Saturday, January 23, 2010

First UW shots with Canon MKIV







I've been in Cayman this week shooting a catalog for Subgear (a new product line from those who brought us Scubapro). As it was a comercial shoot, I couldn't experiment with new gear too much, but as the first two days of the project were ultra-productive, I felt I could spare some time to try out my new camera on the final shoot day. So, just yesterday I got around to shooting with my Canon MKIV in my Seacam MKIII housing. Prior to that I'd been shooting my 5DMKII.

A few first impressions on MKIV:

1. Holy crap ... AF is so nice. Very fast and accurate, even in low contrast subjects like black wetsuits. Focus acquisition is brilliant. Having shot my 5DII in similar conditions the 2 previous days, the improvement is striking.
2. Studying the files, I very much like what I see. I assume a the full frame sensor will always have resolution advantages over a cropped sensor, all else being equal. The extra real estate on the sensor is meaningful. No surprise there, but the MKIV with it's 1.3 crop fares quite well in comparison.
3. The combination of my 1DsMKIII at full frame and MKIV with cropped sensor and 10 frames per second, in same housing, is very compelling for me.
4. MKIV hits color quite well also. The topside stuff I shot in auto white balance is spot on, no slider controls necessary in Lightroom.
5. The 16-35II isn't as wide as I'd like at the wide end for photographing divers, but becomes a better fish portrait lens at 35mm. I expect I'll use it quite a bit in the Maldives in 2 weeks since I'm not shooting people much.
6. The big advantage is the AF focus. For UW use, it is quite fast and accurate. Can't remember any searching at all, but I only shot wide on this project. Still, I expect it to be stellar with 100mm macro as well.
7. And finally, while I haven't tested extensively, the 14mm II looks like it gains new life with the cropped sensor. Quite impressive. (Superdome and PVL20) The performance of the 14mm II as a wide prime with excellent depth of field, nice corners, and sharp focus is very, very promising. More on that after the Maldives trip.

The few product shots with MKIV are herein sized too small to see meaningful resolution judgment. They are extremely nice files though, very impressive in full res.

Note that the Seacam housing for the MKIII accepts the MKIV, and that should be the same for all existing MKIII housings. Seacam will make a MKIV housing as well, as will many others given the quality of this camera and the higher resolution 1DsMKIV we assume to be coming as well.

4 comments:

apexgs said...

Very Nice. Can't wait to see the Maldives images. You may convince me to move to Canon if the AF is that quick underwater.

Stephen Frink said...

The quality of the AF was my big perceptual take-away after using this camera for the first time. I'm very eager to use it in more action scenarios.

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