Book review: The Canon 6D Experience

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 16.33.28 The Canon 6D Experience is part of Douglas J. Klostermann's series of e-book guides to Canon's and Nikon's dSLRs. There are ten Canon books and five Nikon books, ranging in price from $7.99 for guides to the oldest models of camera to $14.99 for the latest cameras. I've been taking a flick through it and seeing how it fits in with my use of my Canon 6D.

The best way to describe the Canon 6D Experience is as an augmented instruction manual. It doesn't just explain what a function is and how to operate it, but what effect or impact it will have on your photography. It shows you how to expose and re-compose your images, provides examples of different apertures and ISOs, and explains about metering. It covers a great many of the functions that I never use in my camera because I almost always shoot in Raw and almost never venture into liveview mode. Towards the end of the book it moves away from the camera itself and covers composition and discusses lenses.

Diagrams and pictures to explain metering

This, then, is perhaps where this book falls down, or falls between two stools. For someone new to dSLRs and still finding their way in photography, would they be starting out with a 6D? In the book's introduction it says: 'If you are relatively new to dSLR photography and are still in the process of learning all the controls of a dSLR and the exposure concepts of digital photography, you have perhaps ventured towards the proverbial deep end of the pool by choosing the advanced 6D!' Of course there will be some beginners who've gone straight for the 6D, but they're not the camera's intended market. This guide will suit them well, but I'm not sure how many will be needing it.

Not sure that we need a look at Raw vs JPEG for a 6D user?

For anyone who's comfortable with Canon cameras and is a competent photographer, a lot of the book's content is superfluous. It isn't that there isn't useful material in there, but that it's buried amongst the information we already know. Having a smaller, more dense publication that looks at the high level functions of the camera and compares it with other models might be more useful.

All of this leads me to think that if the books in this series that cover the lower specced models are written with the same attention to detail, they would be extremely valuable guides for people finding their way in dSLR photography.

On a very picky production level, I would have liked to have seen references to other chapters in the book numbered, or even hyper-linked. It is an ebook, after all. That would have made navigation a great deal easier.

My verdict, then? At $14.99 I can't really recommend the Canon 6D Experience; I just don't think it offers enough to kind of photographer who'd be using this camera. (Unless you really have thrown yourself in at the deep end.) If you're newer to photography and have a Nikon D5200 or a Canon 700D, for example, do check out the other books!

The Canon 6D Experience, by Douglas J. Klostermann, published by full stop and available for download from Dojoklo.

An itty-bitty problem with the itty-bitty Canon S100

Canon's S100: gorgeous and very capable, but some models currently have a sticking point

It's not exactly ideal when the retractable lens of your compact camera stops retracting and is left fully extended if it gets a bit too hot or sticky outside. Unfortunately this is the precise scenario that's been afflicting a handful of Canon S100s. Apparently an internal connection fails in some of the cameras if the temperature or humidity levels get too high.

I can't see that happening in these parts right now, it's just too cold. But it'd be a different matter entirely in Florida.

It's only cameras with serial numbers that begin with the digits 29 through to 41 that are affected. (So the serial number would read 29xxxxxxxxxx, or 35xxxxxxxxxx, or 41xxxxxxxxxx, for example.) Canon is offering a free repair if yours happens to be one of the unfortunate ones. It doesn't matter if it's out of warranty, and there are rumours of refunds if you had it repaired independently, too.

Get in touch with Canon Customer Support wherever you are, and they'll help you out if you have an affected camera.

Canon 60D reviews round-up

EOS 60D w EF-S 17-85mm FSL

There seemed to be a great deal of consternation when the Canon 60D was released. It didn’t appear to offer a reasonable upgrade for 50D users and what Canon was trying to achieve with it wasn’t necessarily obvious. Now that the dust has settled and people have had the opportunity to play around with it, it’s become clearer that Canon have developed a camera that sits perfectly between the entry-level 550D and the higher-spec 7D. And a rather yummy piece of camera it happens to be, too.

Camera Labs says ‘Ultimately if you forget about its predecessor, the EOS 60D is a successful DSLR which sits comfortably between the models on either side of it and is very enjoyable to use. It fulfils its brief of offering a decent step-up over an entry-level model without the cost, weight or complexity of a semi-pro body, and if you’re into video you’ll love the articulated screen and manual control over audio levels.’ – Read the full review on Camera Labs.

CNET UK says ‘The Canon EOS 60D is a pumped-up powerhouse of a digital SLR. It’s crammed full of class-leading but consumer-friendly features (we’ve only been able to touch on them here), and it may be the only camera that an amateur photography enthusiast will ever need.’ – Read the full review on CNET UK.

DigitalCamerainfo says ‘The Canon EOS 60D represents the middle of Canon’s SLR lineup, but it is a top-notch camera in terms of performance, handling and flexibility. We found that it had excellent color accuracy and took sharp images, although the 18-135mm kit lens that Canon sells with it has some issues.’ – Read the full review on DigitalCamerainfo.

Digital Photography Review says ‘The 60D is probably best understood as a ‘super Rebel’ – it’s a more comfortable, more flexible and faster-to-use version of Canon’s justly popular entry-level DSLRs.’ – Read the full review on Digital Photography Review.

Engadget says ‘Overall the 60D scores highly and easily bests the 50D it replaces, but the real competition is Nikon’s D7000…’ – Read the full review on Engadget.

ePHOTOzine says ‘If you were previously tempted by an upgrade to the EOS 7D but don’t really require the weather sealed magnesium build, faster continuous shooting speeds and better autofocus and certainly can’t justify the cost, the EOS 60D could be the camera for you. Likewise if you feel you’ve reached the limits of your entry-level Canon camera but don’t fancy biting off more than you can chew.’ – Read the full review on ePHOTOzine.

PhotographyBLOG says ‘Ultimately the 60D takes some of the best features of existing EOS models and blends them together to create a DSLR that challenges the likes of the Nikon D90 more directly than the previous 50D did.’ – Read the full review on PhotographyBLOG.

Pixiq says ‘All in all, the EOS 60D offers the best value for serious shooters in the Canon DSLR line. If you’re considering an upgrade, you should be impressed with its versatility, speed, convenience of operation and image quality under most types of conditions.’ – Read the full review on Pixiq.

The Digital Picture says ‘The bottom line is that the Canon EOS 60D turns in very good performance, has great image quality and comes in a very affordable package. It is a camera that many of us will be happy to own.’ – Read the full review on The Digital Picture.

10 titillating tilt-shifts

Me on the Southbank

Tilt-shift photography used to be the preserve of architectural photography. But not so much any more, and looking at these glorious examples, that can only be a good thing. If you feel as if you want to play that bit more with your viewer’s perspective, you can always use a tilt-shift to fake a miniature, too. If you’re not blessed with a tilt-shift lens, you can always manage it with editing software. But meanwhile, take a look at our ten of the best tilt-shifts.

1 – You can tell

'You can tell', by B Tal (Brian Talbot)

2 – Real models

'Real models', by kennymatic (Kenny Louie)

3 – Classy Chassis Car Show

'Classy Chassis Car Show' by baldheretic (Jay Lee)

4 – Miniature Airport

'Miniature Airport', by {Away until inspiration comes} (Stav)

5 – Fishing boats

'Fishing boats', by SantiMB

6 – Little game

'Little game', by Pattagon (Nicolas)

7 – Toy Boats

'Toy Boats', by moonstar909

8 – Miniature All Blacks

'Miniature All Blacks', by Pattagon (Nicolas)

9 – Lensbaby Macro

'Lensbaby Macro', by Jari Kaariainen

10 – Ricardo

'Ricardo', by lpm (Catherine Currie)

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