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  Reviews by: MrAdventure  

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Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: May 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, Light and fast. Very good color and contrast right out of the camera. My copy is sharp wide open and gets a bit better by f/2, especially in the corners. It's actually a bit sharper than the two copies of the 50L that I've borrowed and tried out. AF is very fast, smooth and silent...when it's not broken.
The clutch breaks easily. Wish it had a ring type AF motor, but I can't say it's mad a big difference either way. Don't drop it, even on a shag carpet, the AF will go wonky with very little everyday wear and tear.

Can't beat it for the money if you want to step up in focus speed and accuracy from the 50 1.8 model. The color and sharpness of my copy is superb, it needs very little post processing if you nail the exposure right. It will resolve details no prob on everything right up to the new 5D MK2 without a hitch. You might see some issues with the 50D due to the heavier crop sensor demands. You have to really look very closely though. I had to have someone point of the slight noise issue before I noticed. I was going to sell it and try the Sigma, but I couldn't find a copy out of (3) that didn't have focusing issues beyond ten feet.

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF

Review Date: Jul 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Solid Build, Black Colour...less obvious for street shooting etc, Fast Focus, Sharpness after 2.8, Very convenient focal length
Loud Auto Focus, Slightly soft at 2.8, Lens extends during focus

I'be been using the lens for a few days now and intially, didn't like it. The loud AF really turned me off compared to my Canon EF lenses which are smooth quiet and fast.

During a shoot at an outdoor baby beauty contest though, I hardly noticed the AF noise and was quite pleased with the quality of the images I captured.

For the money this is comparable to the Canon equivalent in all areas except for AF noise.

Canon EOS 1D

Review Date: Jul 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast 45 point AF, 1.3 Crop Factor, Weather Sealed
Small LCD, Two Finger Operation of Menu System

I've been using the 1D for a few days now and shooting a variety of subjects from people, landscapes and fixed objects...not bad at all for a 4MP camera.

I needed a body that I could shoot sports and other outdoor events without worrying about rain, snow and banging around. All the buttons and switches have rubber seals and are recessed enough that they won't be catching on clothing or anything else you might brush up against. This body is built like a tank, heavy but confidence inspiring. I got used to the weight after a few hours and even came to appreciate it as compared to my old 20D and current 30D.

I read a bunch of these reviews prior to buying mine secon-hand so thing I looked for was additional batteries. To that end I got an aftermarket battery and two standard Canon units built into the price. The firmware upgrade took care of the other issue (banding) and I haven't seen anything resembling that in over 300 shots.

The two finger menu system is a bit tedious but it gets smoother for me as I get used to it. The LCD isn't as big and bright as the newer dslr's but then I set up for my shooting conditions and leave them until a situation requires a big enough change.

Compared to the 30D and 50/85mm lenses, you can't be inconspicuous at all for street shooting. This body, regardless of the lens shouts "I'm taking a picture!".

The files, which I'm sure everyone is waiting to hear about: Yes, it's a 4MP camera. The images it produces for me are meant for web, magazine and newsletter use. I doubt I will ever need to print a picture larger than 8 1/2 X 11 inches, even with the 30D (which by the way is only 5 FPS compared to the 8FPS of the 1D).

The tonal quality is great with this camera. Nail the exposure right or reasonably close and your gonna be rewarded with a file that will rez up nicely in Digital Photo Pro that Canon provides or Lightroom/Photoshop etc.

I shoot RAW so everything goes into DPP/Lightroom or PS CS3 "NEUTRAL". I then sharpen and deal with noise, if any, then tweak the colours using Levels and Curves which takes care of 95% of what I do with an image. I may use the highlight/shadows functions on very tough pictures to brighten them up a bit, but that's rare.

With a good lens attached the files are beautiful. I shoot with prime glass mostly. I have a 50mm 1.8, a 85mm 1.8, a 28-135mm IS and I've been rewarded with some very awesome images over the past few days.

Grab one of these while their hot. Add it to your kit as a backup or event camera!!