Goodbye Canon 😭

This isn’t an angry “screw Canon” sort of message, it’s actually a bit sad for me as I’ve been a loyal Canon user for eight years now. I have also loved every Canon camera I’ve owned, as well as their lenses. Most recently were the EOS 6D, and L Series lenses because they’ve gone with me everywhere and that is part of the problem.  I learned so much on Canon’s T3i, EOS 7D and 6D, not to mention those cameras made photography fun.  However, I had back surgery back in 2010 and carrying a camera bag with just a couple of lenses has gotten to be too much for my lower back.  I needed to find a lighter alternative, it wasn’t an easy process or decision.  However, the first hurdle was cleared when my wife gave the go ahead, easy right?  Just buy a lightweight mirrorless camera setup after a little research and bam, new camera on the way!  Well, not so fast…

_a-wjcI’m not wanting to name the brands I looked at because I’ll get slammed by every fanboy and brand loyalist on the planet.  Nor do I want to have to justify my decision to anyone, this is how I found what will hopefully work for me.  However, I will say this, Canon’s mirrorless systems were at the top of the list, and sadly the image quality of the new Canon M5 just wasn’t there; I really wanted a Canon mirrorless…  No matter which brand I decided to go with, even Canon, I was looking at buying all new lenses so this wasn’t going to be cheap.  Now, with Canon unfortunately out of the way, I began looking at every other mirrorless system out there.  I found an unlikely system that was very unfamiliar to me but looked very promising, I ordered it and knew I had a 30 day return policy during which time I’d shoot images in back yard with my Canon 6D and the new camera to compare image quality.  If I liked the results, I’d keep the new mirrorless; if not, I’d return it.  With a new  mirrorless camera on the way and a plan, I felt good; or so I thought.  I was really dumping my Canon 6D, I LOVE my 6D…  Then I stumbled upon the Interactive Studio Scene widget at Digital Photography Review or DPR.  It’s essentially a studio photo that has images taken with just about every camera out there using multiple settings shooting in JPEG and RAW allowing you to compare image quality side by side in just about every conceivable way.  You can even download these photos to enlarge them on your computer and knit-pick at blown up details.  Hold on here, did this mean I could now compare the new mirrorless camera’s image quality with that of my current Canon 6D and never leave the house?? Yup, it did and I didn’t like the results and immediately cancelled my new camera order, back to the drawing board.  Ah… back in my comfort zone with the Canon 6D right?  Well, not so fast…

This process of viewing images at DPR’s Interactive Studio Scene was not the end all of deciding on a new camera, but it gave me a good starting point.  If I didn’t like the exact same images taken by all these other cameras compared to my own 6D, did I really need to have it shipped just to take pics in my back yard.  The factors I needed to consider were the actual camera weight (my reason for a new camera), availability of lenses, image quality, and costs.  I looked at one camera which is probably considered the best mirrorless out there with unmatched image quality; however, the uncompressed RAW files were over 80Mb in size and compressed was around 40Mb.  This would require lots of hard drive space for photos, 99% of which would likely never be seen by anybody!  I’m not making a living as a photographer, just a retired guy who loves to shoot guns and cameras, since 80Mb files will add up quickly I now needed to consider file size as well.  If I were putting food on my table from photography and quality was the only concern, I would have gone with this camera and bought bigger hard drives.  So on to other cameras I went and found one that looked promising; it met the above criteria and while the lens selection was nowhere near Canon’s, they did have two lenses that functioned well for what I currently do with three.  While I planned to lighten up my camera bag in other areas, this decision alone meant the weight of just my camera and lenses would be cut in half!

sling7So, besides weight, what was I giving up or compromising?  For starters, my ability with Canon compatible lenses to reach out to long distances like I had with the Tamron SP 150-600 was gone.  It’s not like this was a lens I carried often but it was a very nice piece of gear to have at times; it was also heavy.  However, one lens I did keep in my bag that allowed me to reach out was the Canon 70-300mm DO and this I would feel in two ways.  First, having this lens in my bag meant I could instantly reach out to 300mm, this was very handy!  Second, and part of my recurring theme, was the weight.  While compact in size, this lens weighs over 1.5 pounds by itself!  I wrote about it in an earlier blog post, Diffractive What?, from September 19, 2016 and I will miss this lens…  For the year and a half that I had Canon L Series lenses, I was blown away by the crispness and clarity of the images.

When the new camera arrived, I took lots of shots and while it wasn’t a familiar Canon I figured I could get used to it.  Feeling ok about my purchase I was on to sell my Canon gear on eBay.  Now I honestly felt like a traitor or as if I was almost doing something wrong by selling my 6D.  Seriously, Canon was easy and I liked for the same reasons I liked my MacBook Pro in that it always did what it was supposed to do with no hassles, it was always familiar too.  Since my first Canon XSi, every upgrade was to another Canon so the learning curve wasn’t too bad.  However, this time was different, I now felt like I was marching a parade with two left shoes on; I knew I’d make it, but not comfortably.  I mean with a Canon, the focus system is very easy and you’ll be shooting decent pics out of the box.  With my new camera, I felt like a photo failure for days just trying to navigate a menu system that could have been set up a late night drunk with what HE thought was a great idea.  Days of trying to navigate and find what I needed in unfamiliar places, and a figure out a focus system that made absolutely no sense whatsoever to me.  So what did I buy?  I settled on the

 

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