Buying a used digital camera

If you are looking at buying a used digital camera here is some information to watch out for……..

In the past month I have had a couple students come in with digital camera that they bought used.  In both cases the cameras did not work correctly, one was a problem with the camera and there was nothing that could be done to fix the problem (camera would still work but some features would not) and the other was a problem with the custom settings.

If you are buying used first make sure that you are confident that it is coming from a trustworthy source.  If they have 50 ads on Kijiji selling all different cameras then I would be cautious as they are probably reselling and have no idea what shape the camera is in.

Second make sure that you try all the features and functions before buying.  When I sell a camera I actually make the person try everything so we both know that things are working fine.

Third (and really important) use the camera reset to put all the menus and the custom settings back to normal.  Some people have done some bizarre adjustments to their cameras and you need to make sure these are removed before you start shooting.

Autofocus Microadjustment on the 70D

I decided that I would do a Autofocus Microadjustment on my 70D for my Sigma 150 – 500.  I was happy with how the lens and camera focused but was finding I had many shots that were sharper just to the front of the subject, and after talking to a photographer this past weekend in Glacier figured that I would give it a shot (pun intended).  So I did a test shot without the adjustment and a shot after I adjusted it and was happy to see that it was now a lot sharper on the subject.  I really don’t think that it is the lens as much as the way that I shoot so now I have the focus dialed in more for me.

Am I going to do all my lenses? I am not sure.  I shoot differently with all my lenses so to do them all may cause me issues.  For now I am going to watch and see.  I may do my 70 – 200L series as I use that one a lot like the Sigma but I will have to prove to myself that it is working.

Do I recommend this for everyone?  NO!!! (Note: many cameras can only do this if sent to the manufacturer and I would not do this unless I had a lens that was giving me issues) If you can do this yourself on your camera first do some tripod tests using a tripod, then make the decision but only after a lot of tests.

Canon 70D Update on the new camera

Well I have had the Canon 70D for over a month and thought that I should do an update on my thoughts.  I can say that so far I have not had a problem with this camera (and the 18-135 lens).  I am very impressed with the quality and the way it functions, now for the bad news – it is SO overloaded with features that it can be hard to operate.  Sure it does a lot but if I am honest I can say that a lot, or for that matter most, of the features are not needed for the everyday photographer.  It is nice that I can fire the camera with my tablet but honestly a wired remote does the same thing without the issues of setting it up.  It is nice that I have many other features as well but when all is said and done they are just not needed, will I play with them – Yes!  Will I use them in a work shooting situation – No.

I really wish that camera manufacturers would have a beginner, intermediate and advanced mode on their cameras.  I can see many people getting frustrated with so many menus as by the time you find what you were looking for you forget what you were doing.

So some reviews (1 to 10 – 1 Bad, 10 excellent)

Image Quality – 10

Color – 10

Auto Focus – 10 (Single point for me as multi point worked but I was never sure if it was on the subject)

Lens Quality – 9 (18-135)

Remote Shooting from tablet – 6 (It is fun to use, cool that I can change the settings of the camera from the tablet, a pain to keep the network running around other networks, REALLY not impressed that I cannot use a bulb setting from the tablet, still need to get a wired remote to shoot in bulb).

Flip out screen – 10 Although for most shooting it is not needed, it is nice when you need it.

Touch Screen – 7 – This has some cool uses, but again in the heat of a shoot will I use it? More than likely not as it is not as fool proof as many would have you believe, I prefer  using the menu as then you know you are where you want to be.

Camera Card – 6  Nothing wrong with the card or the speed, I really miss the compact flash cards as my bigger fingers do not like the tiny SD cards and I keep loosing the card.

Vertical Grip –  10 I would not be without it.

I have been asked by a number of people if the 70D was a worth while purchase from the 40D, that is sooo hard to say.  For those shots where I need the higher ISO and more megapixels I say yes,  when I need these I need them and there is no way around it. But in everyday studio work, location shoots, average nature and wildlife I have to say no.  The 40D has large enough files to print easily to 20×24, and for most work I shoot 100 or 400 ISO and the 40D was great at that.  I would say if you have a 30D or older or a older Rebel that the 70D is a good step up. If you have a 40D, 50D, 60D or a newer Rebel and you are happy with what the camera is doing I would say stay with the body that you have an instead buy a/some better lenses instead.