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  Reviews by: Zander Alberts  

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Canon EOS 1D Mark II

Review Date: Nov 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $980.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: AF, FPS, VF, ergonomics, vertical grip, build, battery life, colors, AWB, high ISO
Strongish AA filter, large batteries

Even after using the 1D Classic, all I can say is WOW! This is another wonderful offering from the 1 series line that I know I can depend on. I am a newspaper shooter and need the reliability of this product - and it offers all I need. The AF is always spot on, the AWB is so much better than the 1D, 8.5 fps to get the shot. The ergonomics are wonderful - help balance out heavy lenses. The built in grip is so much nicer that the BG-E2 I had with my 40D. The zoomable image playback is nice after the 1D as well. Colors are great straight out of the camera. Battery life is excellent, way better than the 1D. High ISO noise is fairly comparable to the 40D, with the 40D having the edge.

My only gripes are that the NP-E3s are large and heavy to carry around, and that the files are not nearly as sharp out of cam as the 1D's. A little USM fixes that though.

All in all, an amazing camera, especially at the prices they have been going for recently.

Canon EOS 1D

Review Date: Aug 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: AF, handling, fps, viewfinder, built in vertical grip, CFs, file size, great IQ, create folders in camera, 1/16,000 shutter, 1/500 flash sync, price/performance ratio.
Battery life, noise at high ISOs, file size, no image playback zoom.

This is a true piece of engineering that deserves the 1 series label. For the prices these are going for, they are truly a bargain. The AF performance is simply top notch and is incredibly fast and accurate even in very low light and contrast situations. The weight is definately something to get used to, especially when it's coupled with a telephoto lens, but it is very nice feeling in the hands and inspires a sort of confidence I never got with my 20D.

The high ISO noise is definately there, but with a good NR program, the files clean up very well, reatining a good amount of detail. The 8 fps is simply amazing, I nearly dropped the camera when I first heard it. The lack of LCD zoom and mediocre battery life are only inconveniences, not reasons to not get this camera. For the prices these are going for, there should be nothing stopping you from getting one. After some more testing I will post an updated review.

For now, the verdict is: buy one now!!!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Jan 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap! Very sharp, even wide open, portable, small, decently fast focus
Build quality, MF ring tiny

For the price, this lens should be in every shooter's bag. The sharpness and overall image quality is excellent, and still good wide open. On a crop body, (I have a Rebel XT) this lens is great for portraits (80mm) as well as sports and general shooting. I have used mine mostly for shooting high school basketball, and it works like a dream. The f/1.8 coupled with 800 or 1600 ISO produces perfectly usable images. Portraits are sharp, every hair and detail stands out wonderfully.

Stop reading reviews and buy this now!