Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark III vs Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The ultimate practical family portrait photographers review

The wait is over! Canon have announced the 5D Mark IV, the successor to the hugely popular Canon EOS 5D Mark III.  I confess to purchasing my Mark III the day it was released (2nd March 2012), making my camera body, four & a half years old!  Being a full time working portrait photographer, it’s fair to say my Mark III has been put through it’s paces, including even being run over at one stage, yet it’s still going strong.  The only signs of ageing, are purely cosmetic in nature, unlike it’s owner (who knew the body feel as well as show signs of age at 40) – but I digress.   Suffice to say, the announcement was cause for celebration!

With the first retail shipment not due in Australia until September 8th, lucky me managed get my hands on a pre-release Canon 5D Mark IV model thanks to the lovely folks at Canon and Team Digital in Perth.  My new friend and I, we had some fun together!

In the short time since the Mark IV has been announced the internet is already alive with thousands of discussions, reviews and opinions on the technical specs.  While I do like tech specs, I’m a practical girl at heart and for me the proof is in the pudding.  I want to put the camera through it’s paces in my work as a family photographer and find out how it handles compared to my trusty Mark III.  Specifically, I wanted to know, is it worth me (or you) spending the big dollars to upgrade to the Mark IV?

Will I get a return on my investment, or am I better off sticking my my Mark III?

There are a few areas that I’m particularly keen to assess;

  • Is it better to shoot with, does if focus faster or more accurately with fast moving subjects or when the light is low? 
  • Will I get the shot I want faster, or, will I nail more and miss less saleable portraits in my sessions?
  • Will the increased sensor size mean I comfortably shoot a little wider and crop in later?  After all I shoot busy little people and it can really pay at times to shoot a little wide and crop in later.
  • Are the files coming out easier to work with, a nicer colour, better detail in the shadows (dynamic range) allowing me to present an even better finished product to my clients? 
  • Will all this make my shoots and/or post processing easier and faster, ultimately saving me time?

It’s real world shoot off time.

I’ve put the cameras to the test, side by side in three different portrait sessions.  Same photographer, same lenses and settings, same subjects, location & light.  I simply kept swapping out the camera bodies!

Overall first impression out of the box.

Holding my new friend, comparing it to the old, and already I can see my affections being swayed.  Yet I love that it has the same look and feel as the Mark III, I admit to not having the time to learn anything that’s vastly different from what I have now.  Familiarity with a few extra bells and whistles, works for me!

The new retina touch LCD screen is great.  Perhaps I’m a retina screen snob these days but side by side you can’t compare the brightness, vividness of the new screen to the old. 

A touch screen is also a great addition, I can’t see myself using it to focus and shoot while taking stills, it’s a little clunky, but for changing settings it’s a breeze, I can see it becoming my go to method for fast setting changes.  For shooting on video on a tripod however, I can see it’s really going to be game changer with focus shifting.

And lastly – it’s lost weight, only around 60g, but this isn’t the biggest looser – despite the public weigh in I subjected them too.  The 60grams is noticeable in your hand and any drop in weight is gratefully accepted!  It’s also slightly smaller in size according to the specs, and while my eye or hands didn’t really pick any noticeable differences there, it’s fairly obvious in their line up photos.

The Canon EOS Mark III vs The Canon EOS Mark IV | At dusk.

The full monty outdoor sunset family shoot, with fast kids, back light, fading light and grandparents.

These sessions are busy, I don’t want to wrestle with my gear, I’m busy enough wrangling the family.  I need fast accurate focus, I don’t want to miss shots while my camera hunts for focus.  And I really don’t want to download the photos and find I’ve just missed focus of the perfect shot, because the kids being kids, moved out the focal point too fast for the camera to adjust.

I shoot exclusively in one shot AF with my Mark III, manually selecting my focus point for every image using the multi controller dial on the back.  In this session I plan to test both this focus mode as well as some others, like AI servo and AI face detect.

I started my session as I often do, with harsh backlighting from the sun filtering between trees behind my subjects.  I kept the camera on one shot AF as the backlight can be tricky for focus. My Mark III would very occasionally have troubling locking in, or I would find had locked on a tree instead.  The Mark IV performed brilliantly, every image was tack sharp, and focus felt fast, accurate and solid (no hunting).   

Canon 5D Mark IV backlight test

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: 85mm, f3.2, ISO640, 1/320sec

Next I tested out AI face tracking (new to the Mark IV) & AI servo, I had the kids race towards me and let the camera pick them out and hold focus. I simply composed for first photo and clicked away as they ran, letting the camera do the rest.  As a family photographer, I’ve always loved the sound of AI servo.  Yet, sadly I’ve never ever been able to get it to work reliably enough to use it in my paid sessions.  The Mark III never seemed to hold focus so I’ve continued to rely refocusing really really fast – it’s safe to say I’ve missed a lot of shots!  The Mark IV results? Despite having a busy tree backdrop, every single shot from the Mark IV was in focus.  Every. Single. One. Tack sharp, even though I was shooting at f3.2 with the 85mm lens and lovely nice narrow depth of field. 

Canon 5D Mark IV (AI face detect AI servo) 85mm, f3.2, 1/640, ISO 640

Canon 5D Mark IV (AI face detect AI servo) 85mm, f3.2, 1/640, ISO 640

It’s safe to say, I’m starting to get a little excited!

Being excited, I went for broke and really test the facial recognition focus by asking my subjects to run wildly side to side and see if the camera would find their face and lock focus fast.  Despite a non challenging grass back ground, it’s safe to say the answer was no.  Not one image caught focus.  I do wonder if I had switched off AI face detect, perhaps in AI servo I may have had some luck.  A test for another day.  Either way, this failure is no disappointment. Telling the camera where to focus rather than letting the camera decide is a key concept I teach in nailing your family photographs.

We move down to the easy light of the shady, sandy river bank and back to my tried and true method of selecting the focal point with one shot AF. We spend some time on fun images, wrestling with Dad, cartwheels,  family races on the beach. 

I would say in my location portrait sessions, this kind of shooting accounts for at least 50% of the time.  Even more when there is a toddler involved.

Again, the Mark IV responds quickly and every image is tack sharp.

After the kids have let of steam, it’s time to pause and attempt to stand still for family portraits.

Canon 5D Mark IV: 85mm, f4.0, 1/1000, ISO 640

Oh that’s right, I’m photographing kids! I’m rarely standing still, bracing the camera with proper handling and a steady grip.  No, I’m jumping around, screaming like a banshee, peeking in and out from behind the camera or pretending to be a monkeys.  This kind of crazy camera handling can lead to some camera shake.  Often, I’ll need to shoot a group at f4.5 to keep everyone in focus and as I like to keep the ISO no higher than ISO1250 for image quality, shutter speeds can dip to 1/250sec or below.  Particularly as the sun sets, or when shooting in deep shade. While 1/250sec is completely acceptable when you can stand still, when I need to be the crazy photographer, I’m often sacrificing the first image to camera shake.

I throw caution to wind and bump my ISO to ISO1600, in tonights light this allows me a luxurious shutter speeds of 1/640 and 1/800sec.  All my images are wonderfully sharp and free of camera shake, but what of image quality?  The detail in the eyes, the noise in the shadows? Would I be happy to put this portrait up as a professional portrait?  Yes! The images look amazing!  The faces and eyes are crisp and detailed, no softness at all, there is a small amount of noise in the image but it’s minor and swiftly dealt with by either DPP or Lightroom with little to no effect on eyes, smiles and fine detail.   Such high quality useable files from 1600ISO, could be a game changer for my monkey dance shooting methods!

Canon 5D Mark IV: 135mm, f4.5, 1/640, ISO1600

Canon 5D Mark IV high ISO test 1600

Canon 5D Mark IV: 135mm, f4.5, 1/800, ISO1600

Lastly as the sun hits the horizon, we head out of the shade and attempt some full back lit images with the sun in full view of the lens.  With the 135mm on there is some hunting, there are occasional times when the camera didn’t lock focus, it was hard to say if it was the camera, lens or situation. Dad racing around with his kids, long zoom, super bright sun.  There was only a few moments, and no missed shots.  By the time I switched to the Mark III, the sun has dipped behind a cloud and doesn’t come back out, so I’m unable to directly compare.

Canon 5D Mark IV: 135mm, f4.5, 1/640, ISO1600

Canon 5D Mark IV: 135mm, f4.5, 1/640, ISO1600

We end the session in magical post sunset light, were it’s almost impossible to take a bad image.  Suffice to say, straight out of camera, in that gorgeous pure light, I barely need to touch the images.  They look amazing. 

Canon 5D Mark IV: 85mm, f4.5, 1/500, ISO1000

Before I let my subjects leave for the evening, I persuade Charlotte to pose for a series of ISO comparison 85mm head shots, ISO1250 to 10,000.  Running both files at the top end through DPP, with no noise filtering and no sharpening, I can see a significant improvement in image quality. 

There’s two reasons for this improvement – One, at 100% there is visibly less noise.  Two, because the Mark IV file is larger, cropping to the same area of the subject, the file is bigger, there are more pixels and thus less noise again! 

Canon 5D Mark III: 85mm, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO10000

Canon 5D Mark IV: 85mm, f11, 1/400, ISO10000

Canon 5D Mark III: 85mm, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO10000 (100% Crop)

Canon 5D Mark IV: 85mm, f11, 1/400, ISO10000 (100% crop)

The Canon EOS Mark III vs The Canon EOS Mark IV | Trial by two year old.

Natural light studio session, with a normal mostly uncooperative 2 year old

One of the many struggles of family studio photographer, is capturing the 2 year olds.  Outside they can run, explore and just be. In a studio, they have to mostly look in one direction, generally hangout in a 3x2 meter zone and where possible perform for the camera.  Two year olds, for the most part; don’t like to follow directions, don’t yet respond to bribes and are often moving fast or are only fleeting in the moment you’re after.  I need to react fast and my gear needs do the same.  My Mark III is great, but I’ll be honest, with 2 year olds in the studio, many images hit the scrap heap because simply they aren’t in focus, I’ve not been able to focus or react as fast as they are moving.  Any improvements on the gear side will be a winner! 

The lovely Alexis joined me in the studio to give the new Mark IV a “trial by two year old.”  She did a brilliant job.  At times she did what I asked, at times she did what ever she wanted.  Sometimes she only wanted Mum and sometimes she wanted to escape the studio in tears.  And she was utterly adorable!  A perfect two year old. 

Two year old studio portraits with canon 5D Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark IV: 85mm, f2.8, 1/800, ISO2000

To assess whether I felt the Mark IV offered an improvement over the Mark III for these troublesome sessions, I’m resorting to statistics.

Through out the shoot, I swapped camera bodies and kept the rest of the settings the same. After downloading the portraits, I assessed every image taken from both cameras and work out the percentage of out of focus images to focused images.  Same session, same child, same lenses and settings. 

The result?

  • Mark IV 18% out of focus. 
  • Mark III 31% out of focus & 5% acceptable but not tack sharp. 

OK so I know I’d need to shoot a lot more sessions to make sure the the trend continued before the figures would stand up in court. Luckily I’m a photographer not a scientist. And for the photographer, a 50% reduction in out of focus images from one of my trickiest session types?  I am really excited now!

Oh and being able to crop even more than the Mark III, brilliant!  The second portrait below was originally a horizontal shot with more space up top.  This cropped image will easily print beautifully at 12x19″ with no resizing of the image needed. I’ve no doubt it would go larger.

The head shot of the girl above, is shot at ISO2000 – I mean wow!  The portrait looks amazing and would look gorgeous printed large.  I’d never have attempted that ISO for a paid studio session with the Mark III.

Canon 5D Mark IV: 50mm, f2.8, 1/1000, ISO1000

Canon 5D Mark IV: 50mm, f2.2, 1/1000, ISO1000

The Canon EOS Mark III vs The Canon EOS Mark IV | The Chubba Bubba

Natural light studio session with a gorgeous chubby bub!

Sitting babies are my favourite portrait subjects,  they can’t crawl away and they all love me – almost with out exception!  Smiles, giggles, drool, the odd tear (that’s mostly adorable), and yep sometimes there’s wee when you nude them up.  What’s not to love?  Except the wee.  Technically, these sessions present very little challenge aside from ever so subtle camera shake from frequent peekaboo behind the camera – after all would you smile at a big black box? 

This session, I simply wanted to get a feel for the camera, compare the resulting image qualities, to relax, enjoy and have a  little play with some of the new features. 

Two year old studio portraits with canon 5D Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark IV: 50mm, f2.5, 1/320, ISO1000

First up, the only failure, the AI Face detect didn’t seem to be able to tell where the babies face was in the gorgeous bare image. It seemed just as likely to choose the chubby arm or tummy over the face.  Again, not even an issue as I prefer to tell the camera where to focus.

Chubby baby face detect canon Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark IV: 50mm, f2.5, 1/320, ISO1000

I shot the whole session between 2.0 and 2.5, with either the 50mm or 85mm lens.  There was very little room to move with depth of field. For a successful portrait, at the very least the front eye must be in focus, because it just has too.  

Here’s where I made a mistake, I accidently shot the entire session using AI Focus instead of single shot AF.  After realising my error, I thought I’d see if the camera reacted to the subtle movement of the baby in and out in each image and perhaps save some shots that otherwise might have been out of focus.  After downloading and assessing the shots in DPP I noticed something interesting. While there were very few out of focus images, I found that when they were out of focus, often the red box (focus point) was not sitting over the eye.  Interestingly, while in one shot AF mode on the Mark III, the red box (the active focus point) was nearly always over the eye, but the focus wasn’t always where the selected focus point was.  With the Mark IV.  Where the box was, the focus was,with a very small number of exceptions.  This all suggests to me the Mark IV was indeed focusing and shooting much faster than the Mark III.  It’s worth noting that I do not use back button focusing, I half press the shutter to focus then click the shutter to take the image.

I also had a little play with touch screen focusing, whilst it was fun, it wasn’t very practical for a normal portrait session simply because it slows the whole picture taking process down considerably.  However for tripod shooting or video, I could see this to be a real advantage.

Dual Pixel Raw?

Lastly I shot all these sessions in Dual Pixel Raw (DPR).  How could I not take the opportunity to perhaps save an out of focus image my making micro adjustments in post!  While an exciting development, in my workflow I don’t feel it will be of much use, purely because it doubles the file size of every image to up to 75mb.  Shooting and processing full time, these files sizes are simply too impractical to use day to day.

If I was shooting something special, perhaps a one off fine art creative work, then I might shoot in DPR and take advantage of ghost reduction, bokeh shift and micro focus adjustments.

I’ve shot a short video to help you take a closer look at the process.

My conclusion

So you may have guessed, I’ll be upgrading without hesitation from the Canon 5DM III to the Mark IV.  

There were three main area’s that won me over

  1. The improvement in the focusing system: It’s proved itself to be faster and more accurate with way that I shoot.
  2. The high ISO performance: This will allow me to shoot with faster shutter speeds or wider apertures with barely any loss of image quality.
  3. The increased image sensor size:  Giving me scope to step back and shoot wider if needed, safe in the knowledge I can crop in post and still have an acceptably sized image for professional portrait delivery.

Essentially, I can see I’ll miss less portraits and be able to capture more magical (and importantly saleable) moments in every session.  An increased accuracy could also result in a shorted shooting time and will reduce my image processing time.  There will be return on my investment in both time and sales.

I haven’t touched on the increased dynamic range of the Mark IV, or the image quality outside of the ISO purely because I am a Lightroom girl.  At this stage Lightroom hasn’t released the updates to process the Mark IV files.  While I could process images in Canons DPP software, I found it hard to compare between the two cameras in software I’m not an expert in.  I’ll be sure to report back when the Lightroom update is out.  Either way, best I go find my credit card.  I’m in.  My new friend the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, is about to become my BBF.

If you’re upgrading and your in Australia, you can’t go past Team Digital in Perth, great pricing and customer service that’s second to none.  And I’m not just saying that because they gave me a camera to play with for a day.  Promise!

JPEG or RAW | How to choose the right file type for you!

JPEG or RAW | How to choose the right file type for you!

You’ve finally got yourself the fancy new camera you’ve always lusted over and you’re sitting at the kitchen table, cup of coffee in one hand, the manual in the other and your camera at the ready.  As well as skimming over a bunch of new words and concepts that make less sense to you than a calm kid after sugar, you realise you now have to choose your file type, as well as jpeg, you can choose something called “raw”.  I mean that sounds rather serious, that’s one setting you’d want to get right straight up yes?

A quick google and you find the online world is divided in it’s advice.  Who do you believe? How do you know what is going to be the right setting for you?  Close google (unless it’s brought you here) I’m going to make it as easy peasy for you to choose the correct file type for YOU! It’s all going to come down to what your plans are once you’ve pressed the shutter, but for most beginners, I’m going to recommend jpeg.

The difference

First up, let’s look at the difference between a raw and jpeg file.  A raw file, is just that – it’s all the raw data about your image, with no processing or compression by the camera.  This means, it’s a large file and it has ALL the detail and information the camera was able to capture in the file.  However, because it’s “raw” it can look flat or lack pop straight out of the camera, it’s designed to be processed in image processing software before the image is complete, so to speak.  A jpeg file has been processed & compressed by the camera.  This means it’s a smaller file and some of the detail and information the camera deems unimportant has been lost.  A jpeg image can be ready to go straight out of the camera, it will already be processed to match the look you’ve chosen right in the camera.

This makes it sound like jpeg is a bad thing, why on earth would you want parts of your image to be lost!  Clearly raw is the way to go right?  Well, no.  In fact, for most beginners jpeg is the best option initially.

The recommendation

If you don’t plan on processing your images on the computer in the near future and simply want to focus on taking better images with your camera, stick with jpeg.  Shooting raw will mean you won’t be seeing your image’s full potential, they won’t look as punchy as your phone or point and shoot images or you’ll be bogged down processing them rather than learning how to use your camera.  Plus, you’ll have to convert the file before you can email it, post it online or even send it to be printed.  Keep things simple, shoot in jpeg until you master the basics on your new camera.  Once you start feeling the urge to “play” in Photoshop, trust me it happens to us all, then start shooting raw.

If however you would like to process your images on your computer now or in the near future – in Lightroom or Photoshop for example – shoot in raw.  I’ll post soon about all the benefits to raw shooting, once your’e ready to get creative in the digital darkroom.

Whichever file type you choose, jpeg or raw – I always recommend selecting the largest file size option.  Don’t bother with smaller files. Every camera will be different in what they call them (superfine, L etc), just be sure to go for the largest one.

raw vs jpeg

Raw image

raw vs jpeg


The only FIVE things you need to get started in photography

The only FIVE things you need to get started in photography

Have you always wanted to learn photography but keep putting it off until you can afford the gear?  You’d be surprised at how little you really need as a beginner photographer.  Sure, once you “catch the bug” it can get expensive, gear envy can be catching and it can be tempting to splash out on the latest and greatest, newest gadget, accessory, lens, bag, book, prop, guide . . . . you get the idea.  Take it from me, don’t waste your cash.  Get started with just the essentials.  Once you start to progress from beginner to more advanced you’ll quickly understand what it is you need next.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve wasted my cash on things I just didn’t need or don’t use.  Just like buying that pair of jeans a fraction too tight – because you’re soo going to drop a few kg’s – don’t do it!  Chances are you won’t and will never fit them.  On the other hand if you do lose the kg’s, reward yourself with the new jeans.  Once you’ve got the basics sorted, you’ll quickly know where your current gear can’t take you and what you really need next.

So what five things do I recommend for beginner photographers?

One | A camera

Okay, so maybe I’m stating the obvious here, but to get started in photography, you need a camera.  What you don’t need is a whizz bang, high end DSLR.  Any camera where you can change the settings (aperture, shutter speed & ISO) is a great start. Even better if you’re able to change lenses.  As you learn, lens choice becomes a big part of the creative process. Look around for a second hand camera, you don’t need the latest one to get started.  Entry level DLSR camera’s are also becoming more and more affordable, take a look at my DSLR buying guide for more tips on buying your first camera.

Two | A fast prime lens

Kit lenses are great to get you started, but they have limitations and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck by investing in a “good glass,” a fixed prime lens.  The good news is the next best lens is also the most affordable! Most professional photographers out there agree you can’t go past a 50mm prime lens.  The f1.8 version in most popular makes is less $200.  You’ll be able to shoot with less light, create a shallower depth of field (that lovely blurry background look) and failing a catastrophe, outlive your camera body so it’s money well spent. Read more about the all the benefits of the nifty fifty here.

five things need get started photography

THREE | A step by step beginners guide

Let’s face it, once you start to move beyond point and shoots, photography is confusing!  Getting to know all the settings and understanding the basic concepts is like learning a new language.  Forget about the manual, you pretty much have to already understand the basics to make any sense out of it.  You can find lots of information on the web, gather great nuggets of information here and there and piece it all together and start taking photos you love.  But let’s face it, even with great free resources like Club Lilypad out there, doing all the research yourself is time consuming and it can be hard to find what you need with out know what your looking for.  A good step by step guide to get you off auto and confidently using your camera is like your fast track golden ticket to the fun park!  You can skip all the frustration and be guided right to the fun part of playing and taking great photos.  If you love taking photo’s of your family, you can’t go past our online beginners course, Photography Launch Pad – learn your camera and how to take great family photos at the same time!

five things need get started photography

FOUR | Partners in crime

Learning something new is always better with friends.  It’s always great to have someone to bounce ideas, problems and successes off. Learning with other people can also bring in some accountability, like having a fitness training partner!  Why not find out if a friend wants to learn together, set some goals and have fun learning together.  If your on facebook, there are a lot of communities out there for beginners and don’t forget the good old camera club. You can gain a lot of meeting up face to face and the wide variety of people and skills in camera clubs can be a gold mine!  Many workshops and courses also form spin off groups and communities to help facilitate learning.

FIVE | You time!

Ok so this isn’t the easiest on to find. I get it, I’m a Mum, whether you work or don’t, finding time to yourself can be hard.  Trust me –  it’s really worth making it happen!  Not only will you be a better Mum/wife/partner by spending time on you.  The only way your’e going to learn is to practice.  The good old saying practice makes perfect could have been written for photography.  The more you shoot, the more you play, the more you start to understand how to get the look you want.  Take your camera with you everywhere you go, keep it out on the kitchen table, or even set yourself a photo a day project.  Whatever it takes to get you snapping!

A Mum’s guide to buying your first DSLR

A Mum’s guide to buying your first DSLR

Christmas is coming and you’re thinking of finally splashing out on a fancy camera.  You start looking around online, looking in a few shops and it doesn’t take long to realise there are more cameras to choose from than dishes at your local Chinese!  How on earth do you narrow it down to the right one for you?  Well, I can’t help you with choosing your dinner (I normally just want it all) but I can when it comes to choosing your camera. 

Here’s my top 4 things to consider when buying your first DSLR camera.

1 – Do you really want a DSLR?

A DSLR is a “big fancy” camera with interchangeable lenses.  It’s what the pros use and will give you the best quality results.  BUT – to get those results you have to know how to use it.  If you buy a DSLR and never take it off Auto, you’re better off buying a smaller, more compact point & shoot.  Your images won’t end up looking that much better, and you’ll just need a bigger bag to carry it all.  If you’re happy to spend a little time learning all about your camera (I can help you there) and are maybe even looking forward to getting a little creative, then go for it!  You won’t regret it!

Remember though – a DSLR is not going to magically fix your photos on it’s own. It’s going to be a team effort between you and the camera 🙂

2 – Price

Entry level DSLR’s are relatively inexpensive these days.  If you’re not sure how much you’ll use it, these are a great option.  If you’ve always looked longingly at gorgeous photos and wished you could do it to, and are serious about documenting your family, then perhaps consider a midrange camera and putting in a little bit more.

3 – Features

All camera’s have loads of features and when moving to a DSLR it can be hard to see the woods for the trees!  So what’s important?  Well, the first thing you can forget about is Megapixels.  It just doesn’t matter, any DSLR these days will have enough for your needs, so don’t even worry about this one.   Other feature that also used to matter a lot, aren’t such a big deal anymore either – even entry level cameras have decent ISO performance (this is how sensitive the camera is to light) Video (if video floats your boat)  and other things like shutter speeds, file types etc. Sure, the better the model the better all these things will be, but entry level cameras are pretty good these days.

So what counts then?  Well, it’s the handling, slightly improved sensors (picture quality) and durability that counts.  Entry level DLSR have controls that make it hard to work in full manual, without dedicated shutter and aperture  controls you have to go through menus which can make it harder to work when your kids are running around – so 95% of the day. The quality of the body itself gets sturdier as you go up. 

How does it feel in your hands:  The two main players in the field are canon and nikon.  While I shoot with canon there is no right answer here. If you can, go to the shop and pick up the models you’re looking at, play with the dials and see which one feels right in your hands. 

4- Accessories

Here’s the thing about DSLR’s.  The camera body is just one half of the picture.  The lens is the other.  The “kit” lenses that come with your camera are going to be OK for getting starting and learning the ropes.  For the biggest leap in your photography quality you’ll want to start getting some good glass.  The best bang for your buck and a lens I’d strongly recommend you try to stretch the budget and include a nifty fifty in your initial purchase.  You can read all about that lens here.

So there you have it.  Do you have any specific questions?  Seen a great deal you’d love to share? – Comment below and let us know or just ask!

The nifty fifty – taking it to the next Level!

The nifty fifty – taking it to the next Level!

You have your swanky new DSLR camera with its kit lens, or even two kit lenses – you’ve had a bit of a play around, got to know the camera and it’s features and like many of us before, you’re hooked on photography and now you’re wondering what to buy next. The best advice out there is to invest in “good glass”, a quality lens. The right lens will improve your image quality and failing a catastrophe, outlive your camera body so it’s important to choose the right one.

Most professionals agree, for your second lens you can’t go past a 50mm prime lens.

Lenses come as either a zoom lens or prime lens which has a fixed focal length, why would a photographer choose a fix over the ease of a zoom lens? Prime lenses are naturally simpler in design, have less moving parts and therefore generally have better image quality as a result, particularly at the budget end of the lens spectrum.

With all the choices out there; wide-­angle, telephoto, macro, why does the 50mm get such a strong vote?  There’s a few good reasons.

Shallow depth of field

When you see portraits with gorgeous soft burred backgrounds behind the subject, it’s called a shallow depth of field. One of the key ways to achieve this is to use the lowest aperture or f-­stop you can. Most kit lenses go down to f/3.5 at the most and truly shallow depth of field starts at around f/2.8. The nifty fifty will go down to f/1.8 for around $150 AUD.

Great for low light

Another bonus of being able to shoot at low apertures is you can shoot in much darker places than before. Shooting your family with natural light indoors will be easier and brighter with the nifty fifty.

It’s versatile

Some lenses are perfect for one or two uses such as landscapes, portraits, wildlife or sport but aren’t as good at anything. The Fifty does a great job at all of these. As an added bonus it’s small, lightweight and fast at focusing, making it a really nice lens to use

Value for money.

It’s close to what we naturally see. A 50mm is the closest to capturing what your eye sees naturally. Your images will naturally look like you see.

Now you know what to put on your christmas or birthday list!

Your welcome 🙂