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Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM

ef_28-105_35
Review Date: Nov 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Suprisingly sharp, decent contrast, decent range, decent build, inexpensive but not cheap.
Cons:
None at this price point!

I recommended this to my girlfriend who was buying a digital rebel, based on other reviews. I'm really picky about lenses, corner sharpness etc. On both the rebel and the 5d this lens is really quite impressive for the price! I was a little surprised to see corner to corner sharpness, and excellent detail using this on my 5d.

Nothing about the lens blows your socks off, but in the $200 range I don't think you can find a better all round performer. Really a pretty incredible value for your dollar.


 
Canon EOS 5D

5d_586x225_2_
Review Date: Mar 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Full frame! DOF is back! 12MP, build quality, big LCD, full size view finder.
Cons:
Pricey!

I'm upgrading from a 20d, and shoot landscapes, or static things most of the time. I shot with some nikon bodies when I was a kid and just used whatever my parents or uncle handed me, and then got back into photography when the 10d came out. Something always felt lacking in the overall feel of the 10d and the 20d, and I'm postive that it's the lack of the full frame.

The first big surprise was how much better the image quality was. I just took a picture of a friend's cat, and some of the hairs were literally one pixel wide zoomed in at 100%. That's sharp! The big surprise for me (and I'm sure this is obvious to the pros), was how much depth of field you lose on a cropped camera. Maybe it's not "lost", but it really does work differently on a cropped camera, I'm sure somebody knows the technical reason, but anyway, after using my lenses on a full frame body, I know that I'll never want to shoot with another 1.6 cropped body again, just for the DOF difference alone. Ah yes, and the viewfinder. It's back! You don't have to squint anymore. It doesn't quite have the magic that some old film body viewfinders do, but it's a HUGE step up from the 20d in my opinion.

Only downside is the price. $2500 seems more like what it should cost in my head. Not quite sure why. But despite that, between the easier composition, better DOF, faster more accurate auto focus, higher resolution, bigger LCD and better per pixel image quality, it's an absolutely spectacular camera.


 
Canon Speedlite 420EX TTL

CA420EXU_1_
Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Much more powerful than the built in flash on 20D. Tilt, swivel, cheap. Not as flimsy as I imagined once attached to the camera. Quite a deal if you get one used.
Cons:
Battery door does indeed suck. No manual controls.

Only real dissapointment was that despite the fact that I didn't think I needed manual controls, the very first thing I wanted to do was manually fire the flash a few times. Although I've been photographing for coming on 10 years now, I've never done any flash photography, so when I finally got the hang of getting at least some control over the flash, I was really impressed at the power of it. For the discerning flash photographer I'm sure this is the bottom of the barel, but for someone like me who has only used available light, suddenly being able to light objects from 30 feet away is pretty neat!