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Canon EOS 6D

canon6D
Review Date: Feb 5, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, price, weight
Cons:
Quite slow

Hello all,

I bought this body as a secondary body. Since I am only shooting full frame, I was happy not having to invest in another Canon 5D Mark III.

I have been very surprised by the quality of this body. I remember that I cannot get used to the 7D but I immediately fell in love with the 6D. Here is why.

1) Weight. If you do wildlife of landscape, each opportunity to save some weight is really welcome and note just a "nice to have" feature. The Canon 6D is really small but still totally pleasant to use.

2) Image quality is top notch. I don't make a big difference between this body and my 5D III.

3) GPS is not something I use since It really sucks the juice of the battery very fast. So I cannot comment on this.

4) Being able to take a picture from far away using the Wifi and an iPhone is really nice to have.

5) On the downsize, the camera is a bit slow, this is why I am not using it much for wildlife, but a lot more for Landscapes.

Many images are available on my website have been shot with the 6D.
http://www.emmanuelrondeau.com/

And a full view at my current gear setup:
http://www.emmanuelrondeau.com/equipment/

Best regards,
Emmanuel.


 
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD SP

Screen_Shot_2013-11-15_at_10_26_09_AM
Review Date: May 28, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, VC, range, aperture, build quality
Cons:
82mm filter (but not much to do about it)

Hi all,

For me, this lens might be the best lens ever for DSLR videos, period.

Pro Wildlife Photographers and filmmaker, this is the first 3rd party lens I bought in my life. I had so many bad experience using such lens from friends that I never thought I was going to get one myself. That was before I tested this one from Tamron.

- Image quality is very high. I won't compare with the 24-70 II f/2.8 from Canon but it is definitely very good and not something you should be scared about when thinking about this lens for photography and even less for video.
- Build quality is high, you don't have the feeling of holding something cheap, Tamron put some love into the making.
- VC is surprisingly silent. I need to spend some more time but I feel I can even use a mic on the hot shoe WHILE using the VC to stabilize the shot.
- 24-70 f/2.8 + VC on a 5D III (or 6D) is a blast, there is just almost no shot you can miss, I'm honestly amazed by the power of this setup.

To see images and videos, you can visit my website there:
http://www.emmanuelrondeau.com
or join me on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Emmanuel-Rondeau-videographerphotographer/145623818827657

Best,
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

5DIIIs
Review Date: May 28, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, AF, image quality
Cons:
price, not 100% weather sealed

Wildlife pro photographer, this camera is my workhorse. Who said 5Ds where not for wildlife photographers?

Twice faster than the 5D II, the 5D III is my primary camera on the field (usually along a Canon 6D). On specific project I'm sometime using a 1D X but since I always carry everything on my back, I happen to work a lot more with the 5D III that can pretty much do it all, except really fast moving subject (like an eagle fishing).

The huge difference from the 5D II to the 5D III is the AF + the 6fps burst mode, that is really making it suitable for wildlife.

I'm totally satisfied with the quality of the camera, the only thing I would like in the future is:
- 100% weather sealing is really too much to ask for a 3000$+ camera?
- Higher Mpx count, look at what the D800e is capable of doing.
- More frame per second in video mode to get better slow motion video or even Raw video (I'm also wildlife filmmaker).
- Some kind of internal ND filter (again, for video).

You can check my work right there, Costa Rica, Kenya, USA, pretty much everything is done with 5Ds:
http://www.emmanuelrondeau.com

Best,
Emmanuel.



 
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

70-300mm
Review Date: May 1, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, weight, IS, sharpness, weather sealing
Cons:
Lock button not lockable anywhere else than 70mm, outer focus

Hi all,

I bought this lens to replace a 70-200 f/4 IS L. I was REALLY happy with this lens but 200mm was too short for me on many occasions + adding a X1.4 was making me loose the 70mm, which I tend to use a lot, so I went for this new 70-300.

Here is the pros :
- Really nice build quality.
- I was concerned at the beginning because the zoom/focus rings are in the opposite way that they are usually (typically on the 70-200s) but finally it works pretty well.
- Image quality, at my own surprise, is comparable to the 70-200.
- Weather sealed, I already took some showers, and the lens is fine.
- No need to use the locker, it doesn't move around and zoom by itself.
- Size, it can fit in a bag in the same position than a 17-40, heading up, this is really cool and saves some room.
- IS, I shot ibex at dawn at 1/25 of a second, no problem.

Here are the cons:
- I would have like to be able to lock the lens at 300mm.
- Outer focus, the more you zoom, the bigger is the lens...but I guess it's the price to pay for having this size.
- Maybe a bit pricy.

Here are samples pictures (except wide shots, everything is shot with this lens) :
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com/?p=1464
And check my gallery :
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com/

All the best,
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV

canon1dmarkiv
Review Date: Apr 27, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: jump from 10MP to 16MP, new screen (to judge detail immediately), and video.
Cons:
No change on weight, could do better in high ISO ?

For my last trip, Canon kindly provided a Canon 1D Mark IV. I was used to 1D Mark III so I can compare both cameras pretty easily and judge the gap between the bodies. Weather sealing is not a joke, trust me the Mark IV and I went trough hell in the tropical forest, 100% of humidity every day, the Mark IV has been dripping for hours ! However, every nights, the camera was sleeping in a weatherproof case with tons of silica gel.

Here are my takes on the main changes from the Mark III to Mark IV :
- Obvious but important, the gap from 10MP to 16. It may sounds like something not that important for some but for me it’s a big thing since I like big print (30 inches – 80cm – and above) for exhibition. I think it is a nice number of megapixel for an APS-H sensor size, it give f/9.1 as diffraction limited aperture, so basically, above f9.1, we’re “loosing pixels”.
- The screen (and the menu), like the one of the 5DII of 7D, is a joy to use. OK, this is not the most important thing in the world, but still, when you spend 20 days looking at a 3 inches screen, you want it to be good.
- I couldn’t really test the new AF system, since in the majority of the case with action I only used the center point in AI Servo, and it acted pretty well.
- Something I really like ? basically NO changes in the buttons positions, this is very important, especially when you pick up the camera 24 hours before starting your coverage (!).
- ISO sensibility is better but it didn’t blow my mind.
- Battery life is really good on 1D cameras, I could have made the entire coverage with only 4 batteries.

Things I would like to see in the next release :
- Please Canon don’t change the video command on each camera ! the way to record on a 5D II is different from the way you do it on a 7D and different from the way you do it with a 1D IV.
- Couldn’t we think about a new system to change AF mode ? I would like a very fast system with only one button, and also I would like this information to be in the viewfinder, instead of like the battery check or the JPEG icon…
- Something I would love ? a Nikon’s like system where you can change the sensor size on the go, like shooting at full frame at 25MP and then being able to shoot in the APS-H format at 16MP.
- 1.4kg (including the battery) is too much, not sure how to fix that though…
- Better integration of the video feature, for now it really looks like a last minute feature.
More video features, for a start I would like 1080/60p.

Check my blog and gallery for samples :
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com

All the best,
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EOS 1D Mark III

1DmkIII
Review Date: Oct 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: AF, Build quality, Speed, Feeling in hand
Cons:
10PM only, just a bit heavy, screen

Hi all,

As you all know, EOS 1D serie is the flagship Canon's serie. With the ESO 1D Mark III, Canon completely revamped it.

This camera is all about speed and build quality, don't buy it for anything else. If you need gorgeous image quality, rather go for a 5D II (about same price), but if you need an unsinkable tank that can take any job in any kind of weather, it's your choice, best for the money.

Hey, remember that a lot of people paid 4500$ for this body. I think that it goes very well with a 5D II, each bringing their specialty and creating a nice and well balanced kit.

As usual, here are my detailed pros and cons :
+ 10 fps is a nightmare in post but a dream for action shots. Even just for this feature, this camera worth it.
+ Build quality, weather sealing. I shot on heavy rain with it, no problem at all.
+ Double card (CF + SD), clearly nice to have.
- Well, 10MP don't leave much for cropping.
- In regards of latest sensors capacity, high ISO are not great.
- I would like more possibility in AF adjustments.
- Screen is a bit old, no way to use it for checking if something is sharp.

Need examples/samples ?
All wildlife and action shots are taken with the 1D on this story:
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com/index.php?mod=project_watcher&proj=7
Also check my blog for behind the scene tips.
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com/

Best regards,
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

ef50mmf_14usm_1_
Review Date: Jul 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: lightweight, sharp from f/2.5, Price is right for the quality
Cons:
A bit soft at full aperture

Hi all,

I'm mostly doing travel and wildlife photography. For me, the quality/weight ratio is truly important. Portrait is not my speciality but occasionally, to complete a coverage by some people living in the environment I'm documenting, I like to take candid portraits with just the ambient light.

Here are the cons and pros of the lens.

Pros:
+ Light as a feather, but still, not ridiculous as the 50mm f/1.8.
+ Build quality is decent. I've been several times testing a 50 f/1.8 and not only I found it super soft, but I was also really disappointed with the awful build quality (but still decent for 80$...), it is almost impossible to manual focus with the f/1.8 version.
+ Image quality is good, even though it could be better for a 350$ lens.
+ Autofocus is fine, I do have been able to focus in difficult lighting conditions. At least it's better than say, a EF-S 17-85mm.

Cons:
- I would like it to be sharper. That's actually why I finally switched to the 85mm f/1.2 II which is a LOT sharper but also a LOT heavier.
- No weather sealing.

So I'm personally waiting for a version II of this lens since I recently sold my 85mm f/1.2. If I really needed a lens for portraiture I wouldn't hesitate and buy a used version of this lens, it just can't a bad choice.

If you need sample of pictures took with the 50mm (and with many other lenses), just check my blog and gallery:
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com

Photo shoot in Paris, only with the 50mm f/1.4:
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com/?p=308

All the best !
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

ef100_400l_1_
Review Date: Jun 9, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range, IS, AF, fastness to go from 100 to 400, 77mm
Cons:
No weather sealed, Image quality doesn't match 70-200 telephoto.

Hi everybody,

I've been using this lens for a period of 3 years and really loved it. I'm now using a CANON 500mm f/4 IS and a 70-200 f/4 IS, mainly because I needed a longer focal and the extra image quality.

Here is my take on this lens.

Pros:
+ Versatility. With this lens on your body, you can do pretty much everything (well, except wide shot..): landscape, wildlife, portrait and even some kind of macro.
+ Being able to go from 100mm to 400mm on the same lens allow you to get some really unusual shots, like you can work on a typical portrait, and then get a dramatic close-up, thing that you would maybe haven't done if you had to change the lens.
+ IS. I've never used this lens with a tripod. Even if it's not the best IS ever seen, it is clearly enough considering the amazing ISO performance of our body nowadays.
+ 77mm, just take the filters from your 10-22 or 17-40 and you're good to go.
+ With a X1.4 converter and a piece of tape, you can keep the AF working, you'll find more on that on the web.

Cons:
- Some say that the push/pull zoom system is gathering dust…I've never experienced the problem myself.
- Weight. I would have maybe kept this lens if it was half the weight it is. I just can't hike with the 500mm AND the 100-400L.
- Image quality is perfectible.

This lens is a must have for those who can't afford/don't want a 500mm. It is incredibly versatile and can be used in an amazing number of situations (perfect zoo lens, kayak lens…etc..).

Need real world examples ? just check my blog and gallery:
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com

Thanks,
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

EF10-22
Review Date: Jun 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Nice build quality, autofocus, range, 77mm diameter
Cons:
Purple fringing, distortion

Hi everybody,

I've been using this lens for a period of 3 years, mainly on a 40D and I loved it (and also rarely hated it, more on that later). I'm now using a 5D II + 17-40L.

Pros:
+ Great range. Even though I would have prefer a 10-35mm or something like that. That kind of focal can provide the unique look you're looking after and in the same time can provide a classic FF 35mm.
+ Autofocus is great (USM). People are sometime saying that it doesn't matter to have good AF on a wide angle lens, they're wrong, try to photograph a person running in front of you, you'll understand.
+ 77mm diameter, a classic at Canon, compatible with 70-200 f/2.8, 100-400...etc..
+ Build quality. You clearly understand that it is part of the best EF-S lenses.

Cons:
- Purple Fringing. I sometime spent a lot of time post processing my pictures to get rid of this hideous purple fringing.
- Distortion on the edge at 10mm is huge but it's clearly understandable, even though I would have liked it to see it better.

Other things:
- I would strongly recommend to use thin B+W filters to avoid vignetting.
- If I still needed a wide angle lens for an APS-C camera, I will clearly buy this one.
- Get a lens hood, this lens is sensitive to flare + it can protect your front lens. With wide angle lens, any scratch on the front lens can affect image quality!

I strongly encourage you to check my gallery and blog to see real world examples (especially landscape and architecture work) :
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com

Thanks !
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EOS 40D

40d
Review Date: Jun 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,195.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great sensor, great value for the money, 6.5 img/sec, built-in flash
Cons:
Well, no real cons, just consequences of the price and generation : No movie mode, no weather sealing, low rez screen, AF

Hi everybody,

I've been using this body as my primary body for wildlife for many trips. It never failed on me except some minor issues which I will discuss later. This body is today a very good value for the money, you can find it used at 500$ on the web.

Pros:
+ 10Mpx is really great for an APS-C camera. Diffraction starts only at f/9.3, which is fine with me (compared to the 7D, which starts to diffract at f/6.8) given the fact that when shooting wildlife, I'm rarely closing more than f/9 since I need fast shutter speed.
+ Screen is low rez (230k pixels) but large, so you don't feel like you have a hundred years old camera between the hands and you can review your pictures without getting a headache.
+ 6.5 img/sec is decent.
+ Liveview can be sometime very cool, to accurately focus or (sometime I found incredibly useful) to digitally zoom into a specific area to check something that you can't see with your binoculars or naked eyes.
+ APS-C sensors don't get as much dust as large sensors and they are handy for distant wildlife.
+ Built-in flash, cool when you just can't get your 580EX II because it's 100 yards away in the car...

Cons:
- No weather sealing, sometime, after a humid shoot, one of the button was just stopping to work for an hour or so (...). Having said that, the 40D is one of the most reliable camera I ever used (especially compared to the 5D II for example).
- No movie mode, but do you really need it ?
- Autofocus not really made for action.

As I said, I shot a great number of images with this camera, I strongly encourage you to check my blog and gallery for real world samples :
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com

I sold this lovely camera 2 months ago because (and only because) I needed to have a second video capable camera (to go with my 5D II).

Thanks,
Emmanuel.


 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5DII_1_
Review Date: May 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Image quality, video capable, LCD screen, high ISO performance
Cons:
No weather sealing, only 2.9img/s ?

A lot of stuff to say on this body. I'm using it as my primary body for landscape and I found it complementary with a fast body (7D or 1D III) for wildlife.

Pros:
+ Outstanding image quality for the money. Diffraction is coming in the place after f/10.3 which is fine and far better than the 7D (f/6.8).
+ Very good video quality.
+ The LCD screen really let you judge the sharpness of your picture.
+ Full Frame, you get your L wide angle lens back !

Cons:
- Large sensor = very sensitive to dust, much more than the APS-C camera in my experience. The automatic dust removal system is working fine but it doesn't remove everything far from that.
- Somewhat not very reliable, it failed me a couple of time and I had it fix by Canon.
- I'd have liked a more robust CF door.
- AF is not its specialty, but no a big thing for me as I'm not using it for fast moving subject. This camera is really not made for action.

As a nature photographer, I couldn't think about using anything else than a 5D II for landscape. The lack of weather sealing is clearly a problem for my kind of usage so I'm very careful about how I'm using it. However, this body is the only one from the Canon line that can provide me FF+video, the 1DsIV will come ultimately but I'm not planning to invest 8k on a body anytime soon.

If you want to see real world sample taken in the field, check my website and blog:
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com


 
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

ef_100_28_1_
Review Date: May 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: A bargain, sharp image, build quality, large and nice focusing ring
Cons:
maybe a bit heavy

If you want to jump into macro photography without making your banker angry and making compromise in image quality, this lens is the perfect choice, here is why:

- Almost half the price of the IS version (and even more if you get a nice used one).
- Very good image quality, L rated.
- Nice build quality.
- A joy to use the very large focusing ring.
- Pretty good for portrait too.

A couple of things:
- Don't think about doing macro photography without flash! I'm personally using a 580EX II + pocketwizard.
- Prefer close-up lens (like the Canon 250D) than extension tubes, because they are much more easier to use (no need to get the lens out of the body) and you don't loose any light.

If you need real world samples, just check my website and blog:
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com

Emmanuel.


 
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ef17-40_4l_1_
Review Date: May 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lightweight, range, weather sealing, price, 77mm diameter
Cons:
no IS, a bit soft and the edges

Along with the 70-200 f/4 IS L, this lens is always in my backpack when I'm doing travel photography, here is why:

- Lightweight, you basically don't feel it in your backpack.
- Weather sealed when used with a filter.
- Very fast autofocus.
- No purple fringing like I used to have with my Canon EF-S 10-22mm.
- Distortion is moderate.
- Has 77mm filter diameter, with is the case for a lot of Canon lenses.

Its biggest competitor is the Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 II (or I) but I personally don't need f/2.8 with this kind of travel around lens. If I want a nice bokeh at a short focal, I will use my 35mm f/1.4.

If you want to see real situation samples, just check my blog and website:
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com

Emmanuel.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

ef70-200lisusm
Review Date: May 25, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, weight, price, weather sealing
Cons:
67mm diameter

This lens is a must to have for people doing landscape and wildlife.

- Lightweight (nearly half the weight of the 2.8 version), it will fit in any backpack.
- Perfect focal on a full frame for landscape and perfect focal on a APS-C camera for close wildlife.
- Its complete weather sealing makes it resistant to harsh weather, which is a must for people going out.
- Works pretty well with X1.4 converter.
- Outstanding image quality, even on demanding 21mp camera body.
- Very efficient IS, sharp image at 1/15 of a second, useful for wildlife at dawn, when you need to keep moving and can't use a tripod.

For all these reasons, I'd strongly recommend this lens over the 2.8 version if you already got something for portrait (typically a luminous 50mm f/1.4 or better).

I suggest to check my website and blog for samples, most of the wild trips I'm doing are done with this lens in my bag.
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com

Emmanuel.


 
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM

ef500mmf_4_1_
Review Date: May 19, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Amazing image quality, Really useful IS, Good with teleconverters, Shallow Depth of field
Cons:
Price, weight.

Buying a 500mm is always a commitment, weather you are a professional or not. You really got to need the extra 100mm for deciding to go for the 500mm instead of a considerably cheaper 100-400. However, once you get it, you realized why prime telephotos are so unique.
1) Image quality: You will be amazed by the difference between a 500mm and a 100-400 or even a 400f/4 + extender.
2) Depth of field: f/4 at 500mm produces a very shallow depth of field, it enables you to reveal your subject on a complete blurry background.
3) IS: I've been able to use it handheld in quite a few situations where something happened and I wasn't quite ready (tripod) and it worked flawlessly.
4) Weight: The reason why I went for the 500mm instead of the 600mm is clearly weight. The 500mm is (at least for me) clearly manageable for a hike on my shoulder (or backpack) but the 600mm is not. Even if the difference between those two lenses is not that huge, it DOES makes a difference.
5) Weather sealing: rain ? who cares ? just focus on the subject, the lens is taking care of the rest.
6) Good with TC: I'm using it 80% of the time with a X1.4 II and it works very well. We do loose a bit of sharpness (despite some people are saying), it is noticeable but the result is still really clean.

I use this lens with a GITZO 3540 tripod, a Markins M20 ballhead and a Wimberley Sidekick, only for wildlife phography.

A picture worth a million words ? check my website for samples: www.emmanuelrondeau.com


 
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Dec 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality (sharpness, bokeh), Build quality, colors
Cons:
Noisy focusing ring, extending front element, heavy, expensive

Yes, I'm recommending this lens, what else can we do in front of such an amazing product ?

One of the thing that impressed me the most in this lens is the sharpness, even at f/1.2, the result is very satisfying.

Some thoughts:
- I've used this lens on both small sensor Cameras (40D) and FF ones (5D) and I liked the lens much more on the FF cameras. For some reasons I was getting the focus wrong at f/1.2 with the 40D almost each time. The only way to get proper focus was to use LiveView and to zoom all the way into where I wanted to make the focus and then do the focus manually. With FF Camera, I'm not experiencing such problem, and I like the range much more.
- I'm also using this lens for video, it performs great but one bad thing is that the motorized focusing ring is kind of noisy, don't place the mic next to it or you'll be disappointed.

For example of pictures taken with this lens:
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com/?p=375

Thanks,
Emmanuel.