A Good Teacher0
5D mk2: First Industrial Shoot Impressions2
neil posted in Travel, Neil, phototech, 5Dmk2 on January 19th, 2009
There is nothing quite like an industrial shoot for testing out a camera. You have to produce good work in a limited timeframe while working with subjects who are frequently new to being photographed. Concentration should be on making the subject look interesting and making sure all the little details are there. In this scenario any equipment you have is either helping you or hurting you.
On location there were some real positives to the 5D:
Its big screen cannot be praised sufficiently, especially when working with off-camera flash lighting. When I made frames with my 1D, I found it much more difficult to assess what the light was doing and pick out the little details that you need in some pictures. It also made it easier to show subjects the image you were going for and get their assistance in improving it.
Live view is extremely useful when working with shallow DOF prime lenses and stationary subjects. With live view I could dial in the focus manually on a 10X zoom and be certain it was nailed. I was’nt using a tripod for this, just bracing the camera.
Wide angle lenses are useful to show the size of machines or workmen in context, so a full frame camera is pretty useful here, although you could use a crop sensor and a specialist ultrawide.
The images have the impression of greater sharpness at low ISO ratings than the 1D images, I don’t know why, but it is nice.
Unfortunately the sheer size of the images has reduced my post processing computer to a whimpering pile of 1’s and 0s, so I’m not posting any images with this and more importantly I’m not getting a paycheck until I can get the images are finished.
Follow us at the Strathpuffer on Twitter0
neil posted in Travel on January 16th, 2009
Courtesy of James, there is a chance we will have a Twitter feed here:
Sport IDENT track us, we’re called “Just Another Excuse to Drink Malt Whisky”, probably sportident number 8882
SPORT IDENT TRACKER
Meet the team0
neil posted in Travel on January 15th, 2009
This years Strathpuffer team will consist of:
Newlywed George had the ‘puffer sprung on him last year, this year he is ready for it. His trusty Spesh has been prepared by the bike works in Edinburgh and the hub mechanics at Glentress tweaked his noisy Avid brakes. Last weekend he trained on snow and ice at Glentress, this weekend he meets mud, lots of mud.
Fraser is just glad to be spending a weekend not worrying about socks and the ‘puffer may represent an increase in the amount of sleep he gets on a weekday. This year he is racing on a singlespeed Scandal complete WITH a drivetrain made of cable ties. Last year a drivetrain failure resulted in him running the worlds most bizzare fellrunning marathon.
After running over a few hills somewhere down south in the “Grim Challenge” Dave is making his way north for the ‘puffer. He supported last year and nipped out for a few laps. Dave is the worlds most bipedal wardrobe: If you are looking for your hat/fleece/jacket at the ‘puffer, its because he is wearing it. He will be riding Cammy for the race.
Possibly the world’s coldest person when standing still, note the insulation properties of facial hair which is the plan for this year. He is also riding (and repairing) Cammy.
Support crew: James
Award winning photojournalist James Robertson will be trying to keep his 5D dry while shooting and stirring pots of pasta.
Last year featured icy escapes from midnight farmyards, flattened tents, bogged vans, no cooking gas, frozen forest tracks, huge mud, impassable obstacles, no-lights night riding, brake failure, transmission failure, destructive pedal removal, a bbc TV crew and possibly the worst way to cook sausages. What will happen this year?
Canon 5D mk II First Impressions3
neil posted in Photos, Neil, phototech, 5Dmk2 on January 11th, 2009
The short version:
Huge files! Are you ready to deal with them?
Clean High ISO, usable at 6400
Slow autofocus in low light
The only criteria for choosing a camera is “will it help me make better pictures?”. After nearly two weeks with the 5D mk2, I’m ready to answer that question for myself, hopefully this article will help you make up your mind
Yes, it will help ME make better pictures
The clean high ISOs mean that I can use streetlights and other low intensity ambient sources without compromising picture quality. A good example of this is shown below, happily shot at ISO1600 retaining plenty of detail. Canon has brought its heel down on chroma noise which, subjectively, is the worst kind of noise. The pictures gains texture but not distracting colours as you rise in ISO.
Its smaller and lighter than a 1D. This means I’ll take it more places, travel more easily and be able to work longer. Its batteries are smaller and the charger is sensibly sized. The battery charger for a 1D is getting on for the same size as the 5D. If you own a XXD camera already, this won’t make a difference to you. I expect a lot of shooters to be using the 5D as their main camera, backed up by a 1 series body for when the weather turns foul or blistering AF/shoot speed is needed.
The main issue I have encountered with the camera so far is its AF is slow in low light. It is particularly pronounced after coming from a 1 series body, I have’nt used an XXD camera so I can’t give a comparison there. With a little care, focus can be achieved but it is’nt the instant reflex you might want. It certainly is’nt a mainstream sports camera, especially considering the file size it outputs. My 8GB card can store 288 images shooting RAW, not enough for an intense single day of shooting. The size of file has broken my workflow completely, dealing with the 5D files strains my single core 2Ghz desktop and as a result I’ll have to upgrade as soon as I can afford to.
I have’nt seen any sign of the “black dot” problem (and there is a firmware update out for that anyway).
That said the 5D makes pictures that make me drool and its high ISO performance has opened some doors I plan to explore in the coming year. It has made a new slice of the world shootable for me. If you own a D3/D700, I can’t give you a comparison there, but for Canon users its ground breaking stuff.
Have’nt used the movie mode extensively although it looks promising, I’ll have a shot with that when I own a computer capable of playing the movie back.
I encountered an unexpected upside when hunting a battery in Jessops, Glasgow, the attractive shop assistant looked at me with new eyes when she realised I had a 5D mk2. With a plane to catch and an inability to switch the thing on I could’nt exactly exploit the situation. It probably would’nt have worked out anyway, she probably just wanted me for my body.