Sony A850, A900 & Canon 5D Mark II ISO Comparisons

Sony A850, Sony A900, Canon 5D Mark II

The Sony A850 is the newest full frame DSLR from Sony.  It’s based largely on the Sony A900; however, its a couple of notches below on feature sets.  Since the A850 uses the same 24.6-megapixel sensor as found in the A900, we shouldn’t expect any real difference in image quality between the two.

Although, comparing these two cameras to the Canon 5D Mark II, which is the current prosumer state of the art for low-light performance, is another story.  You’ll also see some Canon 7D samples at higher ISOs for the sake of comparing a crop-sensor camera to these full framers.  To see how the Sony A850 and A900 stack up, read on. [Read more…]


Canon 5D Mark II to Get 24p/25p Video Capability

Canon has announced that it is in the process of developing firmware for the 5D Mark II, which will offer 1080p recording at 24 and 25fps.  We won’t get full details on the process or other capabilities until 2010; however, the complaint department has probably been a little high since the release of the EOS 7D, so this news may help curb some of the derogatory remarks from 5D Mark II owners.

Canon’s official statement on the firmware development is below. [Read more…]

Poll and Questions: HDR Images

I have recently began a process of reviewing the Photomatix HDR software.  Having never previously used any dedicated HDR software, I was very eager to see the results that Photomatix produced.

After using it a little, I very impressed at how automatically it creates an HDR image out of multiple exposures (although there is still an art to getting the most out of it).  You can even export images directly from Lightroom 2 to Photomatix and then automatically re-import them into your Lightroom library.  Pretty cool stuff.

Armed with a Canon 5D Mark II, 17-40mm f/4L lens and some inspiration from Michael James’ HDR Real Estate Photography, I set out to find an appropriate indoor setting to give Photomatix a little test drive.

In the set-up below, I shot 3 images at -2EV, 0EV and +2EV from a tripod. The scene was lit by the two lamps you see and a ceiling fixture only.  I then combined them in Photomatix via the LR plugin to create an HDR image.  I was pleased with the initial results.  I thought I had a rather realistic-looking HDR image.

Then, I started thinking…  How much can I get out of a single Canon 5D Mark II Raw file by processing in LR alone?

So, I took one of the exposures (I’m not saying which one) and pushed it as far as I could in LR to try to get as close as I could to the Photomatix HDR image.

The results?  I was pretty impressed.

One of the following images was processed in LR 2.5 from a single exposure.  One was processed from 3 images using Photomatix.

This wasn’t meant to be a scientific test and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still learning my way around Photomatix.  Additionally, some of you LR wizards out there can probably push the software even further. Just some nice weekend fun time with a camera that I wanted to share with all of you.

Can you tell you tell which is which? Insert your answer in the poll at the bottom and/or leave comment with your thoughts.

(I stripped all of the metadata in case you are thinking about taking a peek and I flipped a coin to decide which one to insert first)

Got something to say about these images? How do you process HDR images? What’s your take on HDR imagery as a genre?

Add your further thoughts in the comments below.

UPDATE:  You can find the poll results here, along with some commentary on the exposures.  Don’t cheat though.  Vote first, then check out the results to see if you got it right.

Canon 5D Mark II and 7D Filmmaking Updates

A couple of recent developments in the Canon 7D and 5D Mark II‘s resume make the camera shine a little brighter.  As we knew, the potential is huge with this camera and it continues to create a ton of buzz in the filmmaking world.

PBS has a new Frontline documentary shot with a 5D Mark II by Danfung Dennis, while embedded with US Marines in Afghanistan. [Read more…]

Canon LP-E6 In-Stock

Canon LP-E6

Many Canon 5D Mark II owners have struggled to find this battery in stock over the past year.  They have been pretty hard to come since the 5D Mark II was released, and they might become scarce again soon since the Canon 7D also uses the LP-E6 battery.

At the time of this post, the Canon LP-E6 battery is in stock at Amazon, B&H and Adorama.  Here’s the links to each store’s product page for the LP-E6.


B&H Photo


If you’ve been putting off the spare for your 5D Mark II or if you’ve got a 7D on pre-order, it might be a good time to pick up a spare instead of waiting until the 7D’s ship out in force, which should occur over the next few days.  Check Canon 7D availability here.

Canon 7D Parts Photo Leaked?

UPDATE: The Canon 7D has been officially announced.  Read more on Photography Bay’s Canon 7D Reviews and Resources. Check availability at

Canon 7D

Is this an image of the Canon 7D‘s top?  I don’t know, but it looks like a real something…

What’s different from the 5D Mark II?

  • On/Off Switch in a different location (I think I like this better)
  • Pop-up flash
  • New M-Fn button near the front scroll wheel

Other than that, it looks a lot like the current Canon 5D Mark II.

[via DPR forum]