Most helpful positive review
391 of 405 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2011
To be fair, there isn't a great deal of difference between this and the 550d, but I went for it for the articulated screen.
This has proved useful for taking shots of small children as you can place the camera down at their height and compose the shot without laying on the floor. Rather than looking through the view finder you can switch to 'live view' where the photo you take will be shown on the lcd panel. This is also good for taking photos of flowers in meadows etc, you can get some quite fresh looking viewpoints.
I got this camera to take me to the next level, from a Canon Ixus 800 point and shoot (which in itself is a very good camera).
As I wanted to really step up the quality of my photos I didn't get the kit lens, but instead started off with the Canon 50mm 1.8 II lens, which is around £85. This lens is notorious for taking very high quality photos for little money. (Be aware that serious lenses for these cameras are usually hundreds of ££ each). I also got a Trascend 16GB class 10 memory card which can handle photos and video capture very quickly.
I took the camera down to family and friends and took plenty of photos inside and out. To begin with I just used the Scene Intelligent setting and let it do it's thing. Well the photos the camera / lens combination took were outstanding, much better than I have taken before. The sharpness and detail is really amazing when you zoom in to look at the detail. The photos look professional quality, whereas I am an amateur, so very pleased. Shots inside the house, which was not well lit look brilliant even without using the inbuilt flash.
The 50mm lens is really a bargain, but is probably best used as a portrait lens, as on this body it is more like an 80mm. This means you can't really get group shots in a confined space. I have just ordered the 15-85mm EFS lens which will cater for wide angle and mild telephoto, and be a good general walkaround lens. But I will keep the 50mm, as it's low light performance is brilliant, being a 1.8 lens.
I had a quick go at videoing with the 50mm lens, but the result wasn't great, because it is a bit of a telephoto, the results were jerky handheld - but I've no doubt with some practice/tripod and a different lens the results will be great (especially one with inbuilt image stabilisation like the 15-85). But my gut feeling is this isn't going to be as convenient to use as a mini camcorder - but I don't mind I bought it for the photos.
In terms of weight, this is a very light camera to walk around with and fairly small. With the 50mm lens on it was quite inconspicuous and I carried it around on my neck all day without any neck-ache problems. I think the Canon bigger brothers are more like bricks to carry.
There are an array of different modes to use apart from the simple point and shoot mode. I have been learning about things I never knew about with my Ixus, for example varying the depth of field by changing the aperture. In fact, this is probably one of the reasons why the photos I took of people are so good, the 50mm lens allows just the face to be in focus while the background is soft and fuzzy - really makes a difference to the quality of the shot.
These other functions bring a lot more creativity to taking photographs and I feel that this camera will give me a lot of pleasure as a hobby for many years. You can be confident that with a good lens or two the quality of the photos will never disappoint. I think with 18 megapixels, this is honestly as much, if not more than enough detail I will ever need. Photos can be printed at a large size at top quality. Also, with a sharp lens and 18 megapixels, you can easily crop the photos quite hard and still have a great result.
For even more creativity, you can shoot photos in RAW mode. This means no processing is done in the camera. For this, you can use the included Digital Photo Professional software. This allows you to set the colour balance, saturation etc AFTER the photo is taken, rather than you being stuck with the settings you chose when you originally took the photo. Cleverly, you can tell the camera to take both a normal photo and a RAW photo at the same time. The RAW files are very large, but if you do happen to take a really fantastic shot you can edit it just how you like it, while deleting all the RAW files for the average photos to save space.
I think that the 600D is capable of taking photos as good as it's bigger brothers, but at a fraction of the cost. However, it isn't built like a tank or weatherproof etc, so will need to be looked after.