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  Reviews by: Martyn Frankli  

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Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

Review Date: Jun 22, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: See below

Well here's something...

I wrote a review of this camera two years ago nearly, see two reviews below.

If you read that one my main points were the top of my list was image quality. I considered the 5D RAW image files to be better than the 1DS MK2.

So... here I am two years later to follow up the review below. I think two years of use is fairly good experience to comment further.

Facts: I still have the 1Ds MK2 I reviewed below. Its a wonderful camera and I can forgive the parts of it that are a pain, which really are just the small screen and two button appraoch to everything.

I'm back here to say that every time I have processed the RAW files from the 1D I have always thought, you know, these are not as clean as the 5D RAW files. The 5D RAWS needed ZERO processing most of the time, only a clone or a crop to remove operator error. I rarely ever had to sharpen a 5D image either! Shooting RAW remember... so no sharpening really needed shows are great its RAWS are.

I have missed the 5D every day for the last two years, so much that today, I just bought another 5D mk1 :O.

I will state here and now the 1DS MK2 is a superb body, it does everything I ask of it and it is one hell of a camera, I love it. The images are fantastic, this body is a legend for sure.

I have bought another 5D mk1 becase I have missed the small size of the 5D too, small when compared to the 1DS MK2. If I was to go on holidays the thought of taking the 1Ds mk2 is not plesant, the charger, batteries and size of it are not discreet.

So I think I now have the very, very best of both worlds. The legend that is the 1DS mk2 and the small and ultra clean beautiful files from the 5D mk1.

Two different tools for different jobs. Couldn't live without either of them now.

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO MACRO HSM

Review Date: Oct 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, 2.8, sharp, price, build, operation
nothing at all.

Here I am reviewing the original version. The 2.8 EX. Its not the DG version, its not the OS version and its not a macro lens.

1) The price of this lens is way too cheap!
2) It can produce extremely good images, as good as my Canon 70-200 f/4 non is. No, infact better because you have an extra stop.
3) Focus is spot on, no front or back focus issues on both a 5D mk1 and 1ds MK2

I bought this off ebay spur of the moment as it was way too cheap! and I could do with a cheap and disposable 2.8 that I didn't have to care about getting wet or damaging. It was bought as a throw away, non white (L) discreet lens. I had low expectations really as the lens was too cheap to be good right?


Since owning this and seeing how good it is, I started to read reviews of it and noticed a trend... many times I have read the old version (this version) is much better than the newer DG macro version and even the new OS version. Hard to believe but it does indeed seem to be spot on 100% true.

Enough rambling, here's the evidence, 95% of the images in this set are this Sigma lens:[email protected]/sets/72157624956389241/

Summary, if you get the chance to grab this original version, get it. Stupid cheap and punching way, way above it price!

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II

Review Date: Aug 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: See below

The purpose of my review here is to assist owners of the 5D MK1 considering this body.

Having spent weeks trawling the net for the differences between the 1DS mk2 and the 5D, is it an upgrade in image quality or

not etc? I could not really find all the answers I needed. I then knew I had to use my lenses in my style on both bodies side

by side, I couldn't hire a mk2 so in the end the only option left of buying one to get personal questions answered was my

only choice left.

All that I am concerned about is image quality, anything else comes second to me personally. As much as I would like sensor

cleaning, micro lens adjustment, live view, they come second to image quality to me. I could not afford to buy what I really

wanted, the 5D mk2, so the option of selling my 5D and paying the difference to a 1DS MK2 was my best option.

I've shot 5D mk1 and primes for the last two years and taken about 20,000 images so I am quite used to the quality the 5D and

primes can produce.

My biggest question was does the 1DS MK2 produce a higher quality image that the 5D mk1? I can now say the answer from my

experience using both bodies with the same lenses is no, it does not beat the image quality of the 5D mk1. BUT... it does

pretty much match it.

So, question answered! the 1DS mk2 is not an upgrade over the 5D MK1. If thats all you need to know, there's the answer (from

my experience). The MK2 equals the 5D image quality, doesn't better it.

So am I selling this immaculate, mk2 that doesn't have a mark on it? a body that has 10,000 shuter actuations only, a body

that you cannot distinguish from a brand new body? I don't know yet...I am still on the fence... why? well if it matches my

5d on image quality, does it have any features that I consider are reasons to keep it and sell my loved 5d?

Yes, maybe it does.... so if you are on the fence about doing this upgrade path or not, then here are some reasons I found to

keep the 1DS MK2:

Weather sealing, to me thats a plus point as I do shoot in the rain (the 5D used a rain cover)
45 point auto focus and metering tied to focus point.
It shoots MORE images before the buffer fills compared to the 5d mk1 (I shoot RAW)
Vertical shooting, rather than having to add a battery grip to the 5d
Its a pro body, it'll last no matter what you ask it to do.
100% view finder, thats as good as it gets.
Voice notes, thats really quite useful indeed.

Those are the great points that give you more over a 5D mk1.

Ok, only fair I list the points that are not as enjoyable compared to the 5d mk1:
Terrible small screen, the 5D screen is not good, this one is smaller.
The batteries, 5d batteries are cheap as chips, small and light 1DS mk2 batteries are not small.
I'll say it here as a slight negative, the mk2 images produce slightly more noise than the 5d. The 5d images iso 800>1600 are

actually really very good, the 1d are not quite as good, almost....but not quite as good as the 5d.

Some other notes. The weight of the 1DS MK2, many people have said how heavy it is. I have no problem at all, its not that

heavy, honestly, its not heavy, it feels good and solid. Size, my 5d and battery grip are maybe a tiny bit bigger than the

mk2! One thing that will drive me mad short term until I get used to it. The STUPID two buttons to change anything!! that

drives me crazy!! YES, yes, I know pro's in the thick of it will say its good becuase it stops accidental changes in

settings. To me, its a royal pain in the.... in a months time no doubt I'll be saying, oh well, no big deal it is what it is,

I've adapted.

So there it is, I hope this insight of the two bodies side by side with the same lenses helps you if you are reading this

with the same questions I had.

Will I be keeping this pristine 1DS mk2 in favour of my 5D mk1? I'll answer that in a month from now! I'm going to run the 1D

for a month and then make a decison which body I'll keep.