The Live View and 2 sec. timer

regie_fernando-1030193The Live View of this 21mp monster is a joy to use. The simulation exposure and quick mode AF of the 5D Mark II are some of the very practical feats that need to maximized with this cam, I don’t need to stoop-bend-etc just to compose a shot. Moreover the 10x up to 15x focus check feature is a heaven sent for the non-perfect 20 / 20 eyed photographer. Hi-res and 920 dots LCD you say? Canon made this even better with their new anti-reflective technology and an inteliigent atuo brightness feature. I noticed these nifty features when I reviewed the EOS 50D last spetember, I can say now that their Live View functions are very identical.

The Live View will have its use for the style of photography (ehem videography) I do, In fact I already did with that “Mimosa overnight sensation” trip.. Video coming soon (im still reading the Final Cut Express tutorial)!

What about the 2 seconds timer? I purposely left my shutter release. But I know that it is a primary consideration that you should not use the cameras shutter button on a tripod if you are below the minimum acceptable speed, but it came out pretty handy, 1-1000.. 2-1000 then you I have my shot..

These are the nice things that Canon should have done 3 years ago πŸ™‚

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Take a grip…

regie_fernando-10301370000I took a grip. The EOS 5D Mark II BG-E6 battery grip. From my very first DSLR the 300D to my previous 5D Mark I, I just cannot have but buy a battery grip, it stabilizes the handling of the camera with heavy lenses. I admit that the 5D’s gripless body is already heavy but again it counterweights the 70-200 2.8’s lenses most specially the IS version.

Some observations…

The BG E6 is a little bit different from the 5D Mark I’s battery grip BG E4. Canon added the AF-ON button which is pretty handy for locking focus vertically. It came with the 2AA battery cartridge that comes out very helpful at times when you ran out of power. This battery grip has two separated terminals that reports LP E6 info’s to the camera. More over if you check out the battery info on the LCD it reports those two battery informations, very cool IMHO. Its built like a tank, it is still made out of part magnesium alloy and hard plastic. It doesnt feel squeeky or plasticky. A must have accessory. Its quite expensive I know, but I can’t live without it. Thats the beauty of the 5D form factor grip or without a grip you have an option. πŸ˜‰

new cam.. new creative flair?.. my 5D Mark II impressions

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After two years of using the original 5D now comes the 5D Mark II model. Full of feats and extras from the 3 years old tech of the first version. I got mine last friday from Canon Marketing Philippines Inc. Im actually satisfied with the 5D but the demands of commercial photography commands me to do the upgrade. And being an artist and tech-geeky sometimes needs some new brush (camera) to renew its passion and creative flair πŸ˜‰

Moving on…Initial impressions of this camera.

Physical

I salute Canon maintaining a separate body + grip design (form factor).Β  Obviously lugging heavy gear for long periods of time is no fun, so sometimes if you want to reduce weight you just unscrew the grip and saves you from body pain. It still doesn’t have a pop-up flash which you wont need anyway since you have up to ISO 3200 usable.

The body is more curvier specially at the Canon logo area (pentrapism). The buttons at back are adjusted to make room for the new 3.0″ LCD. Yes, there is AF-on button now working for both stills & video. It also has some nice touch ofΒ  weather sealing. The mode dial markings are now engraved and wrapped with rubber grip.

Usage

I just had my unit last friday and since im very familiar with Canon cameras i dont need to tinkerΒ  the manual page by page. The 5D Mark II’s menu system is now like the familar 40D /50D cameras that was also first introduced on the high speed 1D Mark III. Its more easy to navigate, more user friendly including the custom functions.

The 5D and 5D Mark II are virtually the same but packed with plus features. The imaging sensor is now at 21 megapixels and it now houses the latest DIGIC IV imaging processor. AF points are pretty the same to me but Canon stated that it better? I noticed some tiny-weeny-bit improvement in speed or probably Im just excited? Really, nothing to write home about it, it is exactly the same.

High Megapixels is good, but it comes with a price, I initially tested one of my favorite primes, the EF 50mm f1.4 and disappointingly it performs below my expectations. It cannot resolve the resolution that the 5D Mark II is giving, plus the CA (Chromatic Aberration) is now more pronounced. Fortunately, my recently acquired EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS and EF 24-70 f2.8 L doesn’t suffer with the same fate like my other consumer lenses. From my initial testing inside my studio, the 5D I renders more 3d’ish detail than the 5D Mark II. This is now getting more confusing?? Yes and yes IQ from the original 5D is better by 10%. Il perform another set of testing tomorrow with my L lenses to nail my observations. Could it be that these days monitor resolution cant display the level of detail in 21mp? Or does our eyes cant see those resolution by near distance? I dont know but again from my initial observations the 5D’s images have better shadow detail, clarity and sharpness. Although what I can tell now is that, 5D Mark II colors are more accurate.

Video: Nothing to compare right now, in terms of DSLR video quality. The D90 has it but very premature falls behind with the quality from the 5D Mark II. The video feature is just great the only downside is the lack of manual settings. I have to fiddle with it more since im very new to this video thing. Actually, this is the feature of the cam im more excited, il be making some personal projects and im now imagining the possibilities it can provide. I will start to learn and study videography.

So by far here are my quick impressions… Il probably make a complete review during the long holidays this December.

As a tradition of course. I took some “binyag” shots of my new baby. πŸ˜‰

more in the coming days…

IS wins..

I sold my Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lens last week. I have no telephoto lens to use and was really contemplating on what lens to get. Canon 70-200 f2.8 L or 70-200 f2.8 L IS? With all that research and sleepless nights I bought a new one last Monday, the Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS version. I closed my eyes signed the check and bought the lens…Whoa! Goodbye good earned moolah!

Well, the Sigma served me well! Very well! It is true that its not the equipment nor the technology but after using this bazooka lens, I kinda disagree. This lens is a remarkable one, it is sharp at f2.8 wide end (70mm) and especially on the long end (200mm). The Image Stabilizer really helps and it will give you sharper images. The output photos are more punchier because of the better contrast from its glass. And yo-yeah its Bokehlicious among the Canon 70-200 family. Almost No CA (Chromatic Aberration). These are the image characteristics that I’ve been longing from my Sigma since 2003.

Watch out for my Miss Earth 2008 press presentation pics soon. Images are from the lovely 70-200 2.8 IS without PP only cropping on some.

Thanks to Jan Tan of JT Photo World for reserving me the last one.

Sample Photos from the EOS 50D

Im having problems uploading the full sized jpegs here. I uploaded them to my Flickr instead, so head-on to this link Canon EOS 50D Sample Photos for more shots and see the original sized jpegs.

BTW for updates see my post at PiPho πŸ˜‰

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that this is a pre-production unit so what you will see here may differ on the production units.