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Scott's Column
New Camera (Canon 6D Mark II) and Mixology

August 1, 2017
By Scott Lewis

This month is going to be short. Real short. I am literally writing this just after the UPS driver dropped off my new Canon 6D Mark II (on Aug 1st @ 6:30 PM).

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Of course the battery had absolutely no juice, so I could not even turn it on. I took a couple of photos with my camera, and here I am typing this up.

  

I have heard a lot of things online... mostly bad. I will do a quick level set here of what I expect from this camera, and how I believe it will fit my needs.

1) Dynamic Range - There seems to be a lot of complaining that the dynamic range on this camera is not up to the 5D Mark IV or the Rebel T7i. My Take: I may be the tiniest bit disappointed with this, but I doubt it. I never expected it to be as good as the 5D Mark IV which costs about $1,500 more. It also has to be orders of magnitude better than my 7 year old Rebel T2i. I have heard it is only about 1 stop worse than the 5D4, so I suspect it will never bother me.

2) Low Light Performance - This is the one good this I have heard universally good things about. Whoo-Hoo! This was an absolute must for me. I rented the 5DsR and 7D2 and both shoot great at 6400 ISO. I have seen test photos from the 6D2 at 6400 and they are everything I expected. I think I will be very pleased.

3) Focus System - They basically took the very good auto focus system out of the 80D and dropped it into the 6D2. 45 focus points, all cross type. However, it covers a smaller area of the sensor. For the type of photography I do this will not matter. I needed better focus than what I had (9 points) for track day events. If I miss focus as a car goes by, it will come around again on the next lap. Yea, spreading them out more would be better, but this is not a sports camera. It is good enough for the action I shoot. I would not want to try and shoot a football game with it.

4) One Card Slot - I only have one card slot in my T2i, and I have never lost a photo. I know, that is not a guarantee. But I am not taking wedding photos where one critical shot lost could ruin your reputation and piss off a bride. I format my card every time to erase it, and have never lost a photo. I don't need two memory card slots.

5) 6.5 FPS - Fast enough for the action I do.

6) Video - I do not shoot video. This literally does not impact me one bit.

That's all I can say until I play with the camera. I have a Photo Walk this Friday evening. I plan on taking both cameras (my girlfriend will shoot with my T2i), and will try out the low light capability on the Austin skyline with the 6D2. I will report back next month.

Stay tuned until next month when I can tell you if the camera is good enough for me. I suspect it will be more than good enough.

Mixology

Long ago I was given a drink recipe book. I always had stuff on hand to make a decent margarita, but little else. That book made me want to try other things, but I never really got into it because it cost a lot to stock a bar.

A few months ago I was up in Austin and a bartender made me a drink off menu, and off the top of his head. It had no name and he gave me the recipe.

I tried making it and had to tweak it a bit. I also had to buy everything in it as I did not have any of it. I have named the drink The Martian. I loved it. Once I had it the way I liked it I started making it for everyone.

Then I started asking bartenders the same thing, make me something cool. I have heard that bartenders do not like this. If you ask them to make up something they will just give you a shot and a beer. I have had good luck so far. One bar even listed it on their menu.... Bartender's Choice! Tell them the primary liquor, and they will make you one. I love it.

After collecting recipes and buying ingredients over time (usually 2 bottles of something each week when I go grocery shopping, since the liquor store is next door to the grocery store) I have amassed a fair number of recipes.

I have not made them all, but I can make most of them. I still need a couple of bizarre ingredients. At the moment I have actually run out of the normal stuff (tequila, rum, bourbon). That is next.

I wanted to do something with this and created a simple Mixology web site (as a sub-site to this). Head on over to Mixology - Scott's Drink Recipes. I designed the site to be simple and look good on a computer, and iPad and a phone. Basically, I bring the recipes up on my iPad or phone when I want to make something. I started taking photos of the drinks. My girlfriend helped me setup my China Cabinet to look like it was part of a bar or pub, and make that the background. I am liking it.

I have some ideas to improve it, but wanted to wait until the 6D Mark II arrived.

Have a look. I am especially pleased with the photos for these drinks:

Espresso Martini  
The Martian  
Bruce Lee  
Mexican Martini  
Toes in the Water  
Coffee and Toast  

I can't wait to try out the new camera and apply a few lighting tweaks to make these photos better. Then make all the drinks and photograph them all.

Feel free to comment on the drinks and let me know what you think.

Conclusion

Until next month when I plan to have a lot more to share on the Canon 6D Mark II and the Mixology site.

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