Mike Kobal

February 13, 2013

From the original Canon 5D: Artist portraits


I came across these files I had completely written off because of a catastrophic back up system failure a couple of years ago. Shot with the original 5D and the Canon L 28-300mm, as a side project on assignment. Sensor technology came a long way since then and today we have a choice of reasonably priced and excellent full frame cameras, which surpass the 5D in almost every category, but does it really matter?
more after the break

Today we can get the Canon 6D or Nikon D600 and shoot at much higher resolution with improved low light sensitivity, color depth and dynamic range.

A craftsman is only as good as his tools. Certainly a true statement, one could add, a good craftsman knows the limits of his tools. The 5D was the first affordable full frame camera, very exciting break through and the sensor beat pretty much anything out at the time except for a few medium format offerings. I loved mine because it was compact, I could easily pack two. I did not have to take out a loan either, all I had to do was sell my 1Dseries bodies. Af was not as good, well, it sucked but I found a way to work with it. Buffer, when shooting raw, wasn’t great either and neither was the LCD. But what mattered to me most was there, a full frame sensor, producing very sharp files thanks to a weak AA filter and it was damn good in low light compared to anything else available. Color depth and dynamic range weren’t great and it was a problem in underexposed beauty shoots.
The answer to that was to not underexpose. The 5D was great for my type or work. As a sports photographer I would have never touched it. 12mp was plenty for most publications. Today I would grab two Canon 6D‘s or Nikon’s D600 and be done with it. I am a big believer in back up equipment, especially when on remote locations or when time is precious and there is no room for reshoots. The Iphone won’t do on assignment.
Today we have many choices that won’t break the bank and it really doesn’t matter which brand or camera we choose as long as we know what we want to do with it, learn how to work around the short comings and know what really matters for our kind of photography.
I hope you enjoy the photos.


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Filed under: Beauty,Portrait Photography,Street Photography — mike.kobal @ 3:04 pm


  1. The portraits are great. I too have been shooting the original 5D until just recently. I agree with you on having a backup.

    Comment by Sergey — February 13, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

  2. Thanks Sergey!

    Comment by mike.kobal — February 13, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

  3. Great piece and a terrific reminder to just shoot what you got and not worry about the numbers. Anyone would be pleased with the results you shared TODAY!!

    Always enjoy coming to your site! Thanks!

    Comment by Zeus — February 18, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

  4. Thank you very much, Zeus!

    Comment by mike.kobal — February 18, 2013 @ 11:40 pm

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