New Body - friday 2007-11-09 2148 last modified 2007-11-09 2148
Categories: Photography
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Last and certainly not least amongst the camera upgrades is a new body, the Canon 5D. I've been using a Digital Rebel (300D) for the past few years with great satisfaction; let's just say I had no idea what I was missing. I rarely used my friends' cameras; like darts, it's better to stick with what you always use unless you're ready for a total conversion (the weight of somebody else's darts is going to throw off your game when you get back to your own).

What's so substantially different now? For starters, the 5D produces a preview image on a larger LCD almost instantly; the 300D took at least three to five seconds, which is far too long to be useful in some situations. I went so far as to disable previewing on the 300D, going back later when there was time to see if a reshoot was necessary. No longer. The photo reviewing system is also instantaneous; you can spin the dial from the beginning of the set to the end with no slow down. When I have the time for review, I can actually get through the entire card in a matter of seconds instead of several minutes of pushing buttons.

The 300D had a photo buffer of four pictures, and continuous shooting could only last about that long. The load time for a preview multiplied while the buffer was being written to memory, so continuous shooting was basically a non-starter. The 5D has a nine photo buffer and can shoot, preview, and write with some degree of parallelism; quick testing brought out fourteen to seventeen continuous shots before the buffer filled and required slowing down. This is basically a new technique for me.

The 5D has spot metering, so instead of deciding on the average amount of light that's entering a camera and choosing settings from there, it's possible to pick the brightness you want out of the scene and calibrate from there.

There are so many others; the 5D is a full-frame camera, so no more multiplying focal lengths; what the lens is is what you get. There are more ISO settings, and noisier shots are still usable (shooting at ISO1600 on a 300D is a bit heartbreaking). Of course, the 5D also has more megapixels, but that's a post issue. I'm not done exploring yet, either.

There are a few drawbacks, like the increased weight and the lack of a cheap remote shutter trigger. The only remote system I know of costs around $500, whereas my dinky 300D IR remote was spare change. There are wired versions for less, but, sadly, I think I won't be doing long night exposures for some time.

It's a worthwhile trade off. This camera's awesome.


2 options for long exposure

Congrats on the body. I'm holding out till at least next year with the hope of a 5DII and potentially ISO6400 ;)

Anyway, you can buy a cheap wired remote off ebay for $15ish by a company called Adidt. It feels pretty cheap (especially when compared to the official Canon one), but it works fine. They make wireless versions too, but I don't know anything about them.

The other option is to set a 2 second timer and use mirror lockup. When I forget my remote I'll usually use the timer.

fugu on November 17, 2007 02:06 PM

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