Hands on with the new Canon Pro DSLRs!

I was lucky enough to get hands on with the 2 new Canon professional DSLRs last week at the Focus on Imaging photography trade fair in Birmingham. I’ve always been a fan of Canon kit, their DSLRs seem to fit my hands better than the Nikon equivalent. When holding a camera for 10 hours at a wedding camera fit and ergonomics are a hugely important factor in choosing your brand! Anyway – Canon have stepped up their game somewhat with their 2 new models and I’ll definitely be choosing one of them to pre-order over the next couple of weeks. The 5d mkiii, tipping the scales at a cool £2,999 (without a lens) is the camera I’ll probably  choose, it has a number of features that will prove very handy for me as a wedding photographer. Obviously, the incredible image quality in low light situations and hugely upgraded focussing system (what is a dual diagonal focussing point?) are the most publicised features the new cameras have, but a much less advertised feature (on the mkiii at least) is the silent shooting mode. Any wedding photographer knows that even the most modern DSLRs can be quite noisy during a quiet church service – it’s important as a photographer not to go too crazy during the service as the last thing you want to do is distract the bride and groom and annoy the guests / clergy / registrar.  I’ve tried the camera and it really does make a difference. I can imagine that from the back of even a small chapel, it would be very difficult to hear the camera at all. This is fantastic news for wedding photographers – quite often the clergy or registrars are reluctant to allow the photographer to take any photos of the ceremony as the noise of the professional cameras can be quite distracting. In these case, I usually switch to the Fuji X100, which has a completely silent shutter (as it has no mirror) however this compact camera does have its limitations – it only has one fairly wide focal length for example – and the focusing can be a little hit and miss. The new quiet mode on the 5d mkiii makes the mirror flap quieter by moving it more slowly, making less of a racket as it moves inside the camera. While this makes for a silent shooting experience, it does have a couple of obvious negative effects – the viewfinder blackout is a touch longer, and the shooting rate goes down to 3 frames a second instead of its usual 6 – but the fact that you can hardly hear the camera in quiet mode means that these downsides are a very small price to pay. Hopefully, as more manufacturers implement this technology all pro cameras will become quieter – which hopefully will go some way to the officials that run the wedding ceremony being a little more lenient on the photographers trying to capture the day…

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