Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 31 2008

Thinking about a camera

If you’ve been living under rock, you might not have heard that Canon is releasing a new 5D mark II digital SLR soon. I’ve been happy with my aging 20D for the last several years, but lately I’m being sorely tempted by newer, better cameras as of late, full-frame cameras with high-ISO performance such as the new 5D and Nikon’s new D700. I am a bit disappointed that Canon has gone the megapixel-stuffing route, as frankly, 21 megapixels is scary. Reviews of the new 15-megapixel 50D have shown that cramming all those megapixels onto the cropped sensor has resulted in image quality the same or even worse than than the 40D in many areas. I’m hoping the new 5D doesn’t follow the same path, and pre-production samples thus far don’t seem too bad. Of course there’s always the larger, heavier D700, but I’ve never really liked the look of digital Nikons quite as much as Canon; it’s a subjective thing that I can’t really explain. Perhaps an original 5D would suite me just fine, if I could get past the tiny, low-res screen. Then again, the new model has video capabilities, which I like because I could use it on trips instead of having to rely on my little SD800’s video function.

Of course, no matter what full-frame camera I get, I will have to decide on new lenses, as my current Sigma 17-70 and my beloved Canon EF-S 10-22 don’t cover a full-frame sensor. The Canon equivalent is the highly rated and supremely expensive 16-35 f2.8L, which is twice as heavy and over twice as expensive as Canon’s 17-40 f4L. Are one millimeter and one f-stop worth that much money and weight? I experimented with someone else’s 17-40L the last time I was at CKS Hall, and I have to say that I missed the extra-wide aspect a lot, no matter how many noises I make about relying too much on wide-angle shots and wanting to divulge myself of such gimmicks. Sure, 40mm on the tele end of the lens would be nice for street photography, able to get in a little closer than 35mm without changing lenses. But then again, you need a faster lens to catch that action, and I plan to use a fast 50mm prime for that anyway, either my current cheapo f1.8 or a f1.4. Both are small and light; I find that having a certain focal length on a zoom lens is far removed from having a prime at only that focal length on my camera. I frame things in that focal length in my mind’s eye in the latter case, whereas with a zoom I think in terms of the lens’ extremes.

Night photography is also very important to me, and f2.8 would definitely come in handy for a lot of my photography. A usable range up to ISO6400 along with f2.8 should let me catch a lot of shots I have trouble getting now, and with a 50mm f1.4 night street photography should become much more interesting as well.

Then again, maybe I should be like the people inhabiting the various camera discussion sites who constantly drool over and wonder about the “Next Big Things Coming Out Soon We Hear From Our Sources” (which are inevitably some guy in a storeroom somewhere), complain endlessly about them when they come out before returning to the drooling stage. These people can’t believe that the next Nicony doesn’t actually go out on its own tripod to take pictures for you while you sit at home, (what a ripoff!) and they’re totally going to sell all their gear and buy a Canikon system.

Ok, enough of that. I’m going to go out and take some pictures.

posted by Poagao at 6:07 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Can I say “You cannot make bricks without straw”? I think it’s from the Bible. I am looking forward to seeing your great work being done by Canon 5D MK II. 🙂 Jiayou!!!

    Comment by Daniel — October 31, 2008 @ 9:04 am

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