocket-sized Facebook machine to some high quality imaging. Why? You know why – your current camera is fine for happy snaps, cock shots and insurance claims, but it’s a little flat and limiting now that you want to try something new. The upgrade can be a significant one and whilst I won’t wax on too much about why, there are a few basic improvements you would expect. Just about everything on a DSLR (digital SLR) is going to be better. A much bigger sensor, better lenses and faster processor ultimately mean higher quality and more control.
Getting to the point: Canon has dropped two new entry-level DSLRs this week in the EOS 600D and EOS 1100D. They displace the 550D and 1000D respectively, both are still great cameras, with the 550D taking out EISA's European camera of the year 2010-2011.
The 600D is a killer piece of kit, offering many specs that far outdo those of my 50D, namely: 1080p HD video at 30/25/24fps (where mine has no video), 18 megapixel sensor, ISO Speed 100-6400, integrated wireless flash controller with multi-flash support, image rating (1-5 stars). On top of it being a sweet still camera, video capability will take your You Tube presence to an all-new high. Its biggest feature over the 550D is the variable angle, 3” LCD screen first seen on the bigger 60D. The screen folds out so you can take shots at difficult angles such as holding it up above a crowd at a gig or shooting your “guns” to show your mates on Facebook.
Even the figures for the 1100D (for those not in the know, the higher the model number, the lower in the range it is—Nikon do it that way too) hold up OK against my two-year-old camera. 12.2 megapixel sensor (vs. my 15.1Mp, win for me!), 720p HD video, ISO Speed 100-6400 (vs. my 100-3200… we’re effectively comparing penis/breast sizes here you know… wait, do girls even compare breast size? I’m so immature and I should probably stop here).
As far as I can tell, the cameras are due out in April this year and Australian pricing is still unclear. However, if we look at pricing on Ted’s the older model 1000D with a very basic 18-55mm lens is $599.95. I should note that Ted’s isn’t the cheapest, so you can probably find it a bit cheaper elsewhere. On the DDP Photographics site, the older model 550D is $985.00 with the same 18-55mm lens. So you can guess that those current prices will drop and both the 600D and 1100D will be priced for similar money.