Now Available: Lynda training for the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III

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If you’re the lucky own of a Nikon D800 or Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and you’d like to know more about how to use either camera, then you’ll want to check out my two latest Lynda.com courses. Both classes walk you through all the critical features and operations of each camera, and are designed to work in concert with my Foundations of Photography series. Note that the 5D Mark III class is also ideally suited for users of the 5D Mark II. Click here if you’re a 5D user or click here if you’re a D800 user.

Some Notes on Canon’s Evaluative Metering

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I’ve been shooting with Canon SLRs for a long time, and for the most part, I’ve always been pleased with the camera’s metering. Granted, I can never remember which icon corresponds to which metering mode, but now that I keep the PDF of the manual on my phone, I can always look it up. During a recent shoot, though, I came across a curious detail about Evaluative metering that I never knew – one that can dramatically alter metering behavior in certain situations.

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Revisited: Do you need a full-frame sensor?

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Five years ago, I wrote this piece on whether you should buy a full-frame or cropped sensor digital camera. At the time, cameras with a full-frame sensor were substantially more expensive than cropped-sensor cameras, and a lot of people believed that, eventually, cropped-sensor cameras would be phased out and replaced by more affordable full-frame cameras. Five years later, we’ve seen that that’s not going to happen, but the question remains: do you need full-frame or is a cropped sensor camera okay?

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Should you upgrade from a Canon 5D to a 5D Mark II? Part II

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It says a lot about the Canon EOS 5D that, years after its debut, the release of a successor does not necessarily compel 5D users to upgrade, even though the new model packs 21 megapixels, improved high ISO performance, and burst speed, high-def video, and more. The fact is, the original 5D is a great camera, and many users are coming to realize that they may have all the pixels they need for the type of output they do. However, the 5D Mark II’s improved noise performance and interface changes are good enough that, depending on what and how you shoot, the cost of an upgrade might be worth it. And, while you don’t need 21 megapixels for every shot, the ability to print large, and crop tight, can be welcome in many situations. In Part 1, I looked at the interface and physical changes between the 5D and the 5D Mark II. Now it’s time to discuss image quality.

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Should you upgrade from a Canon 5D to a 5D Mark II? Part I

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As a friend pointed out a few months ago, it used to be that you bought a camera that you liked, and you used it for years and years, if not the rest of your life. While you might change films regularly, and experiment with new processing techniques, once you’d chosen a camera, it was a tool that you committed to for the long haul. Like me, my friend has been shooting with a 5D for years, and we were discussing how, if we had to use that camera and only that camera for the rest of our lives, we’d actually be content, and would not be limited in our ability to create great images. (At least, not limited by our camera choice.) Then Canon released the 5D Mark II.

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