Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wshop special venue for the new Canon line

Guests are the Eos 1DX, 5D mark III, G1X, lenses, lenses, lenses

For the second time this month, I’ve been kindly invited by Wshop in Brussels for the official presentations of the news products issued by Nikon (February) and Canon (March). The first one, Nikon, took place at the Champagnothèque in the Galleries de la Reine, in the old city of Brussels. Presentation of the newcomer, the D4 and his little brother, the D800…As I’m not a Nikon specialist, I won’t be commenting on the ergonomics nor the controls (I hadn’t enough time to dig into the menus and find out the differences. 

A fistfull of long lenses
© Quiet Leaf

NIKON D4 and D800


D4: very light! Even if the body has a massive look, it’s doesn’t necessarily translate in a heavy load in your hand; I was expecting a similar feel compared to my eos 1D but it wasn’t that obvious. Nice look with all the controls glowing in the dark.
D800 with grip: a bit unbalanced (with the Nikon battery tray, not the AA one)

I never had the opportunity to try a professional Nikon body in the field so it was more a discovery than a real comparison. 


New printers were also there, and we had the possibility to print some images taken with the new lenses; it was an excellent possibility to judge them with A4 prints. The only downside of being in a nice spot (we had a superb view on Brussels by day and night) was that I couldn’t try the lenses in a “sport” situation, only with static portraits. There are some, but no one from the new bodies !

New printers, new pictures
© Quiet Leaf

 Eos 1DX

For the small tests I made, the AF was right there, even in very poor light (it had the new 24mm 2.8 mounted on). The biggest changes were with the AF system, with a special sub-menu only related to the customization of the AF settings. The major part of the presentation was also AF-related.  The presentation itself lasted for 1h30 and a poor guy fell asleep just in front of the Canon representative. This remembers me to mention that the 1Dx has a great, bright viewfinder (100%), just so nice to look throught it.

The Eos 1DX with the new EF 24mm 2.8 II
© Quiet Leaf
Back of the Eos 1DX
© Quiet Leaf

Eos 5D mark III

The mark III was the most waited camera for me; just based on the specs sheet, I was already sold to this camera. It’s a slightly downscaled 1Dx: it’s weathersealed (albeit not as good as the 1Dx but the same level as the 7D), has the same AF system (again, behind the 1Dx in terms of tracking accuracy), a great resolution (22MP) and a redesigned body. It’s a bit bigger than the former 5D but feels just as good in the hand, without the weight of the 1D series. The feature that I liked most was the quiet mode. As it says, it’s quiet. So quiet. So quiet that I could even consider using it during classical music concerts. No need for rangefinders anymore! (well, not for that en tous cas). Note that the 1D’s quiet mode is not as quiet, it’s noticeably louder and can’t be used in special moments/places without being noticed.

The Eos 5D Mark III with the new 24-70mm 2.8 L II
© Quiet Leaf
To be honest, it’s the first time in years where I thought about upgrading from my current gear. It just fits every need I have: full frame, wheatersealing, good AF, high sensitivities, quietness, compactness (compared to 1D series), and even a dual memory slot. But at 3500€, you’ll have to save a bit. Note: at the end of the show, I was talking with a photographer who I just met before and he said without any remorse that he bought one of each model (“uh yeah you know I could have bought cash the 5DmIII anytime, it's not a nig deal”).

[I’ve to mention that as I’m writing this article, I can hear a man trying to convince his wife to let him buy one of the new bodies, it’s quite funny to listen as they don’t seem aware of me. Ha, there he goes to the shop’s owner and the lady stays there with a “gosh, why?” expression on her face].

Canon G1X

Nice camera, all the features are there. There has been some talks about slow AF speeds, but seriously it’s a compact, not a DSLR, so what do you want to expect? Coming from my other compacts I had no trouble focusing on objects under poor lighting conditions. The camera has its proeminent lens on its front side which makes it quite bulky. Don’t forget it’s ment to replace your DSLR when you’re tired lugging it when you’re on holiday. It’s a big compact with a big sensor plus an articulated screen and good IQ (as far as I could check it on the back screen), offering an all-in-one solution for people who want compactness without having to deal with interchangeable lenses as the other major systems offer (NEX, m43,…).

The G1X
© Quiet Leaf

There were three lenses, the EF 300 2.8L IS II /400 2.8 and an EF 800 5.6 L... Sweet! I should have left with them. Sad enough we weren’t at a sport event so no “action” tests but I printed some portraits in A4’s from the duo 5D+400 2.8 and yes, it breathes detail and contrast…

Handheld portrait with a 400mm 2.8 L IS II
5D mkI - f/2.8 ISO 400, 1/1000
© Quiet Leaf

 Using the 800mm convinced me not to buy it, at least because I couldn’t use it properly. It’s really ment for nature lovers and people who need the biggest reach possible (not like me checking what’s going on in the flats a hundred meters away…).

One of the guest nearly dropped the 400mm on the ground
© Quiet Leaf
The IS of the 300mm 2.8L IS II is phenomenal, I could go as low as 1/60th without any blur
© Quiet Leaf

 They also spoke about the new radio triggering feature, but none of them (Canon’s official representatives) could say if the system was equal/better than the Pocket Wizards. I don’t see it replacing the PW system as the Canon’s can’t trigger studio flashes.  So this was about the new Canon products.

A special thanks to the photographers who I met tonight and for the interesting conversations I had with them. A special mention for the Double You Shop and the team for the event, as far as I know it’s the first time in Brussels that a shop offers to its customers such events like this one (and the Nikon one also). Thumbs up for them.


The Atomium, Brussels
© Quiet Leaf
© Quiet Leaf