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Technical

July 2007

Ziv is a photojournalist, so he regularly puts his cameras through tough times. Being based in Israel, he has covered some very difficult and dangerous events, and he needs to know his camera will stand up to the rigours of his daily life. Here he talks about this experience with the EOS-1D Mark III.

Covering events in the way he does means Ziv’s time is very precious. He might be away on an assignment for weeks on end, only returning to base for a short period of time before heading off again.

Assignment background

He has been using the EOS-1D Mark III for a wide range of assignments. The images here are from his most recent assignment, the release by the Israeli government of 256 Palestinian prisoners.

© Ziv Koren

Favourite features

1) The self-cleaning sensor. “I was initially a little sceptical. I didn’t think it would work. But it does. It’s amazing,” he said. It has not just freed him from the hassle of cleaning the sensor every day, but has also made editing images a lot quicker. “A month’s work can result in one or two days of editing just to remove dust spots from the image,” he says. “With the EOS-1D Mark III, I’ve not yet had a problem and will be looking forward to getting back those extra days from in front of the computer.”
It’s also brought about a change in the way he works. No longer worried about dust appearing in images, he is both more willing to change lenses in situations where he would have thought twice about it and happier to shoot with a smaller aperture without the fear of hours spent cloning out the dust spots that would undoubtedly be visible with a greater depth-of-field.

2) The handling is intuitive. The camera, he says, is 10 times more advanced than anything else out there at moment. “You can pick it up and start shooting and within a day get to know how the camera operates. It has great functions and is very user friendly – a lot like the EOS 5D, but even better. The set button on the back, like the EOS 5D, is a very good addition.”

3) Quick to use. The loss of the familiar 1-series double button press to change settings is welcome too. “It makes the camera quicker to use and although it could mean accidental button presses, in reality, it’s not an issue for me,” he says.

4) Smaller and lighter. “A lighter camera is always welcome, especially in fast moving environments,” he says. “The lighter batteries are a pleasure too. Not only can you carry more of them, but they also last longer. And the battery info screen is really useful to see how they are performing and how much charge is left.”

5) Image quality. “The images are clean and clear, even at high ISO,” he says. “They do look darker on the screen than they really are, but turning up the screen brightness helps. The dynamic range is great too, especially working in the harsh light of an Israeli summer.”

6) Being able to move images from one card to another. “I use an SD-USB card so I can transfer images from the CF card to the SD card, and then take the SD card out and plug it straight into a USB slot. It saves having to carry a card reader, and means I only download the images I need at that time.”

© Ziv Koren

Downsides

1) For the sort of work he does, Ziv has not found the Live View mode to be useful yet especially since it doesn’t have autofocus. He can see the uses for other photographers, but not for his type of photojournalism.

2) Filename. “I’d like to be able to have six or seven digits in the filename rather than four,” he says. “On a long assignment I sometimes find myself needing to rename files to avoid having two images with the same name. Having a couple of extra digits would avoid this and make it even better.”

Conclusion

“Overall, I really like the EOS-1D Mark III as a camera,” says Ziv. There are so many smart functions and features, and the handling is so easy, that it’s the most convenient of all the 1-series digital cameras.”

Biography: Ziv Koren

Ziv Koren

Ziv Koren started his career as a photographer with the Israeli army, later joining the Yedioth Ahronoth daily paper as both photographer and photo editor. He has worked as the Israeli representative for the French agencies Sygma and Gamma, and since 2003 he has been a staff photographer for Polaris Images. His work has appeared in many international publications.