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  Reviews by: Lunatique  

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Review Date: May 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: -Excellent high ISO performance -Improved AF system with more flexibility -Enough resolution for aggressive cropping -Good ergonomics and flexible controls
-AI Focus reaction time can be faster -Would love to have on-camera flash with rotatable flash head -Can't customize what information I want to show during playback on LCD screen

My full review includes sample photos gallery and video shootouts with two other camera:

Canon EOS 1D Mark II

Review Date: Dec 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid and tough, as a pro camera should be. Astounding battery life. Has all the necessary advanced pro features.
Ergonomics not optimal. LCD display is slow. AF selection could be more advanced. Auto White Balance isn't accurate. Crappy strap included. Huge accesories.

This is my first DSLR--or even my first SLR. Prior to this camera, I was using an Olympus C3030Z, which was my first camera (used it for 3 years). Although I'm not a pro, I am a serious artist, and demand the best for my creative endeavors. I got the 1D MKII because it had all the features I was waiting for (the 1D was missing a few things)--speed, resolution, features, reliability..etc. Since the camera was out of my price range, I had to save up for a year to get it (I had no lenses either, and was starting from scratch).

First of all, this is a great camera, and probably hands down superior to its competitions on the market (actually, there is no competition in its price range. Even if price isn't an issue, there really isn't a camera out there that can compete in all the relevant departments (speed, reliability, features, lens lineup). This camera, for all intents and purposes, can last someone a lifetme and they'd probably never outgrow it--unless technology has advanced so much that compatibility has become an issue (like what happened to the FD lineup).

A few things really stand out about this camera, and they are speed, battery life, and construction. Everyone knows how fast this beast is, so I won't get into it. The battery life was a big surprise for many people--you could shoot for what feels like an eternity before the battery starts running low. I could shoot a whole week, everyday, for hours and hours with it, and the batter will last me almost that whole week. The construction is very solid, as to be expected for a pro camera. I could use it as a weapon if anyone tried to rob me, and it would probably survive the ordeal far better than the person on the receiving end of the beating. I bet I could use it to take pictures of the robber's bruised face and it'll work just fine.

Now, about the negatives (just a warning--I'm a very picky person. I want perfection, and am hopelessly idealistic).

I don't like the ergonomics. It's not laid out very well, or very intuitive. It takes too many buttons to activate certain things or change certain settings. The displays can also be better in terms of showing the current setting of the camera. It isn't bad at all, just that it could be better.

I want more than one instant recall of AF point. Why not have more than one and you can scroll between them? Also, I don't like having to use two dials to move the AF point.

The LCD display is too slow for such an expensive camera that's supposed to tackle sports photography headon. Both displaying the picture after it's taken, or scrolling through existing pictures are too slow for me.

The Auto White Balance is lacking. I expected much better from a pro camera. There are consumer cameras on the market that is better at it.

The strap included is crappy. It's stiff, uncomfortable to wear, and not the best looking. They should've included something more like the kind of highend strap people have purchased to replace the default one with. I actually think they should've included a wrist strap too, but that's just me.

The charger is huge--it is literally the size of a brick. Does it have to be so damn big?

I think DSLR manufacturers should really include some form of dependable sensor cleaning accesory with the body. Sensor dirt/dust is an everyday reality in the world of DSLR, and most manufacturers aren't doing enough about it. Canon, being the leader of the market, should take lead in that department. (Bravo to Olympus and others who are doing something about it.)

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid build. IS really works.
Big and heavy, especially with the lenshood.

The IS really works, but it will not stop subjects in motion. I've also found that it's quite hard to get the right area in focus with this lens at the long end--which is always the case once you get into the longer focal lengths. I haven't been as impressed with this lens as I thought I would be, or maybe I had too high of an expectation for it before I bought it. I'll add more to this review if my feelings change down the line.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Large aperature, light.
Soft wide open.

I have mixed feelings about this lens. Although I love it for the large aperature, which allows me to take photos without a flash even in fairly dark situations, but it's quite hard to get the right area in focus at 1.4, especially when shooting subjects that move around a lot like children or pets--you'd have to aim for the eye closest to you, and unless you have superfast reflexes, you'll miss most of the time and get something else in focus instead, like the nose, the ear, or the eyebrow. LOL

Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM

Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: It sure is wide! Feels quite sturdy.
Stupid rear filter design. All my other lenses are sharper.

If you want wide, this will give you wide. In fact, for those that shoot the Canon 1 series, your only choice for ultrawide zoom is this one. I don't use this lens very often, because it's rare for me to need to shoot that wide, but when I need to get an entire room into a shot, or need anything wider than the 28mm end of my Tamron 28-75 DI, my only choice is this Sigma.

The build is quite sturdy. No complaints there.

The image quality is middle of the road--nothing to write home to mom about, but not a dog either. The distortion isn't bad at all, unless you have people at the edge of your shot--then you'll notice the horizontal stretch--but that's just how ultrawide lenses are--you can't get around it.

Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 XR Di Zoom AF

Review Date: Aug 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light weight, Great image quality, simple to use, zoom lock, really nice front lens cap (why don't other manufacturers use the same design?).
Nothing a thing. Well, if I had to nitpick, I'd say the lens cap for the backend is difficult to put on/take off, and is quite loose. (complete opposite of the front lens cap)

I love this lens. Before getting it, I had thought it'd be one of those lenses where I use it because it's got a "bread n' butter" focal range--but I ended really loving the image quality of it as well as its practicality. It's very light and the AF is fast. I use it on an 1D Mark II.

The lens does extend when zoomed, but it doesn't bother me at all. The zoom lock is a nice touch. The lens cap is really well designed--it's got a little press-clamp type thingie in the front of the cap--so you can take it off and put it on very easily even with the hood on. I don't know why other manufacturers don't do the same, espcially for lenses with really long hoods. The lens cap for the back however, is kinda stupid. It's loose, and hard to put on/take off. (you have to actually look at the marking to fit it on--if you just try to randomly screw it on, you'd have to do it over and over until the shapes match.)

I've played with the EF 24-70 L before in a store, and it's got nothing on this lens, and costs much much much more. (I guess if you absolutely must have the L lens's weather sealing, then maybe that would be the only difference.)