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  Reviews by: Christobel  

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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Review Date: Aug 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: A macro lens with IS, very hand-holdable, sharp, superlative IQ, creamy bokeh, gorgeous colors, great portrait lens

Matched with the 5DII, this lens is quite extraordinary. I almost passed on this lens because my 100 macro was such an excellent performer; but this lens is simply superb. The images pop all by themselves, sometimes with little or no post-processing even required. As a nature photographer, this lens has by far exceeded my expectations. I give it my highest recommendation.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Aug 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sturdy, compact lens with excellent IQ. Images are razor sharp, contrasty, and colorful.

When Canon offered a $100 instant rebate on this lens a few months ago, I grabbed it and have had no regrets. It's an excellent performer and the perfect walk-around lens on my 7D. I am simply amazed at the IQ of this lens. It matches, if not exceeds, the IQ on my 24-105L, which up until this time has been my walk-around lens on the 7D; however, itís simply not wide enough on a crop camera.

Highly recommended!

Canon EOS 7D

Review Date: Oct 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Robust, AF system, IQ, AWB, Metering, mRaw, ISO 3200
None so far

Initially, the 19-point AF system really threw me until I went to Canonís on-line digital learning center where they walk you, step-by-step, through the AF system. My images have never been this sharp.

Since I shoot with both the 5D Mark II and the 50D, I canít help but compare the 7D to these two cameras. The 7D is very robust with great ergonomics. It just feels right in your hands. Auto focus is amazing. I did extensive tests with all my zooms and primes against the 5DII and 50D. The 7D nailed every shot, not so with the other 2 cameras. While the 5DII has the edge in overall IQ, especially in the dynamic range and color depth right out of the camera, the 7D holds its own very well; and with a little bit of post-processing can be brought up to the same level as the 5DII, in my humble opinion.

The AWB is vastly improved to the point that, in most instances, it doesnít need any adjustment at all. Shooting in mRaw (10 mp) is impressive and much improved over the other 2 cameras sRawĎs. Comparing mRaw to full resolution shots, I could not tell a difference until cropping a very small portion out of the frame and looking at them side-by-side.

Noise is very well controlled, much more so than the 50D, and you can easily shoot at ISO 3200.

I highly recommend this camera for its versatility, AF system, accurate auto white balance, and excellent image quality.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Jan 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,699.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb IQ, dust removal system, large LCD, highlight tone priority, auto ISO.
Sraw1 is disappointing and very sluggish in DPP.

Is the 5d Mark II worth the upgrade? Absolutely, especially with its improved technology in terms of dust removal, large LCD, auto ISO, and highlight tone priority. There is not a huge difference in IQ between the 5d and 5dII, but itís there nonetheless in improved dynamic range, color depth, and detail. You can shoot comfortably at ISO 3200, and the images clean up beautifully in DPP. Iím so impressed with DPP that I no longer use ACR.

For those who may be hesitant in purchasing this camera because of the huge files, sraw1 is very disappointing because the conversion in DPP is very sluggish and the IQ suffers a bit; however, Iíve found that shooting in raw at 21mp, converting in DPP, and reducing the size of the image via DPPís batch processing produces beautiful, clean images with no loss of IQ whatsoever. You will get a much cleaner image using this process rather than reducing the size of the image later in Photoshop, at least thatís been my experience.

Highly recommended!

Canon EOS 50D

Review Date: Dec 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,086.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent IQ, great ergonomics, large LCD, fast AF, highlight tone priority, auto ISO
None so far

I love everything about this camera! I also shoot with the 5d (portraits and landscapes), and an Xsi for travel. When my 20d died a couple of weeks ago, I decided to replace it with the 50d as a back-up for my 5d. What I really like about the 50d is its versatility, excellent ergonomics, and itís lightning fast auto focus. Itís good enough to back-up the 5d and not too heavy to carry all day. The image quality is superb, much better than my 20d and a notch above the Xsi. Itís not quite equal to the 5d, but itís pretty close. I shoot in raw with auto ISO and highlight tone priority enabled, noise reduction turned off, and process in DPP. I also use DPPís recommended noise reduction levels and then sharpen the image. I find the results stunning.

Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D)

Review Date: Aug 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $745.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, highlight tone priority, 3" display, noise reduction, lightweight, dust removal system, user friendly controls
Auto ISO shutter speeds set too low

I purchased the XSi as a walk-around/travel camera to complement my 5d and use as a back-up if necessary. It also replaces my Xti, which is a great camera, but the Xsi is even better. The higher resolution, highlight tone priority, and noise reduction all make a noticeable difference in IQ.

After a couple of thousand test shots and a real-world photo shoot using the 17-55 F/2.8 IS and the 70-200 F/4.0L IS, I have to say this is an amazing camera and the image quality is just exceptional. What works best for me is stopping the camera down by two-thirds, enabling the highlight tone priority and noise reduction (I love these features), and shooting in raw.

The only negative comment I have about the camera is that the auto ISO speeds are set too low. The only misfocused shots Iíve taken were when this feature was enabled. When I reviewed the exif data, I was shocked at the low shutter speeds.

Iíve rated the camera a 10 because of its outstanding image quality and the fact that you can shoot with comfort at ISO speeds up to 1600.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

Review Date: May 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing low light capabilities, colors pop, bokeh is creamy, very sharp, size, weight, and wow factor.
Be careful when shooting at mimimum focus distance

Low light capabilities with this lens are amazing on my 5d. I rated this lens a 10 because it has produced some of the most beautiful and artistic shots Iíve ever taken and would put it on a par with my 35L and 135L. It has a magical quality, colors pop, and bokeh is creamy smooth. So far, I have not experienced any front or back-focusing, although when shot at a minimum distance of F/1.2, with several subjects on the same plane, it did focus drift. When I locked focus on one subject and recomposed, I did not experience a focus drift. Stepping back a foot, all subjects were in focus. For low light candids and portraits, this is my favorite lens and would highly recommend it if only for the wow factor alone.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D)

Review Date: Sep 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, lightweight, large viewfinder, ease of operation

The 400D was originally purchased as a back-up for my 20D and is fast becoming my choice for hiking/travel. I use it with Canonís 70-200 F/4.0L IS lens, which makes a fantastic, lightweight travel combination.

Image quality-wise, it can hold its own against its big brother. The large viewfinder is great, the controls well placed and user friendly.

I think it's a superb camera for someone starting out with a dslr. If you need a back-up or are looking for a lightweight travel camera, it's an excellent choice.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Jan 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Razor sharp, IS, 2.8, not too heavy
None so far

I needed a low light lens that could be hand-held indoors under less than ideal lighting situations. So far, Iíve not been disappointed. Yesterday was a rainy, overcast day, so I decided to test it indoors against my 24-70 and 24-105, both of which are sharp wide open. I selected 20 objects throughout the house in different rooms under different lighting situations. All shots were taken wide open and hand-held with the 20D at ISO 800. The 17-55 nailed every shot razor sharp while the 24-70 and 24-105 each missed three to four of the shots.

In fairness to the 24-70 and 24-105, the 17-55 was up against them outdoors on Saturday, which was a beautiful day here, and I could not tell any difference in quality. All 3 are superb lenses, imo; however, for indoor low light photography, the 17-55 will be my choice.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Dec 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredibly sharp, even wide open, beautiful colors, well built, fast
None so far

The more I use this lens the more impressed I am by its capabilities. It's a wonderful landscape lens, but it also shines indoors wide open, hand-held without flash. Highly recommended!

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Review Date: Oct 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $720.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP!!! Beautiful deep rich colors, excellent contrast, light and fast.

Although this is a terrific wide-angle landscape lens, beware that close-up shots may take your breath away. Simply stunning lens, which has become my favorite. It should be designated an "L". Very highly recommended.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Review Date: Sep 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,130.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS, great travel lens, good image quality, sharp, beautiful bokeh.
Sometimes a little soft at 300, but I've still gotten some beautiful, sharp images.

I wanted a lens that could be carried all day long, was unobtrusive, and could be hand-held at 200 to 300. This lens has produced beautiful images for me, and the bokeh, color and contrast are superb.