I get many questions each month, and I try to take the time to answer each one of them – although now this blog may do some of that for me. I anticipated questions like: “How do you find wild wolves”, “Where is this waterfall?” “How did you capture the light in the image” or “How do you shoot northern lights?” These are questions I have had about other photographers work. Take all of these type questions combined and double that number, and it won’t come close to the number one question I’m asked which is:
What camera do you use?
Some photographers get offended by this question and will say something like “No one ever asked Michelangelo what kind of brushes he used when painting the Sistine Chapel”!
Me, I totally understand the question, especially with the high cost of today’s digital cameras. My first digital camera cost over $8,000. I can afford to miss a wolf shot – I can’t afford to waste $8,000! I research that kind of expenditure endlessly, and I would expect other photographers would as well. And frankly, today’s digital cameras play an important roll in the overall image capture quality.
So what do I use?
Of the images on our website, the oldest ones were shot with a Canon EOS 3 and usually Fuji Velvia or Provia slide film.
In the spring of 2003, after much deliberation I purchased a Canon 1Ds. This camera exceeded the quality of 35mm transparencies and was the first camera widely accepted by the major stock agencies. The learning curve was steep, but in the end it was the best business decision I could have ever made. It completely stream-lined our business and made us far more efficient.
I finally sold the 1Ds last fall mainly due to its heavy weight. I now have a Canon EOS 20D and two Canon EOS 5D’s. Two 5D’s is overkill I must admit. I am currently shooting a summer long assignment that had two requirements; One, I use a camera with at least 11 mega pixels, and two, I have a back-up. So for this summer I purchased a second 5D, and put the 20D on the shelf. Come October, I will be selling the extra 5D.
In short, I love the 5D. Not only is it light, but it has wonderful image quality even at 400 iso. For the right subject, I won’t hesitate to use it at 800. Wow, what a far cry from Velvia and its 50 iso.