The Cream of the Crop in Professional DSLR Photography
“Dear Mr Bank Manager, I have seen these Professional Digital SLRs and…”
If you are, or ever have been into photography, you will look at these cameras and simply drool! They are the pinnacle of each manufacturer and totally deserve the prefix of “Professional”! They give you the feeling that by just holding one, you become a master photographer in your own right…
They are the cream of the digital SLR family and if you are considering these, you must be DEAD SERIOUS about this hobby/profession. Way back in 2006, I personally had my eyes on the Canon EOS 1DS MKII, and hoped to have it by that summer…
Update 2006 – Ok, the summer came and went and my plans to get the 1DS MKII were kyboshed by my wife announcing that she was pregnant with our second child!
To be honest, the thought of having a daughter greatly outweighs owning a pro DSLR…so I bought the slightly cheaper Canon EOS 1D MKII instead! “Well, I will need something to photograph my expanding family with won’t I dear”?
You can read my personal thoughts on this, one of two Professional Digital SLRs from Canon here
August 2007 Update – They got me again. I bought the new upgrade Canon EOS 1D Mark III whilst out shopping for a speedlight!
And here is my Canon EOS 1D Mark III User Review
March 2011 Update – It’s been a while and in the past 4 years there have been various upgrades and purchases made…and the kids are now 6 and 8! It is so difficult NOT to upgrade when the likes of Canon and Nikon keep bringing out such excellent professional digital SLR’s.
What makes these Professional Digital SLRs so great (And Expensive)?
These cameras are packed with the latest technology and features. The manufacturers spend most of their time and money on research and development for their “Flagship” cameras in order to get the edge on their competitors. What you end up with are incredible works of art that come with a hefty price tag.
Most of these have full-frame 35mm sensors (No cropping), meaning your lenses once again get used at their true focal length. These sensors cost money, to produce, manufacturer and (Unfortunately) to buy.
- Full Frame Sensors (Canon EOS 1Ds MK III, 5D I/II and Nikon D3s/D700 etc) – What you see is what you get. There is no 1.6x crop factor like their smaller counterparts (Nikon D300 1.5x, Canon EOS 1D MKIV 1.3x). This also allows for hugely greater quality.
- More Megapixels – Up to 23MP (Canon EOS 1Ds MK III and 5D Mark II) – With this amount of pixels, we have truly surpassed 35mm film quality, some are even saying that the Canon outshines medium format film quality…now we’re talking!
- Build Quality/Durability – With titanium and magnesium alloy frames, coupled with rubber mounts and seals, the best of these cameras are weatherproof to a high degree. They will also withstand a drop onto concrete from a metre or so plus the shutters are supposed to last a lot longer.
- Metering – Highly advanced matrix metering gives the pro photographer more to work with and less chance of getting it wrong.
- Speed – The idea with these cameras is to match as closely as possible, the frame rate, start up time and write speed of the best of the film SLRs so you never miss a shot!
- Wireless Capabilities – With the right peripherals, you can take a photograph and have it sent straight to your PC’s hard drive instantly, meaning you can shoot all day until you have filled your computers memory! Works for up to 200 feet. Excellent for studio photographers.
Why would we need Professional Digital SLRs?
I would say you had to be either a mad-keen, money-to-burn, “Must have one of those” amateur photographers (nothing wrong with that!), or a professional looking to upgrade his or her kit to match their lenses. That’s another point, if you get one of these Professional Digital SLRs, you must compliment it with only the finest lenses. Otherwise it is like putting diesel in a Ferrari!
The files that the best cameras produce can be bigger than 60MB’s (uncompressed) with quality to match. This size just happens to be the industry standard for an A3 spread in a glossy magazine or the optimum size accepted by most traditional Stock Agencies. 60MB files are easily achievable with the right software (such as Photoshop CS3, 4 or 5, Genuine Fractals and Neat Image) and I have discussed this more in my Selling Stock Photography section.
If you are a paid nature or sports photographer, there will be situations where you just have to get the shot and your kit will be knocked about or rained upon, and this is where the durability of professional digital SLRs come into their own.