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  Reviews by: Lance Lee  

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Canon Speedlite 580EX II

580exii
Review Date: Aug 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Good flash, almost as good as the original 580. The Master/Slave switch is possibly the worst designed thing I've ever seen. Now that I think about it, the automatic headlight dimmer on my grandparent's 1977 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz was worse.
Other than that is works very well. I appreciate the overheat protection and the metal foot.

If I end up needing another flash I'll look for a used 580ex1.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

3029ef_50_18_1_
Review Date: Jun 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $125.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, well made, very small and light.
Cons:
Not full time manual focus.

If you spend a lot of time with your primes, this doesn't make sense. I use mostly zooms, and it is nice to have a faster lens when I need it. I've recently switched to a 1.3 body, and I'm finding it more useful than on a 1.6 body.

Image quality is really quite good. It's not any better than any other 50 I've had, but in the age of zooms it is easy to forget that this kind of IQ @ 1.8 used to be standard. I wish the DSLR kit lens was 30/1.8 version of this lens, instead of completely blah zoom.


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II

1D2
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: AF, image quality, feel in your hands, built in grip, wonderful viewfinder.
Cons:
Strange button pushing needed to review images/zoom, etc.

I've never written a review before, but I just had to. I've never been so excited about a camera before, even my beloved old FM-2n. Like me, you have probably heard the praise heaped on these cameras, and now I can see why.

Finally, I have a camera that feels like it can do anything I want to try.
1. I can compose and focus the way I want to. I can keep focus on my daughter playing with our dog, or on a bride walking down the aisle.
2. My lenses, while not as long, seem much more useful.
3. Image quality is superb compared to my 40D. Also, they take Genuine Fractals very well.
4. High ISO performance is far better than I thought it would be. 3200 is better than my 40D.
5. AF just works. It sounds so simple, but it is such a revelation. And no false focus locks! If the focus confirmation lights up, then it is in focus. I could never trust the 40D that way, especially in lower light and the flash AF assist light.
6. Manual focus is possible. I have seldom heard this mentioned. 10D, 20D, 40D, 50D, 5D I have never been able to trust MF. I ended up buying split image screens for them, but that only works in the centre. But now I can trust MF on the ground glass. Amazing.
7. The higher relief of the viewfinder is nice, my nose isn't pressed against the LCD screen.
8. One last thing. One thing I've often wanted to do is have a flash in the hotshoe, but then plug my radio slave transmitter into the PC terminal to also trigger remote flashes. You guessed it, on the 40D and 20D it would work sometimes but not reliably. The mk2, of course, just works.

Considering the current price of mk2's, these are the best deals out there.