I try not to jump into the next camera each year and have been shooting my set of heavily worn 1D Mark II bodies for a few years and just sent one off to Canon repair to get a tune up. (Canon repair in New Jersey is super fast and Canon Professional Services (CPS) has been great!). I make a habit to send in my lenses and bodies in every year to get the old camera doc to give them a physical. I have started to carry only one camera body on most trips to be more minimalistic with the equipment I bring. I would like something of high quality but small in the point and shoot arena. I dream this magic “small” camera would always be in my pack, even when I don’t plan to go on a shoot. I have found I use my iPhone as a family quick shoot and mail camera for plain fun shots (I started working on developing an iPhone tether for the 1D Mark IV when it comes out with integrated 802.11 to allow quick sending of select images via email).
I do a large amount of “drive by shootings” from a vehicle and available light shots; so this requires a fast shutter that no point and shoot has. I was toying with the idea of a Leica M8 digital range finder. I was hoping the Leica M9 would come out this summer to make all the Leica junkies get the new shiny thing and sell their barely used M8s on eBay for a steal. After much review of the quality of the sensor and the camera, I finally think I have myself convinced that even though it is a beautiful camera it just does not have the functionality and would soon become a toy and not a workhorse. When I talked to my photojournalist friend Guy Calaf about my toying with getting a Leica, we both agreed we would love one, but for circa 6000 USD w/ a lens, it just is not worth the bang for the buck unless you are a trust fund baby. I am leaning towards picking up a 5D Mark II with a 1.4 24mm lens (if canon will ever ship the damn 24mm 1.4L II to the market). I think a 5D and 24mm L would not only be less expensive than a M8 but also be far more functional. It would also be a kick ass documentary camera with the glass quality and video option. And before you Leica fanatics get all up and arms about my questioning the M8’s functionality and its magic “glass”, please be aware my photo requirements may be different than yours….. (READ MORE)
As my photographic trips started to take me further and further from civilization, I soon realized my need for power. Now that I have converted to full digital, I travel with a Panasonic Toughbook and an Archos to backup photos on the road. I have found this setup works well for almost any trip; however it has me very dependent on electricity. I wanted a system that I could recharge my camera and laptop in the field. I soon discovered that Canon does not make a DC charger for the EOS 1D Mark II or EOS 1DS Mark II NP-E3 battery. It puzzled me that there were not enough professional photographers requiring field power. However, I guess the amount of photographers that will be away from any power for days on end will be very limited. ImageI finally found a solution for my battery charging needs. The MAHA MH-C777PlusII Smart Battery Charger ended up fitting all my charging needs. It even comes with a cigarette adapter that can charge the NP-E2 and NP-E3 batteries. I also purchased a AA and AAA pack to charge batteries for my flash, gps etc.
F9photo is the founder of ProPic ProPic, A Photographer, Serial Entrepreneur, Programmer, Innovator, Filmmaker, Foodie, Polymath with Extreme Wanderlust