Canon vs Nikon
In this post I won’t debate whether Canon is better than Nikon, because it is. =) Shoot with what your comfortable with. For me it just happens to be a Canon. My first point and shoot was a Canon, my first film SLR was a Canon AE, my first DSLR was a Canon 20D. Canon has always been in my blood. So if you’re thinking about investing a bunch of money into professional gear, stick with what you know. There are a ton of debate out there on Canon vs Nikon, I guarantee you won’t be able to find a definite answer. But if you pay close attention to sporting events, you will notice that most professional photographers on the sidelines shoot with Canon. That was enough reason for me to follow the same path when I decided to go pro. All these people who make money doing it professionally can’t be wrong.
Photography is Not Cheap
Photography is an expensive profession to get into, and my firm belief is that you should always do it right the first time, but that’s just me. I’ve never been one to put my foot half in. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to jump all in. It’ll save you money in the long run. Trust me.
What to Buy First
Most photographers will switch camera bodies multiple times throughout their career, that’s a given. I consider camera bodies, girlfriends. When it comes to lenses however, it’s like a marriage, you’re most likely in it for the long haul so you want to make sure you get the best. For Canon, these lenses are coined “L” lenses, the L stands for Luxury. You can spot them easily with a red ring around the end of the lens. They are solidly built and the quality of images they put out is nothing short of amazing, they are Canon’s professional line. I know they’re expensive. When I bought my first L lens, it was a tough pill to swallow. $1300 for one lens? Um, that’s more than my camera. There’s a reason for this, which brings me back to my girlfriend vs wife theory.
If you have a great camera but you’re shooting through cheap lenses, your images are going to look crappy. If you have a decent camera but you’re shooting through real high quality glass (lenses), your images will still look good. If you have a great camera and great lenses but your images are still crappy, well then it’s not the gear. Just FYI.
With that said, if you only have enough money to buy a camera and a lens, buy an L lens and see how much money you have left over and get the best camera you can at your price point.
Which L Lens Should I Buy First
The first L Lens that you should buy is the 24-70mm f2.8L. This is a great all purpose lens. It gives you flexibility with the coverage, from wide angle to zoom. I use this lens more than any of my other lenses that I have.
The second lens that you should get is the 100mm f/2.8 macro. Good news is that this lens won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s not an L series, but the quality that it produces is on par with the L series. You might think that you won’t have a need for macro, but trust me it comes in handy, plus it’s just a FUN lens! You can take this into your backyard and discover a whole new World. I use it for portraits, beauty work where I have to get close up shots of the makeup, weddings, and product shoots.
Here’s my collection
16-35mm f/2.8L II
24mm f/3.5L tilt shift
50mm f/2.8 macro (Sigma)
85mm f/1.2L II
90mm f/2.8 tilt shift
100mm f/2.8 macro
70-200mm f/2.8L IS
100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Which Camera Should I Invest In?
If you have enough money, a great camera to invest in is the Canon 5D Mark II. When shooting professionally, size does matter. The 5D Mark II packs a punch for the price. It’s ability to handle low light situations is amazing and to top it off it records in 1080p.
- 21 megapixel CMOS sensor (very similar to the sensor in the EOS-1Ds Mark III)
- Sensor dust reduction by vibration of filter
- ISO 100 – 6400 calibrated range, ISO 50 – 25600 expansion (1Ds Mark III & 5D max ISO 3200)
- Auto ISO (100 – 3200) in all modes except manual
- 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
- DIGIC 4 processor, new menus / interface as per the EOS 50D
- Image processing features:
- Highlight tone priority
- Auto lighting optimizer (4 levels)
- High ISO noise reduction (4 levels)
- Lens peripheral illumination correction (vignetting correction)
- RAW and SRAW1 (10 MP) / SRAW2 (5 MP)
- RAW / JPEG selection made separately
- Permanent display of ISO on both top plate and viewfinder displays
- AF micro adjustment (up to 20 lenses individually)
- Three custom modes on command dial, Creative Auto mode
- Image copyright metadata support
- 98% coverage viewfinder (0.71x magnification)
- 3.0″ 920,000 dot LCD monitor with ‘Clear View’ cover / coatings, 170° viewing angle
- Automatic LCD brightness adjustment (ambient light sensor)
- Live view with three mode auto-focus (including face detection)
- No mirror-flip for exposures in Live View if contrast detect AF selected
- Movie recording in live view (1080p H.264 up to 12 minutes, VGA H.264 up to 24 mins per clip)
- Two mode silent shooting (in live view)
- New jump options in play mode
- HDMI and standard composite (AV) video out
- Full audio support: built-in mic and speaker, mic-in socket, audio-out over AV (although not HDMI)
- IrPort (supports IR remote shutter release using optional RC1 / RC5 controllers)
- UDMA CompactFlash support
- New 1800 mAh battery with improved battery information / logging
- New optional WFT-E4 WiFi / LAN / USB vertical grip
- Water resistance: 10 mm rain in 3 minutes
Canon 5D Mark II + 24-70mm f2.8L = You’re on your way to becoming a bad ass photographer.