I’m never one to race out and get the latest high tech gizmo. My strategy is to wait and let the bugs get worked out and for the price to drop by two thirds. I keep at least two steps back, if not ten, from the bleeding edge in technology. It took me forever to even consider digital photography as a viable force in my life.
But I wanted an alternative to the boat anchor (the Canon 1Ds Mark II) that is my current main camera. I've come to terms with the camera, though I don't like it. It makes fantastic files. But it is so heavy and anti-ergonomic. Yesterday I put my name on the waiting list for the new Canon 5D at Glazers Camera Supply. I thought I’d hear back in a month. Today they called. There was a shipment in, and a camera with my name on it.
First impressions. It’s light. It looks and feels like a Canon 20D, but with a humongous LCD screen on the back. And it has a view through the viewfinder that actually fills your field of vision (the 20D looks like you’re looking through a tunnel at the image, and the Rebel is even worse). It sounds even less like a film camera that you forgot to load with film—just a quiet mirror flip, that's all. It’s nearly as silent as my Leica rangefinder.
And the files. I did a comparison test of my three digital camera (20D, Mark II, 5D) at all the ISO settings. At lower settings, both camera looked neck and neck in quality, and both exceeded the 20D. Then I looked at the 3200 ISO setting. You know what? The 5D beats the Mark II, even though the file is 25% smaller. I rezzed it up to the same size, and it still looked way better. The 5D has an internal noise filter that just nails the digital color artifacts.
There is a problem. This camera has been on the market for maybe a week. Photoshop doesn’t support this camera yet. I can’t convert my RAW files, except in the lame Canon software.
(By the way, I am selling the 20D, with two lenses, the 17-85mm, and the 10-22mm. Let me know if you're interested)