Canon 5D Mark II Discontinued

One of the best last generation full-frame cameras, the Canon 5D Mark II, has been officially discontinued. At its time the successor to the original 5D was only rivaled in its popularity by Nikon D700 in the full-frame market. Also, along with Sony A900 and A850, it was the cheapest high resolution full-frame camera (at a time when Nikon D3x would set you back a preposterous $8000) and the first to do Full HD video good enough for Hollywood.

Canon 5D Mark III vs Canon 5D Mark II

After Nikon D800 was launched, I’ve talked about how D700 is not obsolete. The situation is quite the same with 5D Mark II. It doesn’t have the best AF system, true, but is still used by many professional photographers to deliver stunning images. Very nice high ISO performance coupled to a high amount of resolution and excellent Canon lenses makes 5D Mark II as tempting as it ever was. When you consider it to be better built, with roughly same sensor and AF as the new budget Canon 6D, and for less money at that, the 5D Mark II is one of the best and cheapest ways into full-frame territory.

Fetch it new while stock lasts from our most trusted reseller, B&H, for a bargain $1599 (with $400 instant savings when added to cart). You will find great deals in the used market, too. If you’ve never bough used gear, read our detailed guide on “How to Buy Used DSLR Cameras”.

Battle of the Mirrorless – Part 1 (Dynamic Range)

As promised, I have performed some additional dynamic range tests on the mirrorless cameras I am testing (Nikon 1 J2, Canon EOS-M, Sony NEX-F3, Sony NEX-5R, Sony NEX-6, Sony NEX-7 and Olympus OM-D EM-5) and I have the data ready for your viewing pleasure. As expected, the Sony APS-C sensors performed the best, with the Sony NEX-5R and NEX-6 leading the game (although other NEX series are extremely close) followed by the Olympus OM-D EM-5, then Canon EOS M and then finally the Nikon 1 J2. Here is a comparison chart that shows performance of the various mirrorless cameras:

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Battle of the Mirrorless – Part 1 (Low Light Performance)

I have spent a considerable amount of time working with 7 different mirrorless cameras from Sony, Canon, Nikon and Olympus. I apologize for not being able to provide periodic updates on these cameras. I have come up with new ways to measure digital camera sensor performance, so it took me a long time to do it in a way that I believe will be more accurate and objective compared to my previous methods. Not only will you be seeing crops of sensor performance in a controlled environment, but I will also provide some numbers to quantify performance in colors and dynamic range. As I have already mentioned before, I will be measuring dynamic range myself going forward without having to rely on other websites for the data. It will be interesting to see how my data compares to other sites like DxOMark. I am not planning to do anything super intensive and I bet my measurements will not be without issues and errors, but I believe it is something worth trying. Hopefully it will give a different perspective to testing sensors.

Here is the first test that shows the low light performance of the following mirrorless cameras: Nikon 1 J2, Canon EOS-M, Sony NEX-F3, Sony NEX-5R/NEX-6, Sony NEX-7 and Olympus OM-D EM-5. Since these cameras all look excellent at ISO levels between 100 and 800, I decided to only show ISO performance at 1600 and above. Take a look!

Nikon 1 J2

Nikon 1 J2 ISO 1600 Nikon 1 J2 ISO 3200

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Mirrorless – The Quest for the Best

It is no secret that the mirrorless camera market has been growing rapidly during the last several years. With all the major camera manufacturers in the game, the competition has been fierce, especially during the last year. Each player wants a reputable position in the market, so they are developing lots of near cameras, lenses and accessories to complement their unique systems. Personally, I have been patiently waiting for a good mirrorless system that I can invest in and stay with. Exactly one year after my first evaluation of mirrorless cameras, I decided to give another try and see if I can find something I really like, something that I can take with me anywhere I go. I am extremely happy with my high-end Nikon DSLR system, but I have been craving for something smaller and lighter that I can take with me everywhere I go. And while waiting for my right hand to recover from a recent carpal tunnel release surgery, I thought that this would be a great time to re-evaluate small cameras.

Here is what I will be playing with for the next few months:

Mirrorless Cameras and Lenses

  1. Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 12-50mm kit lens
  2. Olympus 45mm f/1.8
  3. Olympus 12mm f/2
  4. Panasonic 25mm f/1.4
  5. Canon EOS M with 22mm f/2 + 90EX Speedlite
  6. Nikon 1 V2 with 10-30mm & 30-110mm
  7. Sony NEX-7 with 18-55mm
  8. Sony NEX-6 with 16-50mm
  9. Sony NEX-5R
  10. Sony NEX-F3
  11. Sony 50mm f/1.8
  12. Sony 24mm f/1.4

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Lifepixel Adds Anti-Alias Filter Removal Service

Lifepixel, perhaps best known for its high quality infrared digital camera conversions, recently added a new service to its list – removing your DSLR’s anti-aliasing filter. The price varies between $400-500 depending on your specific camera model. The notion of removing a DSLR’s anti-aliasing feature is not new. has been doing this for years. Anti-alias filter removal, in the digital camera arena, has been thought of in a similar manner to overclocking your PC (before some manufacturers eliminated this capability) or perhaps souping up your car’s engine via a special engine conversion kit – a bit risky but capable of producing good effects. Why is this “risky” with respect to your DSLR? Voiding the warranty for one. Benefits? A sharper image.

With the non-stop onslaught of higher megapixel sensors and technology price reductions, I suspect many people lost interest in the idea of removing their DSLR’s anti-aliasing filter, if they ever contemplated it to begin with. As you may recall from some of the D800 articles on Photography Life, the anti-aliasing filter was introduced to reduce the effects of moire created when photographing subjects with fine, repeating patterns. The anti-aliasing filter accomplished this by slightly diffusing the image, which also slightly reduced sharpness. With the introduction of the Nikon D800E, however, Nikon once again raised this issue to the forefront by offering a camera model with the anti-aliasing filter removed as a product – not as a after-market service. Lifepixel, being one of the premier camera modification service providers, saw an opportunity to capitalize on the new-found interest and market for an anti-aliasing filter removal service. So for a mere $400-$500, you can have your DSLR’s anti-aliasing filter removed and be assured of maximizing your sensor’s resolution. Below is an example discussed by Nasim in his review of the D800 and D800E.

Nikon D800 vs D800E Low-Pass Filter

Chasing Sharpness

I know what some of you may be thinking, “Gee, that seems like a lot of money to gain a bit of sharpness.” Perhaps. But if life has taught me one lesson, it is this – never, ever underestimate people’s willingness to spend money to get a bit of an edge, however slight. That is not a criticism of my fellow man, but merely an observation regarding human nature. I recall when some of us found out about the ability to overclock our PCs. Despite the warnings about “frying” our machines, many of us marched ahead anyway. We were determined to soak up every speed advantage we could find. And while I never ended up turning my PC into a smoldering hunk of silicon and metal, quite a few of my DIY colleagues that were not so lucky!

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New Canon Lenses

In this article, I will talk about new Canon lenses – the 24-70mm f/4L IS and 35mm f/2 IS – and compare them both to most direct alternatives within Canon lens lineup. Both lenses have been very recently introduced and are best on full-frame cameras, such as the 5D series and the 6D, but will work well with APS-C sized sensors, too. By further implementing IS into new lenses, Canon is making them very tempting for photographers and aspiring videographers, but are advantages of new optics and IS worth the high asking price? A difficult question to answer, as Sigma and Tamron are now offering very well priced and high quality alternatives for both lenses. Lets see what Canon has released for its DSLR customers.

1) 24-70mm f/4L IS Lens

New Canon LensesThis lens was a huge surprise for me. The first thing I thought when it was announced – would I like a 24-105mm f/4L IS lens, but with a shorter focal length at the long end and for a lot more money? $1499, to be precise. I doubt first answer to come to your mind is “Yes, please!”. Obviously, it will have stellar optical performance with Canon’s latest Hybrid IS on top, but the old 24-105mm F/4L IS is no slouch, either. It is also a very popular lens and can be had for about $850 in the used market, brand new. Professionals use it for PJ work, as well as weddings. It’s also great for street photography and as a very versatile, lightweight travel lens. So what exactly does this new and, I must say, expensive addition to Canon L optics lineup offer? In a word – macro.
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Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D

With Canon having recently announced its take on budget DSLRs, the Canon 6D, the most obvious rival just happens to be the brand new Nikon D600. We’ve already seen how the latter stacks up, at least on-paper, with such great cameras as D700 and D800, but neither of those cameras were direct rivals. Priced at the same relatively low price for a full-frame sensor camera, $2099 body only, Canon 6D is as direct a rival as it can get. Lets see how it measures up against its Nikon counterpart spec-wise. Please keep in mind that this Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Canon 6D Review.

UPDATE: there has been a misleading set of specifications spread throughout the internet, indicating that the top shutter speed of Canon 6D is 1/8000th of a second. It’s incorrect – according to official Canon specifications, the top shutter speed of their newly announced “budget” full-frame camera is 1/4000th of a second.

D600 vs 6D

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Canon 6D Pre-Order Links

Usually, it takes Canon a while to start delivering some of their cameras. Hopefully, 6D will not take long to reach owners. Our most trusted reseller, B&H, is already taking pre-orders.

Canon EOS 6D front

Canon EOS 6D Pre-Order Information

  • Canon 6D body only from B&H ($2099)
  • Canon 6D + 24-105mm f/4 USM L lens from B&H ($2899)
  • Canon 6D Full-Frame DSLR Announcement

    Canon EOS 6D

    Canon has just announced its latest DSLR and a direct competitor to the already highly popular D600. The Canon EOS 6D offers a new 20.2 megapixel full-frame sensor, 11-point autofocus system with one cross-type sensor, 3.2″ 1.04 million dot screen and 4.5 frames per second. According to Canon, 6D is similarly sized as it’s sister, APS-C sensor EOS 60D, and it sure look similar – add a taller prism and take pop-up flash compartment. Use of old autofocus system might not sound too good, but Canon promises it’s their most sensitive AF system to date (which should probably include 1DX and 5DIII), offering reliable AF in -3EV (moonlight). The 6D also boasts in-build GPS and WiFi capability.

    Canon EOS 6D top

    Nasim will prepare a thorough review as soon as he has enough experience with the camera, so stay tuned!


    1. Sensor: 20.2 MP CMOS
    2. Sensor Size: 36 x 24mm
    3. Resolution: 5472 x 3648
    4. Native ISO Sensitivity: 100-25,600
    5. Boost Low ISO Sensitivity: 50
    6. Boost High ISO Sensitivity: 51200, 102400
    7. Processor: Digic 5+
    8. White Balance presets: 6
    9. Dust Reduction: Yes
    10. Weather Sealing/Protection: Yes
    11. Body Build: Magnesium Alloy with Plastic top plate
    12. Shutter: 30s-1/4000s
    13. Storage: 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC slot
    14. Viewfinder Coverage/Magnification: 97%/0.71x
    15. Speed: 4.5 fps
    16. Metering Modes: Multi, Center-weighted, Spot, Partial
    17. Metering Sensor: 63-Zone Dual Layer
    18. Built-in Flash: NO
    19. Flash sync speed: 1/180s
    20. Autofocus options: Contrast Detect (sensor), Phase Detect, Multi-area, Selective single-point, Single, Continuous, Face Detection, via Live View
    21. Autofocus System: 11-point with one cross-type (center point), sensitive down to -3EV
    22. LCD Screen: 3.2 inch diagonal with 1,040,000 dots
    23. Video capabilities: h.264 with mono mic and speakers, manual controls, 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps), 1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps), 640 x 480 (25, 30 fps)
    24. In-Camera HDR Capability: Yes
    25. GPS/WiFi: built-in/built-in
    26. Connectivity: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec), HDMI Mini, WiFi (built-in), remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5, Remote Controller RC-6
    27. Battery Type: Lithium-Ion LP-E6 rechargeable battery & charger
    28. Weight: 770 g (1.70 lb / 27.16 oz) with battery
    29. Price: $2099 body only

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    Canon EOS 7D Firmware Update v2.0

    As we have seen recently, most new cameras seem to have flaws when they are first launched into production. Aside from rare hardware flaws that often require recalls and part replacements, many newly introduced cameras often suffer from software issues that can be later fixed via camera-specific software updates, known as “firmware”. We’ve had such updates for almost any DSLR, and also some flash units (like Nikon SB-900) and lenses, too. One of the most significant firmware updates, for instance, was released by Fujifilm for their highly regarded, yet also rather buggy (at launch) X100 camera, which has been significantly improved thanks to those updates. Ever since, Fujifilm has gained a lot of respect from its customers for showing how much they care about improving their products even after release – many hope and believe the Fuji X-Pro1 updates will follow with plenty of improvements as well.

    While it is somewhat expected that camera bugs are addressed via firmware updates, most manufacturers do not bother with additional updates once the biggest issues are taken care of. As digital cameras are getting more complex with different picture/movie modes and many new in-camera editing functions, those innovations are typically pushed to newer camera models. Even if older cameras have enough processing power and memory, manufacturers want consumers to buy a newer product instead.

    Canon 7D

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