We have finished taking all of the images for our huge digital vs. film show-down. The film is currently in queue for processing and I will post a list of all the film types shot and also all digital formats shot as soon as we group everything into a single place. The write up & review will probably come in chunks, so be prepared for a lot of information coming your way. We have done this test to attempt to settle the score on the current digital technology and its quality level versus the traditional photographic medium.
In Part 1 of our Infrared Photography Discussion, John-Paul provided us with great comparisons of the various IR films available on the market. Additionally, he took the time to discuss the similarities, differences, and unique properties of each film. This week’s discussion will focus on the various possibilities for black and white infrared photography using digital equipment and digital post-production processing techniques. The day John-Paul made his IR film comparisons, he also made a digital capture of the scene we used to illustrate the various IR films in Part 1. The digital capture can be seen below:
Digital Capture on Canon 5D w/ Canon 24-105mm lens
Canon posts firmware update to correct 5D Mark II issues. You can download it directly from Canon here.
Canon 5D Mark II
The point of this article is not to discuss the image quality of the 5D Mark II in depth, but I will make clear right up front that the image quality is quite amazing. What this article is about, specifically, is a general observation as to how the camera handles while shooting in the field with it as opposed to in studio, and corrections that I feel Canon failed to make in the design of their update to the 5D. Remember – image quality alone should not be the reason for purchasing a particular camera.
First, I’d like to make a comment about the firmware upgrade issues: (more…)
The holiday season is here again, and for many of you that means considering the gift of a camera and/or equipment. It is unfortunate that the landscape of this industry has changed quite significantly, and not necessarily for the better for retailer or consumer! The advantages of shopping at a local store are masked as camera manufacturers allow big-box chain stores to break minimum advertised price (MAP) assignments on products. Additionally, many camera manufacturers seem to have taken a step back as the newer models are built to cheaper specifications, they design products so they are ‘replaceable’, and are entrenched in a never-ending resolution race! In light of all of this, I have picked out for you the best photo purchases available for the 2008 Holiday Season. Here are my suggestions for the best photo equipment in four different price categories:
Less than $100
Card reader – the absolute essential for image transfer to the computer.Don’t fuss with the USB cable that comes in the camera box.This is the FASTEST & SAFEST way to transfer your images.
Media Tube – a device exclusively from Promaster that allows one to insert a memory card into the unit and playback images on your HD television in stunning high-definition quality. Accepts all types of memory cards and allows for slideshow setup with audio capability.
Promaster Media Tube
Digital Picture Frame – a great idea especially for relatives who may not be too computer savvy to retrieve photos from e-mail. Buy them a digital picture frame, load images onto a memory card and set it up for them. Screens comes in various sizes. Make sure to get one that takes a memory card and doesn’t rely on built-in memory as they operate much faster. The best brands are Sunpak, eMotion and Digital Foci.
Filters - Every lens should have a UV filter. You will hear people say having a cheap piece of glass in front of your nice lens cuts down on image quality. As a working pro, I admit this – it does! However, I am willing to live with the slight loss in image quality in order to protect the number of $1000+ lenses I own. Just make sure you purchase a filter that is designed for digital. They cut down on the glare, and have much better light transmission for a digital sensor than a filter that was designed for film. Additionally, circular polarizing filters are nice for travel and landscape photography. Once again, make sure you purchase one for use on a digital camera. There really is a difference!
Extra Battery – kind of a no-brainer in most situations. Sure, your camera battery might be rechargeable, but what if your battery dies while you are out for the day. This way you’ll have a spare one in your bag.
Remote release cable – essential for tripod work when you are shooting landscapes or macro. Prevents you from having to physically touch the camera to take a picture. You’d be surprised how much movement your lightest touch can add to the camera!
Less than $500
Panasonic TZ-5 – 9.1mp, 10x optical zoom, 28mm wide angle, image stabilizer, 3″ screen, Leica lens, small package. ’nuff said. The predecessor to this camera, the TZ-3 was hands down the #1 seller Holiday 2007. A gorgeous unit. It does however begin to fail in indoor and lower light situations. Purse-sized. Buy it here for $225 after Instant Rebate
I know that 150 units will be allocated to dealers in the United States next week. Monday, Tuesday? We’ll see.
If you were close to the top of the pre-order list and the dealer you placed your order with is lucky enough to get a piece, then you should be in good shape. If not, don’t expect to see anymore until the New Year.
Hopefully there were no manufacturing issues in their haste to get some units shipping pre-Holiday. I am not personally purchasing one (as I have no Canon lenses), but I will have one for evaluation for a couple of days next week.
For those of you who are wondering if I magically obtained a test unit of the Canon 5D replacement model the answer is, sadly – no. My hands-on field report for the original Canon 5D does admittedly come three years too late, but we can use this as an opportunity to review and reflect upon the ‘old 5D’ and look forward to hopefully all of the wonderful things the new camera model will be loaded with. Please consider any faults outlined below about the 5D a guide for hopes of what they will fix in the new model. My sample images scattered throughout this article have only gone through basic RAW processing. None have been manipulated in Photoshop. (more…)