A couple of new things have come into my possession during this time. The two notable items is the Sigma 85mm F/1.4 and the new iPad 64 GB with Retina display. I'm actually trying to transition myself to this smaller form factor and with a combination of Blogsy (what I'm using at the moment and what appears to be one of the best blogging applications I've come across) and the Zagg wireless keyboard (I would be throwing this iPad across the room if I had to type an entire blog entry with it).
Also picked up a stylus that has a little plastic tipped disc at the end of it. I had a rubber tipped one initially, but found that I did not like the spongy feel and it felt a little inaccurate at times which was not much better than using a frozen sausage as a pen. The accuracy of the new stylus is actually quite remarkable.
In the field though I must say, that the iPad and WiFi has also made it easier for me to review images. I can easily check focus and verify how my images are coming up. This makes the review process part of my workflow on site rather than taking it offline later. With client present as well, they can also give further direction if they want any other adjustments or angles during a shoot. One of the biggest reasons why I purchased this combination.
Now don't get this confused with tethering. This is not at all tethering, however I do welcome the day that there is an app that can put the liveview right onto the iPad and give me camera controls. This is strictly a preview and review process after a small transfer pause.
Not only was I able to monitor my exposures in this waterfall images through the psuedo livebulb feature of the 5Dmk3, but I was able to verify my focus throughout the image on the iPad once it tranfered it over. I only use about half the resolution and found that this is more than necessary to give me an idea how things are working out.
I'm still discovering things with the iPad combination. One of the things that I certainly find interesting is the amount of things that Adobe is offering to integrate an iPad and Photoshop workflow. At the moment I'm not seeing a huge value for it, but I'm hoping that they will create a Lightroom option even if it is just a sync operation.
One of the benefits of the 5Dmk3 is certainly the dual card slots. I'm able to keep my RAW files on the CF card should I choose or need to have high resolution images, but in the cases of blogging, low resolution images more than suffice.
To finish off this catch-up blog entry, I also added to my inventory the Sigma 85mm F/1.4 lens. In a recent session with actor Monica Ogdin, I was easily reminded why I love the 85mm focal length for portrait work. But some of the things that I didn't necessarily appreciate when I shot portrait work on the 5Dmk2, was how the new AF layout really makes portrait photography that much easier. Not only was the new spread of AF points far wider, but they were far more accurate.
Shooting with wide aperture lenses always runs a risk of AF errors, and despite the often all too common complaint where photographers blame the lens/camera, and are less likely to blame their technique, the new AF system in the 5Dmk3 really makes it harder to make focus mistakes. Ms. Ogdin was looking for just a couple of head shots for her portfolio, but I also had the time to spend some extra time with her, so we took more than usual. I did not find a single focus error in all 180 shots I took. Occasionally I adjusted my aperture to increase my depth of field, but the AF and metering on the 5DmkIII was solid.
The bokeh on this lens is the talk of the net and it was certainly no let down. The beauty of this lens is to be able to isolate your subject so they pop off the page.
Of course with wide apertures, comes the balance of focusing errors, but the 5DmkIII handles this with no issues because it seems to identify the areas of focus that matter with this type of photography.
One last thing to add is how well this works in low light. I spent the day with my son at an advance viewing of a new exhibit at our local museum. The light levels would certainly put most cameras to their knees, but for the 5DmkIII and the Sigma 85mm F/1.4, it was not a problem.
We were instructed that we were allowed to take photos but no flash, but I wasn't worried at all. I brought my camera with no expectations, but once they told me that, I kind of snickered a little as I watched most of the attendees strugle with their point and shoot cameras or some who snuck in the occasional flash shot.
Getting away from being behind the computer and actually getting out there and taking shots is something that I never thought technology would encourage me in this way. It's not even the fact that I'm using the technology to verify if I've captured the shot as I intended, but in some ways it has a Polaroid like feel (one day we might start to say, shaking it like an iPad), very much in the way, just to have a small bit of satisfaction of seeing the image in all its glorious details. Unlike the live view of the camera screen or the preview of the captured image. The retina display of the iPad just takes it another step ahead from that and gives such rich details and vibrant colours, that for the most part, I just don't feel I need to even process the images.
I do look forward to experimenting more with this combination, and will share my various experiences along the way.