Monday, February 22, 2010

1D Mark IV review actually got their act together and reviewed the 1D Mark IV. Dpreview's strong suit is a careful itemization of the features and doing resolution/noise/dynamic range tests. They are largely useless for analysis of how good the autofocus performance is. They didn't manage to review the 1D Mark III, which was somewhat of a stunning omission.

And the conclusions ? The 1D4 is a good camera, images are better than the 1D3, but not quite as much of an improvement as it might have been expected given the increased pixel count. Noise levels at high ISO are pretty good compared to the 1D3. Image resolution is better than the 1D3 but worse than the 5D2. Absolute resolution values from their tests are 2500 lph for the 1D4 and 2700-2800 5D2, 2200 for the 1D3. Sharpened/processed images from RAW appear comparable between the 7D and 1D4, but the latter clearly contain more "pop" in terms of color. There was quite a clear visual difference in sharpness between the 1D3 and 5D2 in both my tests and my general shooting images, but the gap would be very much narrowed with this camera. The Nikon D700 and D3S resolutions are around the same as the 1D3.

Link: dpreview's 1D Mark IV review
and 5d Mark II review for reference.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Expletive deleted

As a "proud" owner of an EOS-1D Mark III I've had some interesting, amusing and downright farcical moments dealing with the autofocus on that camera. I have said that the 1D3 acquires focus faster than any other Canon, but that it acquires AF on the background faster than any other Canon. My relatively ancient Mark II works better for birds in flight since it makes a stab at tracking a Northern Harrier in flight rather than focusing on the treeline faster than a weasel on crystal meth, which is the strong point of the Mark III.

So I had great hopes for the 1D Mark IV since you couldn't imagine Canon messing it all up again. After all, the IV is their flagship SLR body, their ultimate photojournalist machine, and I was starting to look forward to retiring the Mark III and getting a Mark IV or Mark IVs to replace it with.

Imagine, then, my joy at reading this article: ;

which suggests that the 1DIV is really just a different breed of cranky to the 1DIII. Somebody just shoot me now. (I actually started checking out Nikon 600mm f4 VRs this afternoon). The 5D2 is sluggish, the 7D is soft, and the 1DIV is cranky. Is there someone in Canon Japan that I should visit to slap some sense into them ?

For what it's worth, I have no doubt that Galbraith's mammoth article reviewing the AF performance on the Mark III:
was right on the money. Roger knows how to point a camera and engage autofocus - he does it for a living, unlike us dilettantes. The 1D3 certainly has its moments but after being somewhat burned on that SLR I'm rather reluctant to drop $5K on another turkey. (The 1D3 focuses just fine on Wild Turkeys, just so long as they aren't moving that fast).

Looks like I'm using the 5D2 again this spring.