What camera?

Or more importantly, why do I use these big, heavy, costly 1-series cameras? Like my 1D Mark IV?

Even in tonight’s course, a student asked me that (yes, you know who you are). Good question.

Canon 1D Mark IV camera

Michael's Canon 1D Mark IV camera

So do they give me better pictures?

Of course not. Unlike the lens, the camera makes little or no difference to the image. Sensors are pretty much sensors, now, and when the image is being taken, the sensor and the lens are really the only two thing sin play. The camera is ust a box.

Nevertheless, I invest in these heavy things. I’ll give you some clues as to why.

  • I can write to two memory cards at once. This is important when the event is important, like a wedding: memory cards can, and occasionally do, fail.
  • They can get wet – on last Sunday’s Creative Urban Photography shoot, my 1D bodies were dripping with water, literally.
  • They are fast (the 1D Mark IV, a sports camera, takes 10 shots a second!)
  • They are more customizable. The less you spend, the more functions are removed by Canon and Nikon et al.
  • They last. The 1-series bodies can take 300,000 shots before the shutter needs replacing. A consumer camera can take a fraction of that.
  • Support. I can sign up to Canon CPS and pay extra money to get support: but only if I have “professional” cameras.

That’s why I spend money, and if you do not need these benefits, that’s why you do not have to. Spend your money on lenses and flashes, in that case!

3 thoughts on “What camera?

  1. Sorry I need your professional opinion on my gear..
    I am debating if I need change my camera a canon 50D with the new 1D mk IV
    I am not a pro, I own many crops lens ( 17-55mm f2.8 is -15-85mm is- 10-22mm 60mm macro) I am 53 y.old and I ‘d like to get a 1D camera once in my life
    My other camera is a fullframe 5D old with 17-40mm, 70-200mm f4 is, 24-105mm f4 is,
    plus 2 canon flash 430 and 580 II
    I am selling some stuff and I have now 2200€
    I could sell all my crop material and finally buy my dream with some more new lens
    what I am asking, in your opinion ..WORTH IT ?
    or is better to sell the old 5D and buy a less expensive new 5D mk II…?

    Thank -you !
    I read your wonderful blog everyday, and I learned many thing about flash photography
    regards from Italy
    Adalberto Tombolini

  2. I return to this topic becouse after months, following your advice, I made the important decision of
    update both of my cameras
    so now (finally) I have a Canon 1D mk IV, and a 5D MK II
    evviva !

    At this point I think it’s time to optimize my kit of lenses

    So I’d ask you (again) a kindly advice, knowing that I can rely on a true expert

    these are all my lenses:

    17-40mm f4 and 16-35mm f2.8 II Sigma 15-30mm

    20-105mm f4 and 70-200mm f4 is 70-300mm IS 100-400mm

    Tamron 28-75mm canon 17-85mm is er

    Fixed Canon L : 24mm f1.4 II 135mm f2
    and Canon not L : canon 24mm f2.8 canon 35mm f2 and 50 f1.8

    Macro: Tamron 90mm macro Canon 100mm f2.8 Canon 60mm f2.8

    I would like to keep only one wide zoom ( I thought that the wide zoom 16-35mm was better ..)
    but I can not decide which to keep

    then I would replace the 70-200 f4 is with the new version of the 70-200 f2.8 II
    Worth it ..?

    and sell the 17-85mm and the Tamron 28-75mm that I no longer use
    to get the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L
    Worth it ?

    perhaps in this case I could also sell the 24-105mm
    if I had the 24-70mm f2.8

    I would then like to combine my two best primes (the 24mm II and 135mm f2 II)
    35mm f1.4 or 50mm f1.2
    I could sell all my not L primes the 24mm f2.8 35mm f2 50mm f1.8 that I did not need more ..
    what do you prefer between the canon 35mm f1.4 and the 50mm f1.2 ?

    Finally, I think it is worth selling all three of my macro lenses for the new Canon 100mm f2.8 L is
    what do you think ..?

    Sorry for my many questions,and my not pefect english
    I read every day your blog and I trust in your advice always !
    Thank you, very, very much

    greetings from Italy

    Dr. Adalberto Tombolini


    ps 1
    Have you ever thought of teaching a photography course in Italy ..?
    ps 2
    Please share your setting on 1D MK IV (..please..)

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