Sunday, 30 November 2008

EOS 1D - Very quick first impressions

It arrived a few days ago, so I haven't really had time to shoot with it (other that to 'set it up' for my shooting style and fire a couple of quick tests to see that it is all working as it should). Luckily - but hopefully not surprisingly - it is (working as it should).

First impressions are one of solidity - of course this is a very solid 1.4kg+ camera. And it feels it in the hand. But then again, not intimidatingly so. It's heavy, without being oppressive. It's definitely a Canon EOS, and therefore very easy to find your way around if you have come from that stable with any previous EOS camera (like the film 1 series or the 5D etc). What did throw me slightly, however, and something that took me about 5 minutes to get my head around, was the way the menu system works.

With other Canon digitals I have used, you press the menu button, choose a category with the fly wheel, and press 'SET' to enter it into the camera. It's a two step process, but it works well and is fairly intuitive. With the EOS 1D, you press the menu button and use the fly wheel to get to the correct sub menu, then you hold the 'SELECT' button down while using the fly wheel to highlight your choice in green, and then when you let go of the SELECT button your choice is set. This makes it a three step process, but it does mean that nothing can get changed 'accidentally' and this is presumably why the 'professional' cameras are controlled in this way?

I don't like it - or hate it. It's just different. It does mean I have to 'remember' a different way for each camera (the 1D and 5D), but largely they will both be set up to go anyway. As I said, it took me all of 5 minutes to figure it out (no, I didn't read the manual beforehand), and I suppose the more I use it, the more 'used to it' I will become.

This is a shot I took of my daughter - one of the first from the camera. Shot with a 50mm f1.8 (at f2.8) with late evening light coming through our kitchen window. Even though it's 'only' 4 megapixels, I reckon this would make a very sharp 11x16" print - so I'm more than happy with it for wedding work.

A couple of other things to mention with the 1D - first: it's NOT full-frame, so you need to multiply the lens focal length by x1.3 (which makes my 50mm f1.8 prime lens a 65mm f1.8 on the 1D), and second: it only takes CF cards up to 2Gig. With a 2Gig card and the camera set to RAW only, I can get about 400 photos. Not great, but probably OK considering I have heaps of cards for the 5D.

Anyway, that's first impressions. I'll shoot with it some more in the next few weeks, and confirm or deny what I've already written thus far. I'm off to take some photos.

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