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Old August 6th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #1
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Canon 20D and a group of lenses...

okies, well im looking at going back into the Stills game, as the video market her in Aus just seems to be falling on its knees with each coming season..
More than anything though, its probably due to our current budget climate, but in the end, my livelihood may suffer if i dont take any action...
Video is successful, but the amount of post production work far exceeds the $$ value of the actual product value... and i guess until the market itslef becomes educated on it, id like to have something to fall back on.

Now coming from a background of Stills, i know what i need to know to get a shot, but this is all with film... and learning the behaviour or nuances of each film stock we used required a different train of thought for any potential shot.. also the shooting itself was NOT for weddings, whereas our predominant target market today is..

So with all the new spanky gizmos coming out, im looking at a decent kit which will allow me to shoot a full days wedding without any headaches..
Now i dont need much of a kit, basically a standard lense, a wide lense, a tele and maybe a macro for detail on jewelery.. but im not sure if this will suffice.. i dont want overkill and i dont want to spend too much on this, as from the moment i get the kit, it will be about 6 months before i start making money from it..

At th emoment, im looking at -
Canon 20d mk2
EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 II lens
Canon 580EX speedlight
ef 20mm f2.8usm Wide lense OR ef 28mm f1.8usm (what do you think? Or maybe a 35mm for portraits?? Basically i want to use a wide lense for portrait.. but im not so sure.. )
efs17-85mm OR ef28-135mmf3556isusm
and Maybe a decent telephoto unit.. but that depends on budget..

From here, id prolly get a battery extender grip, microdrives/CF cards and all those lil things...

So what are your thoughts on this kit??
Do you think there are bettter lens options out there?? Specifically for portrait and event work, i think it might be a decent enough setup, but your thoughts are appreciated!!!!!
The basick budget for this is around the $5000AUD ($4000US) so if you have any ideas, please feel free to spam me.. :)

cheers
Pete
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Old August 6th, 2005, 09:20 PM   #2
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Hmmm, I'm not familiar with a "Mark 2" version of the 20D? Presume you mean Canon 20D?

Anyway, I bought my wife a 20D when they came out last Aug or Sep. We love it (yup, she lets me use it anytime I want!), but just a reminder about it being a small-sensor camera:

- you're going to have to work a bit harder to get those artsy shallow depth of field shots
- 1.6x apparent zoom factor will skew your lens choices a bit.
- 8 MPixel is plenty for most work, but might be a concern in those cases where clients are going to want very large prints.

If it doesn't totally bust the bank, going up to a 1D or 1Ds to get the full-size sensor with higher pixel count would probably be a wise business investment, IMHO. But, yeah, that's some bucks!

In any case, if the Big Bucks cameras are absolutely out of the question and you go with the 20D...my guess is that the 18-55 EFs lens is a "cheap" one...practically a "throw in" with the body, at $100 USD or less premium for the kit vs the body only. We have the 17-85 EF-s and find that to be a pretty nice lens, even if not L glass, with a wide enough zoom range that you probably wouldn't have to change lenses during a typical wedding shoot. The image stabilization really does work to gain a stop or two in low light.

Other random comments:
- Battery life on the camera is surprisingly good...hundreds of shots on one charge; we just have a spare Lenmar battery at the ready and never have a concern about running out of juice.
- Really happy with the 580EX flash
- Before I bought the camera, I read that the shutter sound is a bit loud and shrugged my shoulders. BUT IT REALLY IS LOUD. It is honestly loud enough that I would consider it unsuitable for use during a formal ceremony of any type...really annoying and draws attention to itself.

So, hope those thoughts help you in your choice of cameras.

Cheers!
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Old August 7th, 2005, 01:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comments Pete, i have just afew things before i go on...

Hmmm, I'm not familiar with a "Mark 2" version of the 20D? Presume you mean Canon 20D?
((yeah i meant to say 20d, as i was also considering the 1ds MK2.. which i was going to post about, but changed my mind due to budget.. i jsut didnt edit my post properly))

Anyway, I bought my wife a 20D when they came out last Aug or Sep. We love it (yup, she lets me use it anytime I want!), but just a reminder about it being a small-sensor camera:

- you're going to have to work a bit harder to get those artsy shallow depth of field shots

((OK, well im used to that when shooting with DV ;) is it THAT much of an issue? So long as i get clean, contrasted blurs, i'll be happy......

- 1.6x apparent zoom factor will skew your lens choices a bit.
((Is this from the camera itslef of the CCDs limitation? Im a lil confused about this, as i might be totally on a difference tangent))

- 8 MPixel is plenty for most work, but might be a concern in those cases where clients are going to want very large prints.
((The largest im loking at would most likely be Poster size... at the most.. but i even doubt i will get that many queries on poster sized images.. prolly twice A3 (whatever that size is.. ) would be the biggest.. ))

If it doesn't totally bust the bank, going up to a 1D or 1Ds to get the full-size sensor with higher pixel count would probably be a wise business investment, IMHO. But, yeah, that's some bucks!
((Exactly.. right now im going to test the waters and as ill also need a backup, the buget will be pushing it quite a bit of i go for the 1ds.. although it would be the ideal unit, right now, the market value of what im planning on doing doesnt justify the cost.. yet.. of this test works out ok, and things start rolling, maybe ill consider the upgrade.. right now though, its all about the $$ ))

In any case, if the Big Bucks cameras are absolutely out of the question and you go with the 20D...my guess is that the 18-55 EFs lens is a "cheap" one...practically a "throw in" with the body, at $100 USD or less premium for the kit vs the body only.
((Yeah well the lense comes with the unit so i know where youree coming from.... ))

We have the 17-85 EF-s and find that to be a pretty nice lens, even if not L glass, with a wide enough zoom range that you probably wouldn't have to change lenses during a typical wedding shoot. The image stabilization really does work to gain a stop or two in low light.

((Thats another thing i was going to ask.. i know theres an EF optical stabiliser whch mounts between the lens and the body.. ive sold one to a phot client but i didnt take much notice of it at the time.. do many Canon lenses come with stabilisers?? Id assume the longer telephoto units would, but do u think i may need one of these?? ))

Other random comments:
- Battery life on the camera is surprisingly good...hundreds of shots on one charge; we just have a spare Lenmar battery at the ready and never have a concern about running out of juice.

((I was considering the additional battery grip, and running 6x 2500mha NmH batteries and using that method for power. then id have about another 50odd batteies in the bag to cover the speedlight power, and additional power when these drain.. at the most im lookin at about 600 pictures in RAW through a normal shooting day...

- Really happy with the 580EX flash

((good to hear.. i saw it in action and i noticed it throws a red grid over teh subject. Is this to analyse exposure and set flash output automatically? Im curious about the 2way operation of this unit, but i cant find anyone who can educate me.. ))

- Before I bought the camera, I read that the shutter sound is a bit loud and shrugged my shoulders. BUT IT REALLY IS LOUD. It is honestly loud enough that I would consider it unsuitable for use during a formal ceremony of any type...really annoying and draws attention to itself.
((I heard about this.. at the end of the day, irrespective of how intrusive that clicking sound can be, i dont think people will mind so much, so long as the image results are acceptable.. I hear what your saying, and i can see how it can impact on the procedures of a quiet ceremony, but to me, it isnt a great concern considering 90% of the photographers ive worked with are using these same units.
From the look of it, it must be doing somethign right for them to be utilising it on day to day operations. On the flipside, shooting video and having a photographer use a 20d, is noticable, but not in a way where it ruins my sound.. i did consider the 350d but to me, id rather pay a little extra and have superfast DF/Microdrive speeds and almsot instant boot up sequence..
Speaking of microdrive.. i found a hitachi unit which is 6gb.. i was wondering if this was a good idea, or if it would be safer getting afew 2gb CF cards.. reason i ask is in case of disc failure.. or data corruption... if i use CF cards, i at least wont lose teh whole day.. but if i rely on puttin everythign on one card/drive, then your risk of damage or loss increases.. another option i was looking at was instead of gettin a laptop and taking that with me, i would get a mobile HDD, and transfer the filed from the CF to the HDD throughout the day.. this would save $$ having to purchse too many CF cards.. but in the end cheap laptop would not only let me use it as a storage device through the day, but also give me the ability to create slideshows etc on the actual day which can be projected at the reception... so thats another thing im considering.. the workflow and a different kind of service to the norm....))

So, hope those thoughts help you in your choice of cameras.
((Thanks for your comments pete, youve really made me think about afew things and i really do appreciate it.
If anyone else has anymore comments, please feel free to air them :)

Cheers!
Pete
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Old August 7th, 2005, 09:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
Thanks for your comments Pete, i have just afew things before i go on...

((yeah i meant to say 20d, as i was also considering the 1ds MK2.. which i was going to post about, but changed my mind due to budget.. i jsut didnt edit my post properly))
Actually, there is a 2nd version of the 20d I believe, in Japan. I think something was posted here about it a month ago.

Quote:
- 1.6x apparent zoom factor will skew your lens choices a bit.
((Is this from the camera itslef of the CCDs limitation? Im a lil confused about this, as i might be totally on a difference tangent))
Sensor size limitation. The smaller sensor only takes the middle part of the picture that the lens gives it. A 200mm lens still behaves like a 200mm lens, except that the picture you get from it is the same view as from a 320mm lens. The 1Ds having a 35mm sensor doesn't have this issue.

Quote:
We have the 17-85 EF-s and find that to be a pretty nice lens, even if not L glass, with a wide enough zoom range that you probably wouldn't have to change lenses during a typical wedding shoot. The image stabilization really does work to gain a stop or two in low light.
((Thats another thing i was going to ask.. i know theres an EF optical stabiliser whch mounts between the lens and the body.. ive sold one to a phot client but i didnt take much notice of it at the time.. do many Canon lenses come with stabilisers?? Id assume the longer telephoto units would, but do u think i may need one of these?? ))
I have the 28-135mm IS lens, and the IS is a great help if you are shooting in low light. I love it. Check Canon's website to see which lenses come with IS and which don't.
I've never heard of a EF stabilizer adapter.

Quote:
((I was considering the additional battery grip, and running 6x 2500mha NmH batteries and using that method for power. then id have about another 50odd batteies in the bag to cover the speedlight power, and additional power when these drain.. at the most im lookin at about 600 pictures in RAW through a normal shooting day...
Get the battery grip just for the portrait grip if you are doing wedding portaits. Plus, it makes your camera look sweeter. :)
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Old August 7th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #5
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thanks Dylan, much appreciated..

that EF stabiliser was a white unit which we sold for about $450AUD.. i cant seem to find it anywhere now though.. but i know it exists.. (or existed for more of an operative word)

I'll keep an eye out for IS lenses, as low light performance will be imperitive.. but with all this, will i still need a light meter?? Or does the 580ex and the 20d work together to give me an accurate reading?
Im still baffled about the 580ex, as im used to the old light metres, then setting up the aperture and flash range manually (old school film style.. ) but if these units can do all this automatically, it would save me alot of time..

any ideas?
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Old August 10th, 2005, 05:58 AM   #6
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I had the Canon 17-85mm IS USM and 28-135mm IS USM and the 17-85 is definitely worth the extra cash!
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Old August 10th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #7
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Dylan,
I wonder if the camera you're thinking about is the 20Da? That is a new variant of the camera specially designed for astrophotography. I'm otherwise not aware of a mainstream update to the 20D. Anyway, thanks for answering Peter's followup questions while I was traveling.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 08:24 AM   #8
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i would wait if you could the 5d will be out soon its a full frame 12meg camera with a huge 2.5 inch screen, full frame means it has a nice clear big view through the lens...

i would skip the 18-55

if you want the ultimate clarity in your portraits with perfect bokeh get an 85 1.2 considered best portrait lens out there because of its signature sharpness and great bokeh

if you something wider get a 50 1.4 or 35 1.4, the 28 and 24 are pretty soft for portraits, if you need something that wide you might consider a 17-40 or 24-70

a great kit would be a
24-70 2.8
70-200 2.8 is
580ex
d1m2

a lower priced kit would be
17-40 4
sigma 70-200 2.8
580ex
d20

when shooting a live event speed is everything you won't have much time to switch lenses so using primes is out, the 70-200 can function as your protrait lens because it gives you great bokeh and its fast at 2.8 so you will have great dof...i wuld not consider any lens that doesn't have usm, your focus needs to be fast so you don't miss anything, and your lenses should take in as much light as possible, hence the 2,8

i only suggets the d1m2 because it can write to
compact flash and sd cards at the same time, if one gets corupted you have a backup, you get peace of mind...

you also might want to pick up a used d300 or d350 as backup
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Old August 10th, 2005, 09:31 AM   #9
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thanks robert, much appreciated!

"i would wait if you could the 5d will be out soon its a full frame 12meg camera with a huge 2.5 inch screen, full frame means it has a nice clear big view through the lens..."
Any ideas of an ETA or price for this?

I did consider teh 1ds, and peace of mind is something which is on my major list of concersn considerin the horror stories ive heard pertaining to corruption of CF Cards..

Which was why i was either thinking huge 6gb microdrive, or 10 or so 512 mb CF cards and a laptop.. the reason im looking at smaller capacities, is that if one card dies, or nukes my work and i have to reformat, at least im not loosing too much valuable data..

as for the backup, im also looking at that which is why budget is such a big deal at the moment.. i dont want to blow cash on something that wont pay itslef off within 12month..
preferably a 1ds would be the way to go, but at the moment, its a long shot..

thanks again to everyones comments, ill take heed of the sigma suggestion, but i honeslty wouldnt know the differences nowadays, as im so out of date...
oh well, gotta get started somewhere i guess!
Any furhter suggestions are greatly appreciated
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Old August 10th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
Any ideas of an ETA or price for this?
Peter - it's still a rumor and I don't know more than anyone else but best guesses are an announcement this month or next, and a price around $3000-3500. If the patterns follow that of previous DSLRs and it's announced soon, I'd expect shipping within the next 3 months.

Again, I don't really know anything, I'm just spreading rumors. :) Check DPR for more rumors, don't anyone e-mail me.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #11
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ROFLMAO

no its good to at least know coz im not jumping into this, firstly im working on the backend and gettin myself refreshed in Photoshop... something fierce actually.. so im going hard at it.. unfortunately theres not too much time in the day to do all this.. :(

but yeah... im doing alot of homework before i do much else.. itsa big investment and i dont wanna make any mistakes...
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Old August 11th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Dylan,
I wonder if the camera you're thinking about is the 20Da? That is a new variant of the camera specially designed for astrophotography. I'm otherwise not aware of a mainstream update to the 20D. Anyway, thanks for answering Peter's followup questions while I was traveling.
That's the one I mean Pete.


As far as the 5d, oh yeah, I'm waiting for that one too. :)
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:47 PM   #13
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has anyone used an Iriver with one of these cams??
Considering theyre USB2 enabled, i was looking through portable HDD devices to find a unit which either has a HDD and a CF slot, (as opposed to using a laptop) i was hoping to use a device like this to transfer the data from the CF card to a HDD as the day progressed..
THEN i saw the iriver which states

"USB On The Go

Connect other USB Devices and use them together without the need of an computer. For example if you have a digital camera, connect it to the PMP-140 and transfer the images from the camera to the PMP-140. "

now one photographer i was speaking to last night actaully said that he sometimes runs a nikon camera straight into an iriver and bypasses the whole CF stage.. Im a lil dubious coz some of the things he was saying were a lil ... well.. how to put it.. .. i cant think of the word, but some of teh concepts he was talking about jsut didnt make sense..

anyways.. i was wondering about this, or whether i would be better off jsut gettin a laptop and doing it that way.. ??
any ideas on storage other than a laptop?
basically what im considering is 5x 1gb CF Cards.. any bigger and you risk major damage in case of failure..
But i want to tranfer the material on these cards to a storage device...
and thats basically it...

this 5d intrigues me.. hmm... time to hassle Canon (its ok, theyre one of my suppliers ;) )
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Old August 14th, 2005, 11:10 AM   #14
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Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM

is this any good??

i saw one on ebay for less than $1000AUD... any thoughts?

also i was searching around for the 5d, as well as asking around some.. umm.. "friends on the inside" who wont be named. lol
And it so happens that its true.. no longer a rumour, but offical prices start about $4500 AUD (prolly more when adding for import and taxes) or $3500USD

also the unit is apparently in production (well soon) and will be announced in late August, with shipping/availability to commense in October.
Also apparently theyre phasing out the 1.6x units.... eventually.. and using full frame CCD with every new upcoming model... we should see a full frame 400d soon after but i dont think well really see this for another year or so...

Apparently, the sensor is a CMOS 12.8megapixel (based on the 1Ds MK2).
Full frame at 35.8 x 23.9mm.
Shutter speed is 3 frames per second with a 60 frames JPEG burst speed.
17 frames RAW,
9 point autofocus with 6 invisible points.
Compatible with all EF lenses (but not EF-S).
LCD of 2.5inch 230,000 pixels.
Magnesium body.
DIGIC II.
USB 2.0 connectivity.
CF card.
RGB Histogram.
Much lighter than the 1D body and weighs 40grams more than the 20D.
Has the form factor about the same as the 10D.
Will take a new BG-E4 grip.
Effective Pixels: 12.8M Approx.
Type: 35.8 x 23.9mm CMOS
Total Pixels:13.3M Approx
Max Resolution: 4,368 x 2,912 pixels
Aspect Ratio:3:2
Low-Pass Filter: Built in/Fixed
Colour Filter Type: Primary Colour
3 Frames/sec
9 Focus Points 6 invisible points
Depth of Field Preview- Yes
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Old August 14th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #15
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I'm dissapointed it only shoots 3fps. If this camera shot 8fps, it would be nearly the perfect camera for me. Still, pretty sweet for the price, but is it that much better than the 1Ds?
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