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Canon EOS 1D Mark III

1DmkIII
Review Date: Jun 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Autofocus, burst speed, build quality, my menu, viewfinder..... the list goes on
Cons:
None so far. Fingers crossed for the future.

Coming from 30D then 5D. I finally made the step up to a 1 series!
I used to run a battery grip on the 5D so the size was comparable, but the build quality is on a whole new level with the 1 series.
The AF is the biggest change, I initially thought that it was a little more limiting on the 'auto' autofocus i.e. all points available, you basically get a ring, but actually all points are there when you focus. The camera actually seems to be more intelligent than the 5D too. Almost always opting to select focus on animals eyes rather than their noses.
The high speed burst is great too, but I think its going to be the amazing autofocus that will keep me happy for the longest time.
The high ISO noise is so much better than the 5D also, I would very rarely shoot higher than ISO200 on the 5D... but I actually spent a reasonable portion of yesterday shooting at 400ISO with quality akin to 125ISO on the 5D. I've certainly no complaints when it comes to image quality.
Another quick mention is the viewfinder - to my uncalibrated eye it appears to be even larger and certainly brighter than the 5D with its full frame.


 
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

ef_180_35_1_
Review Date: Aug 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, handling, image quality, ability to use TC's, reasonable fast AF when used in the >1.5m range.
Cons:
Black not White body, not weather sealed fully

I love this lens, this is the kind of lens that makes you actually want to try different types of photograhy than you would otherwise. I hate spiders and would normally kill them on sight. But now I just chase them around the house with this lens taking their portraits. Safe in the knowledge that I have a good working distance Wink
I have also been using this lens as a makeshift telephoto for sporting events such as the US GP and the Gold Cup power boat racing here in Detroit. Even used with a 1.4TC it takes very sharp images with great contrast and saturation. The only problem I have found is that it gets very hot during the course of a day shooting. Its large enough that it warrants the white coating I think.


 
Canon EOS 30D

Canon_30D
Review Date: Aug 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid feel, Good battery life, one touch controls, cropped sensor, spot metering.
Cons:
Only a 10sec self timer, a 2 sec would be useful. Have to use the menu to change the picture style.

My first DSLR, and I couldn't be happier with my choice. I looked at all the options including the Nikon D70, D200 and the Canon 5D, 1Dn. But in the end this met all my requirements apart from my desire to have a full frame sensor. My desire was misguided (often is). With Canon offering the 10-22 in their EFS line up, you can still have the extreme wide angle shots, with very low barrel distortion. But every other lens you buy is better. The 50 f1.4 works out to be an 80 f1.4, making it the perfect portrait lens but about 1/10th of the cost of the 80 f1.2L and about 1/3rd of the weight. The the zooms, my 24-105 is more like a 40-180 and even better, you are only using the centre sweet spot of the lens. With telephotos, the 1.6 crop factor is a huge benifit also. The lack of short self timer is the only failing I have found, and that is easily solved using a cable release. I also liked the Nikon D200, the build quality is superb but I didn't like the multiple buttons to activate features.
Nikons also seem to have a tighter lens mount than canons, but it doesn't appear to affect the quality of the images, just an annoyance.