Architecture, Photography, Review

A 60D View of the Supreme Court Building

Just over a week ago a parcel arrived at my door and inside a was the Canon 60D for me to try out.  It wasn’t a surprise, I knew it was coming as I asked if I could try it out.

On opening the package I got the camera out and attached the 18-55mm lens that came with it.  As you do with cameras, I felt it in my hands to decide how it felt when I held it, conclusion, it felt good, it was a nice weight. Then I put it down, and got back to work.

Yesterday I went into the city in the afternoon to try and catch up with Steph from Travel Oops.  She was in Melbourne and we were trying to hook up.  Unfortunately it didn’t happen, communication problems, no internet and no mobile.   I took the 60D in with me and thought I would play around with it, in case she didn’t get my message, which was the case.

sccanon_9999So I sat in the foyer for a little while and played with the camera.  It actually worked out okay.  I fiddled with the various things trying to get an idea of how it worked.  I had tried playing with it quickly a couple of days ago and didn’t have much luck.  I was in a hurry, so that is probably why.  I had decided after then that maybe it would be a lot harder to use than I thought.

I was wrong, it is actually quite easy and you can see everything on the back and top to change.

Once I thought I had sorted it out, I took it for a walk.  The Supreme Court building was just across the road, so I went for a walk around it.    The above photo is out the front.

sccanon_9996There are some lovely features to this building, so I thought I would concentrate on them.  The photos have all had further processing in Photoshop, not a lot, but some.  I found that many of the images were over exposed.  Not sure if it was how I had it set up, or if it was the camera.

sccanon_0004This is the decoration over the main entrance, you have seen this before, but it was part of a bigger image.  This image was definitely over exposed.  Figuring out the metering system was a little strange.  If it were my camera and I was going to be using it a lot I would try and work it out more.  I knew how to change it, but I do find moving the spot metering around very different and hard to work out on the Canon.  Again, that is more me than the camera, it is probably because I don’t use Canons normally.

sccanon_9987I don’t think the 18-55mm lens was good for these shots, they are all out of focus, well slightly.  I am assuming it was the lens and not the camera.  Usually getting things like this are because of the lens.  The next image was the same.

sccanon_9992The other problem may have been shutter lag.  I am not used to using a camera with any shutter lag, and I know that it can cause images to be out of focus.  I had to be extra careful holding the camera still.

sccanon_9989A side door, same door that had the handle a couple of photos back.

The camera does have a nice weight, but it isn’t heavy to carry around.  It is light enough to take with you and not think it was heavy.  Though a different or better quality lens might change that.

Was there anything I didn’t like?  Yeah, I am not going to lie, I thought the buttons on the top to change ISO, metering, and a couple of other things, were hard to use.  You basically needed two hands to change those things.  That isn’t a problem, but your hands are trying to change things in the same place and it is awkward.

I couldn’t work out whether or not you could do bracketed shots with the 60D.  I am sure you can, I know the 600D does, so it makes sense that the 60D would as well, but I had trouble working it out.  It wasn’t obvious to me.

There were some other things, but I know if you had the manual and went through it you would be able to work it out.

sccanon_0018I was impressed with the low noise when using higher ISOs.  It was much better than my camera.  The above image was taken through a window.  It has some noise, but not as much you would expect, or as much as I expected.  My D300s creates a lot more.  The ISO also goes up to 6400 which is really good.

I will take the camera out again.  I have it for a few more days, so I hope to get out some more.  Easter means I have a willing driver and another person who likes road trips, so it will be good to get out of the city and test the camera out some more.

I don’t want to make any conclusions just yet, it is too soon.  My initial impression is that it isn’t bad, but I don’t love it.  I may just need to use it more and get more used to it.



  1. I love your blog so much, I can’t put a price on what I learn. I make so many notes of things to look up that I’m too embarrassed to ask. Your work is so good and I appreciate it.

  2. Love the detail shots. Those little details of the building really bring it to life for me. I’m not a pro photographer, so I don’t see the flaws you do. The focus seems pretty good. It’s a great building, thanks for showing it to us.

  3. I like the one with the post in front of the window and how you can see the tree in the window.

    I am trying to read my manual. I’m getting there, a little at a time. (I’m taking your self-paced beginning photo class. I’m glad it’s self-paced as I’m slow to absorb this stuff.)

    I also like the banister shot through the window. I don’t understand everything you’ve shared in this post but I appreciate you putting in the technical detail as I can come back when I’ve learned more.

    That’s too bad you didn’t get to meet Stephanie. She seems very fun!

    • You will get there with the technical stuff, can take a bit to get your head around it all. I hope the stuff I wrote is making sense.

  4. I bought a Canon xTi Rebel six years ago and upgraded to a 60D last year. I use a Canon 24-105 zoom lens most of the time but sometimes switch to a Tokina 11-16 wide angle zoom for buildings. Both lenses are very nice.

    • I know there would have to be better lens, though I don’t know a lot about Canon Lenses. I know other people who have the 60D and love them.

  5. Hey Leanne,
    Who do you approach to when you want to test a camera? I have always wanted to test a D600 and a D800 … just wondering, whom I should go to …

    • No idea about Nikon, I had trouble getting Canon to let me try them out. You could always approach Nikon directly, though it hasn’t worked for me.

    • A lot of camera shops will let you rent the cameras from them, if you are willing to pay to use it. If you Google “Camera shop near [your zip code]” you should be able to find the websites of the camera shops, and check there for a page that mentions renting.

  6. Woohoo!!! From a 60D user, I must say these images are outstanding. The IS kit lens is a nice step up from the old ones, but I personally prefer using my Sigma 18-250mm with it, a lot heavier to carry around but covers a lot more.

  7. Bruce Ruston says

    While the 60d is a great camera (I own one) the 18-55 (kit) lens is not at all impressive even with IS. I have seen a lot of your photos and I would have thought the 7d would be of more use to you, as the 60d sits below the professional Canon range but above the rebel range. It does do bracketed shots something I must try myself soon. Did find this which may help

    • I don’t think the 60D would be a good camera for me, but it is nice to try it out and see how it works. When I teach classes I find people who have them and it is nice to be able to help them work out their cameras. I will have to stick with my Nikon for now.

    • Good question, I think I was using an ISO of about 1200 and the aperture was f11 or thereabouts, and no idea about shutter speed. I suppose that doesn’t help. I am not good with that kind of stuff.

  8. Forget the camera brand and model….it is your choice of image that makes such great collections, and this one is one of your best.

      • Lovely may be…but true.

        I once enjoyed a great Wildlife Safari lecture, stunning shots, great skill and great locations a great experience. At the end the speaker said he was prepared to take questions….first question was ‘What camera did you use?’ his reply was Canon (not sure what model he said) . There was a groan from the audience and some even asked why he didn’t use Nikon. For 10 minutes there was a debate on the merits of C versus N. So sad after such a presentation of great, inspiring images that the main topic should be ‘what camera’. Best wishes

      • I think it will continue for a long time, that debate. I don’t really care, now, I am happy with what I have, and I am stuck with it now, so I will be a Nikon person, but I know many people prefer Canon, apples and oranges.

  9. For the 60D it is worth reading through the instruction manual as there are so many hidden gems like filters for black and white photogrpahy with out needed to put it on the lens and setting custom filters.

    • They didn’t send me the manual. I could look it up, but I know I won’t. I only have it for a couple more days, so I am more interested in seeing it perform under different conditions. Thanks, it is interesting to see what is possible.

  10. I’m a happy Canon 60D user (most of my blog photos are shot with the Sigma 17-70mm lens) and just wanted to leave a note in case you’re still wondering about bracketing. Tap the Q button for a fast access of important camera settings. Use the arrows to navigate to exposure/AEB setting. Click Set and play around with the wheel on top of the camera. That should do the trick :-) Surprisingly I have a different experience with my camera’s exposure. I find my photos often a bit underexposed. Anyway, I hope you enjoy testing it a few more days…

  11. Ah, shutter lag – my one real complaint about my camera. But upgrading means heavier and bulkier, so I’m learning to deal with it. Maybe someday I’ll be worthy of a Big Girl Camera ;)
    Love the details in today’s images – the red door, knob and iron fence are unique.

  12. Johann Briffa says

    I guess the change of brand must be rough. I know I’d lost with a Nikon. I admire your courage and patience to try it out. I also find it takes me a while to get used to new hardware, even if it’s three same brand.

    • This is the third camera that Canon have lent me, and I am getting very used to them now. I was lost the first time, but once I sat down and just looked at it, it didn’t take long to figure it all out. It helps that the terms for everything are basically the same. I know what you mean about getting used to new hardware, there is always something new to learn.

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  14. love the detail in all of these Leanne…as you know I’m a beginner so I don’t see the flaws you point out in the photos…but then maybe that is why I appreciate your blog so much…because I learn something every time I visit! Enjoy your drive…

    • Thanks Heather, that is so nice of you. You will see those flaws one day. You will take a photo, get it home and realised that it isn’t quite right and then start trying to figure out why. I have to admit, I have only recently started being able to see the flaws with different lenses.

  15. That is my main camera. I have come to love it but the grass is always greener so I keep thinking that I need something more.

    • I know that feeling. I have been surprised at how many people have it. I know it is popular, but on this blog alone there are so many 60D users.

  16. I use a very basic model (Nikon D3000) with kitlens. I currently don’t have the money to spend on a nice camera nor the time I would owe a nice camera :-) Once I have more free time, I might consider going for a better camera.

    Very nice pictures, especially for a test without knowing all the functions of the camera :-)

    • I have seen some great photos with that camera, so I don’t think you need to worry about that. The stuff that more expensive cameras have is more options, but they still all take photos the same. The lens can make a massive difference.

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  18. Your pictures are great. The detail from the 60D is great. I am guess you have AF and IS on.

    I have had my 60D for nearly two years now. Mine came with the Canon 18-135 lens. Three days ago I bought the Tamron 18-270 lens which is a perfect compliment to the 60D. The extra reach means I can leave my old Canon 75-300 behind.

    • Now I get what AF is, but you are the second person to say IS, what is that? Not something I have heard before.
      Lenses like the Tamron do make life more simple. Nice to be able to concentrate on just taking photos.

      • IS = Image Stabilisation. Especially in low light it does make life a lot easier.

        I do agree with you, the easier it is to take picture the more time can be concentrating on getting the right image. If you can trust your camera to look after some of the technical bits, you can concentrate on capture excellent images.

  19. leo brady says

    One additional thought. If you’re considering Canon, you might ask your source to give you an L series lens, say a 24 or 35mm. There are also some L zooms too.I don’t think the 18-55mm is one. It will pull the most out of the body you are using for your tests. I switched to Canon for a number of reasons. It’s taken me some time to become familiar with it but I’m growing to like it. ;-)

    • I don’t think I will be switching to Canon, I have spent too much money on my Nikon at this stage to consider it. I do like seeing how Canon performs. It has been great, and as I get asked all the time to help people with their cameras it gives me a good understanding of the camera. I doubt they would lend me a better lens, so I have to make do with what I have, or what I get.

      • leo brady says

        Yes I understand. And there’s nothing like using a camera you are really familiar with.
        One feature I definitely like on the Canon is the ability to save user profiles ahead of shooting i.e. color, BW , video etc are all available the turn of a switch.

  20. A very nice set of photos for an evaluation process. The last photo, through the window, I like how you caught the reflection in the glass also.

  21. It’s great to hear your thoughts on the 60D. That was my starter camera and I also found quickly the shutter lag and the soft images a problem. Within a year I got the 7D and am so much happier. I keep the 60D as backup and still use it. it’s just not the same. As per the changing settings on the top right, I actually really like it and the options on the 60D are much better than on the 7D which is an older model. Bracketing is available on the 60D
    Did you shoot in jpg or RAW for these? It’s the camera..not the lens. :-)

    • Thanks Emily, it is nice to hear from someone who seems to feel the same as me about the camera. It is nice, but….
      The D300s is a step or two up from it as well. I find my fingers are too fat for the changing on the top right, though, it may just be something you have to get used to. Someone else mentioned the bracketed shots, so I may have to take a look and see what it is like. I shot them in jpeg. I haven’t tried raw yet.

  22. The camera’s all probably have good features and features you might wish to change, but I think your talent and good eye for catching wonderful shots is probably the largest contributor to the equation. Your photos are always lovely and very unique! :D

  23. It would be nice if camera manufacturers could manage a way to make products with smaller hands in mind. As always your shots are awesome. I look forward to more results with this camera.

  24. It’s a shame it wasn’t a 7D turning up at your door to ‘try’ as this is the one I’m giving serious consideration for upgrading to later this year & would have loved to hear your opinion – not that I haven’t already done a great deal of research mind you! Though I will miss my swivel screen!

  25. I’d been wanting to upgrade my old 20D to a 7D mainly for the reasons you mentioned about buttons and menus, I’d heard that they’d changed them a lot in the 60D to be more like small cameras. That is, functions hidden away under layers instead of at the tip of your fingers. It’s a shame because of the price, meaning, I still shoot with my 20D and hope the shutter will keep working! I do wish for those better ISO skills though, with more than half the year being under a cloud here. So it’s interesting to hear about your experience, even though you’re new to Canon.

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