Friday, August 31, 2012

PHOTOGRAPHY - My Camera History Finale


Being spoiled by the results I saw of photos taken from full frame cameras, I made the big decision to dispose my Nikon DX system.  I wanted to stay with Nikon but its FX system is just too pricey for a casual shooter like me.  And by this time, Canon just released 2 major DSLRs in the likes of Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and Canon EOS 7D.

It was a tough decision to go back to Canon but it provided the best line-up of FF lenses for my budget. What was a tougher choice is deciding among the 2 cameras.  I went with the latter as its features are just too good to pass up and the money I saved, I invested on full frame L lenses.  It was a short term solution for a long term goal of going full frame.

My wife and kid...taken with a Canon 7D
and 24-105 with ambient lighting
Current Digital Gear List

Canon EOS 7D
- high ISO capability, rugged body, top notch AF system, this camera offered so much features it swayed me to delay my investment on a full frame body
- all the improvements it has over my past cameras make this more than enough of a camera for me...and as one reviewer said, "best APS-C camera Canon has ever produced!"

Canon EOS 5D
- my strategy was to invest on lenses that will serve me in the long run and I already have the 4L trinity lenses...yet I still lack an ultra wide angle lens
- instead of getting a Canon EF-S 10-22 f3.5-4.5, I saw it best to just get a full frame body within my budget
- for some reason, I find my photos from this camera having more "pop" into them than the Canon EOS 7D
- it's like hitting two birds with one stone...I get another body and I get to try full frame

Carcar church taken with a Canon 5D, 17-40 and Hoya CPL

Canon EF 17-40 4f L
- best valued L lens in the market
- this was a no brainer as I bought this as a landscape/ all around lens...and with this type of shooting I can live without the f2.8

Canon EF 24-105 f4 L
- my all around lens and a staple part of my Canon EOS 5D
- it was a tough decision to either get this or a Canon EF 24-70 f2.8 L but in the end, each lens has its own purpose
- with my type of shooting, the extra reach outweighs the faster opening

My sister's wedding...taken with a Canon 7D and 70-200

Canon EF 70-200 f4 L IS
- another tough decision between this or its 2.8 counterparts
- looking back at my Nikon line-up, while happy with my Nikon AF-S 70-200 f2.8 VR, its weight was a major reason I didn't use it that much
- as a portrait lens, this lens can manage to deliver pleasing bokeh and sharpness...given this is my purpose, I bought this instead of the 2.8

Canon EF 300 f4 L IS
- bought this as a birding lens...which unfortunately I still haven't fully utilized, so much so that this is the only gear in my entire line-up that I am set on selling
Backyard birding...taken with a Canon 7D and 300 + 1.4x TC
- performance wise, output is top notch but matched with a tele-converter, it deteriorates a little

Kenko PRO 300 1.4x Tele Converter
- bought this together with the Canon EF 300 f4 L IS as a birding combo
- while IQ deteriorates, output is still very good
- only caveat is the lens AF tend to hunt when you do your initial focus but I found a work around to this by focusing manually at first, then fine tune it using the camera's AF

My kid at 7 mos...taken with a Canon 5D,
24-105 and 2 Speedlights

Metz 58 AF-1
- I was really hesitant to purchase a Canon 580 EX 2 as I have no use of its extra features and is way too expensive at the time
- I chanced upon this flash at a bargain price and Metz has always been a highly regarded brand for flash units
- having a secondary flash that serves as a fill-in light when you do bounce flash is a welcome and major advantage
- for P15K, no question I would get a brand new unit of this instead of a used Canon 580 EX 2

Canon 580 EX
- with Metz flashes being hard to come by, I looked for used copies of this flash for strobist work
- I bought this flash mainly as a strobe light and backward compatibility with my Canon EOS 5D

ThinkTank Streetwalker HardDrive Backpack
- with my gears growing, so does the need for a larger bag
- looking back at my past camera bags, ThinkTank proved to be the best performer and with the release of their StreetWalker series, decision was easy
- lightweight, laptop compartment and better design was just icing on the cake...what endears me to this brands is their harness system which fits me well

So here it is, my Perfect Camera System.  As with my motto in life, it all boils down to priorities and having an appreciation of what you have.  I am lucky wherein my talent/ knowledge of photography is below the level of what all my gears has to offer and this is what I wish to share.

Self portrait shot of me and my son taken with a
Canon 7D and 17-40
Before you spend all that hard earned money on a new body or lens, think how much it will help you in your photography.  Throughout the years I saw how my photography improved (not in the level that I can compete professionally but more on my personal expectations).  And its not because I have better equipment.

I knew this when I am more satisfied with a photo that is not super sharp but have a deeper meaning and appreciation from my peers/ viewers rather than a super sharp/ contrasty photo which comment is "is this photoshopped?" or "where was this taken?"

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