There came a point sometime this year where it became apparent that I should probably upgrade. I think I was in Devon at the time. I'm not usually one to upgrade just when shiny and new stuff is out. This was always true with my camera gear. In terms of taking photography a little seriously, when I made that step, I decided to stick it out with the Canon EOS 5D range of cameras, from the very first release, and now to the Mark III. With regards to what I have had the longest, I have used Mark II for about 5 years now. I didn't get it when it first came out because I thought I'd wait for the price to go down first.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II has been a pretty safe and reliable bet for me. I've probably done around 20-30k shutter releases in the 5 years that I've had it since 2009, and it has seen me through various events, weddings and climates, not to mention having done a tour of some of the US, Australia, bits of Central Europe and the British Isles. It has held up against much abuse, has been dropped at least twice (and lovingly serviced by the wonderful people of Fixation a number of times), and has probably been carried around more so in handbags than camera bags (friends are often amused to this day by me wielding this chunky SLR out of a cheese bag)
If I remember correctly, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III was released in 2012 at some point. I don't remember paying that much attention to it as Canon were busy whoring out the super-duper HD video feature on it. Obviously, if money were no object, I would've upgraded there and then for the sake of it, but my Mark II was still going strong. I thought I'd wait for the price to go down. When I looked at it over the summer, it seemed as if it was never going to go down. My photography equipment dealer of choice, Wex Photographic, would send the odd email out now and again advertising the fact Canon were doing their cashback promotion scheme again, but it never really struck me as worth it. Until the day I saw this (a few weeks back):
Initially, I looked at the cost of just the body – £2299.00, if I remember correctly – and thought it was steep, having only paid £1849.00 to Wex to get my 5D Mark II in 2009 (and having waited patiently for the price to go down a little). But in two years, the 5D Mark III has not depreciated by much. I have a few odd jobs coming up next summer, and possibly one project in the spring, and factoring in the cost of lens hire (I tend to hire out the EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM quite a lot), I thought to look at the cost of a lens with the body. £3799.00. Holy shit, man.
Four grand (it might as well be four grand!) is a lot in one hit. I had the money there waiting, but it wasn't like it was found down the back of the sofa. I was never really one to take out finance options on anything – I had always paid for stuff outright. There wasn't a cashback deal on, only a "Free Accessories" promotion. So I clicked on that to have a nosey.
The accessories on offer were pretty tasty. I already have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, but the choice of a brand new Manfrotto tripod or a Wacom tablet struck me as quite tasty gimmicks all the same. I already have a Manfrotto tripod, and I did think that perhaps I would benefit from having a newer, lighter version. But then again, when I thought back to all the times I had taken it with me, I found I wasn't using it because I couldn't be arsed to carry it. A new Wacom tablet also appealed as I did have an Intuos 4 for a little while, but I had the large version that was far too large for my use, so I ended up selling it, only to regret it about 2 months later when I could've done with it for a little retouching job, and the Wacom tablet that Canon were offering was a smaller size than the one I had before.
It turns out that the EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM that I was looking at was also a winner in the promo (just as well, really), with a Manfrotto monopod. It was at this point that the various carrots that Canon were dangling in front of me were going to have to be snapped up. I'd also decided that on this occasion, as it was a 0% interest offer, perhaps it wasn't such a bad thing after all to take Wex up on their offer of 12 months finance. So that was that. Order placed. A phone call from the underwriters. And here we are!
I received the new Wacom tablet just a few days ago and the Manfrotto monopod will be following along shortly. As for the new camera; believe it or not, I've been finding it a little difficult to get used to! Certainly the transition to Mark I to Mark II wasn't so much of a problem as very little in terms of function and button placement had changed, but going from Mark II to Mark III was something else! For starters, the new camera is a lot heavier, and now there's all these extra things on it that I'm having to work out, and then there's the AF! I'm so used to looking at the top of my camera on the Mark II to see what AF point(s) I'm using or switching to, but with the Mark III, they seem to have taken that away and I have to pay more attention to looking through the viewfinder and setting it simultaneously, which makes me feel a bit set in my ways!
More on the new camera another time, but in the meantime I've been getting my old one ready to go to a new home! I was going to keep it as a backup body (and I'm still undecided as to whether I should or shouldn't), but I have enough stuff as it is...