My Top 5 Cameras to Date | Digital and Film

Below is a list of my top 5 cameras. I created this list because I’m always being asked which camera system I use and what camera is my favorite. Of course, owning so many cameras and different brands has given me a useful insight into their various flaws as well as their capabilities.

My top 5 cameras:

5. Canon 1V – yes, this is a film camera, but there is a reason I’ve included this in the list, remember, I didn’t call this; My Top 5 Digital Cameras, film counts too. The 1V revolutionized what was soon to become a dead industry, film cameras. The 1V was a mammoth camera. It had amazing weather sealing and with the battery grip attached it reached continuous shutter speeds of 10 frames per second. Wow! I wanted this camera for years until finally, in 2005 I was able to buy it. And I owned it for all of three months before selling it and buying the next camera on the list.

4. Canon 1D – this was the first pro digital camera Canon ever made. It sported a meager 4.15mp sensor, but it was leaps and bounds beyond anything that had been produced up until that point. I remember first seeing the 1D in Edinburgh during the summer of 2001 and I was mesmerized. It was built like a tank, weather sealed to death and actually created super images, although at 4.15mp those images couldn’t be enlarged very much.

3. Leica M8 – just before I became a pro photographer I decided that my favorite type of photography was travel photography. Well, my camera at the time, the Canon 1D Mark II N was just too heavy and unnecessary for that. So I purchased a camera system that I had heard good things about since I began shooting in 1997, Leica. Until this point I had only used one once, but I remember falling in love. The quality was mind-boggling! So I bought one. $5,500 later, without a lens, I was the happiest man alive. The Leica was small, sleek, took amazing photos, except when pushed beyond 1600ISO. It was everything I wanted in a camera! Until I had to shoot something that was moving. And then the manual focus and rangefinder system was the bane of my life! So, I traded it for one of these…

2. Nikon D300 – one of the best cameras ever made! Solidly built, reasonably priced, big, bright 3 inch LCD screen, sensor dust cleaner. This was the love of my life for about 18 months until I finally decided to go pro and I knew I needed something a little better… if there was such a thing. Oh yes, there was and is…

1. Canon 5D Mark II – I haven’t been able to find the numbers online but I’m pretty sure this must be Canon’s best selling SLR of all time. When this beauty came out there was a massive waiting list. In fact, two years after it came out suppliers were still scrambling to keep them in stock. The Canon 5D Mark II is quite simply the finest camera I’ve ever used. With a whooping 21.1mps this creates huge files. It is razor sharp, feels amazing in the hand and isn’t too heavy to carry around all day long. But, there are some flaws, well one actually, I wish it had more weather sealing. And if that’s the worst thing I can say about it that must be a good thing!

What’s great about this particular list is that these are are still amazing cameras and all can be picked up on eBay for much less than new. If you’ve ever wanted to try a professional grade camera but just couldn’t afford a new one, why not pick one up used? You’ll be amazed at the difference it creates in your images and in your professionalism as a photographer.


Rules, London: Food Photography Blog

Since 1798 Rules restaurant in London has been delighting and inspiring its patrons with its gorgeous, typically English food.

Its signature dishes include; Steak and Kidney Pie, Steak and Kidney Pudding and Potted Shrimp.

Many who know me know that I have only a few really intense passions in life: 1. travel 2. photography and 3. food!

In addition to my photography blog, which you are reading now, and which is a definite extension and showcase of my work as a professional photographer, I also have a food and restaurant blog, in which I endeavor to go to every village, town, city and country on Earth, eating my way across the land.

This particular entry is not to go into detail about the food, but to give a photo essay of it instead. A full review can be found on my food blog.

Food Photography Shoot; Ramallos Chocolates

Ramallos Gift Pack

Ramallos chocolates is a recent startup by a very dedicated person. He called me last year when he was building his site and had me take some photos of his initial product line. And I think I said it then and I’ll say it again, they were super yummy. He really has an incredible product. They are all hand-made in Belgium and then shipped over to him, boxed and sent to his customers.

When I had the opportunity to photograph his most recent lineup of chocolate truffles I jumped at the chance.

This line included some very special chocolates for Valentine’s Day and I think and hope I captured these chocolates in all of their beauty.

Sussex Landscape Photos in the Snow

View of the Ashdown Forest

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to get a bit of snow and I was lucky enough to go out and enjoy myself for the day. My brother and sister-in-law came by and brought their dog Monte with them. We drove all over the area looking for fun places to drive and take photos.

The next day I went out with a photographer friend of mine, Sam Wordie, and we took some photos of the forest. She took some of me and I took some of her. It’s always good to have friends as photographers as they can take free photos to post on my website, blog, etc.

I haven’t had the opportunity to photograph much of England in the snow and this gave me a little preview of just how beautiful it is when it’s white outside.

New Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II Coming Soon!

The New Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II

In the world of technology news this is actually quite old, but I wanted to get it out there for my readers. On February 7th 2012 Canon announced that they would finally be updating the long awaited successor to the hugely popular Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L lens. The 24-70mm f2.8 L II will sport a sleek new design, better optics, more compact body and lighter weight. Anyone who has ever owned the original 24-70mm 2.8 L will undoubtably appreciate the smaller size and weight, it was a monster lens. I had to sell my second copy because it was just too heavy and big for what I do. I need speed and agility to capture weddings in an unobtrusive way and the old 24-70mm was anything but discreet and agile.

An update is certainly due as the original 24-70 was released in 2002. Just as the digital revolution was beginning. Today’s optics just can’t handle the large file sizes that camera manufacturers are producing, 21, 24 and soon (with Nikon’s new D800) 36 megapixels, lenses now need to be way sharper than they did in 2002. It’s only natural that Canon took its time to produce this lens. I hope it lives up to the hype and delivers what the current 24-70 can’t. We’ll have to wait until next month to find out. But with a price tag rumored to be much more than the current edition it will have to be good to get the current owners to switch. One thing to note is that the new 24-70 does not have Image Stabilization, which was definitely on the top of everyone’s list when asking Santa for a new 24-70 from Canon. Not sure what the thought process was there, but perhaps it would of been too expensive for most.

As well as an updated 24-70 Canon has also said it’s going to update the even older 24mm f2.8 and 28mm f2.8. Incorporating Image Stabilization into both, this is sort of a strange move for Canon. Wide angle lenses aren’t known for needing IS as camera shake isn’t prevalent. Rumors have begun to fly that Canon is producing these lenses to please the film makers out there looking for a bit more than is currently offered. Going on specs alone, I’m pretty excited about all of these lenses and can’t wait to try them

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