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  Reviews by: dkyeah  

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Canon EOS 1D X

Review Date: Jul 9, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid, fast and accurate AF, low light IQ,
Price, no headphone jack, batteries cost, silent shutter mode isn't very silent

Once you can forget about the price you just paid to get this camera, you can't say much except that this camera is awesome.

The body is built like a tank. In fact I even had a problem with one of my strap that "failed", and the camera dropped from my waist onto the ground. It still works and doesn't even have a scratch! So yes, the 1DX is very solid!!
The AF is great. It's fast, it's very accurate. I would just love if the points could be spread slightly wider in width and height. I still have to recompose some of my shots. Is the AF better than the 5D3? Well, in my opinion slightly. Not significantly though. It's probably due to its more "powerful" battery (which a crazy expensive btw!!).
The low light capabilities of this camera are part of why I bought it. ISO wise it's probably about 1 stop better than the 5D3. The AF also seem to hunt less in the same conditions (based on the past 10 weddings I did with both cameras). And last but not least, underexposed shots suffer less in post than those from the 5D3. You can do wonders in post with files from this camera!
I mostly shoot weddings, but I also do beauty and fashion work. Although this body isn't really meant to be used in studio, I find myself using the 1DX more than the 5D3. Some might find it stupid because the 5D has a great pixels count, is lighter and smaller. But… flash sync can go up to 1/250th instead of 1/200th. And did I tell you how much I love the files (color, contrast, grain, etc.) from this camera? I much prefer retouching files from the 1DX than those of the 5DIII.

On the bad side now. It costs a lot. Too much? I don't know. It gets the job done, that's what most important to us professional photographers. If it were 1-2k less than it's official retail price, I probably wouldn't have bought it from HK.
As I shoot some videos sometimes, I'd have loved if they could have put a headphone jack. Though I guess most people who own a 1DX can buy a 2nd camera that has a 3.5mm jack and probably don't shoot much video… That's what the 1DC is for, isn't it? Smile
Shooting weddings, I love the 5DIII for its silent mode. It is so useful for the ceremony and to get those candid shots from a very close distance. The 1DX is big, bulky and it has that very loud shutter… I love the sound of that shutter though, but it isn't the most discret one :/

Anyways, you can discover my recent work at Most of the pictures are shot with a 1DX Wink

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Mar 26, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great IQ, FF, good in low light, good video quality, awesome silent mode, great color rendering, good AF system, great grip
Flimsy built, spot metering not linked to AF points, flash sync speed of 1/200th, 2nd card is an SD, not really weather sealed, no rear curtain sync with non E-TTL flashes or triggers, no continuous AF in video mode

The positive and negative points above say it all. This camera is great but it feels like a 1D X that was restrained.
*The AF system is good but not as great as it could be (outer points aren't all that good, outer cross points don't work with every fast lense, the tracking isn't great)
*The metering isn't linked to the AF points like on the 1DX or Nikon's cameras which is quite annoying when shooting in Av or Tv
* The camera is very flimsy… The top of my mode dial came off when I took out of my camera bag… The painting is scratched on top of the camera, on the sides, in front of the shutter release and below…
* The flash sync is good but why not push it to 1/250th like on the 1DX?
* The 2nd card option is a great addition, but having SD card in makes the camera write pictures reallllllly slowly… Forget about sport photography if you have an SD card in for backup
* Nikon has the possibility of activating rear curtain sync with PW and such triggers, but Canon still doesn't have it… I don't get that

Don't get me wrong, this is an great camera, but I just feel like Canon misses a few points to make it great. Might be just a marketing strategy to sell more MKIV though…

Feel free to visit my blog if you'd like to see how it performs in different scenarios (studio, weddings, sport, concerts, etc.):

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Review Date: Mar 26, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Weather sealing, fast and accurate AF, not so expensive anymore
Less sharp than the newer version, heavy

While the newer version is noticeably sharper, this lens is very good. You can get it on eBay for quite cheap. If you shoot sport or wedding this is a must have lens. Though I must say, I tend to use more and more my 85mm 1.2 instead of this lens for most of my work. I still use my 70-200 when I need faster AF or a longer focal.
When I'll update it, I'm might take a look at the 135mm f/2. As it is lighter, smaller and has a 1 stop advantage, though it's not stabilized.Will see.

If you want to see how it performs in low light, check the following link. It's a wedding runway I shot for a magazine and the 70-200 2.8 IS was perfect for that job:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM

Review Date: Mar 26, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good AF, built like a tank, weather sealed, 2.8
Not sharp enough, can't use all cross points of the 5DIII, somewhat loose AF and zoom rings

I love this zoom range but this lens just isn't sharp enough for my taste. It is often soft, especially wide open. When used in studio at f/8 of f/11 it's fine but when shooting wedding where I shoot mostly at f/2.8, f/3.2 or f/4.0 it just doesn't cut it.
I prefer my 16-35mm 2.8 II for the wider focal range and either use the 85mm 1.2 or the 70-200 IS 2.8 for the longer zoom range.
I look forward to trying the 24-70 2.8 II. I've heard only good things about it unlike this version. The 24-70 2.8 almost makes me want to switch to primes only.

You can find sample images of a wedding I mostly shot with the 24-70mm 2.8 and a little bit with the 70-200 2.8 IS :

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Mar 26, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good AF, quite sharp, internal zoom, smooth AF and zoom rings, weather sealed
Not as good as Nikon 14-24 2.8, CA under some conditions

Since I bought this lens my 24-70 2.8 stays at my studio most of the time when I'm out shooting weddings. It's noticeably sharper than my 24-70 2.8 and slightly less imposant/heavy. Though it's built like a tank and weather sealed.
I hesitated with the 17-40 because of the price, well I don't regret buying this lens, especially as 2.8 can come in really handy when shooting inside.

If you want to see sample images, you can go to this link: All of the pictures were shot either with the 16-35mm 2.8 II or the 85mm 1.2.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Review Date: Mar 26, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Price, size, sharpness
Construction, AF, durability, no weather sealing

I bought this lens about a year ago in the hope of replacing my 50 1.8 which was too loud for wedding photography. The first few days I was pretty excited about it, it worked great. Though it's not stellar and not an L lens by any means, for less than 500$ it was quite good.
Then I took it out with me on a wedding and things didn't go as expected… Most of the shots were either front or back focused depending on how far the subject was. For example if I shot an environmental portrait the lens would front focus and if I shot something closeup it would back focus… So MAF wasn't an option. I tried to shoot with smaller apertures, but it didn't change a thing. I sent it back to Canon under warranty and they changed the AF motor. It worked for about a week or two and then the problems started again.

I can't wait for Sigma to get their new 50mm 1.4 Art Serie out! I will then decide if I get the Sigma or the 1.2. Will see, but either way the 1.8 is a better option than the 50 1.4, except for the loudy AF.

I've shot the following wedding mostly with the 50mm 1.4 if you want to see sample images. The one display on the link are in focus though :P

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: Dec 10, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely sharp, wonderful bokeh, very precise AF, great colors and contrast
Quite expensive, speciality lens, slow AF, electronic AF, not weather sealed, rear element can easily be scratched

The 85mm 1.2 clearly isn't for everyone.

Sure it has an amazing bokeh, it renders colors and contrast like no other lens, it's AF is very precise and it sharpness... let's say it's sharp like no other lens. If you shoot fashion with it you will spend a little more time in Photoshop because it so sharp!

However it comes with a few flaws… It seems like a very solid lens but it's not even weather sealed and the rear element is right on the surface of the lens (no border). It makes it very easy to scratch when mounting the lens.
Then there is the AF system. It's very precise (it'd better be when focusing at f/1.2) but slowish. If you need to focus from infinity to the closest distance, it will take about 1-2 seconds. With almost 2lbs of glass to move it is easy to understand why it's not so fast… Though it can be annoying if you shoot fast paced subjects (weddings, sports, events, etc.). Add to this fact that the AF is electronic (can't be used when the camera is switched off and no "mechanic feeling/response" when turning the focus ring) and you see why so many don't like the focus system of the 85mm L.

It surely is a wonderful lens. It's just not for everyone. I love to use it for on location portraits (crazy isolation/bokeh) and for studio work (very sharp and great color/contrast rendering).

Here's a recent engagement session I shot almost entirely with it (a few of the pictures are shot with a 24-70 2.8):

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Dec 10, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: IS - Focal range - Decent built quality - Decent IQ - Affordable
Not stellar IQ - Not razor sharp - Not f/2.8

I started out with this lens on my 7D and kept it for a while when I bought my 5DIII. While on a APS-C camera it isn't wide enough to be a real walk-around lens, on a full frame camera it's quite good. The focal range is great.

The image quality is decent. It's not as sharp as the 24-70 2.8 II especially wide open. Though when stopped down it gets better.

The IS comes in handy in low light as the lens isn't f/2.8. It also might help those that shoot video.

If you shoot primarily in studio, travel, winter sports (outside) or video this will be an awesome lens. Especially if you start out and don't have the money for the 24-70 2.8 II + 70-200 2.8 IS II.

Though if you shoot weddings, concerts or natural light portraits, it will shows it flaws (f/4.0 not fast enough, not very sharp wide open, not so shallow depth of field,...).

You can find a few pictures I took with the 24-105 a few years ago on my website:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Review Date: Dec 10, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, f/1.8, decent image quality
Construction, AF noise, AF speed

This is probably the best value for money lens you cant get for your Canon DSLR.

It might not be the best lens but for about $100 you get a lens that is decently sharp with AF that works. Add in the fact that it is f/1.8 and you have a winner!

Granted it's not well built (very plasticky) and the noise of the AF will discourage any serious wedding photographer of buying it.

Photography is a hobby and you want to get that shallow depth of field look? This is the lens you should get. At $100 neither your wife nor your bank will complain you bought it .
You are serious about photography but love zooms? Get this cheap lens to add some variety in your shots!
You are serious about photography and have lots of money to spend? Go buy the 50mm f/1.2 L Wink

I own a 50mm 1.4 (Canon) but still use the 1.8 for some of my shoots, especially for events/concerts. You can find some examples of shots I captured with it mounted on my 5DIII: (most of them are shot with the 50, some with a 70-200)