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  • (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