Tuesday, September 23, 2008

5D Mark 2 could be the ultimate dive camera

Loose thoughts by Bjorn Landfeldt

Look at Vincent Laforet's blog. He tested the new Canon 5D mark 2 over a weekend and discovered that it has absolutely stunning low light performance and deals with strange white balance like no other camera. The following picture is a frame grab from some videos he took one night.

Not only is the video of excellent sharpness and resolution (shot at 1080i) it is taken straight from a RAW quicktime dump without any post processing. Now, if you have a camera that can take 21 Mpixel shots and full HD video and produce this quality in very bad light conditions, that camera should be an awesome dive camera. $3000 plus a couple of lenses plus a housing......

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Full frame or APS-C camera

Loose thoughts by Bjorn Landfeldt

For a few years now, the APS-C sensor format has been the dominating standard for the consumer/prosumer market and only in really high end models have we seen full frame 35 mm sensors. The Canon 5D has been at the lower end of the market at around $3k but there has been little movement here. There has been a lot of activity in the APS-C range though with models competing in a few different ranges and classes. Interestingly, there has been a sudden shift in the full frame segment with the almost simultaneous introduction of a few models. Nikon just introduced the D700, Canon the 5D Mark-II and Sony the long anticipated A900. Since they are all priced similarly at around $3000 there will be downward pressure on these models. In addition, it will get cheaper to produce full frame sensors over time so the gap between full frame and APS-C will shrink.

What does this mean?

Well, for one, it will become cheaper to get real high quality photos but there will also be some problems to consider.

What lenses should we buy now? I am thinking about getting some more lenses for my 40D, I would expect the lenses to be useful for 10-15 years or so and I won't have the same body for that long. So, what sensor will I have in my next body? If full frame will grow down into the prosumer end of things I can't buy EF-S lenses because they won't work with full frame. However, right now there are some interesting EF-S lenses around.

One lens I am especially interested in is the Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 EF-S. It has gotten some really good reviews and test results show it is crisp, has really little barrel distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration. It got better test results than the 17-40 L EF lens in tests I have read at a lower price. So, what to do?

Get full frame lenses now and miss out on the goodies from the APS-C platform or bite the bullet later if the next body will be full frame?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Canon D5 Mark 2

Loose thoughts by Bjorn Landfeldt

Digital SLRs are becoming soooo good. We just read about the new Nikon D90 and the new Canon EOS 50D. Now the mysterious new silhouette on the Canon US web site has been unveiled, the 5D mkII.

DPreview has a pre-release review and major points are:

21 Mpixel full-frame sensor
ISO 50 - 25600 expansion (who needs light)
The new DIGIC 4 processor
Slowish 3.9 fps continuous shooting (after all 21 Mpixel)
vignetting correction
Live view with three mode auto-focus (including face detection)
No mirror-flip for exposures in Live View if contrast detect AF selected
Movie recording in live view (1080p H.264 up to 12 minutes, VGA H.264 up to 24 mins per clip)

What will it cost?

List price is US$2700, nothing really.