VERY CRISPNESS EVERYBODY
Stuff Magazine|October/November 2021
“Today everything exists to end in a photograph,” said Susan Sontag – so you may as well make it a decent one, with a little help from Stuff’s guide to the best gear and techniques for every kind of shooting

ZINGIN’ IN THE RAIN

This capture works for several reasons. Firstly, finding the scene before the subject (see tips opposite) means a perfectly straight composition. The central subject pulls our eye in, framed by the trees, and the reflection gives a nice pop of visual flourish.

NIGHT Darkness is a camera’s arch-nemesis, but some are better at dealing with it than others – like this fab full-framer

CANON EOS R6

Putting all its metaphorical eggs in one basket, the Canon EOS R6 is a stunning camera that can tackle just about every subject you might wish to throw at it. It’s ideal for a plethora of different subjects, tackling each with aplomb… but when it comes to low-light shooting, there’s a whole host of features that really make the R6 a smart choice.

With a relatively modest 20.1MP resolution, there aren’t too many pixels to crowd onto its full-frame sensor, which results in crisp and clear images even in the dimmest conditions. It’s also got superbly sensitive autofocus and excellent in-body stabilisation, so sharpness is virtually a given. The on-sensor Dual-Pixel CMOS AF II focusing, to give it its full name, doesn’t just sound fancy – it also does the business. Eye AF is spectacular, and works not just for humans but also for our furry friends.

If video is your thing, you have 4K at the ready here, while the fully articulating touchscreen can face all the way forward for capturing those all-important vlogs (or the odd selfie). Plus there are two card slots – both SD, and both the faster UHS-II type. Fantastic if you already have a set of cards and don’t want to splash out on extra memory.

The only potential drawback of the Canon EOS R6 right now is the high price: at over R40 000 for the body, you’re going to need some serious cash by the time you’ve also invested in some glass for it. It sits above mid-range models such as the Nikon Z6 II and Sony A7 III… but with its superlative performance, it’s arguably very much worth the outlay.

Key specs

20.1MP full-frame CMOS

ISO 100-102,400

4K @ 60fps

3in 1.62m-dot LCD

680g

NIGHT TIPS

Paint with light

Set a long exposure and shine a torch from behind your camera (experiment with times) to create amazing effects.

Go for the glow

Try shooting portraits at night with neon lights. The colours will pop, and a wide aperture can create stunning bokeh.

Steady on

A tripod is essential. Steadying your camera allows you to use slower shutter speeds, letting in more light and killing blur.

ALTERNATIVELY… Google Pixel 5

Some of the very best nightlife happens above our heads – and while a phone will never capture the cosmos as well as a camera with a massive sensor, this one can still get some impressive shots. You can also use it to shoot timelapse videos of the stars.

Canon Digital Camera EOS R6 Body Capture desired and unexpected moments with ultra-fast, near-silent burst shooting capabilities of up to 20 fps, even when photographing weddings, sporting events and wildlife, where silence is golden. Shop Now

F-STOP ’TIL YOU GET ENOUGH

One of the biggest aids to shooting in dark conditions is having a fast-aperture lens, like the f/1.4 used here. This creates a shallow depth of field, meaning a narrow focal plane, but also lets more light into the sensor, allowing for faster shutter speeds and lower ISO.

RETURN OF GIRAFFE NECKS

Giraffes naturally adhere to the rule of thirds thanks to their long necks, and that shows in this photo. Framing their faces against the sky removes any distracting elements and allows them to really stand out. And the eye contact gives it a personal touch.

NATURE Yeah, your cat’s cute – but with 8.7 million species of living things sharing our planet, maybe you can diversify a bit?

SONY A7C R27 000 (body only) / sony.co.za

The old cliche says you should never work with children or animals. But if it’s photographs you want and you’re holding a Sony A7C, there’s no reason to be afraid of either.

Full-frame cameras don’t get much smaller than this, especially if you insist on in-body image stabilisation. That makes it an easy carry whether you’re on safari or on the prowl around the bins for some urban wildlife.

Animals (and we include children in that) aren’t exactly known for sitting still and doing what they’re told, so you’ll need something that doesn’t hang around if you want to get the perfect shot – and the A7C is quite the speed demon. Its combination of 10fps continuous shooting and fast, accurate AF means capturing elusive subjects is relatively painless. Turn on Silent Shooting and you can minimise any noise made by the mechanism, so you don’t have to worry about spooking that bashful warthog. The AF system also has excellent real-time eye-tracking, which works with animal peepers as well as human ones.

There is an OLED viewfinder, but the A7C’s compact dimensions mean it’s a lot smaller than you’ll find on older A7 cameras, so you’re probably better off using the 3in vari-angle touchscreen. However you choose to work, the 24.2MP sensor is capable of capturing spectacular photos packed with detail, devoid of noise, and with great low-light performance.

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