As a professional portrait photographer I don't have the money to drop on equipment like I did when this was just a hobby and I was working full time in the IT industry, so this was a big investment for me. I knew I'd pushed that 20d so far past it's limits it was getting silly, and I knew it's image quality had been sliding for a year or more, but I was still hesitant. I'd shot with a 5d before, in another photographer's studio, but didn't really see that the upgrade to that camera was as significant as to warrant the cash output. In essence I was all around hesitant to make the step and be at all let down.
I received my 5dMKII 2 days ago and took it, that evening, to my child's science fair. With the 580EX on top, I was baffled, stunned and amazed at the difference in image quality from the single very first shot, before I'd even played with a setting. Straight from the box. Because of the expanded ISO range, I was shooting at 1600 - 3200 and the background of the gym was beautifully visible, not just a lighted subject in a black void. throughout the night I continued to marvel at shots I was getting that I thought for sure wouldn't have come out on my 20d.
the next day I pulled it out as my 14 mo old was sitting in her high chair mashing food into her hair and nose and just snapped off some quick ambient light shots. Having done this particular shot hundreds of times over the last year, I was immediately floored by the increased dynamic range of the images. What was once a hard line of light was now a gradual fading around her face, what was once a black background was now the faded darkened brick of our fireplace.
Beyond that, I'd always thought I had a bad copy of my Tamron 28-70 F2.8. Now I realize I just had a camera that wasn't taking advantage of it at all. It's crisp, clean, clear, beautiful. I'm not a pixel peeper, I do this for a living, so it might not be the same quality as some particular lens, blah blah blah, but for bringing a bit of joy to a mother's face it's always been plenty. Now it's even more!
Today at noon I'm off to photograph a client's infant which will be my first paying gig with the camera. I don't think I've been this excited about a session in years!
I don't think I could write enough good things about this camera, at this point. If it came with the portrait grip built in, it'd be nirvana.
My 1 complaint, as listed above, is that with my 20d, I had a backpack full of cheap imitation batteries, all of which always worked fine, all of which were 1800ma, and lasted even longer than the canon ones, and all of which cost $15 at the most. Now we have "intelligent" batteries, and it doesn't seem like anyone has figured out how to make a real knockoff yet. There are imitations on e-bay, but they don't seem to me to be actually functioning with the new intelligent battery monitoring system and don't infact seem to be registering with the camera at all as far as battery life display goes. Boo!