There are some things about photography that have bothered me since i started seriously playing with the hobby. I wanted to take a minute to discuss some of them.
I currently have a Canon T3i, an upgrade over my first digital SLR, the Canon T2i, but still in the beginner Rebel line of camera bodies. I have a few lenses, including the 18-55mm kit lens that comes with most Canon bodies. I have probably taken over 50,000 photos between the three camera bodies that I’ve owned and in all those shots, I’ve run into the same issues over and over.
The first thing I wanted to talk about is image noise. My Canon T3i can take reasonable pictures that are noise free up to ISO 800, a value that is too low for most dimly lit interior shots. Pushing it beyond that point leaves me with files that I don’t enjoy as I feel a lot of detail is lost in the noise created. I experienced this with my Canon T2i, Canon 7D, and my current Canon T3i.
I’ve heard this is less of a problem with the Canon 6D and Canon 5D Mark III, but I haven’t the budget for either of them currently. I am assuming though that I would only get three or four more levels of sensitivity before I received equally noisy shots from those full frame bodies.
This is probably my biggest frustration in shooting. The only thing I can do to improve this situation is to use a wider aperture or add more light to the shot.
Trading Aperture for Depth of Field
Unfortunately, if I bump the aperture on an image, I’m trading more light for less depth of field. This means that I’ll have less of an image in perfect focus, but I’ll be able to have other settings be “better” for the shot at hand. This recently bit me in the butt when I was taking a picture of four of my nieces. I didn’t notice it at the time I took the image, but one of the four is sitting a little further back, and she is slightly out of focus because of this.
My focal plane was just too narrow to get all four women in the shot to be as sharp as I’d like. I could have changed other settings to get a thicker depth of field, but then I’d come against the noise issues or have to slow my shutter speed to where I might not have gotten the shot anyways.
The other issue I have with all Rebels is their ability to focus quickly and accurately. I don’t understand why the system in the Canon 7D hasn’t been pushed to the Rebel line after all of these years, especially now that the 5D and 1D have such insane systems that could have been ported to the 70D or the next 7D Mark II.
It doesn’t help that I haven’t spent the time honing in the diopter in my viewfinder to help me make sure I have things perfect, and I also know that I should probably try to manually control my focus point, but it is still a point of frustration for me as a photographer.
Beyond all these little things, I still greatly enjoy photography and hope to continue spending time and money on it for years to come. At a recent family event, I got a few remarks on how nice it was to have someone taking shots so we have them for the future as there wasn’t much photography being done in the last two or three years and things have changed a great deal since then.
Of course, as I get better equipment, some of these issues will go away thanks to the advancements being made in lenses and bodies, as well as the slow improvement of my own skill.