Canon 5D – can you say speed?

The fastest camera I have ever used

For over thirty years my camera of choice for street snaps was a Leica M2 or M3, typically with a 35mm or 50mm lens. This was the street snapper’s outfit par excellence.

Leica, of course is clueless about how to make a digital camera – they either badge engineer Panasonic’s and increase the price or make an overpriced, dated version of the fabulous M2 in the crippled-sensor M8.

In my experience, after using the 5D for some 15 months now, the 5D with the 24-105mm L zoom is faster in every respect. True, it’s a good deal bulkier than an M2 and not a bit noisier, but the automatic exposure and mind-numbingly fast and superbly accurate autofocus blows away the excellent Leica rangefinder in every way. We are talking operating speed here. Not high speed motor drives which are of little use in these situations. No I mean the speed of execution from seeing the picture to its recording.

Case in point. In continuing pursuit of pure color, and the hell with form and traditional composition, here’s the sort of thing which is second nature to this powerful lens/camera team (not to mention the operator):


Tattoo You. 5D, 24-105mm at 93mm, ISO 125, 1/350, f/4.5

It is hard to describe just how fast I had to be to snap this; the whole raising the camera/zooming/composing/snap cycle is just a blur in my memory. Exposure? Automatic. Focus? Automatic. Zoom? Manual – forget motorized zooms. Result? You be the judge.

And, while we’re at it, here’s another pair:


Twin Carb. 5D, 24-105mm at 105mm, ISO 250, 1/1500, f/5.6

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