Getting Back to Basics

Video cameras seem to be getting more and more complex, which can be a blessing and a curse. Even the basic "record-your-son's-football-game" camera seems to have features today that were unimaginable only a few years ago. Sony now has a camera that can detect whether or not someone is smiling. Sounds more like science fiction to me. While these new features can be useful in a variety of ways, getting the best possible footage is always paramount. The truth is that the most critical settings are always the most universal. They include white balance, shutter speed, and audio levels.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Hands-On Review

Road-testing a new DSLR is always a blast, especially when the improvements go beyond a new paint Canon's EOS 5D Mark IIjob and racing stripes. Canon's new EOS 5D Mark II, a 2nd generation 5D-series digicam, delivers a host of improvements along with the ability to shoot Hi-Def video with sound, which made the road-test experience a total blast-and-a-half.

Having logged many hours with the original EOS 5D, I was especially eager to shoot with its replacement. What surprised me most was the extent to which I became enamored with the newbie's video feature, but more on that later.

21.1Mp 24x36mm CMOS Sensor

The Mother of all Telephotos

If you're into bird watching, the holy grail would have to be the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, a huge (20" tall with a 30" wingspan), yet incredibly elusive woodpecker that despite reports of extinction, is spotted every now-and-then deep in the boonies of Florida and Arkansas. It's also known as the 'Lord G-d' woodpecker because that's what spotters have been known to blurt out - often accompanied by soiled trousers - when dive-bombed by one. 'Lord G-d' has also been exclaimed - minus the soiled trousers - by those seeing a Canon 1200/5.6L USM for the first time. At 36lbs, 33" long and 9" wide at the front element, calling this lens a 'tele' is like calling King Kong a monkey.


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