This weekend brought a shoot in LA that was a bit last minute, but made for an excuse to get out of the Arizona heat….. and into the California heat.  But as is common for traveling on shoots, I usually take the time in the plane and off set to read up on the industry and form opinions on where it is going.  Fortunately for me, there was a lot that happened this last week in the industry with regards to new equipment.

Now first and foremost, I want to make it clear that I have not used the new Canon 1D Mark 4.  All opinions are based on released specs and the 6 years I spent with Canon digital equipment (from 1d to 1ds Mark 3 and every 1 series in between). With that said……

It is good to see Canon producing some new gear, and as I have many friends that are still shooting Canon, I know this new model is a welcomed arrival.  In looking at the press releases and specs I am trying not to form positives and negatives about it, but rather try and understand through it where Canon sees this industry going and what they feel is important with the overall target audience of this body being the sports shooters and photojournalists.  It is at this point that I begin to find a bit of confusion, and in no way do I mean to offend those at Canon, for this is my opinion as an advertising photographer on another segment of our industry.

First of all, as much as I hate it, I feel that video is here to stay (even on pro bodies) and even though I don’t use it, not recognizing this would be an error in judgment.  With that said, I felt that the Nikon D3s hit the nail on the head with its autofocusing 720p video mode, and I have gotten a little heat for not wanting 1080p.  However, I would like to justify this position with the argument on target audience grounds.  The photo-journalist and sports shooter will most likely never use their camera to shoot a high definition movie, but rather for supplemental coverage that will add depth to websites that the 720p will be more than enough for.  Also, I fear that Canon will get a lot of buyers that are basing their opinions off of Vincent Laforte’s video and buying with their heart, not their head.  Don’t get me wrong, I respect Vince’s work, but to think that one can buy that camera and create his work is a grand mistake.  In a video that sees the credits run almost as long as the video itself, you have to understand that the camera plays such a minute roll in the overall production, that any Nikon or Sony can create the same imagery, but those companies have taken different approaches to their marketing.

The next area that jumped out of the page at me was…… MORE MEGAPIXELS.  Now if you read these words and thought, “this is great!”, then you probably might not want to finish this article, perhaps read the rest at dpreview because this will not be objective reporting.  Upon reading the specs and even some of the forum’s reactions from those that found this spec to be superior to Nikon, I thought to myself, “well that just set us back a few years.”  The common grounds for this argument is that more megapixels will give me a chance to crop more.  I don’t know if this viewpoint is based out of an insecurity in getting the photograph properly out of camera, or out of the idea that one can shoot a 200mm and crop to a 400mm angle of acceptance.  What is known though is that a quick up rez of the D3 file will render one a 5D Mk2 file.  Let us not forget that what matters here is not how many MP’s you can cram on a sensor, but how much quality you can get out of them!

One thing that I missed in the new equipment press release though was the new lenses that Canon is releasing to maximize the potential of its new body….