Monday, February 17, 2014

Canon 5D Mark II...oh how I love you:-)

The more I am drawn to the nitty gritty details of photography, the more I wanted to try out a Canon 5D Mark II, full frame camera. I am lucky enough to have a talented neighbor, Regina Holder, who just happens to be a professional photographer, and who was gracious enough to let me borrow her Canon 5D Mark II:-)

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I took a couple of photos each with the Canon 5D Mark II/50mm lens, and the Canon Rebel T3/18-55mm lens using similar settings. 


Both were edited on my imac with Adobe Lightroom 3.6, only because my imac is too old to support LR 5. 


Can you tell which photos were taken with which camera? 


The answers are at the end of the post.

Without getting into the details about why a full-frame camera is better than a crop sensor camera, and what the differences are, (there are many), I really wanted to see how far I could take the Canon Rebel with a kit lens. Because the Canon 5D is not in my price range at this point, I needed to convince myself that I could still get nice images with what I have while I save up for the 5D. 

Even with the addition of better lenses -- I just got a Canon 20mm lens, and we have a 50mm lens for the Nikon D5100 for close-ups, I can still see the difference between the two, especially in the RAW files. 

Just buying a new camera won't make me a better photographer, though. 

Being a musician, I know first hand the years of work and practice it takes to perfect one's craft. That makes me appreciate and respect the hard work and experience it takes for professional photographers to capture the beautiful images they get. So I analyze and study their work with hopes that mine will at least improve. 

Our generous neighbor who loaned us her Canon 5D MarkII, Regina Holder, is a wedding and portrait photographer and does the most amazing and beautiful work in and around the Asheville area. If you know someone getting married, engaged or looking for portraits in this area, check out her website. This is some of her beautiful work:

I told you she was talented:-) 

So to sum it all up...yes, a full-frame pro camera can make a *huge* difference, but you have to know how to take a good photo with a point and shoot first. I am sure Regina could take a better photo with a point and shoot than I can with a pro camera, so it's ultimately a combination of the artistic eye, knowledge, experience and equipment that make a good photographer. It's kind of how a great violinist could make a Walmart violin sound amazing, whereas I could make a Stradivarius sound like fingernails on a chalkboard:-) I'll spare you the audio.

I sometimes read comments where people say because their photos are not good, they need to upgrade cameras. From my own love-hate experience with photography, I can honestly recommend working on tweaking the photos first, then upgrading equipment. You can see my top 10 tips for better photography  HERE. 

In the meantime, I'm saving for that Canon 5D:-) 

**Thank you to Regina Holder for use of the Canon 5D Mark II
**Regina Holder images used with permission

I'll be joining:

Photo A: Canon 5D Mark II
Photo B: Canon Rebel T3
Photo C: Canon 5D Mark II
Photo D: Canon Rebel T3


  1. I love that you got to try one out! I haven't yet, but can't wait to get my hands on one!! I am going to rent this summer for a few photo shoots that I have! I can't wait!

  2. Regina's wedding photos are the backdrop of the Biltmore Estate. How fun that you got to try out that great camera!

  3. What fun to be able to borrow one to try, Anita. I really can't tell much difference in the photos. Maybe the second one shows a bit clearer background? I am sure a good photographer could spot a bunch of differences but to those that just read and love blogging I don't think too many of us can tell much difference.

    She takes gorgeous photos...and I LOVE the Biltmore and hope to tour it again one day- xo Diana

  4. Oh I admire anyone who knows how to use those cameras. I just have a point and shoot and like you say, need to learn more about composition and such before I upgrade. Great post. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. Beautiful photos - but honestly Anita? I don't think they're any better than yours - you take beautiful ones !!!
    I should be stricken from the blogmosphere for mine!
    Came by to say thanks for visiting -( you're a no reply blogger )

  6. It is interesting to see the subtleties, Anita.

    I have a friend who is a professional photographer and she has given me some amazing compliments on composition and lighting and I'm only using a Nikon CoolPix (the best one) and PicMonkey. are so right about making the most of what you have. Years ago, when we were still shooting with film, I had a Nikon and several lenses and went to a one day Nikon school. I learned a lot. Maybe someday I can afford a "real" DSLR. (If you were to start over and get one camera which would your start with?) My dream is to take one-on-one classes with a great photographer to learn my camera. Digital is different...all the's enough to make my head spin. For sure it's one art that you can continue to learn, daily. Thanks for this post, Anita. And thanks for linking it up at Project Inspire{d}!!


    1. Diane, I would definitely start with the Canon Rebel. There are different versions from the T3, T3i, T5, etc., and they all are good. I would start there, then add a 50mm, f/1.4 lens first for close ups, then go from there. I got the 20mm lens, but some people want a zoom like 10-22mm lens. It's more expensive though. All the photographers we know say buy better lenses before investing in the body. I also highly recommend Adobe Lightroom for post editing. Of course Adobe Photoshop is best, but not as users friendly and quick to learn. No one, not one, none of the professional photographers we know or follow leave their photos as they are straight out of the camera, which is why shooting RAW is so important. It preserves all the info in the photo where shooting .jpeg significantly reduces it. I hope that makes sense:-)

  7. Interesting to find this post at exactly the moment I was looking at a photography class at a local college. I am strictly self-taught and don't even know how to use by lovely Canon. You've given me a good push. And thanks for stopping by! Will look forward to seeing your girls' room. Here's another bunch of very cute ideas:

  8. Funny about great minds. I've just been looking at a photography class at a local college. I take photos but no idea how to truly use the camera. I have the Canon S95, good in low light, and love it. Thanks for stopping by. Will look forward to seeing how the girls' room works out. Here is another bunch of cute bunks btw: