Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dream Camera...Revisited

Today, I looked up the very first post I put up on this blog almost 3 years ago. In it, I said I had finally reached the end of my DSLR upgrade path with the acquisition of a Canon 1DmkII (the namesake of this blog). Reading it, I haven't change my mind...much. See my original post here.
Well 3 years later, I'm still shooting with my 1DmkII and still loving it. I almost pulled the trigger on the 1DmkIII last year but with all the issues with it's auto-focus, I stayed away. But not from buying a new cameras...
Canon G9 - so was my quest for the compact, high IQ camera fulfilled with the G9? Sadly no, not even close. While it's a really nice camera, it's one of the few camera purchases that I regret the most. The camera is not really that small, and the sensor is just too noisy at anything above about 200ISO. I thought I'd use it as a travel camera but most of the time I still bring my DSLRs - so the G9 has seen limited use as a video camera at the kids school and sporting events and some light macro work from time to time.
Canon 5DmkII - I decided to go full frame for the next camera. I figured the 1D is my sports camera, and the 5D would be everything else. And boy is it! Again, I wasn't looking for more Megapixels, 21megapixel raw files turned computer, which was blistering fast on the 1D files into a slug, My 500GB hard drives run for cover every time I come home with full CF cards. But boy are the files gorgeous - the resolution is so high, I feel like I don't need a macro lens - just zoom in 1:1 and see all the detail.
The full frame also gave me the wide angle coverage I'd been missing, my fisheye is a fisheye again, and I love the coverage of my 17-40 now. One downside is that one of my favorite lenses, the 70-200F4, vignettes on the FF! That sucks.
The low noise I get at high ISO's still amazes me after months of shooting with it.
So now is my upgrade path over? Naw, I know better now, a 1DmkIII may still be in the future. My quest for the pocket camera with a DSLR quality sensor is still far from over. Even with the camera makers getting closer, the Olympus Pen, Panasonic GF1, Sigma DP2, Leica X1 are cramming some real nice sensors into small packages - but each one has it's flaws. I thought we'd be there by now but maybe in another 3 years when this market segment gets as mature as the current DSLR market, I'll finally get my Dream Camera....

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