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Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Review Date: Oct 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Absolutely the best pro-series camera to date in all but one (significant) way. Lighter, faster, well laid out, beyond-excellent battery life, fantastic low-light/high ISO results.
Wonky auto focus pretty much limits the usefulness until Canon's just-announced fix is seen to be effective. Choosing a single AF point could be easier, and takes some time to get used to after working with the joystick on the 5D/xxD bodies.

Hard to add anything to what everyone's said. The Focus Issue (tm) is the big bugbear of this body. Everything else is top notch.

I moved from the 5D and 30D combo to this body, and did so with some worry/trepidation about the size/weight issues. But after 5 months, I can say that the transition was not nearly as difficult as I'd worried. It is a bit heavier, and the added size will take up more room in your kit bag, but the differences are not as great as I had heard/feared.

People talk about how solid the 1 series bodies are. They're right. I was (and to some extent remain) a skeptic when others spoke about not being able to moved to the 5D or other prosumer bodies b/c even despite superior image quality (compared to 1DIIn, for example), the prosumers just felt 'cheap'.

I don't think the 5D feels cheap at all. But I must concede, it doesn not feel as good in hand as the 1 series does.

The image quality is great, all the way to ISO 1600. And ISO 3200 is usable. Shadows are much improved thanks to 14 bit processing and increased dynamic range.

To 5D users, the increased buffer size will be liberating if you shoot rapidly. I've noticed a dramatic difference even in studio environments of fashion shoots.

Battery life is stunning. Regularly shoot an entire day with one charge. Even entire weekends. To compare, the 5D would require 3-5 battery changes over the same time.

My score of 8/10 above is only not a 10 because of the focus issue, which is way too significant to ignore.

When it is fixed conclusively, I will heartily recommend this camera. Until then, it is a very guarded recommendation.

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Review Date: Jan 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cost. IS. Weight/size. Lack of conspicuousness.
Softness at 300mm. Lower than optimal contrast in lower light.

The great benefits of this lens are its low weight, its sharpness in the 70-250mm range, it's colour and it's very good IS.

If you're looking for a lens that can do almost all of what the 70-200 f4 can do, and get a bonus 100mm on the long end, plus you don't want to stand out in the crowd, then this is the way to go.

However, its focussing is slower than the 70-200. Its a stop slower, so shutter speeds are going to be lower to get the same expsure - which means fast moving subjects will be harder to capture.

Also, the lens rotates, so you won't be able to use (easily) a polarizer, whereas the 70-200 doesn't have this issue.

So if you're going to be primarily shooting outdoor or outdoor sports - horse jumping or football, for example, you may be better off with the 70-200.

There's some talk about the noise of the IS on this lens, and yes, you can hear it - but it's hardly noticable in anything but a dead quiet room. Don't worry too much about this.

There is an odd set up with the zoom lock - sometimes you have to fiddle to get the lens locked - but it's not been too big a hassle in the months I've had it.

If you're travelling and only want to carry minimal gear that doesn't screen 'mug me', then this is a great way to get good reach, good clarity, and super IS. The comination of this lens with Canon's 24-105 f4L (just a super lens), and the Sigma 10-20 (pretty much as good as the Canon for $300 less) is, in my opinion, the ideal amateur set up you can get for around $2000 (Canadian).