Category Archives: Gear

Canon Cameras, Acer Monitors, M-Audio stereo monitors, etc.

HIS Radeon HD 6850 video card

HIS Radeon HD 6850 video cardMore and more video projects have been landing on my desk. Shooting HD footage is great, but my old system started resenting me for it. I needed to upgrade to a Crossfire capable card. I will continue building up my firepower in 2011 and having two of these monsters will make editing photos and videos more efficient.

I had a good laugh comparing my old video card, a Sapphire Radeon HD 4650, to the new card. It hurts my brain to see how quickly technology evolves.

Canon Pro9500 Printer

The Canon Pro9500 printer is one the best investments I’ve ever made. (It has since been replaced by the Canon PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II.) The printer handles up to 13″ x 19″ borderless prints without a problem. Ink can be a bit expensive. However, the tradeoff is that prints look absolutely stunning. You would need a magnifying glass to see dots.

My favorite brand of paper to use with this printer is Ilford Premium Pearl which was recommended to me by a photographer friend named John Lauritsen

Back to Ilford. Their premium pearl paper has a slight stipple effect. A very nice texture reminiscent of vintage photo paper. It’s sheen is somewhere between matte and gloss. Perfect for those who have a hard time making decisions. I also think their matte paper is quite nice. All of their papers have corresponding printer profiles available through Ilford’s web site.

It’s always handy to have an extra set of ten ink cartridges. The Pro9500 uses 10 cartridges to produce a wide gamut of colors. They really covered their bases here:

  • Canon PGI-9 Gray Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Green Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Red Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Yellow Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Cyan Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Magenta Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Photo Cyan Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Photo Magenta Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Photo Black Ink Cartridge
  • Canon PGI-9 Matte Black Ink Cartridge

If you are looking for a printer that can handle every type of paper flawlessly, look no further. Sure it’s a nice chunk of change, but this isn’t a printer than you use for five years and throw away.

Canon 7D

Canon 7D Digital SLRThis year I decided it was time to purchase one device that would shoot stills as well as record high definition video. There have been several cameras prior to release of the Canon 7D that had this feature, but at $1700.00 the 7D does it for less and to a certain degree better. Although the 5dMkII is full frame, it is also an additional $1,000.00 more expensive than the 7D. Couldn’t justify that especially since $1,000.00 would be best spent on a lens.

Image Quality

Coming from an XTi, the image quality is immediately noticed. Crop ’til you drop because the physical image size is giant. If your composition is a bit off, you can crop it and still have enough for a 13″x19″ print. I own the Canon PIXMA Pro9500 and it is capable of amazing results in combination with the 7D.

Video

My first Canon video camera was an Optura 30. I still have it to this day. It still works. I still think it has amazing color for the age of the technology. In short, that’s what you get with Canon. Spectacular technology that will endure long after the product is discontinued. (By comparison, I once owned a Sony Handicam similar to this. That piece of trash crapped out just over a year after owning it. The heads went on it! One of the most expensive repairs on that type of camera. I did not repair it.)

Back to the 7D. The ability to shoot 24, 30 and 60 frames per second is incredible. It’s possible to produce Blu-ray quality video.

Canon cameras

People often ask me what type of camera they should buy. My suggestion is always Canon. They’ve had a long running policy of supporting older equipment. Many of their lenses can be used long after a camera body has expired. The resale on quality lenses is also amazing and a far better investment than you might imagine. That’s not to say companies like Nikon aren’t great, but wouldn’t be economical to have a Nikon system as well. Two things that made me a Canon fan are their menus and color. No matter the device, Canon has very intuitive menus.

My first Canon was a PowerShot A95 and I still use it to this day. Not the best in low light, but noise levels are something Canon has improved on with each new model released.

I always recommend shopping for this type of equipment at B&H Photo in New York City. They have an incredible inventory and one of the neatest checkout procedures in a department store. To learn more about their history, watch this video.