Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pwned has moved!

Pwned has moved!
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My blog will now be hosted on my own server via Wordpress. Many thanks to Erik Lunsford (and his blog) who really helped me get started. Without his help I would still be lost in the code... (wouldn’t we all?).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Canon 5D Mark 2- stats analysis [WARNING: May contain camera jargon]

So yes, the new Canon 5D Mark 2 looks amazing. I am sure the visual quality surpasses anything out there. It is a great step in the right direction. The 5D Mark 2 has built off what the Nikon D90 started (which came out a few weeks ago and was the first DSLR to do video).

5D Mark 2 strengths:

1080P video (D90 only does 720) 1080 should be good enough to pull stills as long as it is not too compressed.

12 Minutes until the buffer is filled (5 Min with the D90) If you shoot a clip longer than 12 minutes, then you’re doing it wrong.

Audio IN jack + built in mic (D90 only has built-in) Possibly the best thing the 5D brings to the table. I always use an external mic (wireless or shotgun) when shooting video. And you always need a built in mic as a back up.

21 Megapixels (13MP for D90) Fucking hell. 21? really? My D3 “only” has 12 and I have never felt like that wasn’t enough. When you are dealing with 200 dots per inch (only 72 for web) 21 is overkill and will just waste HD space. But whatever, the number is bigger so I guess that’s better for studio people.

Unlimited Jpeg- The buffer out-paces the shutter's frames-per-second. This means when shooting jpeg format (instead of RAW) you can put your finger on the trigger and never let go (until your card fills up).

$2,700 (that’s about $1,000 less than the original 5D Mark 1 when it came out)

25,600 ISO- Nikon D3 did this a year ago.

5D Mark 2 weakness:

4 frames per second- No where near what I need for sports, or even news for that matter. D3 does max of 11 FPS.

No Vertical Grip- Humans see horizontal, yes. But every so often vertical works better, i.e. portraits and sports. Yes you can just tilt the camera on it’s side. But for sports this is a bitch. Also, being a half-body means less buttons. Less buttons means the menu system has to be utilized more. Photogs always bypass the menu for a dedicated button when possible. Menus slow photogs down.

Build Quality- Half bodies are never built to last the abuse given by photogs.

What I want (Ideally in the Nikon D4, when ever it comes out):

15 MP- allows for cropping but won’t fill up my HD and DVD-Rs.

1080i- I need to be able to pull stills

20 Minutes of Video on the buffer- If I am interviewing someone I do not want to have to... oh wait, shoot, hold that thought...I just need to restart this camera.

Audio IN Jack + built in mic + Audio IN through the camera’s hotshoe- This way I can wireless mic someone while recording natural sound through a clean shotgun.

10 FPS- At least this, maybe 12 FPS

Full body- half bodies are for pansies

In conclusion:
The new Canon 5D Mark 2 is great, but not yet what a photo staffs need, just like the Nikon D90. But it is a step in the right direction!

Photo staffs need to invest in gear that is applicable with everything they shoot. I want to only have to cary 1 set of gear. Not still AND video gear... just the right gear.

Frankly, I am actually kind of surprised that Canon chose the 5D Mark 2 to start doing video. They should have done it with the Canon 50D (more consumerish, on par with the Nikon D90 or Nikon D300). The 5D series is designed for: (1) studio photogs (they do not care about video, yet) and (2) rich ass-holes (the photo market doesn’t care about, nor do I). For these reasons I do not think the 5D Mark 2’s video capability will get much play. We may not be seeing many videos produced on 5D’s.

Canon already has both of their top-end camera slots filled in the past year:
1D Mark 3- Designed for photojournalists with 10 MP at 10FPS
1Ds Mark 3- Designed for Studio photogs with 26 MP at 3 FPS

Nikon only has the D3 out as of last year.
D3- Designed for photojournalist 12MP at 9 FPS or 6MP at 11FPS

Nikon has a chance her to really “serve a death blow” to Canon with their next high-end camera, probably going to be called the Nikon D3x. It will have 24MP we know that for sure. The problem is that it will probably only have 3-5 FPS, thus only for studio photogs.

We will just have to wait for the Nikon D4 or Canon 1D Mark 4 to see where these video capable DSLRs really go...