Still Going…

Although my intention still remains to upgrade this site and it’s contents, developing both the site and the contents is taking a bit longer than I anticipated. The main reason for this is matching a new design built upon the blocks build concept in WordPress with picture albums and single images as the content for both the web and possible future printed ‘zines’. Whilst the latter may seem ambitious, my attitude is to try and cover all the bases from the start, ‘adding’ stuff later can become both tedious and a real pain at the back end of these sort of projects.

In the Meantime there are a couple of things that have come up recently which I thought that I might comment on which have an amusing impact on me personally because they are strangely related.

End of Canon’s M series

A few days ago and without a fanfare, Canon marked all M series cameras and lenses as no longer available. This is really no surprise because active development of the cameras ceased a few years ago. If Canon had intended to continue the range via incremental upgrades such as they did with their best selling M50 body into the foreseeable future, the Covid pandemic with it’s disruption to the global market probably killed that idea off.

The reality I suspect is that they had to focus all their design and development talent on to the R series range of bodies and RF lenses which makes commercial sense. Additionally they have launched a number of cheaper APS-C versions of the R series as a direct replacement for both the M series and their lower end DSLR bodies that use the EF, EFS and EF-M lens mounts.

However, this final confirmation of the demise of the M series only came the other day and after I had made my own decisions with regard to my approach to mirrorless cameras generally and any future purchases I might make.

Unexpected Small Windfall

I am an OAP and therefore whilst not poverty stricken by any means, do need to budget carefully and diligently. Some weeks back an unexpected couple of thousands appeared in my bank account one Saturday morning, my immediate reaction was that this must be a mistake. However it was mine but due to some glitch I hadn’t been informed that I was getting these funds indeed and quite amusingly, the ‘official’ notification only turned up in an email some two weeks later.

So be grateful because whilst not life changing or even seriously significant, it was funds I didn’t expect so it was ‘free money’ in a sense and therefore it set me to thinking about a camera upgrade. I have three systems and lenses to match in play, one built around a couple of full frame DSLRs, another centred on a couple of Lumix M4/3rds bodies and lastly a system built around 3 Canon M series bodies, obviously both the M4/3rds and M bodies are mirrorless systems.

The Result

If I were to upgrade, the obvious route for me would be to a Canon full frame R series body and so I started by getting trade in quotes on my M system though not all of it, two bodies are converted for infrared and full spectrum which I would want to keep. So leading with my M6 MkII and most of the glass plus the cash I had recieved, I could buy a R5 body which I decided was the one model to go for in my opinion.

However two problems arose there immediately: The rumour is that the R5 MkII is due next year plus I wouldn’t have enough cash left over to buy any tasty RF mount native glass and would have to use my EF lenses adapted for RF mount. Now true I had other options such as trading more of my existing kit so that I could buy some RF glass second hand but all that might get me is a couple of lenses if I was lucky and reduce my photographic options.

After mulling through all the options and taking into account that I will be 78 after Christmas plus a new camera will not make me a better photographer, I decided that I really didn’t need to do an upgrade, am happy with what I’ve got and would instead restrict myself to buying a far cheaper ‘new toy’.

New Toys

Earlier this year, I had got my 1DX MkII but in order to do so I had to trade some kit to make it affordable. Included in this was my 1D MkIV a camera I had thoroughly enjoyed using, the copy I had was low mileage and in excellent cosmetic condition which is unusual for these ‘work horse’ cameras. So I thought, “I’ll see if I can get one of those again…”

These type of cameras are rated for 300,000 shutter actuations and it is common to find second hand ones with 400,000 and very battered but then they are designed for working photographers. I did find one in pristine condition with just 4,000 actuations but the chap wanted £1,000 for it and as the technology is earlier than my 1DX it didn’t seem good value to me though I’m sure it would be to a ‘collector’ of these things rather than a ‘user’.

In fact at that time I just couldn’t find one at the right price/condition but I did come across a variant of the range that I had never owned but had long fancied the full frame 1Ds MkIII. This was for sale on Ebay and I sent the seller a message asking a couple of questions about the body, he was open and honest, said to send it back if not happy and we struck a deal at a little over £300. It arrived, was in excellent condition, had a shutter count of 8,200 and worked perfectly – result !

It didn’t stop here though because shortly after, I came across the 1D MkIV that I had originally been looking for on a camera store where they had obviously taken it in as a trade in and was on offer for just over £300 again ! I ordered it and it arrived the next day, once again was in very good condition and as said in their description, with a shutter count of just under 40,000, excellent !

Out in the Field

At the moment I’m chasing a Kingfisher on our local flood plain of the River Brue however because it is now late Autumn with a lot of cloud cover and later dawns, it is challenging though my 1DX MkII does a brilliant job in low light. Although it’s a little unfair because both the camera bodies I bought are far earlier generations of that technology, they haven’t done too bad a job thus far.

The big bonus is that because I have owned these type of bodies previously, I don’t have to ‘read the manual’, they are just very familiar to me. The truth is that when I’m photographing wildlife in particular, I just can’t get on with the electrical viewfinders, give me an optical one every day of the week. Having said that, if video is your main goal, DSLRs are not the way to go, mirrorless is far better.