Adventures in Full Frame
A month ago a client of mine bought me a Canon 5D. I’ve refrained from writing about it, mostly because I’ve not had a tonne of time to actually shoot on it. But now I have and for the curious, here are my inital thoughts.
1. Oh man is it nice to be using a full-framed camera again! Most digital SLRs have sensors smaller than a 35mm frame – this gives you cropped images (relative to a 35mm frame and the lens you’re using), and it gives you a smaller viewfinder. Suddenly it’s like someone turned on the lights – the viewfinder is HUGE. And bright.
2. The full-sized sensor gives much better depth-of-field/bokeh. In fact the look of the images produced is much closer to film than anything I have seen previously.
3. Another bonus from the full-size sensor – my lenses act like they used to. An 85mm lens is now an 85mm lens again because the crop factor is gone. This is most noticeable on the wide end. Suddenly my 17mm is seeing things the way it was meant to – really, really, WIIIIIDE.
4. The 5D shoots less frames per second than my 20D, but I don’t much notice it.
5. The 5D produces huge files, and huge images. Suddenly my 1gb cards seem tiny. And my 17″ studio displays seem inadequate.
6. It focuses better and faster.
7. It has spot-metering. Finally.
8. The images shot at 1600 iso are remarkable and at 800iso the noise is barely noticeable.
9. The shutter is more sensitive. I can press the shutter lightly instead of mashing it. Less camera shake.
10. Same batteries and CF cards as the 20D – so the move up is painless. I was at a wedding recently and needed a charger – one of the wedding party had a Rebel XT – his batteries unlike the 300D, the 20D, the 30D, the 5D, the old 10D – are different. Not cool. I like standardization across a line – it just makes things easier. I can go anywhere with my 20D and 5D and they share cards and batteries. I like that.
Further proof that scientists should still be looking for intelligent life on this planet
I was shooting lilies in a pond over the weekend as I led a photo-walk around the city. The sudden sploosh beside me surprised me. Then I noticed a cell-phone in the water. Looked alot like my cell phone but I knew it couldn’t be because mine was…in my shirt pocket. So. Don’t put expensive stuff in your shirt pocket. Unless you want it to die a short watery death from which it will not return.