Cameras & Lenses

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Non-Interchangeable Lens Compact Cameras

Canon PowerShot SX50 HSCanon PowerShot SX 50 HS – B&H# CAPSSX50

I’m never gonna give up my HDSLRs but this little rascal packs a lot of punch for something so small.  This tiny camera will optically zoom to an equivalent of 1200mm making it a great glove-compartment wildlife camera and that’s just plain AWESOME!

Canon PowerShot S100Canon PowerShot S100 – B&H# CAPSS100B

I always have the latest PowerShot “S” camera because they’re super-compact and can shoot in RAW as well as JPEG.  You can’t go wrong with one of these in your Man Purse…

EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens) Cameras:

Canon EOS MCanon EOS M w/22mm F2 lens – B&H# CAEM22

Let’s see; It’s pocket-sized but it has essentially the same APS-C sensor as a T4i?  And it can take all the EF and EF-S lenses with a reasonably-priced adapter?  Sold.  While this is the first in the EOS M series, it’s not likely to be the last…

Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS MCanon Mount Adapter EF-EOS M for EF & EF-S Lenses – B&H# CALA

And here’s that very EF & EF-S lens adapter for the EOS M.

Hybrid Still/HD Video Cameras:

Canon 60DCanon EOS 60D – B&H# CAE60D

With performance that belies it’s low cost, the 60D is still one of my favorite Canon HDSLRs.  It uses the same batteries as the 7D, 5D Mark II, & 5D Mark III, and has a flip around LCD.  Neat!

Canon 7DCanon EOS 7D – B&H# CAE7D

Hollywood’s latest “It Girl” camera, the Canon 7D offers the familiar lens magnification of a Super 35 cine camera in a well-featured HDSLR body.  The Big Shots in Hollywood buy these by the truck load!

Canon 5D Mark IICanon EOS 5D MKIII – B&H# CAE5D3

Everything we loved about the 5DMKII & much more!  Much better auto-focus (on the still camera side) and a headphone jack that allows real-time monitoring of the automatically or manually adjustable audio recording feature.  But where’s our “peaking” feature, Canon?  Seriously dudes, give us focus peaking and make it quick!

Canon EOS-1D XCanon EOS 1DX – B&H# CAE1DX

The Big Boy in the line-up!  Weather-tight O-rings and blazingly fast continuous capture make this full-frame camera the Adventurer’s obvious choice.  You can’t fully emerse this camera but it will easily shrug-off monsoon level downpours. The processors, the balance, the quality – this is IT, baby!

Cinema HD Cameras

Canon XF100Canon XF100 HD Camcorder – B&H# CAXF100

This the smallest traditional camcorder that I regularly use and recommend.  It’s got a nice zoom, a single 1/3″ sensor, XLR audio inputs, and automatic exposure & focus for those crazy times when all you can do is point, pray, and shoot.  This is a good camera for spontaneous interviews…

Canon C100Canon EOS C100 Cinema Camcorder – B&H# CAC100EF

I was openly dismissive of this, the C300’s baby brother, until I worked with it. The LCD is built-in to the body (rather than  integrated into the top handle as on the C300) making a stripped-down C100 the perfect camera for my Steadicam Merlin2. Now the C100 is an indispensable part of my kit…

Canon C300Canon EOS C300 Cinema Camcorder (EF Lens Mount) – B&H# CAC300EF

I love this camera. I’ve dragged two of them around the world to shoot under very challenging environmental conditions and I’ve not had even the slightest problem. Like all Canon ergonomic designs, it looks more like a hand vacuum than a camera but never judge a book by it’s cover – this thing truly rocks. Awesome high ISO performance!

Series Prime Lenses (Non L-Series):

Canon EF 28mm f1.8Canon EF 28mm f1.8 – B&H# CA2818EF

When people ask me for a recommendation for a wide angle, they are usually expecting that I will only suggest the wonderful and pricey “L” glass variants. Surprise! I always suggest this nifty and affordable little 28mm as a great performer in a compact package. I love a 28 on a full-frame camera! Perspective-wise, it’s not as over-reaching as a 24 or as bland as a 35…

Canon EF 50mm f1.8Canon EF 50mm f1.8 – B&H# CA5018EF2

This is known as Canon’s “Nifty Fifty”. Although this is an inexpensive plastic-barrled lens, it’s a terrific optical performer. I understand that the machine that cranks these out is one of the most precise industrial assemblers in the Canon fleet. And even with that tiny vestigial focusing ring, my IDC SYSTEM ZERO will manually focus it with ease…

Canon EF 50mm f1.4Canon EF 50mm f1.4 – B&H# CA5014EF

If you need the tiny bit of additional light transmission that this lens offers over the 50mm f1.8, then go for it! Although this lens is not weatherized like the 50mm f1.2 L, it focuses quicker, is much lighter, and has very good build quality…

Canon EF 85mm f1.8Canon EF 85mm f1.8 – B&H# CA8518EF

This is the “portrait length” lens that I always recommend to round out my “Light, Good, and Affordable Prime Lens Kit”.  Other than when I must have the weatherizing of the honkin’ big 85mm f1.2, this is the lens most likely to be chosen. It’s sharp, light, sharp, fast, sharp, and compact. Did I mention that it’s sharp? The 28/50/85 combo can do 80% of anything you might demand. Add a long “L” zoom and you’re stylin’…

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro IS Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro IS B&H# CA10028LMIS

An image-stabilized Macro! And it’s f2.8 to begin with! This is the only Macro I currently use. It’s 100mm focal length means that it can double as a fantastic portrait lens as well – one that can capture a dramatic full-face portrait one moment and then push in for an ECU of lips or eyes the next.

Primes Lenses (L Series):

Canon EF 14mm f2.8 LCanon EF 14mm f2.8 L – B&H# CA1428LEF2

This is a rectilinear wide angle, meaning that it will keep all of the lines nice and straight – with minimal barrel or pin-cushion distortion. Great for adding emphasis to both product and architectural photography. The massive convex front element means that it’s impossible to add filtration up front. Old Skool guys like me will notice the gel filter slot out back and add Wratten CC and ND filters at will…

Canon EF 24mm f1.4 LCanon EF 24mm f1.4 L – B&H# CA2414L2EF

This is the widest, non-tilt/shift L Series lens in the line-up that will take a screw-in filter out front. At 77mm, it’s filter diameter matches the bulk of my other L lenses. This 24 is sharp, fast, and dramatic in it’s spatial rendering…

Canon EF 35mm f1.4 LCanon EF 35mm f1.4 L – B&H# CA3514LEF

If you’re a traditional photojournalistic type and a fan of the 35mm focal length, this is the best in Canon’s line-up. A truly great performer. I own and use one but my taste usually runs to a less middle-of-the-road focal length…

Canon EF 50mm f1.2 LCanon EF 50mm f1.2 L – B&H# CA5012LEF

Like all L lenses, this one is “gravitationally-gifted” – that is to say, chunky. It delivers creamy backgrounds when used WFO, but beware that the paper-thin DOF doesn’t get you in trouble. I’ve found that all lenses perform at their best when stopped down slightly – often less than a stop. Buying a fast lens and stopping it down sounds nuts until you realize that all lenses, even slow ones, behave similarly in this respect.

Canon EF 85mm f1.2 LCanon EF 85mm f1.2 L II – B&H# CA8512LEF2

Everything I mention about the 50mm f1.2 applies here as well. The most recent series of Canon’s top-shelf 85 focuses a bit faster than previous generations but to call this a quick focusing lens would be, ahh, misleading. It’s killer sharp and renders an image beautifully but I confess that I think of it’s focusing speed as “glacial” if I’m feeling generous…

Canon EF 135mm f2 LCanon EF 135mm f2 L – B&H# CA1352LEF

This 135mm f2 paints absolutely beautiful images. This lens’ lack of image-stabilization means that I will usually end up using my 70-200 f2.8 IS L zoom, when I might otherwise happily choose the 135, but there is no doubt that this is one of Canon’s most stellar and widely loved lenses…

Zoom Lenses (Non-L Series):

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USMCanon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM – B&H# CA102235EF

This is an EF-S lens, and that means that it’s image circle will only cover APS-C sensors – not Full-Frame sensors. On an APS-C camera (Rebels, 60D, 7D, and the Cinema EOS cameras) this zoom’s range of focal lengths is equivalent to that of a 16-35mm L zoom on Full-Frame. Super handy! I do wish that it could be re-imagined in a “weatherized” form as I use it in horrible environmental conditions quite regularly…

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 ISCanon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS – B&H# CA175528IS

Now here’s my very favorite APS-C zoom. It’s roughly the equivalent of a 28-90 on Full-Frame (awesome), it has image-stabilization, AND it’s a consistant f2.8 throughout it’s range. I’d kill – okay, maybe just maim – for the Full-Frame equivalent of this lens so this one is a favorite on my 60d, 7D, and especially my C100 and C300 cinema cameras…

Zoom Lenses (L – Series):

Canon EF 17-40mm f4Canon EF 17-40mm f4 – B&H# CA17404LEF

Yes, I do have the latest series of the more expensive 16-35mm f2.8 short zoom, but this is the one I usually reach for and always recommend. The reason? It uses the same 77mm filter as my 24-105mm f4 IS L and my 70-200mm f2.8 IS L.  Dang sharp too. Never overlook the F4 zooms – they’re fantastic collections of glass and the price is attractive too!

Canon EF 24-105mm f4 ISCanon EF 24-105mm f4 IS – B&H# CA241054LIS

The best “kit lens” Canon has ever offered, IMHO. It’s a L lens so it’s super tough, it offers a great range of focal lengths (I find the 24-70 to be too short on the long end), and it has image stabilization. I own three!

Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS Series IICanon EF 70-200mm f2.8 IS Series II – B&H# CA7020028LIQ

This is my “money lens” and if you wanna get it away from me you’ll need to pry it from my cold, dead fingers. I don’t think that it’s an exaggeration to say that his lens – over the years – has made me enough money to buy me a house. Or three. I tend to “see” in the focal lengths that this lens covers so it’s a match made in heaven…

Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 ISCanon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS – B&H# CA70300LIS

A new favorite! This lens starts to reach into the lower rungs of the Super Telephoto range but in a much more compact package. This newly-designed lens has replaced the elderly 100-400mm “dust trombone” as my drive-around lens when looking for wild game in Africa or right here in our own National Parks. And this very compact zoom fits right onto my standard-sized IDC SYSTEM ZERO, rig too! Super cool.

Super Telephotos:

Canon EF 200mm f2 ISCanon EF 200mm f2 IS – B&H# CA2002LIS

The smallest of the Super Telephotos, this chunky 200 is a real peach. I admit that I often reach for my 70-200mm zoom out of habit but this lens is truly special when used at – or near – WFO (Wide Freakin’ Open). I beta-tested this lens in Africa for Uncle Canon and was immediately smitten.  Amazing bokeh and perfect for beauty shoots when you have room to “zoom with your feet”…

Canon EF 400mm f2.8 ISCanon EF 400mm f2.8 IS – B&H# CA40028LIS2

This might actually be heavier than my 600mm f4 – If it’s not, it’s dang close. I chose this lens for it’s amazing speed and almost ideal focal length for my wildlife and beauty shooting. The fact that it matches beautifully with a 1.4x converter, giving me the equivalent of 560mm @ f4, means that I could almost consider giving up my 600. Almost…

Canon EF 600mm f4 ISCanon EF 600mm f4 IS – B&H# CA6004LIFEF2

This was my very first Super Telephoto and I still give it plenty of use. I admit – I had a hard time coughing up enough cake to actually buy this monster lens, and no, Canon does not give me gear – I buy everything myself, just like you. The high price-point quickly faded, however, as multiple high-dollar image sales quickly covered the cost. This great lens – like all the rest of them – earned it’s place in my toolbox…

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