While packing for a working vacation in Brazil, I realized the trip was a perfect opportunity to try out Canon’s newest camera technology. So I packed up the EOS-1D MARK II N and EOS 5D and put them through their paces in challenging lighting conditions.
The sun was in and out all day, which made metering time-consuming without an assistant. Also, sometimes I had the model pose in the water, and other times on the sand. So I threw caution to the wind and tested both cameras relying exclusively on their spot metering.
I was delighted with the way both cameras interpreted the constantly changing conditions. I certainly don’t recommend throwing away your meter, but both the EOS-1D Mark II and the EOS 5D were tops at self-metering.
Fast-Action EOS-1D Mark II N
Since I had rented an estate for the photo shoot—you can rent the place at www.ecooltour.com.br—we left the beach and went to check out the indoor location. It overlooked the Rio waters—a magnificent view of the ocean. I didn’t have lights, so I wanted to see if the 8.2 megapixel 1D Mark ll N was up to the task of capturing the cover image of Passport, an 8 1/2” x 11” travel magazine. The image became their April 2006 cover.
I’d heard so much about the speed of the 1D Mark II N, I couldn’t wait to test it out. With 22 RAW shots per burst, 48 large JPEGS per burst, and 8.5 shots per second, I got some amazing action images. Starting in hip-high water, I asked the model to run toward me as I ran backwards. One of the images from this session (below, right) was selected by Passport’s editor for their April issue.
I also loved working with Picture Style. Easy to use, and I found it added incredible richness, texture, and sharpness to these action shots.
On our way back from Brazil, we stopped in Miami to do a shoot for Metrosource magazine. The model rode a motorbike on the highway, while I shot from the back of a SUV (bottom, left). It was fast, continuous shooting with great results that pleased the Metrosource photo editor. They wound up using one shot in a fashion story and another on the Contents page. The EOS-1D Mark II is an action or sports photographer’s dream.
EOS 5D & Its Full-Frame Sensor
I had heard that the Canon EOS 5D is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame digital SLR camera. I couldn’t wait to shoot with the 12.8 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and see for myself.
I set up a group portrait shot at a fashion shoot. The larger sensor is wonderful for composing group shots (top, left). And that was using a normal lens. I can only imagine the difference it makes with a wideangle lens!
This camera was also so easy to use; I was able to move around quickly and get the shot I wanted. And again, Picture Style saved me time at the shoot and later. The 5D is an ideal camera for portraiture—especially groups and beauty shots—as well as wedding imagery and landscapes.
I also combined a beauty shoot with a lighting test for Dyna-Lite using both cameras to see how the cameras would function in a studio setting.
Unexpectedly, I noticed a reflection of my studio off the model’s retina. The reflection was as clear as if I were looking into a mirror. As the shoot went on, I found the camera’s speed, quality, and high definition helped me capture the model’s different emotions and looks (top, right) with outstanding clarity and detail.
Both cameras capture at high speeds retaining image quality, definition, and color. In the studio and on location, the LCD monitor showed me details of my images—their brightness and quality—and made it easier to accurately preview shots from many angles. In both cameras, I found the handling and functions very easy, intuitive really. The whole shooting experience scores high marks for outstanding ease of use, image quality, and handling.
If you’re wondering which I recommend, here’s my view of the two models. The D5 is a lightweight, user-friendly camera that’s excellent for faces, group shots, and moving around quickly and easily. The 1D Mark II N has more features, so it takes a little more time to learn the mechanics, but it’s worth the effort. If you need to capture fast action, go with the 1D Mark II N. I thank Canon for being aware that not all photographers can or want to buy the EOS-1Ds Mark II. With MAPs of $3,299 (5D) and $3,999 (1D Mark II N), these two cameras will pay for themselves in ease of operation and quality in no time at all.