The View Up Here

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Bit the Bullet – New Camera

Posted by Tom Benedict on 20/07/2010

I bit the bullet and ordered a new camera: a Canon T2i.  This decision has been a long time coming, and was the result of a fair bit of research into new cameras, but also into the requirements and expectations of stock photography agencies.  The T2i wound up being an ideal choice for a number of reasons, but there were three main drivers:

The first is that it’s a Canon.  This sounds like brand favoritism, but to any photographer my reasons will probably be self-evident:  I’ve been using Canon gear since the mid-90’s, so I’ve got a fair bit of Canon glass in my bag.  Switching brands would mean limiting my choice of lenses, or worse yet having to replace them at extreme cost.  I can barely afford the camera.  Buying new lenses was out of the question.

Next, it has an 18MP detector.  This is not a random number, and since doing research into requirements at Getty Creative, I have to wonder if they aimed the camera specifically at the semi-pro stock market.  More to the point, I’m wondering if the Canon 7D was aimed at the semi-pro stock market.  The T2i, or 550D, is clearly aimed at high-end amateurs rather than professionals.  But in the end that wound up working in my favor.

Finally, it’s the lightest 18MP DSLR on the market.  This, combined with the relatively lightweight 18-55mm kit lens, makes an ideal aerial DSLR.  My current rig weighs in at almost 1.2kg.  This camera weighs only about 250g more than my current camera.  I have different aims for how I want to use it, and the rig I will likely put it into.  I think I can keep the weights of the two rigs almost the same.

The benefits are huge.  In addition to the higher resolution, 5184×3456 as opposed to the 4000×3000 I’m using now, the physically larger pixels on the T2i make for lower noise and better low-light sensitivity.  In terms of field work, this means I can do KAP at dawn and dusk, and can keep doing KAP well past sunset.  In terms of the commercial viability of my work, I’ll be in a position to sell single shots as well as panoramas.  On the ground or in the air, it’s a show-changing camera.  I’m looking forward to it!

– Tom

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