Canon Australia recently very kindly invited me to join their Blogger Review Program. Basically the deal is that Canon has lent me one of their latest release digital SLR Rebel T1i cameras (EOS 500D) to play around with and test out for the next three months…which is pretty damn cool of them if I do say so myself…There is no obligation for people involved in the Blogger Review Program to blog about their experiences with the camera, but seeing as I like to share all my random thoughts and views with you, I hope you’ll be happy to indulge me.
While I love photography I do not profess to be an expert photographer by an stretch of the imagination – perhaps I could best be described as a passionate amateur. So you will be unlikely to find me explaining the technicalities of this camera in any great detail. I’ll be focussed more on the practicalities of its features, the positives and negatives of its use, and also my views on the resulting photographic output which the camera produces.
It’s been many, many years since I’ve used an SLR (my previous SLR was also a Canon – an EOS500N, which is a pre-digital model), so it’s been an adjustment moving from my compact digital camera of choice (the most wonderful Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3) back to the more serious and heavy-hitting SLR world. I’m so out of practice with using an SLR that using a viewfinder feels very strange indeed.
The body of the camera is a comfortable weight (not too heavy, not too light) and the 18-55mm lens which also comes as part of the camera kit is extremely light. Even the larger 55-250mm lens which Canon also provided is still pretty light given it’s size. So I would think that carrying these two lenses around with you would not be too much of a burden (perfect then for travel or carrying with you always) – this for me is a vast improvement over older SLR cameras.
In my opinion cameras today must come with a rechargeable battery (and thankfully the Rebel does indeed). The number of images you generally snap with digital cameras (given that you don’t have to worry about wasting film), means that you don’t want to be worrying about burning through a zillion and one batteries all the time. I’m not sure what buying additional batteries for the Rebel would cost, but that would also be an important consideration (there’s nothing worse than running out of battery power when you’re out and about). It’s also a no-brainer to get the battery in and out of the camera (sometimes cameras can make this more difficult than it needs to be), and the easy open battery panel would probably allow you to do a battery change one-handed (especially useful when juggling camera bits and pieces in both hands). The only potential issue I’ve identified so far is that the panel for the AV out / Digital connection is made of a soft rubbery material and I wonder whether this would hold up to regular and long-term use.
The camera comes with a large and intimidating looking instruction manual, which contains heaps of great detail, but for me starting out I’ve referred to the ‘Pocket Guide’ which contains all the basics you’ll need to know beyond point and click. In any case, looking at the range of knobs and dials on the camera I don’t feel like I’d be too far out of my depth at this stage. I will however be referring to the full instruction guide once I get around to exploring the more advanced features on the camera.
I’ve also had a very quick play around taking some photos with the camera over the last couple of days. I’ll share some of these images at a later date (and do a bit of a comparison with the same images taken on my Lumix). At this stage I can say that I’m likely falling in love with this camera already (thanks for the post title inspiration Bowie).
A quick round-up on some of my first thoughts in using the camera are that:
- It has great ‘reaction time’ – it’s quick to power up when first turned on, and there’s very little waiting between shots.
- The auto-focus function is extremely easy to use.
- The size and shape of the camera body make it very comfortable to hold.
- The noise made when capturing shots is quite discreet.
- It is very easy to swap between different lenses.
- The flash is quick and responsive.
Hopefully that gives you a little bit of insight into the wonderful digital SLR world of the Rebel EOS 500D. If you’re interested, Canon Australia will also be capturing the views of other camera reviewers on its Community Blog. While my beautiful Lumix will always have my heart, I feel that perhaps there is a new contender to pull at my photographic heart-strings…