Tuesday, September 23, 2008


The camera world stood still last week with Canon's announcement of the new 5D Mark II. Sure, it's got a new 21 megapixels sensor and all the other cool features from the new 50D like sensor cleaning and SRAW. But two new features are the real frosting on the cake:

1. Low noise ISO up to 6,400 (expandable to 25,600)
2. Full 1080 resolution at 30fps HD video capture

First, the low noise ISO: Canon sensors have always been great at dealing with noise in low-light levels but some of the new Nikons have made vast improvements and have superseded the Canon specs. The new 5D MK2 sets a new standard for all cameras. You can easily set the ISO at 800 or 1600 without a worry. Even the 1600 or 3200 ISO settings look pretty clean as well. This will be a welcome feature for those who suffer shooting sports in the twilight.

Second, is the big bomb, is a feature that will significantly blur the lines between photographer and videographer. The 5D Mk2 will provide in one unit both a professional still camera and a full resolution HD camera. It's like having a top camera with a Canon VIXIA HF10 built in! Add the wide array of Canon lenses and you have a terrific video capture system.

What a great camera for photojournalists! Now they can shoot video. You can see them with two 5D Mk2's, one blasting stills and the other rolling video. One set of lenses, same batteries, accessories, light camera bodies, etc.

To get an idea of what's possible take a look at Vincent Laforet's video using the new Canon 5D MK2. Vince is a Canon Explorers of Light photographer and had access to a 5D MK2 for the weekend.

Lost in all this was the new Canon G10 an upgrade to the super-cool G9 which is not even a year old.

So everything has changed this past week. Canon got the message from the Nikon challenge over the last year and has brought out some outstanding products. Let's see what they do with the 1Ds line next.

Copyright © 2008 James D. Fisher
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