Tag Archives: Rebel T2i

Shaw Nature Reserve 8/21/10

I visited Shaw Nature Reserve early this morning.  Along with my boys, Tim Jr. and Alec, we arrived early in the morning to try and catch some of the birds feeding.  The reserve opens at 7 a.m. and costs $3.00 per adult with kids 12 and under free.  In case you are not in hiking, you will want to visit Monday through Thursday when the entire loop is open for cars and on the weekend (Friday through Sunday) on the small front loop is open.

We loaded up our photography gear (Tim Sr. Nikon D3s with 300mm f/2.8 + 1.7TC, Tim Jr. Canon 5D Mark II with 2.0TC, and Alec Rebel T2i + 100mm f/2.8L Macro) and hiked about 5 miles over about a 4 hour period.  The weather was absolutely perfect with the temperature around 74 degrees in the morning with some cloud cover and around noon it rose to about 82 degrees and sunny.  The hike back with the D3s and 300mm lens on the 393 Manfrotto and monopod was a task, but well worth it.

HD Movie of some select photos:

Slideshow:

[slideshow id=7]

Tim & Alec taking their first shots.

Photo taken by Tim Sr. with Nikon D3s  300mm f/2.8G ED VR II

I am getting ready to head out for the hunt.

Photo taken by Alec using the Rebel T2i with the 100mm f/2.8L macro

We started out hike off the main loop working our way down about 2 miles to the entrance to the trail we wanted to hike.  Along the way we had a lot of fun and were able to capture some of the natural beauty.

Once we got onto the trail heading back to the marsh area we carefully navigated our way along until we could hear or spot a potential subject.  But before we could even get started we almost stepped on this little guy and startled Tim Jr.  Alec took this photo with the T2i and macro.

With some careful footwork and a lot of patience we got our first two birds.

As we continued on we were lucky enough to capture a beautiful monarch butterfly and a baby on that just landed on a beautiful natural plant.

We eventually worked our way to the marsh area where we hoped to find some beautiful birds.  While we were watching and waiting Alec noticed a fly that kept swarming around.  He eventually was able to photograph him with his 100mm macro lens.

And then after a lot of hard work and a little luck we were blessed with our gift for the day.  A beautiful American Goldfinch appeared perfectly in front of us on some of the natural plants and flowers.

Here are a few of the photos we were able to capture.

Just when we thought our luck couldn’t get any better, a couple of humming birds decided to give us a show along with some of the butterfly friends.

At this point we were several hours into to this adventure and we were running out of water and very hungry because we forgot our snacks.  So we started the journey back with a smile on our faces ready talking about when we were coming back next.

If you have any questions or comments please let me know and I will do my best to help any way that I can.

Tim Layton

© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at tim@timlaytonphotography.com or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.

Pic of the Day – 07-15-10

As promised in yesterday’s post I went back to the local baseball park and captured some photos with the Nikon D3s and 300mm f/2.8 prime lens.  It should go without saying the photos as well as the entire experience were vastly improved over the consumer T2i and 70-200mm f/2.8L rig.  The most notable differences were: images were much sharper as they should be; the bokeh at f/2.8 on the Nikon 300mm lens was outstanding; shooting at 9 frames per second vs. 3.9 afforded me the opportunity to catch photos that just were not possible with the other rig; the focus time with this rig was amazingly fast and very sharp and lastly the overall color and presentation of the images are simply amazing. The low-light capabilities of the Nikon D3s really shined at the end of the evening.  The Canon T2i was not able to capture usable photos any longer and I was able to continue taking top-notch photos with minor adjustments to my ISO setting and by bumping my EV setting up by 1 stop.  Clearly the full frame sensor on the Nikon D3s vs. the APS-C 1.6 crop sensor on the Canon T2i was no match as expected.  In all fairness the Canon 1D Mark IV which is the direct competitor to the D3s would have performed very good as well.

Technically it is not fair to even compare the two cameras setups, but I think the thing to take away from this is that you can take some very good photos on a relatively inexpensive camera (Canon T2i) and it is typically best to invest in good lenses.  If you take an average camera with a great lens and a photographer with solid technical skills, you will get good results. While I would not want to shoot the T2i full time for sporting events as it is not designed to do this, I could still walk away with many good images that I would be happy with.

Here are a couple photos from this evening:

Tim Layton

© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at tim@timlaytonphotography.com or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.

Pic of the Day – 07-14-10

These photos were taken at Ballwin Athletic Association Park of two local high school teams.  I used a Canon T2i with a 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM lens with a 1.4 Tele-Converter giving me a focal range of 156mm to 448mm with the combination of the 1.6x APS-C sensor and 1.4x Tele-Converter.  I set the ISO to auto and most images fell in the 400 to 600 range at f/4.  The 1.4 TC was a big advantage in this scenario because of the obvious focal range, but also only gives away one full step of light on the 2.8L lens.  Being able to shoot at f/4 at a 448mm focal length is pretty incredible.  The only down side, as their always is one, is the noise that starts to creep in as well as some pretty awful bokeh, both of which can be dealt with very easily in post-production.

I elected not to make any corrections to these photos so you could see the base quality that this combination was able to produce without any corrections.  The other limitations for this event were tied to the equipment limitations such as only being able to shoot at 3.9 fps and the focusing system.  All in all for a consumer camera using a high end professional lens I was very happy with the results.  If I were not able to use my professional Nikon D3s or Canon 1D Mark IV shooting at 9fps and far superior sensors and focusing systems I could make this configuration work in most cases with some post production edits.  When the lighting scene becomes challenging is where this rig will start to have serious problems and the pro bodies will take over and keep preforming.  My plan is to return to the park this evening and shoot the game with my Nikon D3s with the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and the Nikkor 1.7 Tele-Converter.  My son will shoot the T2i configuration so I will post a picture of two from both of us for your review.

Tim Layton

© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at tim@timlaytonphotography.com or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.

Drive Through Rockwood Reservation with Canon T2i & Delkin Fat Gecko

I mounted up my Canon T2i on the Delkin Fat Gecko universal mount with the Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM lens and drove straight through Rockwood Reservation.  I set the T2i at 720p and 60fps.  I did not use a lens hood because I wanted some natural CA and flares from the sun that was blasting through the trees from time to time.  I increased the speed of the footage by 500% to get the effect I was looking for.  I created the soundtrack in Soundtrack Pro and edited in Final Cut Pro.  I encoded the movie in Apple Compressor.

Tim Layton

© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at tim@timlaytonphotography.com or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.

Demo of Delkin Fat Gecko Camera Mount

I recently tested the Delkin Fat Gecko universal camera mount on my car with the Canon T2i DSLR and Canon 16-35mm lens.

You can find the mount online for less than $75.  This camera mount will allow you to get shots that you would not otherwise be able to capture.

I found the double suction cups to handle the weight of the Canon T2i and 16-35mm lens without any issues.  I was a little nervous with my camera rig attached via suction cups to the back of my car driving 45 mph, but all went well.

The mount is rated for 8 pounds so that means it should hold just about any DSLR or video camera on the market today.

The Delkin web site states the following:

The Fat Gecko suction cup mount allows users to secure cameras to motorcycles, cars, trucks, airplanes, or any other smooth, flat, non porous surface. The blend of rugged design and ease of use makes Delkin’s Fat Gecko camera mount optimal for use in a multitude of situations. Fat Gecko’s suction cups are so strong they can hold a eight pound camera and the double knuckle design and 2″ extension tube allow for 360° tilt, 360° turn & 360° rotation for all the best filming angles in any activity. The ¼ x 20 tripod mounting screw means users can use virtually any digital still or video camera on the market. In addition, the suction cups use a quick release function to make attaching and detaching you camera easy and fast.

With four adjustable joints and an optional extender bar, it’s easy to set up shots over a windshield, around an instrument panel, on top of handlebars, or anywhere else that a standard tripod or camera mount wouldn’t normally hold up – this is one extreme mount for extreme conditions.

I did find that if I adjusted the pressure settings located closest to the suction cups I was able to limit camera bouncing that I noticed before any adjustments were made.

Below is a sample of some raw test shots I made with the unit.  For production purposes I would likely use a smaller prime lens like 16/20/24/28/35/50 mm.  A prime lens is typically better for video work on a DSLR and secondly they are lighter and balance better than a zoom or telephoto lens that is typically longer and heavier.

I would definitely recommend this product to get those special shots you need and I think the price is very reasonable as compared to other specialty equipment.

Tim Layton

© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at tim@timlaytonphotography.com or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.

HD DSLR Video Considerations

When thinking about producing video/films from your DSLR it really is not about the technology details or one manufacturer versus the other.  Then you might ask–what is about then?  Simply put, it is all about the image that you have in your mind that you want to convey to your audience.  Cameras are just tools that help you tell the story, and while it is true that it is to your advantage to use one over the other at times, the key is to know when. More expensive and more megapixels is not always the formula for success.

Let’s take a simple example.  I recently was working on a project where I needed to produce a video short that would best be delivered via a dreamy look.  In my case the delivery was via the web so HD 720p or HD 1080p would be just fine.  I thought about how I might achieve the look and based on experience decided that I needed to shoot my footage at a higher frame rate and then slow it down post production in Final Cut Pro.

A quick review of the technology on my equipment yielded a very surprising result.  Let’s start with the obvious HD DSLR workhorse, the Canon 5D Mark II.  This full frame beauty has served me well but this time its limitation of only being about to shoot 1080P at 24fps or 30fps just wasn’t going to work.  Then I went to my Nikon D3s.  I knew I had a 720p limitation, but that was okay.  Unfortunately the D3s will only record at 24fps.  The Canon 1D Mark IV wasn’t able to record at 60fps either.  Both the Nikon D3s and Canon 1D Mark IV DSLR’s record absolutely stunning video that produces that cinematic look at 24fps, but it just wasn’t going to do the job this time.  Then I went to the baby of the family (Canon Rebel T2i) and I got exactly what I was looking for.  I am able to record HD 720p at 60fps.  Jackpot!

This little camera has proven to be a valuable resource from the day I got it.  I picked it up primarily to use as a second camera backup in case my D3s or 5D Mark II was full and I needed to quickly capture something.  I also got it as a second camera for multi-camera video shoots.  If you have viewed any footage online that has been shot by this camera you will soon figure out it is capable of recording footage that is near the 5D Mark II or D3s in traditional lighting situations.

Lighting is only second to your subject in any video project.  The 5D Mark II, 7D and Rebel T2i just simply can’t produce the quality that a Nikon D3s or 1D Mark IV can in low-light scenes hence the reason they make the various models.  Barring extreme situations the little Canon T2i is simply an amazing tool that will serve most people, including professionals very well for HD movies.

Here are a couple sample movies that I recorded with the Canon T2i.

Tim Layton

© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at tim@timlaytonphotography.com or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.

Soccer Video – Canon T2i

I had the good fortune of working with a young soccer star today–Sydney Scaglione.

This project was a break away from my traditional equipment (Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D3s, etc).  I used the Canon T2i today with a Glidetrack Shooter for the first time.  I love both of these pieces of equipment.  Sydney is a great soccer player and it was a lot of fun doing the video.  Sydney is number 19 and plays select soccer for JB Marine.

Technical Details

  • Camera: Canon T2i, 720p, 60fps
  • Lens: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L
  • Stabilization: Manfrotto Tripod, Glidetrack Shooter SD
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Magic Bullet Looks

Tim Layton

© Tim Layton – All Rights Reserved – 2010. You may not republish or use this information in part or in whole without written permission. For permission and more information you can contact Tim Layton on the web at blog.timlaytonphotography.com or via email at tim@timlaytonphotography.com or via the telephone at 314-643-8118.