Considering it’s off the beaten path, I’ve probably taken more photos of the National Cathedral than just about any other structure in D.C., with perhaps something like the Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument ranking just above. Both of the neighborhoods I’ve lived in the last few years — Glover Park and Cleveland Park — are relatively close to this Gothic beauty. All the more fitting for me to wander toward the Cathedral to break in a new camera, just as I did the last time I upgraded.
One of the biggest changes camera to camera is the megapixels. The new 5D Mark II weighs in with 21.1 compared to the 40D’s 10.1. When viewing on a website, this might not always mean much, but I am shooting more and more with print sales in mind and this jump alleviates any concerns I had with the lower megapixel numbers on the 40D.
DSLR capability has been very good to excellent for several years now. The upgrades these days are comparatively small compared to the first period of consumer technology offerings prior. I’d been waiting, for about a year, for the Mark II to get replaced before making the leap. Since one does not appear on the doorstep — in the next few months at least — I decided to stop waiting. The camera has always received rave reviews both in still and video (something else to learn now!) quality.
The first set of images I took were pretty “snapshotty.” Truth be told, I was walking the dog at the time. But even in this quick test, I am excited at the prospects ahead with the camera. The re-size to Web presentation does little justice to the significant detail increase when comparing cameras. Not to mention the full frame sensor. It will be fun re-learning how to use my lenses after spending the last 8 years on a 1.6x crop factor body.
One thing to see going forward is how much I miss the extra speed of photo bursts. By today’s high-level camera standards the Mark II is somewhat slow at 3.9 frames per second (actually a modest step backward from the 40D). But, that’s because it’s a field camera more than a studio or sports/wildlife camera. Seeing as most of my photography is outdoors, this was a decision I made with full knowledge of any limitations. There are, of course, instances where taking a speedy burst of shots is important. For me, I’m hoping they will be few enough not to notice.