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Este artículo no está disponible en Español
August 2008

Top fashion and beauty photographer Gaetan Caputo has been a long-time user of the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II but for the past few months he has been road testing the EOS-1Ds Mark III during many of his high-end studio shoots.

© Gaetan Caputo

Gaetan primarily shoots in the studio and sticks with three tried and trusted Canon lenses – the EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM, the EF85mm f/1.2L II USM and the EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM. He tends to shoot at no faster than ISO 400 so there is little chance of image noise being a factor. CPN found out about his latest experiences with the EOS-1Ds Mark III and asked for his thoughts about a number of the key specifications of the full frame camera.

Increased megapixel resolution

Gaetan says: “My first impression was ‘Wow’. I worked with the EF85mm f/1.2L II USM and with this lens the amount of detail is impressive. Overall I'm very impressed by the image quality. In fact I'm pretty excited to explore this new level of resolution with a reflex camera. For somebody who is used to working on 1Ds Mark II files all the time the resolution improvement is very noticible, although subtle.”

He adds: “In terms of pure image resolution the only cameras that come close are digital medium format bodies and backs. I've used a range of the PhaseOne backs now and I know they can squeeze out more detail. That said you lose a lot of flexibility for that gain in resolution and in the price point.”

The devil is in the detail, as he explains: “The EOS-1Ds Mark III brings the megapixel count to a whopping 21.1 and is every bit a precision instrument. It offers a high level of control over all aspects of your images. My clients ask me for high sharpness - they want to see the finesse of their clothes. This camera is perfect, in beauty shoots especially too for the skin details, make-up and materials. The sensor does a great job of resolving the detail all the way.”

© Gaetan Caputo

14-bit colour depth

Gaetan reveals: “The 14-bit colour depth is a great improvement and means you can produce better quality images, especially when going through the post-processing.”

He adds: “Without any doubt, the colour quality and the colour depth is fantastic, so we have less deterioration of the level of colours. Flexibility is large, more or less 16000 level of brightness compared to 4000 before on the EOS-1Ds Mark II. One of the most impressive things about the body is how ‘workable’ the RAW files are. Inside the RAW data you can really push and pull the image around. There is so much detail that can be recovered out through different sharpening techniques as well. Tonal and colour reproduction are fabulous.”

“I mainly work with ISO 50, 100, 200, 400 and rarely more than that in my studio, so I didn’t push the camera to the limits to test image noise,” reveals Gaetan.

Sensor cleaning system

Gaetan explains: “For us photographers dust is always a problem. I try to be very clean and fast when I’m changing a lens in order to avoid dust and particles."

He adds: "With the Mark II I never had a perfect sensor and particles would never fully go away, even after I cleaned it with the vibrating sensor system. I’ve never cleaned my sensor since I’ve had the EOS-1Ds Mark III camera - the best I can say is that it works! Perhaps I really need to do around 50 shoots to really find out, but right now it’s perfect.”

5 fps shooting speed

Gaetan says: “I sincerely believe 5fps is enough, however I am a ‘gun’ photographer, I shoot as quickly than the generator light can give me the faster speed. I use to work without tripod and I always move around the models on the set. The Mark III is faster than the Mark II (which was 4fps I think). This body is what I expected in terms of speed.”

The AF system

Commenting on the AF system Gaetan says: “To tell the truth the camera retains the standard 45 focus point layout of the EOS-1Ds Mark II, but much has changed. Now you can manually select only 19 of these AF points, but they are all high-precision, cross-type points (both horizontal and vertical line sensitive) and spread out across the entire AF area. The AF area size is not changed from the EOS-1Ds Mark II, though I wish it were larger. I would like to be able to shoot a person vertically and have the top AF point at eye level.”

© Gaetan Caputo

He adds: “The camera seems to be able to lock focus better than the 1Ds Mark II in low light. I'm a single AF point sort of guy and do the majority of my shooting with one point selected once I have locked down my composition - and I'm very picky about my composition. The new AF layout of the 1Ds Mark III hasn't limited my shooting, but the points are spaced out and there are gaps in between those magical red squares that I'd love to focus on. I would very much like Canon to allow us to select all of the AF points via a firmware update if possible.”

However, he notes: “The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III autofocuses extremely fast – it’s noticeably faster than the 1Ds II.”

Live View Mode feature

“When I first heard of the 1Ds Mark III – one of the new features that immediately caught my attention was the ‘Live View Mode’ feature. The new body has many new features and improvements over the Mark II, but none with as much potential to change remote photography as the Live View Mode feature when combined with the WFT-E2 wifi transmitter that allows you to see through the camera's lens, and change most exposure and camera settings from your laptop. I don’t wish to appear old-fashioned or washed-up, but I prefer to work with the camera in my hands and my eyes in the finder,” says Gaetan.

Using the WFT-E2

Gaetan explains : “When I bought the Mark III, I decided to buy the WFT-E2 also. I don’t like to have cable liaison when I work and now it’s possible, so I have mixed feelings - the system is fantastic, you have a lot of freedom, no liaison, no risk of falling down or catching on something.”

© Gaetan Caputo

Biografía: Gaetan Caputo

Gaetan Caputo

Gaetan Caputo is an internationally known photographer specialising in fashion and beauty photography. He has been a full-time professional since 2004 and has been shooting with an EOS-1Ds Mark II since it was released. He also shoots with a medium format PhaseOne digital back for some situations, but prefers to work with 35mm format cameras when possible for the extra versatility that they provide.