Astonishing 5D Mark III

30 07 2012

Hey all,

I got my Canon 5D Mark III back in March in the first pre-order batch and I’ve been amazed ever since I started using it. I’ve always held back on the 5D Mark II because of its lack of speed. I used to shoot a 1D Mark IIN. So last summer, knowing that a Mark II replacement was coming, I bought a 7D to keep me waiting. I must say that the body feels pretty good and it is a very nice camera for speed work and video also. However, I was never satisfied with the image quality of this camera. Above all, I discovered recently that it front focused!!.

So here comes the 5D Mark III! What a perfect camera for my needs. It is small (compared to a 1D series body), fast (relatively), the IQ is awesome (especially with some lenses) and the high ISO is just insane (really!!!).

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 35L f1.4 ISO 8000

I did a wedding early July. As there is still no support for the 5D Mark III within the Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 and Mini TT1 (as of July 2012), I decided to go completely available light, knowing that the Mark III did awesome in earlier events that I did. As you can Imagine, the reception room was pretty low in available light. I had with me the Canons 35L 1.4 and the 85L 1.2, but I wanted a fast shutter speed (who doesn’t?). To be comfortable, I pushed the ISO up to 8000 !!! Really, 8000! Whoever tried that on a Mark IIN or a 7D know what I’m talking about! This high ISO is just impossible to use on these two camera and I guess it is the same for the 5D Mark II. But with this new baby, it is not only possible, but remarkably good for events (I wouldn’t shoot stock at ISO 8000!) Add a little noise reduction in Lightroom 4 (about 30) and the file looks really nice.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 35L f1.4 ISO 8000

I’m glad I didn’t used flashes at the reception, because it would have killed most of the nice pinkish bluish ambiance. Here are three photos taken during the dinner/party at ISO 8000 so you can judge for yourself.

Thanks!

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 35L f1.4 ISO 8000

Thanks for reading. You can find my images on my iStockphoto portfolio by cliking on the banner below.

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Mixing Pocket Wizard and Profoto Air sync

21 02 2012

So, here’s the question I think a lot of people are asking. Could it be possible to mix strobes fired by Pocket Wizard devices along with others fired by Profoto proprietary Air Sync radio system in a studio setup? I was VERY glad to find out last week that yes, it is totally possible. However, if this kind of setup appeals to you, read on to be sure you fully understand how to succesfully mix both system.
First of all, it is very important to understand that a Pocket Wizard radio cannot trigger a Air Sync radio and vice versa, simply because they don’t transmit on the same frequency. So let’s say you have a Pocket Wizard Plus II on your camera and you want to trigger a Profoto acute b2 equiped With Air Sync, it’s not going to work.
The way to make everything work together is to have both systems in parallel at the same time. Let me explain.
To do this, you will need at least a pocket wizard transmitter and one receiver and one Profoto tranciever (Air Sync or Air Remote) and one receiver.
The simplest setup would be to slide the Profoto tranciever into the hot shoe of a Mini TT1 or Flex TT5 and then slide that combo into the hot shoe of your camera.

That way, the pocket wizard will relay the signal to the Profoto tranciever just like it does when there’s a speedlite instead of the Profoto. You can now fire your two systems at the same time without delay. Pretty cool don’t you think? It eliminates the need to attached another PW to your already radio compatible Profoto.

You can see my images here:





First thoughts on the brand new Adobe Lightroom 3 (Small review based on a 2 day use)

10 06 2010

Hey everybody,

As you probably already know, the official version of Adobe Lightroom 3 was released on june 8. As it is the software I use the most, on a daily basis, it didn’t take long for me to go online to download it, especially at just 99$ for the upgrade ( by the way, if you upgrade to Photoshop CS5 in the same order, you get an instant 30$ off the price of Lightroom).

Is it worth the upgrade? TOTALLY! I almost didn’t use LR2 since the BETA 2 is out and the final version is even better!

First, the biggest improvement is about IQ. The new algorithm is so much better than the 2003 version. In many cases you won’t see any difference but in some it really improves the development.

Next, there’s the color and luminance noise reduction. Works beautifully, especially with older cameras without a very good high ISO quality.

There are also a lot of great additions like the lens profile, the perspective correction, a new import dialog box and many more.

The bad.

Yes, there are some issues with this first release, unfortunatly. The very first problem I had was in converting my old catalogs. Everything went smoothly as it should for the LR2 catalogs. The problem came when I tried to import photos from a LR3 BETA catalog inside the newly converted LR3 catalog. It kept showing me a pop up message saying that there was a problem with the catalog (Remember, it was a BETA catalog). So I tried to convert the BETA catalog first, which worked fine, and then I tried to import this new catalog into my main one. First, it looked great, but at the very end, same error message!!! So, I end up losing all I did in the BETA. I still can use two catalogs, but it don’t make sense because the BETA one is almost the same as the older one, but with different stuff added (I’ll maybe try to import the LR2 catalog into the LR3 (BETA) one….that could work!)

One last thing I found disappointing is the speed. This release is supposed to be VERY fast, but it seemed slower than LR2 ┬áin rendering the preview (I have the last generation iMac 27” and my images are from 8 and 10 Mp cameras). The worst part is when you adjust a slider. The effect often takes a few seconds to apply!!! I’ll try to find out why it is that slow. Maybe Adobe will release an update to fix that.

So, here it is for a quick review of Lightroom 3.0, the official release.

Thanks!

PL





How to do street photography efficiently with an iPhone

4 05 2010

Hey everybody,

I recently received an iPhone as a gift and got very excited with the little camera that’s inside. I knew there were A LOT of photo apps in the store and I was pretty amazed by some reportage work I saw on the web that has been shot with the phone. So, as I have the phone with me all the time, I started to take a lot of pictures of everything around me. It soon replaced my Leica M8 in some situations where it was almost unthinkable (for me) to use the M camera. So today, I thought it would be great to share with you how I use my iPhone to do street photography.

First of all, the most important is to have the camera with you all the time. It should not be a problem since it is a phone too.

Second, just like shooting street with any other camera, you have to be aware of what’s around you and be able to anticipate things. So far, not very different from Street photography that you know.

The GREAT thing about the iPhone is that everybody today has a smartphone. This is great because nobody would think your actually taking a photo of them (usually, people are reading their e-mails on it). Even if they realize your taking a picture, they won’t take you seriously. You will probably just look like a tourist of some weird guy holding his phone in a weird way!

That way, you can go pretty close to your subjects and take very intrusives photographs without bothering anyone.

The only downside (except for image quality, of course) is the ergonomics of the iPhone. It is very difficult to hold the phone efficiently and it is not always easy to find the shutter button since it is a touch screen. However, I found a way to hold it that works great for me.

Another thing I really like about the iPhone is the speed at which the photo is taken after the shutter button is pushed. It is almost. It is REALLY fast, so it is very useful to capture “The moment”.

To process the images directly on the iPhone, I use a few apps like Photoshop mobile from Adobe, Best photo from photographer Chase Jarvis, Mill Colour from The Mill and Shake it Photo (one of my favourite for that perfect Polaroid look).

You can have a look at my other iPhone street photographs on my personal website, www.plbphoto.com

Thanks for reading!

PL