Monday, June 21, 2010

A revolution?

Brandon puts on the gear head mentality once in a while and rambles about things that don't really concern the non-SLR enthusiast. He sincerely apologizes to the people concerned.

There's always something very desirable that lights up your eyes when a pro gives glowing remarks about his newest work horse. UK Canon ambassador Jeff Ascough remarked in his latest blog post recently that the Canon EOS-1D mark IV has 'revolutionised the way how I shoot'.

Of course there came many reader questions afterwards that wanted more details of this 'revolution':

The camera allows me to shoot images that were impossible to shoot previously. The high iso permits the use of zoom lenses in a low light environment which is revolutionary in itself. This means less time thinking about lens choice and more time thinking about the image. The AF system, particularly in AI Servo mode is exceptional and after 15 years of shooting Canons in One Shot, I now shoot all the time in Servo. This has allowed me to shoot far more non static subjects than I would normally.

My images I feel are more creative than previously as the camera allows me to take risks with the images, and as complicated as a 1DIV is in terms of technology, I never have to fight it or compromise with it. The complexity of it actually simplifies the picture taking experience which is good.

The 5DII was always a compromise particularly with the AF and handling. The earlier 1 series you had to fight them to get what you wanted; the 1Ds3 could produce stunning files but it was always a camera you had to be patient with.

Of course many online sites are a bit cautious in their reviews. Its a little hard to be impartial when Canon is one your biggest clients. I shrug when I think of one of my Canon friends who happens to own a 1D3 and 5Dmark 2 thinks that getting a 1D IV will solve all his woes.

Popphoto says:

If there’s bad news from our lab tests, it’s the 1D Mark IV’s lowlight autofocus performance, which lagged significantly behind the Nikon’s D3s.

Because the 1D Mark III suffered from AF problems in some units from its inception, we weren’t surprised that Canon created a completely new AF system for the Mark IV. We were surprised, though, to see that the new system proved slower in our tests than the old one, even in bright conditions. This isn’t to say that its performance was terrible, but in a camera of this caliber, we expect more.

Dpreview has also been conservative in their final words.

We're not in a position to give the camera's AF system a clean bill of health but we found little to criticize in our testing. The true picture won't become clear until more are in the hands of practicing pros. Its complexity and flexibility make it a difficult camera to configure and learn and for that reason we're not yet ready to join the naysayers.

Although its high ISO performance is only as good as the D3, I guess some can't get over the fact that they're receiving outdated technology which is two years late. It's battery performance is also a little less than desired, at 1,500 (CIPA standard), which is even less than the 2200 shots on the mark III. This is due to the increased sensor resolution and the extra processing power it requires from the dual digic 4 batteries. The D3x battery on the other hand is rated at 4,400 shots (yes, its CIPA standard).

For wide angle addicts like myself, mounting a 16-35 L on a 1.3x crop sensor will only yield a 21mm equivalent lens at the wide end. Ouch! That's not the reason why I'm getting ultra wide angle lenses in the first place.

A revolution ? Not quite, in my opinion.



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