Wednesday 14 January 2009

Well that works then!

I, like many photographers using Canon kit have been eagerly anticipating the replacement camera for the Canon 5D. The 5d had been around for a lot longer than most cameras for two main reasons: it was a good design and it had little competition. I wanted one but it hardly seemed worth buying one if Canon were going to bring out a replacement model as soon as I bought it. Finally Canon announced and released before Christmas the cunningly named Canon 5DmkII.

Dragging the Chains
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The main attractions of the new camera for me was 21 mega-pixies*, integrated cleaning system and most of all full-frame. Live view is an added bonus as it is something I really miss from my days of using a Fuji S602, I don't often shoot using the back as a viewfinder but it can be really handy when setting up a tripod in awkward positions. Apparently it also can shoot HD movies but I doubt I will be using that.

Frost on the Beach
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Well it arrived on Friday; I had a quick play after it arrived, then a few shots on a dull Saturday. Sunday morning I had agreed to meet up with with two fellow Essex photographers, Kevin Goodchild & Clive Burrow. Kevin had recommended Thorpe Bay in Southend, we got there well before the dawn and the light was fantastic.

Thorpe Bay lasso
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So what is the verdict on the 5D?
The big viewfinder is great, it is bright and clear, I actually feel like I can see what the picture will be. The 20D viewfinder seems a bit dark and vague in comparison!
The other unexpected feature I like is that when you press the focus selector button twice the back displays all the shooting info: mode, exposure, bracketing, wb, ISO. Even better you can change them there too. Hopefully that should save me mornings of shooting at ISO3200 with a florescent white balance.

The only downside so far is that I have had to change to 8bit tiffs as the file sizes for 16bit tiffs were so huge that Photoshop and Capture One ground my PC to a halt. Though with 8bits everything seems back to speed.

Light and Lock
(Click to view Large)

* Mega-pixies are the small creatures who live in the camera. When you open the shutter they quickly view the scene and make a sketch of it. Obviously the more pixies you have the less sketching each needs to do - giving them more time to make a better job of it.

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