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Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

1dsmk3
Review Date: Apr 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $7,999.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Mark III build quality / design, features and battery system. Superb. Image quality, in all aspects, color accuracy, depth, dynamic range, resolution, low noise etc. Customizing options extensive.
Cons:
High cost

The 1Ds mark III is a superb camera. Canon improved image quality in more ways than just resolution. Color accuracy was improved and specially color depth and dynamic range is better than any Canon to date IMHO (Ive used the 1Ds mk2 and owned the 5D and 1Dmk2 since they were introduced). The new battery and charger system is much better, tad smaller and much lighter and lasts forever it seems. The camera has many custom options making it very easy to customize it to your needs. Its easy to navigate the new menus too. Build quality is very nice too, the rubber covering seems nicer than the mk2, smoother but still grippy same with the other surface material. The camera really grows on you the more you use it.

AF performance so far has been awesome. Really fast initial lock and tracking. It focuses with authority even in very low light.

In short, even without the resolution improvements the camera would still be worth it. Used in the lower res jpg modes image quality is still superb, use the camera in raw with good light / technique and WOW.


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

ef85mmf_12_1_
Review Date: Oct 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image Quality [sharpness, color, contrast, bokeh], this is it, one of the best lenses made.
Cons:
Some purple fringing at wide appertures can be seen in extreme highlights [shiny objects]

This is it, one of the best lenses made. Optically is excellent except for the purple fringing wide open in point highlights. Dont know if its an issue with digital sensor but its there and can be bothersome on an an otherwise spectacular piece of glass. [btw, the 85mm f1.8 was way worse]

Subjectively it renders images with a nice "look" to them. In another league from other lenses.

I read a LOT of comments/reviews before buying. One concern was focus speed, well when I got the lens it isnt nearly as bad as most people said it was, in fact, it focuses quite nicely.

Also, I expected it to be a tad soft at f1.2, OMG!! it isn't. Ive used it mostly at f1.2~1.6 and sharpness is excellent. Focus accuracy has been very good with 1D mk2.


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark II

1D2
Review Date: Dec 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,099.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality (Sharp, Clean, excellent dynamic range), Speed (plenty of it), Build quality and feel (extremely high quality, even the shutter sounds incredible like a solid machine), 1.3x sensor (much closer to 35mm full frame than some people think), Controls (easy to use after a few sessions)
Cons:
just to mention something, size and weight.

This is the best SLR ive used, digital or film. Its very very resposive and image quality is is better than I expected, coming from a 10d I didnt expect much improvement in image quality but i was wrong.

The larger sensor (1.3x vs 1.6x) is a huge benefit also, it has allowed me to capture the feel of my 35mm film cameras regarding composition, now i can get closer with long lenses while mantaining some loose compositions which is great instead of having to move back or use a shorter lens.

Regarding responsiveness the 1D mark 2 is such a huge improvement over a 10d its unreal. Evereything is more inmediate which helps capture action and facial expressions much more surely and consistenly. AF is better also.

Build quality is trully top notch and feels like a solid mechanical device not just an electronic wonder. The shutter sound reinforces that aspect. It is worlds ahead of a 10d. The difference is significant and I love the fact that it has an integrated "grip" with vertical shutter release.

I really sweat deciding between this camera and the 20d and though about it even when pressing the buy it button on B&H's web site but now after a few jobs I have forgotten that and really think I made the right choice.


 
Canon Speedlite 420EX TTL

CA420EXU_1_
Review Date: Jul 18, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Price, Size (small), Power (very good)
Cons:
VERY slow to recycle, rather flimsy/awkward battery door, and again slow from shot to shot.

I shoot events professionally from time to time and i get really anoyed waiting for the flash to fully recycle. Other than that its a good flash but i do miss the Nikon SB28 i had (when i used a fuji s2) which is similar in size but a tad more powerfull and MUCH more versatile since it can be manualy set at any power level right on the flash and also has a PC sync terminal! Something BOTH of Canons Flashes lack, yes even the 550ex doesnt have it.

 
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

ef300mmf_4_1_
Review Date: May 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact Size (for 300mm f4), build quality, sharpness, IS performance, minimum focus dist.
Cons:
AF/IS could be quieter

This review is for the 300mm f4L IS version. This lens is awesome. IS works amazingly well and has allowed me to take very sharp images of static subjects at 1/50 sec! Handheld! Which is amazing for a 300mm lens without support. That is a Huge bennefit of the lens and takes it into another league compared to other 300mm lenses. I used to own the 300mm f4 nikon and the Canon lens is somewhat better optically and focuses MUCH closer and better built so even without IS is a better lens, not by a lot but better, add IS and it isnt a contest. The canon lens is just more capable and allows me to implement more of my ideas.

The only negatives are that the elements inside make sounds when AF engages and I suspect IS too. It isnt too loud but its noticable compared to my 24-70L zoom. But one gets used to it and it really doesnt hinder performance at all.

I, like most here, have read reports that the non IS version is sharper and what not but I really dont think its an issue + the IS lens focuses closer which is a significant benefit. The 300mm IS compares very well against my 24-70 L and 70-200 L, its at least as sharp as those lenses or better! and the IS is a very very powerful tool. Do not underestimate its power on a 300mm lens, once you use it you will want it in all your lenses.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM

ef70_200_4_1_
Review Date: Mar 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Low weight, compact, well built, smooth focusing and zooming action (both internal), stellar performance at all appertures.
Cons:
nothing unless one absolutely requires f2.8 and IS.

This is one of the best lenses I have ever used.period. I used nikon for 15 years and really no nikon lens including the 300 f4 EDIF AF was really sharper than this canon. Even wide open the 70-200 f4L is just outstanding. Its amazing. I also have the 24-70 f2.8L and the 70-200mm f4L might be a tad sharper at 70mm and f4! Both are great but really the 70-200 is just insane. I didnt think 10D files could get so sharp and detailed.

I recently used my 70-200 f4L in a fashion show to shoot runway action adn even with lights in the frame pointing directly into the lens! i got pics with great sharpness/color and contrast! amazing. In about 3000 images I took in 3 days only a few had tiny flare ruin a part of it/ Most were shot at 1/200 sec and f4 @ iso 800. I was so pleased with the results, this lens is a keeper. Really a lens with legendary performance.