Ben Durham

A New Video Series

What’s this all about?

I’m starting a new series where friends ask me how to do photo/video things and I show and explain to them how to do it by making a video about it. I had actually been planning on doing this since six months ago but never got around to it. 

Watch the first video here:

Why didn’t I start earlier?

The reason I didn’t start is actually pretty silly but also logical. Hear me out.

I already own fancy Sony A7Sii and A6500 Mirrorless cameras which shoot amazing footage… but I’ve been shooting on my “old” Canon lenses forever. That means that I’ve been using lens adapters and haven’t ever really had the option of Autofocus. This hasn’t been a problem when I’m behind the camera (all my corporate work) because I always want to be manually focusing anyway. However, now that I want to consistently be in front of the camera for these types of YouTube videos, I need some very specific things:

Ben’s Camera Requirements for YouTubing

  • Flip-screen
  • Great Auto-focus with my current lens lineup
  • Great colours, straight out-of-camera

Requirements Breakdown


Honestly, aside from Sony’s colour science being noticeably less desirable to my eyes than Canon’s (and difficult to correct and grade), one of my biggest pet peeves with Sony is their lack of understanding of what their customers want.

I don’t only want a flip screen, I NEED A FLIP SCREEN. Everyone who’s in front of their camera NEEDS a front-facing screen to check composition, exposure, focus, battery levels, and whether I’ve accidentally hit something or the camera’s turned off entirely.

I’ve read up on this and apparently the reason Sony is stubbornly sticking with its current tilt screen design because it allows them to keep their camera designs slimmer. Let me tell you how little I care about device slimness: I literally went out and purchased a 4-year-old Canon 80D which has worse specs than the two Sony mirrorless cameras that I already own. I actually haven’t touched my Sony bodies except for corporate shoots since purchasing this camera two weeks ago.

Sony’s finally got something with the release of the A6400 and its 180-degree top tilt display, but I’m still not a fan of the colours coming out of it. You can’t win everything.

Great Auto-focus with my current lens lineup

All my lenses are still Canon glass because Sony doesn’t yet have a huge selection. As well, the current Sony selection is hugely expensive. Most people gravitate toward camera bodies without first checking out support for those bodies. A prime example is the mass switch from Canon to Sony.

There’s no doubt that Canon needs to get its head on straight or it’s going to find itself to be the next Kodak… but Sony still needs to work on a few hiccups here and there… and they actively are (as mentioned above, the A6400 release). I’ve already switched to Sony but never entirely dived in because I have Canon flashes, lenses, and accessories, all of which are less expensive than Sony’s alternatives because the DSLR market is much more mature and robust. All the Sony stuff is brand-spanking-new and that comes with a cost… and chances for unreliability (hem, hem, overheating 4k-shooting Sony cameras).

Great colours, straight out of camera

I shoot in Sony’s S-LOG for corporate shoots (when it makes sense) but that doesn’t mean it’s needed all the time. I don’t want to spend my time colour grading when I’m primarily focusing on content rather than cinematography. Especially when most of the videos are shot in front of my computer at my desk, where I can control my lighting.

How this endvour will benefit me

Doing this should keep me creating content and keep me on my toes. Though this will keep my editing skills sharp, I’m primarily flexing my on-screen personality for what’s to come: teaching and public speaking.

I have the extroverted personality (specifically, an ENTP personality type for those of you who care) for both teaching and public speaking and I want to make sure I use it! In order to do that, I need to work on how I present myself. The best way I’ve seen to do that is to do a lot of small exercises and work towards that gradually. Like this new video series.

What’s next?

If you have any questions at all, ask them in the comment section below. Otherwise, follow this blog and my YouTube channel to keep up with all the new stuff!

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ben in red shorts on a yellow ebike in a snow storm with a bright yellow jacket on, laughing

Ben Durham

Professional storyteller

Just an average person on a bike who’s focused on getting more people out of their cars and on to bicycles or electric last-mile micro-mobility solutions!

That, and rooting for active transportation infrastructure upgrades in North America (we need to catch up)!

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