(Upbeat music) – Hi. I’d love to try a little experiment today. Can you still make good content using cheap cameras? Bottom of the line, entry level DSLRs, like we’re talking $500 or less. Can you still play the game? I think we should start with a game. Super excited. I also want to have my friend Gabriel come in here real quick, and I want him to look at the photos and see if he can figure out which are which, in a real time live. Well it’s not live cause we… But you get it, so let’s go. Gabriel! Okay, he’s here, he’s here. He has no idea what we’re doing in here. And Gabriel’s a professional photographer. You make money from photography? – Yes. – That’s how you make a living?
– Yeah. – Okay, cool. I took photos with a really entry level… This thing. Just feel it. – Whoa – Right? – That weighs less than one of my lenses. – Yeah I know. (Gabriel laughing) And I took some photos with the R. I wanna show you a series of the photos, and I want you to then tell me what you think I shot it with. Kay? So we’ll start with this photo. So examine that. – [Gabriel] I’d say the first one was with the R, and that one was with the lower end camera. – Oh, nails it. Okay nails it. Photo one, photo two. – [Gabriel] Hmmmm – [Peter] What was photo number two? – [Gabriel] The higher end. – [Peter] Photo number two. – [Gabriel] Photo number one is the lower end. – [Peter] Photo number one is the lower end. Photo number two is actually the T100. Photo number one was the R. – [Gabriel] Wow. – Whew. Crazy right? – Wow, yeah. – Crazy.
Okay cool. Photo number one photo number two. – [Gabriel] Okay. – [Peter] Photo number one? – [Gabriel] That’s with the higher end. – This one right here? – Yeah. – That is the lower end. – Really? – [Peter] Yeah. – [Gabriel] Oh, oh man. I started off so good. – You were doing so good I was like this might not work. – Whenever I have students and they are complaining their gear isn’t good enough for what they’re trying to shoot, I just do a quick Google search, and I pull up photographers on D-Day, storming the beach in Normandy. And I show them and I’m like “Are these good pictures?” And I don’t tell them what it is. But I’m like “Are these good pictures?” They’re like, “Yeah. They’re powerful. They’re moving.” I’m like, “These were film cameras, under fire.” – That’s actually a great point. – Don’t tell me your equipment isn’t good enough. – I love that. Okay thanks. Let’s go eat. Oh, but I got to do the rest of the video, then we’ll go eat. – Okay. – Okay cool. That was fun; we should do more of that. I’m gonna flash some photos on the screen here in a second. I want you to remember the photos that you see, and as you see the photos, I want you to think to yourself, “Is that entry level camera or professional camera? Entry or pro, T100 or R?” And at the end I will tell you which photos were taken with what. I’m going to flash them pretty fast. Here we go. Which photos are taken with what? (thinking music) – That’s pretty crazy right? Maybe you were surprised, maybe you weren’t.
I wasn’t surprised at all. I knew I could take good photos with this, cause I’ve got a lot of experience doing exactly what you just saw, taking photos like that. And we’re gonna get into that more when we sit down and talk about this. Which, basically, sets up the whole episode. Cheap cameras, can you still make a living? Can you play this game with cheap gear or do you need to spend thousands? (rock music) – What’s up, everybody? Peter McKinnon here and welcome back to another video. It is getting colder outside. That’s why your seeing more and more hoodies, and love hoodie season, love winter, love the snow, but today, this topic is something… I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. And it all stemmed from my buddy Mike, who owns a company called Hook and Stem.
He was like, “Hey, go check out my grid on Instagram.” I went and checked it out, and was like “Dude, it looks amazing. Yeah, everything’s great, love the style, the flow.” “Cool, shot everything with the Digital Rebel XT.” I’m like, “Wait, you mean the XT from 2003, the 15 year old?” He’s like, “Yeah man I bought it on Ebay for like 50 bucks, and a knock off 50 mil lens for another 25, so less then a hundred bucks, and this is what I got.” Here’s two images just from his account. That’s all taken with a camera that’s 15 years old, that’s eight megapixels. “That is a prime example”, I thought to myself when I saw those photos. I was like, “Wow this would be a great topic to discuss with you guys. That here’s a guy making a living, doing all this product photography to sell his business to people, so people buy things from his shop, and he’s using a Rebel XT to do that with a really cheap lens.” I went and grabbed the cheapest Canon DSLR I could find. This thing is like… It’s pretty much 98% plastic. The autofocus was slower than… I could order a pizza, and it would probably be delivered before this thing focused on an image. It did eventually focus, but it’s slow. The bottom of the barrel digital DSLR that they offer. It’s the Rebel T100, although all of these cameras have like six different names for one model. But it’s 500 bucks. 500 bucks all said and done. That’s with the extra 50 mil, one point eight lens. Now we did a video on this lens, if you haven’t seen it, here’s like two seconds of the B roll. (soft music) They redid this lens with like a metal mount so this is a little bit better. The mission was, okay let’s photograph something as if I was going to sell these photos to a company or… That would feel like I working for someone. Something that I would then sell to make money. Is this even an option? Or is it, no, you need to spend the money on good gear. With these things in mind, we decided to make this easy. Product photos of a mug, a super simple mug. Actually, it’s not even a mug. It’s a Mason jar with a leather sleeve. Fun little fact, I’ll be releasing these soon. Shameless plug, super excited. But, I mean, at the end of the day this is just a mug. I’m on my desk, at home, in my home office. How can we make this look good? So, if you’ve watched my product photography video, boop, thing right up in the corner there, if you guys have seen that before you know I love textures. I love shooting on textures. So I went back down to the basement, grabbed that old box we used for that product photography video, and started to like build a little scene that I could put this mug on so that it would made it a little more interesting. It would give it some mood, Give it some life, give it some color, so that this camera would have its best chance at preforming the best it possibly could. This is what the scene looks like, but if you zoom right out, we’re on my desk. So it’s nothing special. But that just goes to show you, these things are obtainable at you home. You don’t need a studio. You don’t need a fancy office with fancy lights. Are those things going to make everything you do look better? Obviously, that’s a whole different topic. That’s not even, that’s not the point here. It’s just that we can set up a little mock station on our desk. We’re gonna use the lowest end camera we can find. Can we make this look good? (Rock music) Okay so now that I’ve shot a few of these photos, I just dumped them into Lightroom. You can see right here, they look not half bad out of camera. So if I run one of my new presets on them, like moraine, that’s gonna give it that rustic vibe, that I already know, the vibe I’m looking for. The color that I’m going for. We just got to bring that exposure up a little bit. Maybe mess with the tone curve here. And just tweak little things to get it so that it’s just looking right. And it’s not a whole lot of work. As you can see this has taken me less than 60 seconds to get to a point that I’m happy with. You know, where I can export that photo and good to go. We started off with the kit lens, which is the 18 to 55 lens. That’s what come with this camera when you buy the kit. And we got a photo that looks like this. Not bad right? We shot it with an aperture of about five point six so there’s a lot in focus. You don’t got a whole lot of depth of field with that. But it still looks good. This, you could post that on Instagram if you were a business selling this mug and it would be fine. Now let’s throw the 50 mil on and take that same photo, just change the vantage just slightly. Get a little bit lower, which is more of a preferred angle of mine. And now let’s take a look. It looks a lot better. You got that nice, creamy, smooth depth of field, but I did notice upon zooming in a little bit, you got some chromatic aberration and fringing. Now if you don’t know what that is, it’s when a lens has difficulty to bring all of the wave lengths of color to the same focal plain. It’s having a little trouble and that results in color fringing, which looks like this. If we zoom in you can see some of that around the edge here. Here’s a shot of my James Coffee Co ring. I have it set up amongst other things that are the same texture, the same color, the same style to really pull focus into the center where that ring is. Those things just add that nice pop on the side. If we just had that ring on its own, and we put it on a desk, and we shot that product photo, it would probably look fine. But you add all these extra things in that share the same texture and color and it going to make that photo more vibrant, more lively. It’s just more rich, there’s more to look at. I shot this same image with the Canon R and a hundred mil macro lens. Lets throw that on the screen. You can see it’s just a lot cleaner. Now we’re going from like a $500 camera to like an over $3,000 set up. The glass quality of the lens I was using is far superior from the one I’m using with the Canon T100, but as far as passablity that first photo is still great. I would have no problem sending it to a client, posting it online. And I think it would do the job just fine. Let’s take a look at a couple more photos. Here we’ve got the mug sat up with the box on it’s end. So we can see the depth inside. This wasn’t doing it for me so I actually grabbed my Chemex and started hanging it in front of the camera lens a little bit, just to kinda give some real time in camera light leaks. It’s being creative, it’s using the light that you have, using these props and textures. to pull the most out of a photo. Just like with the ring, had I just put this mug on the table and snapped a picture, people may have been like, “Meh, it’s not the best looking picture,” and they instantly go to blame the camera. It’s a garbage camera anyway. But when you take the extra time, make sure the light looks good, you add the textures, you add the background, you add the environment, you throw a little bit of light leaks into the lens, you snap that same photo and suddenly people are saying, “That’s a great image. How did you get that. What did you take that with?” Just like my friend Mike at the beginning of this video, people look at his photos, I guarantee nobody thought for one second looking at that Instagram account, everything was taken with a 15 year old digital camera. It’s just not the case when you have a photographer that knows what they’re doing with the equipment. So why would you want to spend thousands more on a camera when a camera that’s 500 bucks all in, after tax for me Canadian here, it does the job? And I think probably usability. It was quite difficult working with this camera. I think I took eight images, here are a few more. All of these took a good few hours to actually shoot, because the autofocus was really slow, trying to find where the buttons were, just working with a camera that isn’t up to date with the technology that we have now that costs thousands more, just takes more time, takes a little more patience. Do you have that time and patience? If you do, awesome, then maybe that works for you. But for someone that’s trying output a lot of content fast, that’s when higher, more expensive gear would come into play. So the question that I’m asked all the time, all the time, anybody that does tutorials on Youtube, anybody that’s a prominent photogropher, or has any kind of following or just takes good photos, we are all asked the same question, which is what camera should I buy, what do you recommend, and this is my budget? And it doesn’t matter if you shoot Pentax, Fuji, Nikon, Sony, Canon, it doesn’t matter at all. Because everyone has different uses for a camera. Some people just want pictures of their kids, this guy wants product photos, you want stock photos, they want video, Youtube, it all depends on what you’re into. If all your budget can afford is something like this, but it checks the boxes for what you’re into, then that’s the camera you should get. If it doesn’t check any of those boxes, and you want to do things beyond that, and you think you may grow out of it, that’s not the camera for you. Maybe you need to go with a different brand or something completely different, and that’s totally okay. But the premise of this video was to show you that, you can take good photographs, you can make money, you can make this into a career, you can have a lot of fun with it, with cameras that are cheap. It’s mostly right here and right here that’s gonna determine how good your photos are. Yes, you need this tool, but these tools, the knowledge that you have, the eye that you have, how creative and how cleaver are you going to get with it. Those are the ingredients that make a great photographer. That’s a great title, the ingrediants of a great photogropher, should have run with that. So that’s that. Hope you guys enjoyed this video. Hit that like button if you liked this video and smash it if that’s something that you’re into. Pah, pah, pah, 2018 style. Subscribe if you aren’t already. And, and, I’m just going to go through the comments and pick one of you to give this away to, because I don’t need it, so yeah. Maybe it will be you. See you guys in the next video. Peace. (soft rock music)