Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Hello again

Its been a while since I last did a blog and I just fancied doing one today. What I wanted to do was to try and review my camera Canon 5D MKIII. I have never done a review before so this will be my first one. So I hope it answers any questions you may have been.

This camera took me nearly a year since it was launched to save up enough money for me to go and buy it with reasonable kit (I will be doing a review on that soon). I went to the old high street retailer Jessops for it as when dealing with that amount of money I didn't want to go online. To be truthful it was more because I was impatient and wanted it there and then. I went in and asked if they had any in stock. The man had to go in the back and check. The suspense killed me he came back with a dis heartened look on his face. I was fearing the worst. He raised his head and said we have one in stock would you like it. Well I nearly wet myself I had it in touching distance. It took two hours to pay for it but in the end I had it in my hands and I couldn't stop putting it in peoples faces.

I had been promised excellent colour representations, a full frame view finder and the focus of everyone who saw me. I was not disappointed. The full frame view finder and sensor make Landscape photography so much easier not having to re take an image because that pole in the corner of the image has appeared out of now where. The images seems to dance when looking at each bit of detail on the high resolution screen. There are pages and pages of settings needless to say it will take me a good few months to understand what each one does. I tend to stick to simple settings for now as the camera makes the decisions for me. But for those people who like to mess around and change every last bit. This camera will entertain you for days. My favourite in camera setting is the 3 exposure HDR setting. As I work with HDR often this comes in very handy to give me an idea of what the image would look like after editing. For those who have never tried or even heard of HDR it is a very interesting and unique way to take images and you can even do it on your cameras that do not have a specific setting for it. Just take 3 exposures (under, over and just right). Merge them all together on photoshop and just mess about. If you would want to take HDR further there are specific programmes for HDR editing. The one I use is photomatix. For me this does everything I need it too and doesn't give me varied results. There are enough settings on that programme to make an image completely change its appearance.

There are a few setting in the camera I have never used such as the photo over laying button. From what I have read it is basically a simple way to make a photo collage. It allows you to take three individual images and then it merges them on top of one another. Unfortunately I cannot give you more information on this one. But there are plenty of reviews and videos that go into great detail about this so take a look.

That is it for the in camera settings. This is only a brief review. So now moving onto the cameras overall performance. Well it is what it is. A metal bodied camera that can handle all weathers and can even withstand a fall from a wall. Check youtube for that video. It is officially the brute of all cameras. I have had my camera for a while now and it hasn't once stopped due to tough conditions. I have really put it through its paces though. Taking it to Lapland in -20 degree weather was something not many cameras could handle, even this one froze up and lost battery quick but just didn't stop shooting. For me this was the big selling point. As a landscape photographer you need equipment that can beat the elements and this camera sure does that.

The final part of this brief review will be image quality. now this camera has 22.3 megapixels. Pretty high for most cameras apart from those few that cost as much a car on some with close to 100 megapixels. You certainly can tell the detail in the image when it is blown to a large scale size. The RAW performance highlights this fact brilliantly as all the information is retained to crisp perfection even in the low lit areas. Noise is also a factor that very rarely crops in on this camera even with ISO 12500. But not even this camera can retain smooth skies when shooting in pitch black conditions. As I have said in previous posts. Noise doesn't mean you image or your camera are bad it is just something that happens. For black and white photographers noise is their bread and butter they love the stuff. The dot it in all around the image to give it grainy effects. Noise is a photographers worst nightmare but it really shouldn't be. All this been said this camera performs poorly if you do not have adequate quality glass on the front of it. I have 70-200mm f.4 and a 17-40mm lenses and they do not do the camera justice serious glass is needed to optimise this cameras performance. But even with the very basic of lenses your images will be leaps greater than your previous cameras.

In conclusion if you were to ask me now if you should buy this camera I would say think. If you are a keen Landscape or Wildlife photographer I would say yes this is the best possible camera for you. Then it would be down to you to choose the lenses you felt were correct for the purposes you needed them for. If you are a photographer for marketing or portraiture I think I would recommend 1D (MK what ever its up-to now) as this has excellent colour correction and battery life due to its built in battery pack. Finally if you were a sports photographer then the obvious choice for you would be the Canon 7D as it has far more fps than any other Canon camera on the market and it also gives you the ability of the L series lenses at a more affordable price than that of the 5D.

I hope you have found this post helpful. Im sorry it isn't in depth about every last bit of the Canon 5D MKIII but if there is a particular area that you would like me to cover then please leave a comment on here or email me direct at tatmatt11@yahoo.co.uk and I will see what I can do.

Please check out my website if you have not done so already at www.focusphotomd.com. Stay tuned as my latest shoot will be being uploaded shortly.

Like me on Facebook at Focus Photography- http://www.facebook.com/DixonM20
and follow me on Twitter at Focus Photo -https://twitter.com/FocusPhotograp2

Thanks for reading I will be back with my next post reviewing my lenses stay tuned.

Matt Dixon signing out...

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

My Trip to Lapland

Hello again my Photographic enthusiasts

I have just got back from the stunning location of Karesuando in Lapland Finland. I ventured there for a very active family holiday with photography taking a back seat. But on our final night we had heard there was likely chance to see the Aurora Borealis better known as the Northern Lights so I made it my goal to at least capture one picture of them before I went home.


It was lovely and warm at -24C and me being my stupid self thought that I would stand on the top point in Karesuando all night if I had to. Just so that I could get a glimpse of the lights. At around 10 o'clock the lights lit up the sky for miles around and produced a wonderful spectacle that I can only describe as Natures night club. They were dancing all around me and I was so overwhelmed I completely forget to set my camera up. In a mad panic I got my camera set up on its tripod and fired off a few test shots.


Once I had the correct settings god did the images come out well. This was my first ever experience of photographing in such extreme conditions. But something about the moment made me completely forget about the cold and the gloves were off and I was shooting picture after picture after picture.


Soon I found out that I was not the only photographer on the hill that night. This lead to a free for all to get to the best spot. In a split second all hell broke loose as the lights disappeared and appeared over the other side of the sky. A mad dash erupted with tripods being used as battering rams and lens caps being thrown in all directions. Bags were just abandoned mothers and children left to fend for them selves as the pictures were more important as we had no idea how long the lights were going to last. Eventually when all calm resumed the lights shone better than before and lit up the night like it was the middle of the day.

I aimed my focus at capturing the full scene in front of me rather than focusing purely on the sky, And my results were better than I could have dreamed. I was so relieved that I had evidential proof that I had witnessed Natures night club in full. It was simply wow.........




These are a selection of my favourite images from the night. Because the settings that I started with showed the scene to its best potential I thought I would just keep the camera set on that single setting. Far easier than changing them for each shot. For people that dont know me I am a Canon man. Im sorry if that isnt what you use and your a Nikon or Olympus user. I apologise because all my reviews and my likes and dislikes on my camera and its lenses will be all about Canon as I haven't got access to other brands. Currently. But I use a variety of accessories of different brands which I will review on another post. 

The settings and equipment that I used for this shoot were: 
Canon 5D MKIII
17mm-40mm Canon l Lens
Manfrotto Tripod.
30sec f.8.0 ISO1600

These combined made for these shots some of my favourite images I have taken. But even with all these settings. Noise is not easy to avoid, especially when the sky is dark. So my tip for this week is dont worry if your images have slight noise coming through as I feel it adds definition to sky and really highlights colours in the image. Experiment and you never know noise might make your images better. Especially in black and white.

I hope you have enjoyed my post today and if you liked it or found it helpful please leave a comment and follow me. 

Thanks. Matt Dixon


Monday, 4 March 2013

Hi Everyone

Hi Everyone

This is my first post on my new blog and I am hoping its the first of many. I am a photographer who is trying to establish myself in the industry. I would like to specialise as a Fashion and Marketing photographer.

Currently I am focusing on landscape images and selling them through my web site which is, www.focusphotomd.com please check it out. I am available for commissions to cover special events. Please contact me through either of my emails on my site or directly over the phone.

My website www.focusphotomd.com has been established for the best part of three months. I am constantly uploading new images so take a look and share with your friends. The website is user friendly.

In my blog in the upcoming months I will be posting my latest images and location shoots where I will run through what equipment I used and how I achieved what I did. There will also be posts regarding my upcoming events such as Gallery exhibitions and Craft fairs.

So I hope you enjoy my upcoming posts and I would love to hear from you all. Please follow if my blog interest you.

Thanks   www.focusphotomd.com