In the last year or so, Mary and I have treated ourselves to three new cameras – all bought for good and different reasons. Here is a short review of each camera.
Canon 5D Mark III (Peter)
I have had my Canon 5D Mk III for over a year now after using a Canon 5D Mk II for several years. There is a lot out there on the new features and improvements in this camera over the previous model. It is easy for me to continue to compare and contrast the two models since Mary is still using the Mk II and I converted my Mk II into an infrared camera. As a shooter, there are a few things that I will highlight that I just love and have made a big difference for me. First, the camera is FAST in three ways. It has a new focusing system that is fast and accurate and a big upgrade from the MK II. It is also fast when executing on multiple exposures for HDRs and blending. Finally, I have noticed that in Live View especially, all commands seem to happen just a hair faster than the previous model. The new review screen, eye piece, and rubber/magnesium build are all a significant improvement. Finally, noise from higher ISOs has also significantly improved. In short, dollar-for-dollar, this is one of the best DSLR cameras in market right now.
Sony DSC RX-100 Mark II (Peter)
I received this camera for Christmas from Mary. The big feature here (excuse my pun) is that Sony was able to cram a 20 megapixel APS-C sensor into a very small body AND it has a bright fast Carl Zeiss lens. It can shoot in traditional modes, as well as RAW and it has more auto features and modes than I can even count. I almost always leave it on automatic and let it make the decisions for me. If you can stomach the $700 cost, this is probably the best point and shoot camera on earth right now.
Fujifilm X-E2 (Mary)
I am currently having a love/hate relationship with my new Fuji. I fully acknowledge that my issues are “user error” and that I need to develop my Fuji brain. First of all I love how sharp my images are; I hate trying to focus. You do not focus this camera the same way you do a DSLR, and manual focus with the lens continues to elude me. I find trying to spontaneously focus almost impossible. Second, I love the size and the weight. My entire kit is 11 pounds and I can walk around for hours with this camera; I hate that you cannot find a decent camera strap and have to McGyver the connections to the camera. I love that I can look through the “viewfinder” and see a clear depiction of my image before I take the shot; I hate that I burn through batteries and now have 6 in my arsenal. Don Smith has the newer version of this camera and writes about his experiences with the XT-1.
Remember, cameras do not make photographs, people do. However, having better equipment gives you more and better opportunities than old or bad equipment. There has been a tremendous run-up on camera technology that seems to be flattening out a bit. Depending on how much you want to spend and how small or light you want your equipment, there are great options in the market right now. Full time photographers and enthusiasts like us, “need” 2-4 different cameras for different conditions and uses. I like having a big full-framer, a small and light ILC, and a great pocket point and shoot.
Visit our Camera Kit Page to see our other key pieces of equipment. To see more of (and buy) our photographs, go to www.pamphotography.com.