When I’m out and about people always ask me, “Why are you using such an OLD camera?” or “I remember that body, I used it years ago!” and then there’s the “I used that camera to cover the Berlin Olympics…” (that last one might be a bit of a stretch).
I can never give them a straightforward answer to justify my decision.
I’m currently using a Canon 1D Mk II and a 1Ds Mk II. Both are almost 10 years old, have tiny LCD screens, huge heavy batteries, no video capabilities, a maximum ISO of 1600 (3200 with ISO expansion), slow outdated processors and a low megapixel count – by today’s standards (8mp & 16mp FF respectively).
I bought both of them second hand from a reputable store and haven’t looked back since.
The reason I originally chose to upgrade from a 50D to a 1D Mk II was because I could get a fully professional camera body that was weather sealed, had a built-in battery grip, had an immaculate 1.3x crop sensor, shot at 8fps and could still work after being exposed to a nuclear winter – and all of this was available for under R5000!
Yes, I sacrificed some of today’s technology, but I feel I have become a better all-rounded photographer by only using the bare minimum (which might sound quite ridiculous to the pros who used to shoot on film!).
Even though it only has 8 megapixels, this can be easily adjusted using one of the many decent re-sizing software packages available (I use Genuine Fractals).
Canon 1Ds mk 2 + Sigma 100-300mm f4 EX
Canon 1Ds mk 2 + 17-40mm f4L
After shooting with the 1D Mk II for 2 years, I decided to go the full frame route and looked at both the 5D Mk II and 6D as they just fitted into my budget. However, the more I got to know the cameras, the more I wasn’t willing to compromise on the 1D’s build quality, character and general feeling when in my hand.
Don’t get me wrong, both of those bodies are great, they have all the bells and whistles and then some, but they just didn’t feel right to me.
I then came across a second-hand 1Ds Mk II in great condition, from the same store as before, for under R 10 000.
The choice was obvious.
All in all I’m happy with using old DSLR dinosaurs.
They give me just what I need for a fraction of the price of today’s equivalents!
I see more and more people that are selling their trusty, well-looked-after cameras of yesteryear, and most of the time it’s because they feel that the more modern bodies are much, much better (which they are in some respects, but are also much, much more expensive).
So the next time you are looking for an upgrade for your DSLR, consider buying one of the forgotten greats – consider buying a dinosaur.
Canon 1D mk 2 + Canon 300mm f2.8L + 1.4x II