Canon 1d MKIV

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My first professional camera was the Canon 1D MKIIN and it was my workhorse for several years.  During that time it never missed a beat and I never felt the need to upgrade to the 1d MKIII.  When the MKIV came round though it added video recording and high ISO capabilities to rival the 5d MKII.  I purchased one immediately.  Not much can be said about this camera that has not already been said.  No it’s not a full frame camera but I love the 1.3 crop as it gives me a little extra reach on my lenses when I need it and I don’t find I suffer for wide angles at all.  When I need full frame I have my 5d MKII.  It’s a perfect partnership.  Video is better than the 5d and the ISO quality is such that I will happily set it to 500 and shoot all day even when it’s sunny.  On my older 1d MKIIN I was loathe to go about iso 400 if the shot was intended to be printed in a magazine, but with the MKIV I don’t bat an eyelid below iso 1600.  The auto focus system is decent, though I rarely use it, and the custom menus and functions allow you to dial in your camera to your configuration.  I honestly don’t know what else you could ask for in a camera.  I’ve never been happier with a piece of camera equipment.

10 frames per second from the Canon 1dMKIV

Canon 5d MKII

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What a revolutionary camera this one turned out to be eh!  Full frame 21MP sensor at a price many people could justify.  It seems to have effectively sunken the 1ds line which offered little more for twice the price.  The image quality is astounding and even better than the 1d MKIV.  Of course the real revolution was in the video recording feature though which has re-shaped indie movie making and even action sports film making in some areas.  Many of the filmers I work with are now shooting on Canon DSLRs.  I keep the 5dMKII because I need a backup body for my international trips just in case something goes wrong with the 1d.  The 5d body is smaller and lighter and therefore relatively easy to have in your carry on bag as just a backup.  I also use it for my walk around camera and for personal use too.  Shots of the family, the dog and general life in Whistler.  The full frame sensor is nice for fisheye use as you get the full 180 degree view with a 15mm lens and that comes in handy for some urban shots.  The slower flash sync of the camera renders it pretty useless for daytime flash usage with any action, but nighttime stuff is perfect.  In Jan 2010 I shot a whole feature story in Edmonton, Alberta with this camera where it was -20 Celsius every single day for 2 weeks and it worked like a charm.  In the snow I wrap it up because it doesn’t have the sealing of he 1-series cameras but it’s still pretty robust.  For those that like landscape shooting this is a stunning camera too.  Color rendition is beautiful and the full frame sensor makes it much easier to blow up very large prints.

Canon S90

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I can’t always carry the big DSLRs around so the S90 is my current point and shoot choice.  It’s recently been replaced by the S95 which is identical apart from adding 720p video recording.  I much prefer this over the G-Series cameras (up to G12 now) because it fits in my pocket and offers the same sensor and 95% of the features.  RAW format shooting is great for pros who are used to it and I have even had some shots from this published in magazines this year!  I also use it extensively for shooting update photos for my Facebook page and travel blogs.  I never go anywhere without it.

GoPro HD

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The GoPro HD Hero is a 1080p helmet camera that I use to record videos for my websites.  I have done an extensive review on the GoPro HD on my other site HERE. Below is a video that I made in Alaska and the whole thing was shot on the tiny GoPro camera.

Shooting skiing in Alaska, GoPro helmet camera video. from Dan Carr on Vimeo.

NOW SOLD : Canon 7d

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This is the best camera out there right now for someone who really wants to make an effort to learn how to get into this business.  It’s robust and fast and produces photos that are easily good enough for commercial purposes.  I bought a Canon 7d as soon as it became available at the end of 2009.  I’d always wanted a smaller bodied camera that was capable of higher shooting speeds with a weather sealed body.  At the time the 7d seemed like the perfect solution but after a couple of months of shooting I realized I missed the 1-Series cameras so I bought a 1d MKIV as soon as it came out.  At one point I owned the 7d, 5dII and 1dIV simultaneously and I wrote a post back then explaining the different pros and cons of each one which might be of interest to you.  You can find it HERE. Ultimately I was not 100% happy with the image quality of the 7d.  99% of people would never have noticed the things that I did and there’s no doubting it’s a great camera but the 1d is better, and so it should be for 3 times the price!  The 1dMKIV also shoots faster and whilst the 7d claims 8fps, I found in a lot of situations that I could not get it to attain those speeds.  For video shooting though a lot of people have been buying the 7d.  I have also written a post comparing the newer 60D to the 7D HERE.

Canon 7D – Matt Walker in Edmonton