5D II hands-on, 1D III fix, & Chuck Westfall

Started Sep 19, 2008 | Discussions thread
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DotCom Editor Veteran Member • Posts: 7,452
5D II hands-on, 1D III fix, & Chuck Westfall

I had a lengthy chat with Canon USA's Chuck Westfall last night at a private press editorial event in New York. And I got to play with the 5D Mark II and G10 for a couple of minutes.

The 5DII feels great in the hand and the viewfinder is even better than the original. But, oh, that LCD! It's a vast improvement. There was no CF in the camera, so I couldn't shoot. But I could switch into the video mode. Alas, I could not draw any qualitative conclusion in just 30 seconds of play time, but video mode certainly is easy to get to. As for the G10, I want one. Now. It's such a pleasure to use a pocket-size camera that still features a true optical viewfinder.

I asked Mr. Westfall where he felt the dividing line between the 5DII and 1DsIII customer is -- and if it's a moving target. His answer was interesting: Especially at higher ISO's the 5D II will outperform the 1Ds III by "two and a half stops." So, draw your own conclusion. Quantitative testing will eventually corroborate this or not. Of course, the 1Ds III is a far more rugged machine that, no doubt, can handle more abusive treatment. At the Nikon table across the large room, which counted among its staff Canon USA's former media-relations person, they were impressed by the 5D II. (FujiFilm and Pentax also were present, but I did not spend much time at either table. Others, including HP, Kodak, Samsung, Panasonic, were showing camera, but I did not check these out at all. This event featured all kinds of technology products from about 70 vendors, not just cameras, and is designed to time for editors writing for holiday issues of magazines.)

As for the 1D III fiasco and the "mea culpa" (of sorts) article in the current issue of the Canon magazine, Mr. Westfall said the past year had been difficult for everyone at the company (who works with this product line), and that they are very relieved to have put this behind them. Of course, not all of us 1D III shooters agree that this issue is over and done with. But one must remember that Mr. Westfall's role is to speak the company line (and not to set it).

As for my question about special goodwill trade-in consideration for current 1D III owners when a successor model eventually is announced, Mr. Westfall was unable to comment. Now, please don't read anything into that previous sentence -- the Canon table had quite a crowd around it, with most editors vying for Mr. Westfall's attention. He simply was not able to address every question from every editor. I will say this, however: Mr. Westfall has had a tough year.

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I coulda had a V8 -- but I bought a 1D Mark III instead

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