Thursday, September 24, 2015

First Look: Sony A7R II–Holy $#!+

Sony Alpha a7R II Mirrorless 42MP/4k Video Digital Camera
Sony Alpha a7R II Mirrorless 42MP/4k Video Digital Camera

I’ve lost track of how many cameras I’ve reviewed, but it’s been a lot – including many Sony cameras. I’m not an easy guy to impress, but HOLY $#!+ this camera has my jaw on the ground and slobber dripping from my chin!

As a result, I couldn’t hold back and had to share a few photos I took recently with this much hyped camera – which I can honestly say deserves the praise. For my testing, B&H sent me this lens:

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens
Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens

I wish I would have got the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, but the f/4 hasn’t disappointed me thus far.

Real World Shots

These are 100% unedited shots taken straight from the camera using in-camera JPEG default processing. Only the shoes shot features studio lights, otherwise these shots are taken with available light and no additional light sources or reflection. All shots are handheld with in-camera stabilization turned on.


f/5 @ 70mm for 1/160 sec at ISO 4000

The detail and dynamic range are breathtaking, but when you notice it is ISO 4000 it’s impossible not to be blown away! No camera has ever touched my hands that has done this well at such a high ISO!


f/5.6 @ 40mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 6400

Again, ISO 6400 – Are you kidding me?!!!!
Super crisp foreground detail, gorgeous
bokeh and bang on color!


f/4 @ 30mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 3200

Even a crap shot like this becomes stare worthy in the excellent B&W creative style shown here with +3 contrast and +3 sharpness (in-camera)


f/8 @ 30mm for 1/160 sec at ISO 160

Having fun above, I decided to toss a spotlight on some black shoes to see the range of blacks in a dark scene – I wasn’t disappointed, but what was even more impressive was the detail that remained in the hot spots! Oh yes, there’s lots of potential for great things with this sensor!


f/5.6 @ 33mm for 1/30 sec at ISO 6400

This is a torture test for any camera, but what blew me away here is that this is the only camera to capture this much of the tonal range without losing detail – and it did it at ISO 6400 handheld! Imagine if I was using a tripod at ISO 100?!!!


f/5.6 @ 26mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 5000

No other camera I’ve tested, at any ISO, has captured this much detail in one exposure – and this was a super bright day with the sun coming in hard from the right. Imagine if you did HDR with this camera?!!!


f/5.6 @ 41mm for 1/100 sec at ISO 6400

Again, dynamic range like I’ve never seen – ever – yet this is ISO 6400!!!
The camera meter with default settings was bang on too!


f/9 @ 36mm for 1/25 sec at ISO 6400

The in-camera stabilization is impressive especially for such a high megapixel camera. While the in-camera noise reduction smeared the details pretty bad, it still did an admirable job of having something very publish worthy with no editing – well done Sony!


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/160 sec at ISO 12800

Yeah, ISO 12,800 – try that with a D810 or 5DsR! Nothing I’ve tested can touch this camera!

This isn’t my review as I’ll have more to come after I get out and do some more serious shooting, but I had to share some of my early results because I’m so happy with what I see!

For more files, visit the full gallery at http://photos.ronmartblog.com/sony/a7rii which will be updated when I do my review.

Conclusion

See my complete a7R Mark II review here.

Where to order

Click here to learn more or order on the B&H web site.

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Getting The Shot: “Indonesian Beauty II” by Douglas Dubler 3


Indonesian Beauty II

This image was captured with a Sony A7II  at f/4 @ 1/30 sec using ISO 400 with a Zeiss Otus 85mm (using a Novoflex adapter).
Retouching by
Irfan Yonac

Here’s the story behind this image in Douglas Dubler’s own words (edited by Richard Hood):

As an art form based in “the actual,” photography has always provided a meeting-ground for both beauty and truth. In over forty years shooting fashion and beauty portraits, I have consistently sought to explore this intersection, looking for moments that define a visual tapestry, woven out of  the “why,” as well as the “who.” My photography depends upon finding the right tools, creating the right environment, and establishing the right rapport with a subject, to display something of the truth within the beauty I'm capturing.  My recent creation of a portrait entitled, “Indonesian Beauty” demonstrated the process of combining technique, technology, and timing in order to capture a compelling, and transcendent image.

In the 1990s, I visited seven Asian countries in four weeks, lecturing to photographers on behalf of Fuji film. After such an intense working experience, I decided to take a rest-and-recovery stop in Bali. There, I established a routine that involved catching the sunrise each morning from a different location,  working for an hour or so until the light got too high, then retiring for some sleep and food. I'd then go out for the sunset in a new location. I had planned to spend a week in Bali, but was so captivated by colors and culture, I remained for three weeks.

When I returned to New York I was introduced to Gde Arsa Artha, who has since become a good friend, and who has, over the years, continued to teach me about Balinese art and culture.  Just last month, Gde was responsible for my visit to the Indonesian Consulate, where we were invited to attend a fashion show  they were hosting for four Indonesian couture designers, who were in New York for the Couture Show.  Always wanting to put my best foot forward and following Pasteur’s mantra “Chance favors always the prepared mind,” I organized a mini entourage consisting of a digital tech/1st assistant, 2nd assistant, hair and make-up artist, and several others to help with the equipment. Out of this visit would come my  portrait of Chitra, the “Indonesian Beauty,” featured here in an earlier blog, and the current portrait of Sarah Azca, shown here.

Figuring on just a simple main light and one light for a background if necessary, I packed one of my Broncolor Grafit 3200 wt./sec packs with one of my “signature” Lightbar 120s and a regular Pulso head.  (over $18,000 worth of lighting equipment at retail).  When we arrived at the Indonesian Consulate, they were in the process of dressing the models and doing their walk-throughs in preparation for the show.  I took a few minutes to survey the three floors looking for the best place to set up, where I could at least take advantage of some of the wonderful available light that was entering through a beautiful domed skylight, similar to a mini-Guggenheim.

I decided that the second floor would be more central as that was where the dressing rooms were and I could capture the models both coming and going.  I had the Lightbar 120 set up and proceeded to do a few captures to check the light.

I didn’t like what I saw.

But more of an issue was the fact that no matter where I positioned the light, someone was always walking in front of it and almost tripping on the power cord or head extension.  I quickly realized that, even if I got the light worked out to my liking, the logistics were such that the decision to  light the shoot had been wrong.  In the past, this would probably have been the end of my day.  Here is where the importance of having the best tools comes to the fore:  after a few readings with my Sekonic Litemaster Pro light meter, I decided that with the super fast Zeiss lenses I had and the image stabilized Sony A7II camera, I could work with the available light, filling when and where necessary with my Roscopak silver/white reflector

My next objective was to find one or two models with whom I thought I would be able to work well. Initially, I had assumed  that the majority of the girls were from Indonesia. But after speaking to several of them, I learned that, in fact, most were from New York City.   My hair and make-up artist, Sylvia Pichler, while touching-up the make-up,  was alerting me to interesting looks on the girls.  One of the first models she brought to my attention was Sarah Azka, an Indonesian  who had been flown to New York by one of the designers.  Instantly, I thought she had a great look and the dress and headpiece she was wearing were a beauty photographer’s dream.  We took a few photographs on the lower floor,, where the light wasn’t to my liking so I told her that when she was done with the show I would like to take some more photographs.

I continued to work basically filing time waiting for her to be finished.  When she appeared, I immediately had my friend Gde tell her to follow me upstairs and I found a spot where the light had a beautiful bounce quality, though because it was after 3:00 P.M. my f-stop was starting to drop quickly.  I knew I had to work quickly. I changed my ISO to 400 and put the incomparable Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4 on the A7II with the Novoflex adapter.  At f 4 I was at 1/30 sec. which was about as slow as I wanted to go, hand-holding this heavy piece of glass.  With my “previous” camera, I would have had to be at 1/320 sec. which would have increased my ISO to over 3200. A definite “quality” deal breaker.

I shot 230 images that day.  This photograph was number 227.  When I shot it I knew there was no need to continue. I had the shot!

So it all came together. I had the right tools in the right place at the right time. I had the right model, and, though there was a definite language barrier, I was able to establish that few precious moments of rapport with her, so necessary to capturing the intangible magic that makes up a great beauty or portrait shot.

Follow Douglas on Social Media

Want to follow Douglas on social media? Click on the following links and start to follow him:

Want to do a fashion photography workshop with Douglas and Ron in New York City?

Douglas is an iconic fashion and beauty photographer with hundreds of magazine covers to his credit. If you are interested in joining him in Manhattan for a workshop, please contact me and I’ll add you to the list for future workshop announcements. Exact details will be included when space for the next workshop opens up.

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

REVIEW: Kelly Moore Thirst Relief Bag–Look fashionable and donate to a good cause


Kelly Moore Thirst Relief Bag
A portion of the proceeds from the purchase of this bag will provide
a LIFETIME of clean drinking water for up to four people (
learn more)

Want to get a great new camera bag that looks better with age? Want to help provide a lifetime of clean drinking water for up to four people? If so, then the new Kelly Moore Thirst Relief bag is the bag for you! This bag is very much like the Kelly Boy bag I reviewed back in 2011, but it has an update style and better mechanism for keeping the bag shut. The waxed finish also resists water and provides a nice finish that never stays the same and improves with age!

A Closer Look

Here’s a closer look at this bag:


The buckles not only look great, they work great – easy to use and they hold tight


Tipped forward to show its backside, you can easily fit a tablet in the outside rear pocket


Inside I could easily fit a 600EX-RT flash, a 6D with 24-105mm,
a
100mm macro (hidden), and a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens


The side pocket holds 8 memory cards and can still fit a little more in it

Video Tour

Here’s a quick video tour of this bag:


View in HD on YouTube

Conclusion

Just like the Chapel Bag I reviewed yesterday, this bag is super high quality but uses man-made materials so that no animals were harmed in the product of this product. This bag also has a removable interior so that I may be used for purposes beyond photography.

This is a really great bag for men and women. Given its great looks and the great cause behind the product makes it an excellent gift for your environmentally conscious friends.

NOTE: In this review I’ve tried to capture the color of this bag as I see it. The images on Kelly Moore Bag’s web site seem darker than what it looks to my eyes in real life.

Where to order

Click here to learn more order today.

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using select links in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more but it does help this blog to continue to bring you articles and discounts like these.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

REVIEW: Kelly Moore Chapel Bag

Kelly Moore Chapel Camera Bag Review
Kelly Moore Chapel Bag
Shown in Burnt Orange but available in multiple colors

A while back when I did my last review of Kelly Moore bags the response was overwhelming, so I’ve decided to bubble this article back to the top of the blog for those new visitors who may have missed it. This is a great bag that can be used as a stand-alone bag with a handle (shown above), carried with a shoulder strap or mounted as a back pack as shown here:


Back Pack straps make this bag very versatile


The shoulder strap is well designed
and you can even store your credit and memory cards in this handy pocket

You can easily store your tablet up front as well as accessories like the Rogue FlashBender or Rogue Softbox. Here’s a view under the main flap:


Tablets and accessories fit easily under the front flap

Inside I’m able to easily store a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-105mm lens attached (with the hood in the forward position), a 70-200mm lens and a 600EX-RT flash. The dividers can be removed too so you can use this bag for whatever purpose you like. Here’s a view inside:


Inside there are dividers (shown on Kelly’s website) to hold your gear in place
See the video for more details

Video Overview

Here’s a quick video I did to demonstrate how you might use this bag:


View in HD

Wearing the Chapel Bag

My female readers have reminded me that they enjoy seeing how a bag looks “on”, so I’ve added a few photos here to demonstrate this bag in action on my sweet wife:


As backpack you can attach the top hooks
to the center (as recommend by Kelly)
or on the outside (as shown)


My wife reported the bag to be reasonably comfortable even though it had heavy gear in it.
She did wish for more cushion on the straps like you’d find on a
Think Tank Photo bag.


My wife preferred this bag mounted to the side as the shoulder cushion
made it more comfortable under heavy load

Conclusion

Kelly Moore makes excellent quality bags that feel like super high quality leather, but in fact they are synthetic. This helps to keep the price reasonable, but you’re fingers and nose will never tell the difference! In fact, it makes me wonder if some designer brands are using synthetics too!

Kelly offers a great variety of styles and colors, so go check out her web site to learn more!

NOTE: In this first image of this review I’ve tried to capture the color of this bag as I see it. The images on Kelly Moore Bag’s web site seem darker than what it looks to my eyes in real life.

Where to Order

Click here to learn more or order.

 

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using select links in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more but it does help this blog to continue to bring you articles and discounts like these.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

REVIEW: Kelly Moore B-Hobo & Kelly Boy Bags

Kelly Moore Camera Bags - Kelly Boy Brown & B-Hobo Grassy

After spending the last couple months reviewing Kelly Moore bags, I can say with confidence that these are high quality artificial leather products that are perfect for the photographer looking to carry their gear with in style. In addition, since they look nothing like a camera bag, these bags offer another way to hide the fact that you are carrying your expensive camera gear around.

I hope you enjoy my in-depth review, and even more I hope you will support this blog by using my my links at the end (or making a donation if you don’t).

Kelly Boy (Brown)

Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Durable enough for toddlers

I’m starting my review with this bag because it’s the one that is gender neutral. I personally use this bag for formal occasions or when I just want a more stylish bag (i.e., this is the trendy coffee shop bag <g>).

The Kelly Boy bag looks better in real life than the pictures because it tends to look more shiny and cheap in photos. The quality and color of this bag is fabulous and it is really quite a cavernous sized bag in a manageable form factor.

During my testing I carried my Canon 5D Mark II camera (neither bag could accommodate my pro body 1D Mark IV when the lens was attached) along with my 24-105mm lens attached, the 16-35mm and/or 100mm macro as well as at least one – sometimes more – 580EX II flashes. As I demonstrate in the video, it can handle my 100-400mm as well, but I never had a legitimate reason to carry that one with me during my testing. My wife also liked to carry her 13” MacBook Pro in it and my Lenovo Thinkpad W510 fit in it without any problems too.

I felt the strap was lacking the comfort that I have become accustomed to with my Think Tank Photo bags, but it was still usable. I also found the magnetic clasps for the flap to be handy, but I worried that if I fell my gear might easily spill out which if you’ve read my camera insurance article you’ll know why I care about that so much!

I love this bag and am so happy the review is over now so I can give it more of a beating than I did for my review (needed to have it in good shape for photos). My wife is also looking forward to using it as a diaper bag sometimes when she wants to be more stylish (I kid you not – and yes I’m shaking my head)!

In the photo below my lovely wife who also reviewed these bags is demonstrating the size relative to her 5’4” size 0 frame:

Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Carrying View

It’s totally manageable even for someone as small as her, so we found it to be a great balance of holding a lot without being obnoxiously big. It’s also super easy access thanks to its double magnetic flap design.

Video

Here’s a chance to see see inside the Kelly Boy bag in my video review. I stuff it full of more stuff than I ever carried with it during my testing, and there’s still plenty room for more:

More Images

Click the thumbnails below to get a close up view of the Kelly Boy bag:

Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Front View Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Front View Opened
Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Inside View Kelly Moore Camera Bag Kelly Boy Brown - Rear View

B-Hobo (Grassy)

The B-Hobo bag looks small on the web site, but it actually is a pretty descent size on the inside in real-life. I was easily able to accommodate my 5D Mark II with the 24-105mm lens attached as well as my 580EX II flash and my beloved 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. This is a complete kit that is good enough for most situations, so I was happy to see that my wife (who tested it for me) had no troubles carrying it around in this bag. Of course you can’t hide the weight, so she did complain that it was a bit heavy for her and that the shoulder strap didn’t help as she would like for a load this heavy.

Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Carrying

Truth be told, I tried this bag on myself when nobody was looking and found it to be a pretty good solution. The main compartment zipper was a big hit with my wife for added protection against theft or drops by toddlers. I was a little nervous when I put it under stress (as shown in the video), but it never failed during my testing. There was still room for accessories in addition to the gear, and we never found it to be too small when going out for travel photography or an occasional trip to the park with our toddler.

Overall, I think this is a good day bag for entry to mid-level cameras without the battery pack. The color offers something better than the black, gray, and tan colors we are used, so it is great for those looking for a nice fashionable bag for all of their gear. More colors and styles are available at http://kellymoorebag.com.

Video

Here’s my video review where I show one example of how I packed the B-Hobo during testing by my wife:

More Images

Click the thumbnails below to get a close up view of the B-Hobo bag:

Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Front View Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Front View Opened
Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Inside Kelly Moore Camera Bag B-Hobo Grassy - Rear View

Conclusion

Overall these bags were a big hit with my wife, and honestly I liked them quite a bit as well. I’m very picky when it comes to leather and I hate crappy quality leather, and these are definitely not that. This is good quality leather and a great design that feels like a true designer bag without the designer designer price, so that’s even better!

UPDATE: I’ve been totally fooled – these are not natural leather but rather human-made artificial leather. I couldn’t believe it when Kelly told me this today as I was certain this was high quality leather. I couldn’t believe the value of these bags as good leather is usually super expensive. As a leather connoisseur I never expected this day would come where I’d be fooled, so kudos to the maker of this material as I was blown away when I found out it wasn’t genuine.

The only gripes I have about these bags are that the zippers aren’t as bulletproof as you’d find on ThinkTankPhoto bags, and that the inventory tends to be in short supply based on my observation of the web site for the past few months. For my primary bags I’m still using Think Tank Photo bags, but these make a nice complementary bag for special occasions (especially when I’m dressed up).  My wife on the other hand is all about design, so this is his her first choice when she needs to bring the DSLR.

In the end these bags are a great value and a an awesome product that I highly recommend for those who are looking for something more stylish than traditional camera bags (typically designed for men).

Plenty of other colors and styles are available at http://www.kellymoorebag.com.

Order Now

Please support this blog by ordering from here. To do so you MUST CLICK THIS LINK.

If you can’t find your favorite bag in stock on the Kelly Moore web site, then check to see if you can find it at Adorama’s Kelly Moore Bag Store. It will cost you a little more, but it’s better than back order!

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Disclaimer

I was given the bags featured in this article for review, and I may get a commission if you purchase using the discount code featured on my discount coupon code page. Please support future articles like this by using my code or making a donation to show your appreciation.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Monday, September 21, 2015

Topaz Labs Video Tutorials–Save 15% (up to $70.50!)

I have a great discount for Topaz Labs products (see below), but I also have some webinars recordings that were made by Topaz Labs that demonstrate how I use some of their products. I decided to pull some of these videos together in one blog post for those of you who already own or are considering buying one of the best photo editing bundles on the market right now.

NOTE: The audio for the videos in this article aren’t as great as I would like them to be so be sure to either use headphones or crank up the volume!

Here's one I made where I do a simple sky replacement with ReMask:

and one where I demonstrate how I use Restyle:

Conclusion

I’ve been using Topaz products since 2009, and with each wave of updates they get better and better. I’ve become a huge fan of the Topaz Photography Collection which I now consider to be an essential part of my digital workflow. Hopefully these videos taught you a new trick or two on how to make the most of them to help spark some ideas about how you can incorporate their products into your workflow as well.

Still not sure? Explore the products available and get a free trial!

Where to order

Click here and use the coupon code RONMART to save 15% off ANY Topaz Labs product or the entire Topaz Photography Collection. Here’s how you enter the code in the shopping cart (prices and codes may changes so check my discount coupon code page if the code doesn’t work):

Save 15%

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

$210,000+ Donated Thanks to 5 Day Deal Participants

Thank You

Thanks to all who participated in the 5 Day Deal this year! I am told by the organizers that a new record was set and over $210,000 was raised for charity!

This event raises money for some really great charities. Check out this video to learn more about the most important part of this event:

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Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

NOTE: This site requires cookies and uses affiliate linking to sites that use cookies.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

REVIEW: Canon 5DsR–The Value of 50 Megapixels (Part I of II)

Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR Camera
Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR Camera

I liked the Canon 5Ds a lot more than I expected to when I first reviewed it, but I had that burning question that every 5Ds user has – is the 5DsR better? Fundamentally the two cameras are identical with one major exception – the 5DsR removes the optical low pass filter which in theory means you should get much sharper images as the risk of possible moirĂ© pattern issues under certain circumstances. In my testing of other cameras without the low pass filter like the Nikon D810 and Sony Alpha A7R, I have never had any issues so I figured the extremely hard to find 5DsR was going to be awesome. In fact, the early preview I got of it at WPPI suggested it would be excellent.

Rather than repeat everything for the identical body found on the 5Ds, I’d encourage you to read my 5Ds review. This article will focus primarily on image samples and observations while shooting with this camera. Part II will focus on differences between the models.

Real World Samples

The following images come straight from in-camera JPEG’s using the camera default noise reduction settings. Most camera settings are the default with the exception of RAW+JPEG, a desired White Balance (only Shade or AWB), and a desired focus point.  I chose to use the Standard Picture Style for all except for the California coast shots (I used Landscape) and where noted.

Click here for a full gallery of unedited images.

All images are copyright Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may not save, print, edit, modify or otherwise use any images featured in this article or the gallery without expressed written permission.


f/4 @ 102mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 125
using 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Notice the detail in Mackelmore’s earpiece and Ray-Ban logo!


f/4 @ 105mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 200

It’s hard to get a sharp shot with a long lens and a high megapixel camera, but when your subject cooperates the result is some pretty impressive detail (at full size) and a pleasing bokeh even at f/4


Wanz - Copyright Ron Martinsen - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
f/4 @ 115mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 160

The tough part about shooting at concerts is the inevitable distractions that end up in the frame, but there are so many megapixels that if you pull off a sharp shot like this one of Wanz you can still have a nice size file when you eliminate the distractions as shown above
(click the image for the uncropped original)


f/5.6 @ 30mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 100
 using the 24-70mm f/2.8L II
The detail in this shot illustrates why this camera is a landscape shooters dream


f/7.1 @ 44mm for 1/320 sec at ISO 200

Again, details galore make this a fun camera to capture the details of the California West Coast


f/5.6 @ 44mm for 1/1000 sec at ISO 100

With good dynamic range, sharp foreground detail and smooth out of focus regions, this is an ideal camera for capturing scenes where you want the context of the background but the sharpness of the foreground to jump out at you. In this respect, this camera and the 5Ds don’t disappoint!


f/5.6 @ 70mm for 1/1000 sec at ISO 100

Backlit subjects on a sunny day is a scenario where lesser cameras meters fail miserably, but in this case I got what I’d call typical Canon results. While some fill flash or exposure compensation (in-camera or in post-processing) would have helped, this was a reasonable starting point for tough conditions on a very sunny day


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 160

Afraid of photographing bees? 50 Megapixels means you can shoot from a comfortable distance like this and crop to get your desired result yet still have a large file for printing


f/5.6 @ 70mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 100

In super bright sun my handheld landscape shots had pretty good detail even out in the distance like you can see here, but as the shutter speeds dropped below 3x to 5x the reciprocal of the focal length later in the day the background got super soft


f/5.6 @ 24mm for 1/250 sec at ISO 125

I was pleased with the detail in the shadows and color in this tough backlit shot


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/400 sec at ISO 320

I took about 10 of these shots, but only one came out this sharp. It was clear that 1/400 sec wasn’t nearly fast enough for even for the minimalistic movements of a bag piper


f/22 @ 47mm for 1/400 sec at ISO 6400

Toss in some diffraction, the softest aperture for this lens, and high ISO and you end up with a shot that’s pretty useless for anything but small images on social media.


f/7.1 @ 70mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 400

I found myself fearing to go beyond f/7.1 with this camera and lens combo as I was often disappointed when I went to a larger f-stop number or  ISO than what you see here. Notice the detail and dynamic range improvements of this shot over the one above though!


f/4 @ 61mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 400

Sunset was a joy with this camera as it captures a nice tonal range of greens on the course


f/5.6 @ 33mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 100

This is a fun shot to pixel peep at full size to see all of the detail it captures from this one man band setup on the pier in San Francisco


f/5.6 @ 70mm for 1/1000 sec at ISO 160

My focus point for this shot was the boat which meant the shallow depth of field didn’t leave me with a sharp shot of the flock of pelicans in the scene. I suspect I would have got a much better result for the birds with a 5D Mark III but at the expense of the detail of Alcatraz in the background.


f/5.6 @ 41mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 125

There were a lot of things going on in this shot, but I thought the wide dynamic range really showed its value in the dark areas

Click here for a full gallery of unedited images.

All images are copyright Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may not save, print, edit, modify or otherwise use any images featured in this article or the gallery without expressed written permission.

AF Microadjustment Required?

One of my readers who read my 5Ds article posted on social media that she had to make a significant AF Microadjustment for each of her lenses when using the 5DsR. I didn’t see this issue with the 5Ds, but I decided to double check with the 5DsR unit that I received for testing. As you can see below a slight adjustment was required for my 24-70mm lens to correct some forward focusing issues but it wasn’t extreme from what I could see using my SpyderLensCal:

Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid
100% view of Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibration Aid

If you are seeing the problem my reader described which is more significant than what I see here, then please feel free to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that I have to approve comment due to spambot attacks, so you only need to comment once – it may be a few days before the comment is approved as I have to filter out the noise from the valid comments.

The 50 Megapixel Advantage

I strongly encourage you to read my 5Ds review (especially part II) where I show the value of 50 megapixels even when you are downsizing to web size images, but here’s another well-known practical use of 50 megapixels – cropping.

In this particular case I was walking along the beach in California with my family when my 16 year old son, Taylor, spotted what he claimed to be a whale breaching.  It was so far out that I couldn’t really see it and I thought he was mistaken. Using the only lens I had – the 24-70mm f/2.8L, I decided to take a shot to see what was really out there. Here’s one of the frames that I got:


f/7.1 @ 70mm for 1/1000 sec at ISO 100
using the 24-70mm f/2.8L II

I couldn’t see anything, but when I zoomed in on my LCD it became clear he was right as you can see below (slightly enhanced via the raw original in Lightroom):

Whale breaching at 100%
100% crop of the whale in the shot above

This reminded me of what my wildlife friends tell me they love about high megapixel cameras – the extra reach via cropping! Well, this definitely illustrates this point even if this is a rather extreme case – and the value of good light (to freeze your subject at a low ISO).

Conclusion

Click here to see my conclusion in part II.

If you haven’t done so already, please read my 5Ds review.

Where to order

Click here to learn more or order on the 5Ds or 5Ds R on the B&H web site.

Other articles you may enjoy

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these articles about other Canon products:

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