Grand Cypress in Autumn

Grand Cypress in Autumn

Grand Cypress in Autumn – Hunt, Texas
Copyright © 2012 Jeff Lynch Photography
EOS 5D Mark III w/ GP-E
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with GP-E2 unit attached, set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens and tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/18 for 3.2 seconds at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 4.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

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Canon’s GPS Unit – It’s About Time!

The old saying goes something like this; “good things come to those that wait”. In the case of Canon shooters, this old saying should say “good things come to those that wait and wait and wait and wait some more”.

Canon quietly launched their first foray into the geotagging market earlier this year with the introduction of the GP-E2 hotshoe-mounted GPS unit. This unit gives “some” Canon shooters the ability to geo-tag their images with latitude and longitude data in the EXIF fields, a feature that Nikon shooters have had for several years now. For now, the GP-E2 unit adds this much-requested feature to the EOS-1D X, the EOS 5D Mark III and the EOS 7D cameras only, but Canon promises compatibility with future models as well.

Canon 5D Mark III with GP-E2

Features
For simple and accurate recording of time and location information, this compact GPS receiver is the perfect complement to the EOS 5D Mark III for landscape and wildlife photographers. The GP-E2 records location information such as longitude, latitude, elevation, direction and Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) as EXIF data, while also serving as an electronic compass on camera or off. Connectivity options include hot shoe connections with the EOS 5D Mark III and the EOS-1D X but USB connection only with the EOS 7D. The smart design and rugged construction ensures reliability plus the ability to be used as a standalone GPS logger.

Build Quality
To be able to endure a photographer’s travels, Canon designed the GP-E2 with much the same rugged and durable exterior construction as the EOS 5D Mark III DSLR body while still remaining compact and lightweight. Able to withstand harsh weather conditions, the GP-E2 is a great addition to the EOS 5D Mark III for those who take their EOS system out into even the most remote environments. It offers the same level of dust- and weather- resistance as the EOS 5D Mark III when connected to the camera’s hot shoe, but weather-resistance decreases somewhat when connected via the USB cable.

Canon's GP-E2 GPS Unit

Geo-Logging
Additionally, the GP-E2 can be used as a standalone GPS logger. It can be carried in its included case or users can wear it comfortably on their waist. The location information is automatically stored on the GP-E2 at specific intervals and logged information can be added to the EXIF information at a later time using the supplied Map Utility.

Batteries
The GPS Receiver GP-E2’s uses readily available AA batteries, so users can easily power up the receiver without worrying about recharging. Given that AA batteries are perhaps the most widely available power source anywhere around the world, I think Canon has made a good move here. Because the GP-E2 has its own power source, photographers can still get hours of continuous use with the camera because the GP-E2 will never drain the camera’s battery.

Canon's GP-E2 Top

Compatibility
Automatic geotagging when shooting is supported by EOS-1D X and later cameras such as the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 7D. Manual geotagging after shooting (from logging information) supported by all EOS digital cameras.

Conclusions
Canon shooters have waited impatiently for GPS capabilities while watching their Nikon friends enjoy the benefits of a hot-shoe mounted GPS unit for several years now. With the introduction of the Canon GP-E2 and now the new EOS 6D, it seems like Canon shooters are finally on par with their Nikon brothers and sisters. All I can say in conclusion is “it’s about damn time!”

Comparing the Canon 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III and 6D

Unless you’ve been living off world for the past few years, you know that Canon has introduced several new full-frame DSLR cameras, the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III and now the brand new EOS 6D. In the coming weeks and months there will be reviews galore posted on the various industry watching blogs with in depth discussions of EOS 6D’s features and benefits. Folks that recently purchased the 5D Mark II, 7D or 5D Mark III may start to feel “buyers remorse” and “upgraders envy” over the perceived differences between their camera and the new EOS 6D. The amount of forum traffic on DPReview.com will jump as folks begin to post their rants and raves about this new camera.

To help cut through some of the rhetoric I thought I’d post a quick and dirty comparison of these three full-frame cameras based upon the information currently available. Basically, the same comparison I posted a few years ago on the new G12, G11 and G10 cameras. Let me state for the record that this comparison is from a still photographer’s perspective only. The video capabilities of these cameras are cool but not where my interests lay.

List Price:
5D2  –  $2199 (USD)
5D3  –  $3499 (USD)
6D    –  $2099 (USD)

Sensor:
5D2  –  FF (5616 x 3744) (20.6 MP)
5D3  –  FF (5760 x 3840) (22 MP)
6D    –  FF (5472 x 3648) (23.4 MP)

Processor:
5D2  –  DIGIC 4
5D3  –  DIGIC 5+
6D    –  DIGIC 5+

ISO:
5D2  –  Auto, 100 – 6400 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 12800, 25600 as option
5D3  –  Auto, 100 – 25600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 51200, 102400 as option
6D    –  Auto, 100 – 25600 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 51200, 102400 as option

Metering:
5D2  –  35 Area Eval, Center Weighted, Partial, Spot
5D3  –  63 Area Eval, Center Weighted, Partial, Spot
6D    –  63 Area Eval, Center Weighted, Partial, Spot

Auto Focus:
5D2  –  9 Point
5D3  –  61 Point (new technology)
6D    –  11 Point

Exposure Compensation:
5D2  –  ±2 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
5D3  –  ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
6D    –  ±5 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)

Continuous Shooting:
5D2  –  3.9 fps
5D3  –  6 fps
6D    –  4.5 fps

Raw Formats:
5D2  –  RAW, sRAW1, sRAW2
5D3  –  RAW, sRAW, mRAW
6D    –  RAW, sRAW1, sRAW2

Viewfinder:
5D2  –  Pentaprism, 98% Coverage, 0.71x Mag
5D3  –  Pentaprism, 100% Coverage, 0.71x Mag
6D    –  Pentaprism, 97% Coverage, 0.71x Mag

Battery:
5D2  –  LP-E6 ($66 USD)
5D3  –  LP-E6 ($66 USD)
6D    –  LP-E6 ($66 USD)

Weight:
5D2  –  850g
5D3  –  860g
6D    –  822g

Some Initial Conclusions:
The flame wars have already started on the new EOS 6D as they do anytime Canon releases a new DSLR camera.

The comparison between the 5D Mark II and the new 5D Mark III is very easy to judge in most respects with the 5D Mark III offering some very compelling new features such as the increased resolution, the DIGIC 5+ processors, the very high 6 fps continuous frame rate, the new metering system and the brand new auto focus system. If the high ISO performance of this new 21 MP sensor is at least as good as the 5D mark II’s, then the new 5D Mark III is a sure fire winner for anyone looking for a high-end full-frame body.

The comparison between the brand new 6D and the 5D mark III is much more difficult since Canon opted to add some nice new features (such as internal GPS & wireless) but not nearly as many as they did to the more expensive 5D Mark III. The single biggest difference between these two cameras is the much more advanced auto focus and metering systems in the 5D Mark III. Only time will tell if the new 11 point AF system in the 6D is significantly better than the system found in the older 5D Mark II. I suspect the difference in price between these two models will be the deciding factor for most hobbyists.

Final Thoughts:
In the words of David duChemin, “Gear is Good, Vision is Better”. It’s not the camera that makes the photograph, it’s the person behind the camera. Don’t get all caught up in the hype over a new camera. A new camera will NOT make you a better photographer. Only YOU can do that. And it’s not done by reading the rants and raves on every new piece of gear that comes out each week. So shut down that MacBook, grab your camera and get out there and make some magic happen!