Frustrations Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

Why Doesn’t Use Fulfillment by Amazon?

So, my question is why doesn’t use Fulfillment by Amazon? Here’s the reason I’m asking this question: When I recently purchased a new Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR from, I also wanted to buy an accompanying 16 GB CompactFlash memory card to use with it.

[Update: a correspondent recommends the Transcend TS32GCF133 133x 32GB Compact Flash Card instead for the Canon 5D Mark II.]

As it turns out, trying to buy this simple memory card sent me back down one of my least favorite “rabbit holes” – that of not being able to find the item I’m looking for as being sold directly by Amazon. Instead, Amazon presented me with listings from a bunch of third-party sellers who are selling this memory card through the Amazon platform. Grrr.

Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

A Tripod Novice – About to Become an Expert!

[Update: See this post for what I ended up buying instead of a tripod – a Gitzo GT1541T Monopod instead!]

Once you own a reasonably high-end digital SLR (like my brand new Canon EOS 5D Mark II), getting a decent tripod to use with it and create those super “sharp” shots is a necessary upgrade.

For example, I headed over to Stanford Memorial Church late yesterday afternoon to try some handheld HDR photography on the new 5D Mark II. Inside, shooting with my Canon 24-105mm f/4 lens, I had to crank the ISO up way too far – resulting in grainy shots. A solid tripod would have made a huge difference in capturing enough light to minimize the sensor noise.

Current Affairs Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

Barack Obama Portrait Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II

John Gruber points out that the latest official portrait of Barack Obama was taken yesterday by Pete Souza, the new White House official photographer, using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II – the metadata reveals it was shot at ISO 100, 105mm focal length, 1/125th of a second at f/10. It is the first time that an official presidential portrait was taken with a digital camera. Very cool!

HDR Photography Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Photomatix Pro Stanford

Shoot HDR on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II – Rodin’s Gates of Hell

IMG_0088_89_90_tonemappedHere’s my first attempt at handheld HDR photography using my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

The setting is Rodin’s Gates of Hell at the Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford University campus.

I love their description:

“The Rodin Sculpture Garden is open all hours, with lighting for nighttime viewing. Admission is free.”

I took three raw shots while seating on the ground, holding the camera as steady as I could, using Aperture Priority with three high-speed shots on the 5D Mark II.

Menlo Park Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

Riding the Rails with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in Menlo Park

I had to walk over to Staples today from our office to pickup some office supplies and I took the new Canon 5D Mark II along – capturing this shot below as I crossed the Caltrain tracks in Menlo Park.

Shot down low looking south towards Palo Alto – in large JPEG on the 5D Mark II, lens at 24mm, shot at f/8 in P mode – with post-processing (mostly vignette) done in Lightroom 2.2.

Caltrain Menlo Park - Looking SouthCaltrain – Menlo Park – Looking South to Palo Alto

Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

Cool Canon EOS 5D Mark II Feature: Quick Control Screen


Canon EOS 5D MkII
Quick Control Screen

One of the cool new features in the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR is the Quick Control screen.

You get to the Quick Control screen with one touch on the multi-controller (that’s the mouse-like button closest to the upper right corner of the LCD display). It pulls together all of the current camera settings into one display on the beautiful LCD screen – and – allows you to adjust them from there as well.

See a somewhat blurry example of Quick Control in the photo above – showing the camera in Aperture Priority mode. It’s very cool, handy and easy to use. – a very nice innovation from Canon.

[Update: See Jeff Lynch’s post – apparently the Quick Control screen was added with the introduction of Canon 50D last fall.]

Art and Artists Food and Drink Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Stanford

Cantor Arts Center at Stanford – A Sunday Favorite

One of our favorite places on the Stanford campus is the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts – otherwise known as the Cantor Arts Center.

Lady Madonna

Today, on an amazingly warm and delightful Sunday, I took the quick two mile trip over to Cantor to try out my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II on some inside the museum photography – Cantor is one of those museums that empowers photographers – inside the non-exhibition galleries and for non-commercial use only. Here’s the quick result – today’s “raw” (unadjusted) set on Flickr.

For today’s shooting, I left the 5D Mark II in full automatic ISO selection – turned out that for indoor shooting inside the Arts Center this was a real delight compared to the 40D’s limited automatic ISO adjustment. I ran the 5D Mark II mostly in Picture mode – letting the camera automatically select shutter speed and aperture.

Pescadero Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

Back from Pescadero

Harley Farms Goat Dairy

Harley Farms Goat Dairy
Pescadero, California

Chris, Lily and I headed for Pescadero this morning – for an inaugural photo shoot with my new Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera.

My objective today wasn’t to do anything fancy, just do some regular shooting and get familar with how my lenses worked on the full sensor 5D vs. the small sensor 40D and 30D that I’m much more familiar with. Here’s the Flickr set from today’s trip to Pescadero. All of these photos were shot using my Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS lens that I got last March.

Our first stop was the Harley Farms Goat Dairy – as recommended by Chris. We tasted the samples and bought a few cheeses and bread – turned out we were Dee Harley’s first customers of 2009! Harley Farms is running a series of dinners and wine and cheese gatherings later this spring – definitely worth thinking about some more!

HDR Photography Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

Moving Up – Canon EOS 5D Mark II

5dmark2.jpgAfter talking to a very good friend (and another Canon shooter) at breakfast earlier this week about his experiences with the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II, I decided I really didn’t have the will power to resist – in spite (or, perhaps, because) of the economy! Some other photographers have also not been able to resist!

Here are the details on this new camera from the Canon web site. If you really want to be blown away, watch this HD video shot by Vincent Laforet using this camera.