Canon 1DX for weddings

Leica S2 out Canon 1DX in

I took delivery of a new Canon 1DX today, my Leica S2 system has now been sold.

Do I feel sad at saying goodbye to my Leica…well you always feel slightly down when a Leica leaves you, however my increasing frustration with Leica made this break up a lot easier!

Why? well when I first bought the S2 I knew that it had a poor flash sync speed of 1/125th Sec so I was really interested in the built in shutter lenses. I ordered the 35mm and 70mm lenses and waited….and waited… a year went by and then I had a call from the Leica UK telling me that I should have my lenses by November 2012 or at the latest December 2012. Well its April 2013 now and I have still not heard from Leica!

As a professional you need equipment as soon as possible and with Leica you do have to understand that they work to a different time scale, however I was just not prepaid to wait any longer, it was getting silly! I now think that Leica is fine for amateurs with cash and patience but for pros it gets very frustrating!

The S2 is a fantastic camera, make no mistake about that, but it is restricted by its poor 800 ISO performance. The new S camera has 1600 ISO and is apparently very good but my time with Leica is up! Had they delivered on their promise with the leaf shutter lenses then I may still be using it, but for a small loss in size and picture quality the 1DX is here._MG_6558

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I tried out the Canon 1DX on a recent fashion shoot, my good friend Tom Gentaro http://www.flickr.com/photos/54289791@N03/ He takes some pretty good pictures himself!

Using the 1DX is like night and day with the S2, ok I am sacrificing some image quality due to the lower resolution I know that, but the speed of the 1DX is astounding and I’m not just talking about the motor drive! The AF is as fast as anything I have used and as for the buffer, I didn’t manage to lock it out once! The weight is pretty similar as well.

I will be doing a full test shortly but I fully expect the S2 to win overall in the picture stakes but its the speed of use that I am now happy with. All my previous cameras over the past few years have not been blessed with speed, Leica S2 and M9, Mamiya ZD, Hasselblad HD3. Add to that the high ISO that the 1DX has even at 3200 there is very little if any noise.

I took a few test shots right out of the box and set the camera on 6400 ISO I’m amazed! practically no noise, yes a little but you could completely get rid of it in Photoshop, even at 20000 ISO its not that bad, again totally useable. I also like the Auto ISO function allowing you to set a limit and the camera will change the ISO depending on conditions. With the higher ISO quality so good then setting an upper limit of say 6400 ISO would give me great flexibility with little noise.

I’m excited about shooting my first wedding with this camera so I will let you know how I get on and with all the poor weather of late this camera will come into its own!

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The importance of pre-wedding shoots

A simple 30 minute meeting with my couples a month before their big day can work wonders!

One thing I have found over the years is that wedding couples have almost certainly never hired the services of a photographer before so they are naturally unsure of what to expect on the day. This is where the pre-wedding shoot comes in, a simple discussion on how the day will unfold followed by a relaxed photo-shoot will do wonders for their confidence on the day.

One of the pictures taken is then mounted and presented to the couple at the wedding breakfast. I always enjoy the delight on their faces when they see the picture as they have  usually totally forgotten about shoot and the picture.

I then pass the picture around the various tables asking everyone to sign it. I always start with the top table and the mother of the bride, by mid evening the mounted picture will be full of goodwill messages and the bride and groom have something special to keep for the future!

The most important thing is that a simple pre-wedding meet installs confidence in your wedding couples and allows them to see how their big day will unfold, I never forget that they are putting a huge amount of trust in me to deliver perfect pictures for them.

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Beautiful Lake Garda

Just returned from a memorable 3 days in Lake Garda Italy to photograph the wedding of Lauren & Don. As you can see its an amazing place! This has to be one of the best wedding experiences I have been involved with, everything was perfect! Even my M9 felt at home ;>)

Full pictures will be on my weddings website in a few weeks time, editing will be hard though as every picture looks great and involves at least 5 mins of reminiscing!