After recently witnessing the lunar eclipse, I thought it might be cool to see how my EOS-M performed when taking a long exposure photograph of the night sky.
After a bit of research to work out where I needed to direct the camera in order to capture some of the Milky Way, I prepared for the photograph. Camera firmly fixed to a tripod, exposure set to Bulb, ISO 1600, RAW capture (as always) and aperture wide open, I experimented with a number of different exposures with varying degrees of success.
Although the photo below is by no means perfect, the exercise did prove to me that with a bit more practice and experimentation I should be able to use this versatile little camera for respectable night sky photography.
I haven't had much spare time available recently to try out my new travel kit, so I made a point of taking it with me when I went shopping last Saturday morning. "Boring" you think, .. not so at my regular shopping venue! Springvale is a melting pot of nationalities and has a strong South East Asian presence. Excellent fruit, vegetable, meat and fish markets and an amazing selection of cheap food makes shopping one of my weekly highlights.
Traditions are very much alive in Springvale, men congregate in the centre court of the market to take cà phê đá (delicious Vietnamese iced coffee) and play (or watch) board games.
The early morning acute lighting and concentration of those involved provided nice subject matter for me to try out the EOS-M. Focus is fast and accurate, and the shutter almost entirely silent. I am very happy with the image I managed to capture, what do you think?
I like to think I am selective about the gear I take with me when travelling. Over the years, experience and physical discomfort have forced me fine-tuned my pack list to what I consider to be the bare essentials i.e.
Canon 5D Mk II DSLR body
Canon 40mm F2.8 IS STM pancake lens
Canon 16mm-35mm F2.8 L lens
Canon 24mm-105mm F4 L lens
Canon 430EX Speedlight flash
The body and lenses are never out of my sight. I carry them everywhere in a Tamrac Evolution 8 Backpack and they get heavier and heavier as the day goes on.
During my most recent trip overseas I started wondering whether carrying this amount of equipment was detracting from my holiday experience. I was always aware of my gear both physically and mentally. The red-ringed L series lenses are like a matador's flag to thieves, so constant vigilance is the order of every minute of every day.
Have I found a solution to my problem?
When prices tumbled recently I purchased what has the potential to be my ideal travel kit, a Canon EOS-M Mirrorless camera and 3 lenses i.e.
Canon EOS-M Mirrorless body
Canon 22mm F2.0 STM EF-M lens
Canon 18mm-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM EF-M lens
Canon 11mm-22mm F4-5.6 IS STM EF-M lens
Canon 90EX flash
If you take the tripod out of the equation (because it will be coming regardless) the weigh-in between these two kits is: 2.6 kg (5.72 lb) vs 890 gm (1.95 lb). Now that's a SIGNIFICANT difference. Also, the entire EOS-M kit (including charger) will easily fit into a Lowepro Passport Sling II Bag
The EOS-M has a 1.6 crop factor, so the two kits have almost the same lens coverage. I have to admit though that I am nervous about the downsize in resolution, I have become used to and love the beautiful crisp results from my full-frame 5D Mark II. However, before full-frame, I travelled with a Canon 50D which also has a 1.6 factor APS-C sensor and 3 less Megapixels than the EOS-M. I got some very good photos with that camera, so I hope the EOS-M will be of similar (or better) quality.
The jury is out on how the EOS-M will perform as my "ultimate" travel camera, only time will tell. However, at this early stage, I can say that I am more than happy with the camera's construction, the way it feels to use (with any of the lenses) and the controls (both physical and touch screen). It has great potential to "free" me, I hope it measures up to my expectations.