Photography

You can find links to all photography related articles here. They will be listed by chronological order with the latest article at the top.

HDR Sunset with 5D Mark II

Paradise at 40,000 feet

One Fine Day

Is the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Really Sharper Nikon D3

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Review

5D Mark II Review Still Coming

How High a Resolution is 21.1 Megapixels?

Canon EOS 5D Mark II ISO6400 shots

New Canon EOS 5D Mark II Finally in My Hands Now!

Canon EOS 50D Review

Canon EOS 50D Street Price in Hong Kong

Kelly Chen 陳慧琳 Love Fighters Concert 08

Jay Chou Hong Kong Concert

Canon Expo 2007

Aaron Kwok de Show Reel Live in Concert 2007

Songpan County, Sichuan (四川松潘) Landscape

Eason Moving on Stage Concert with Canon EOS 40D

Orange Shabu Shabu 橘色涮涮屋

HKCCF 2007 Showgirls Gallery with Canon EOS 40D & Adobe Lightroom

Canon EOS 40D High ISO Noise Reduction Test

Nikon vs Canon 3″ LCD Monitor Resolution Controversy

Canon EOS 40D Image Gallery

Canon EOS 40D Review

Holding Hands

The new BG-E2N grip vs the old BG-E2 grip

Canon EOS 40D vs 20D External Appearance

Canon 40D vs 20D high ISO test

Canon EOS 40D initial impressions

Canon 40D vs 20D ISO 1600 Comparison

Canon EOS 40D ISO1600 Test Shots

My new Canon EOS 40D arrived!

Recommended Camera Shops in Hong Kong

Stefanie Sun 孫燕姿 Hong Kong Concert 2006

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Hong Kong Landscape Showcase Gallery

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Vivian Chow 周慧敏 Back For Love 2006 Concert

Canon EF-S 17-85MM f4-5.6 IS USM

Sigma 18-125mm F3.5-5.6 DC

Jolin Tsai Hong Kong Concert 蔡依林香港演唱會

Site Feature : Mervyn Lim – A Digicam Master

HDR with Photomatix

2 Versions of Dusk

Do you post-process your photo?

71 thoughts on “Photography

  1. Hi Roland,

    Just wandering whether you do private function (wedding dinner & during ROM) photo? If so, may I know the charges?

    Thanking you
    Adeline.

  2. Hi Adeline,

    Well, at the moment, I haven’t turned professional yet. Photography is still just a major passion in life. I have shot private functions and weddings for friends before, but I weren’t really doing them as professional jobs. Thanks for the interest anyway!

    Best regards,

    Roland

  3. You’re beyond professionalism.

    Some professionals take photography as a way of life and that attitude has made their job a duty.

    For others, amateurism can lead to incremental progress, which in turn, may ultimately take them to a new level that exceeds the professional standards.

    It is the final results that dictates the level of quality, not the title.

    James

  4. Hi Roland,
    I am buying a camera this week and am confused on wether to buy the 400d or the 40d, is the price difference worth buying the 40d?
    I am going to africa in 3 weeks and i am really hoping to come back with some great wildlife photos. Also i have a 300mm lens but it isnt for a digital camera, is it compatible? Will i have to get a new one?
    I would really appreciate your advice on this, thanks.

  5. Hi Louisa,

    Wow, that’s a very difficult question to answer. There is no doubt that the 40D is a much better built camera and with a lot more features and function compared with the 400D. But whether all that will be important for you or make the 40D a “better” camera for you is something only you can decide.

    For example, 40D being a more solid and better built camera is significantly bigger and heavier than the 400D. Some people would view bigger size and better built as any advantage, others would see it as a disadvantage and would much prefer the smaller and lighter 400D.

    You have to understand many of the improved or new features are not directly related to image quality. Having a larger LCD, larger viewfinder, Live View, metal body, spot metering…etc, etc would not make your photos look better.

    In my humble opinion, good or great photos are much more related to the photographers skill and technique than the camera features. I would even say in over 95% of situation, a 400D is the hands of a good photographer will take photos that are just as good as from a 40D.

    So why don’t we all just buy the 400D and forget the 40D? Well, the reasons are many. A lot of features although not directly related to image quality would make your life easier using the camera. An analogy would be 2 exact same cars, one equipped with items like leather seat and air conditioner and the other without these items. Would the car with these extra items drive any better than the one without? Obviously no, but I sure would like to drive the one with leather seats and air conditioner than the one without.

    Of course the 40D would also give me an advantage in those 5% of situation where the 400D would be at a disadvantage, like shooting sports and action at 6.5fps compared to 3fps for 400D. the larger buffer would be useful in such situation too.

    In the end, all these are questions that only you can answer. The street price of the 40D in Hong Kong is almost twice that of the 400D. Whether that extra cost is worth it for you is something no one can help you with.

    As for the 300mm lens, can you tell me exactly what lens it is i.e. the make and model of the lens. Without know those data, it is not possible to give you an answer.

  6. Dear Roland, I love my 20D but here lately I have been getting error99. Any idea what this is and how do I fix it? Thanks, Patsy

  7. Hi Patsy,

    What lens were you using when you were getting error99 message? error99 indicates a lens problem. it happens more likley with 3rd party lens, but if there is a fault with a Canon lens, you may also get error99.

  8. Hi Patsy,

    If error 99 happened frequently with the 75-300mm and not with other lenses, then there maybe a problem with your Canon 75-300mm. You should take your 75-300mm for check-up/repair. If error 99 is happening with all lenses, then it maybe a problem with your 20D, then you should take your 20D for repair.

  9. Roland, I’ve just accidently come across your site- Very interesting. I’m thinking about purchasing a Canon DSLR and you have provided some very interesting comments – Thanks. One major question I have – What is the difference between the EOS 400D and the EOS 40D? I haven’t been able to figure this out yet.
    Cheers,

  10. Hi Roy,

    There are actually quite a lot of difference between the Canon EOS 400D and 40D. The 400D is basically the entry level DSLR camera from Canon (although not straightly true now, since Canon decided to re-issue the old 350D, 400D predecessor recently at a even lower price point) with price, design and feature set aimed at beginner or budget level photo enthusiasts whereas the 40D is a mid price DLSR in Canon’s range with build quality, design and feature set that are aimed at advanced amateur or even professional photographers.

    The main differences are:-

    400D vs 40D
    – plastic body vs metal alloy body
    – smaller, lighter body vs heavier and bigger body
    – 2.5″ LCD vs 3″ LCD
    – no separate info LCD display vs info LCD display on top of camera
    – 3 fps continuous shooting vs 6.5 fps continuous shooting
    – 27 jpeg/10 RAW buffer vs 75 jpeg/17 RAW buffer
    – less custom function settings vs more custom function settings
    – maximum ISO 1600 vs maximum ISO 3200
    – no wireless LAN grip vs wireless LAN grip available
    – shorter battery capacity vs larger battery capacity
    – 12 bit vs 14 bit

    There are lots of other differences too and I can’t list all of them here.

    Basically, there is no doubt that the 40D is a better camera then the 400D, but it is also almost twice the price of the 400D (at least in Hong Kong). So whether the extra cost of the 40D over the 400D is worth the extra features and benefits is something only you can decide.

  11. Hi Roland,
    I am enjoying looking around your site and reviewing your advice, so I thought I’d share my big question with you.

    I want to buy a Canon wide-angle zoom for my EOS30D; I’ve not had a play with either of these lenses yet, but I wondered if you or your readers can distinguish between the 17-40 and 16-35 ‘L’ lenses – apart from the cost. Given the sensor size on my camera, would I have to buy the 10-22 to get a decent wide angle comparable to 24mm in a film camera, or would either of the two mentioned fulfill this role.
    Thanks – Jason.

  12. The biggest difference between the 17-40mm and the 16-35mm is that the more expensive 16-35mm is one stop faster at f2.8 and the 17-40mm is an f4 lens. Whether you need that extra stop of light and the shallower depth of field possible with f2.8 is something only you can decide.

    However, neither of these lenses are ultrawide on the 30D, 16mm only has FOV equivalent on 25.6mm on the 30D and 17mm has a FOV equivalent of 27.2mm.

    To go truly ultrawide on the 30D, you will need the EF-S 10-22mm, which will give you practically the same FOV equivalent of the 16-35mm on a full frame camera.

  13. Hai,
    I like to read your blog,but one thing, do you try other lens (3rd party) beside canon? And which lens you think better between tamron and sigma? Thank you.

  14. Hello! Would like to know which ultra wide lens is next best to the Canon 10-22mm? Sigma 10-22mm?
    Tamron SP AF 11-18mm? Or Tokina DX AT-X Pro 12-24mm? (this is for a Canon 40d) Thanks!

  15. Hey roland!

    I’m looking forward to buy a DSLR camera in Hong Kong.. I’m just a beginner, eager to learn DSLR skills in photography. I’m faced between two brands, canon or sony. In Sony – the A350, Canon – 450D.. I’ve heard that the sony 14Megapix high frequency noise can disrupt the images taken, but sony has a lot of features though. While I’ve heard a lot of good things in Canon too, because it is tried and tested in photography.. both of them are at the same price range. I might check it out at Echo, MongKok DC Centre, or WingShing.. Better at Broadway if I can huggle for the price, because I believe this place is trusted by many. Can you give me a photographer’s view of these cameras? thanks!

  16. Hi Roland,
    the new Nikon D700 is coming now. did you read or hear when you can buy it in Hongkong? And for how many Dollars? Here in Germany you can buy it in two weeks for 2599 Euros.
    thanks for a short info

  17. Hi Jeanny2503,

    There is no pricing information for the Nikon D700 in Hong Kong yet. I have heard from someone who has connection inside Nikon Hong Kong that stocks should arrive in Hong Kong at end of July and pricing info should be available mid July.

  18. thank you. maybe I can get one at the 3 of august when I am flying back from Australia via Hongkong.have a nice weekend
    bye

  19. Hi Roland, i am looking forward to buy EOS 40D in Canada. By the way I am just a beginner but i hope to get a finest camera because i notice photography becomes a major part in my life. I would like to learn and from your site i get a lot of photography info. It is a very interesting and nice site.
    Can you give any advice to me as a beginner?
    Thanks you~

  20. Hi L,

    Sorry for the late reply. I can’t really give you any specific advise unless you have a specific question. However, the general advises I would give to you as a beginner are:-

    1. Read some books or from photographic websites about basic photographic techniques like learning about basics like exposure control, color, composition etc.

    2. Try to learn something about image post-processing on a computer. That is an integral part of digital photography. Again, either buy some books and read from various websites.

    3. Practice, practice and practice. Shoot a lot and you will learn along the way. the great thing about digital is that, it hardly cost anything for you to shoot and experiment.

  21. Hi Roland,

    Your Canon 50D review was awesome! I’m going to buy a Canon 50D. I’m confused between the following lenses for it; Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM and Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM.

    I’m more inclined towards the L lens. But I’m worried about it having no IS. I’m a serious amateur and this is going to be my first DSLR. Please HELP!

    • Hi Rohan,

      Both of those lenses are good. The 70-200mm f4L might be ultimately slightly sharper and have constant f4 aperture. However, the trade off is that, it has short range at tele end and does not have IS (image stabilizer). Of course, you can also consider the 70-200mm f4L IS USM, but that would be significantly more expensive. The choise is not a easy one, but ultimately, only you can make that choice. Both are really good lenses, but have different tradeoffs. There are no perfect lens. I am sure you’ll be happy with choosing either.

    • Hi Rohan,

      I have taken a look at your pics. The macro flower shots are nice, I guess as good as you can do with a P&S digicam. Some of the shots were a bit under-exposed, which can be easily fixed with a bit of post-processing though. I am sure with the 50D and a good macro lens, you should be able to get much better quality shots though. If you don’t minf me saying, the composition fo some of the shots could be improved a bit as well.

      Keep shooting and practicing and keep up the good work!

  22. Hi Roland,
    After reading your report I am seriously thinking of buying a Canon 5d mk2. I have an older (but very good) Metz 45 CT-1 flash and would like to know if it will be suitable for use with the 5d mk2. (I know there might be voltage issues)
    I would intend using the flash sync lead/pc socket and manual camera settings. Do you think this is possible?
    regards
    David S

    • Hi David,

      Actually, I have no idea if your Metz 45 Ct-1 flash would work with the 5D Mark II, as I neither have this flash or know anything about it. I’ll see what I can find out, but your best bet is probably to call or email Metz and ask them about it.

  23. Hi Roland,

    Next Sunday I plan to travel to Hong Kong. I plan to shop an EF 300mm F4 L IS USM. Could you give me a piece of advice of where to buy it. In Jakarta, this lens costs USD 1,290.

    regards
    sn

    • Hi Suhadi,

      I have asked the price of the EF 300mm f/4L IS USM at Echo Photo & Audio, and they are selling it for HK$10,500, which is more expensive than the price you quoted in Jakarta. I don’t think you’ll find it selling for significantly cheaper at other camera shops in Hong Kong. However, if you mind buying gray import, then you maybe able to find it at a significantly cheaper price. I am sorry I don’t know the gray import price, but you can try Tin Cheung Cameras or even Echo, they can usually get the gray import alternative if you request.

    • Hi Suhadi,

      Next month I plan to travel to Jakarta. I like to buy a Eos 5D mark II with 24-105 F4 L IS USM lens (kit). I heart that in Jakarta it is probably cheaper to buy than in Amsterdam (euro 3.000 or about US$ 4.100).

      Do you have a recommendation where to go and look in Jakarta and maybe you know what the body and or kit with lens would cost in Jakarta?

      regards,
      Max

  24. Hi Roland!

    Read your comment on the Canon 5d2. I personally hold it at Canon showroom and tried a few shots. I like the pics. Thinking really hard whether to get myself the birthday present and my first personal SLR.

    Me and my family is spending our school vacation in Hong Kong 15th Jun 09. Can you recommend some good and reliable photoshop to purchase a unit? How much will one cost? Also thinking of 16G for the camera,any recommended brand and price.

    Your advice and reply is appreciated. Thanks.

    Have a good day!

    Philip Tan
    Singapore

  25. Hi Roland,

    I am from the Philippines, and am an avid diver who loves taking underwater pictures.

    I will be going to Hong Kong at the end of October and am planning to get the Canon G10 with it’s underwater housing WP-DC28. But with the release of the new G11 ang its housing WP-DC34, will it be wiser to get the G11 instead? Would you have an idea how much it would cost and the best place to get it?

    Thanks so much,
    Ricky

    • Hi ricky,

      Nobody have used or tested the new G11 yet, so it is hard to say if and how much it will be better than the G10.

      Unless if Canon has somehow managed some revolutionary change that significantly improves image quality, you may not see any great difference between the G10 and G11. Whether to upgrade to G11 is a very personal choice anyway and is something only you can decide for yourself.

  26. Hi Roland,

    I am confused now … which camera to buy, can you please help. Thanks.

    Canon 7 D or 5 D Mark II or Nikon D 700

    I like to take family photo especially my children and also scenery. I normally use Canon G10 for pictures of family and also travelling, but now would like to upgrade to one of those camera above. As I like travelling, i would to use lightest full frame camera with wide angle lenses (versatile…with zoom of course).

    Please recommend which camera and lenses to buy.

    Thanks and have a nice day.

    Cheers..
    Ajis

    • Hi Ajiis,

      The Canon EOS 7D is not a full frame camera, so if full frame is really what you want, then the 7D is out. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Nikon D700 are both full frame cameras.

      However, are you really sure full frame is what you want? You said you are using a Canon G10 now, which is not a DLSR camera. Do you know the pros and cons of full frame vs cropped frame DSLR? The fact that you don’t even know the 7D is not full frame makes me wonder whether you really know the answers to these questions.

      There is no light weight full frame DSLR on the market. They are all quite heavy. The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is the lighter one at 820gm, the Nikon D700 is heavier at 995gm. The Canon EOS 7D, although not a full frame DSLR, is actually heavier than the 5D Mark II at 820gm. If weight and full frame are “the” criteria for you, then the choice is simple, 5D mark II is the lightest.

      As for lens choice, it depends on your budget and image quality expectation. The really good wide angle zoom lens tend to be more expensive and heavier as well. It is not possible to give you any recommendation without knowing more about you and what you really want or need.

  27. Dear Roland,

    Thanks for your kind Comment and advise. Let me info you on the background.
    You are right that I do not know much about camera as I am new into this DSLR. Since I have been using G10 likes the quality and after seeing my friend photos using DLSR …in which quality much better.

    So my objective now is for better / best quality photo. because I realised now a moment need to be captured at the time…time can not be rewind. ..especially for family photos / moment that could last forever.

    I learned from my friend that I have to get one of those DLSR. In other words, I need to upgrade my G10 to DLSR which I do not know very much. Price / budget should be ok, but one thing is that I prefer not to carry big pouch when I travel with my family.

    If there is no available DLSR with lightest then I am prepared to carry a bit heavier camera.

    So my focus is quality. Budget should not be a concern. My concern on quality and size of camera to carry.

    So far I have read a few review like dpreview.com and also from you on 7D, 5D mark II and Nikon D700.

    Thats why I am asking you for advise.

    So this is about me and what I desire. Hope you can help. Greatly appreciate your kind advise as I am still learning on photography from internet.

    Some friends suggested on 5D makr II other Nikon D700 since it has flash. 5D MKII no flash.

    Thanks and regards,
    Ajis

    • Hi Ajis,

      Sorry I could not answer your questions earlier as you questions required more thorough and longer answer than most other questions.

      So if I understand correctly, you want the best photo quality but you also want light weight/small size.

      Let’s start with a few basics first.

      1. No DLSR on the market is really very light and compact as compared to advanced point and shoot like the G10. I am sure you know that already.

      2. The best quality DSLR are all quite heavy and bulky as compared to lower end DLSR.

      3. For best image quality, you will also need good lenses and none of these are small and light. You will probably need at least 2 lenses to cover the range of what you need to shoot. One singe zoom lens with a huge zoom range usually does not offer the best image quality.

      4. For best image quality, you can forget about in-camera flash. They are all rather weak flash and cannot offer you the best quality for flash photography.

      5. For the 3 cameras you are considering. The heaviest is the Nikon D700, the Canon 7D and 5D Mark II are very similar in weight.

      6. For best image quality, I would rate 5D Mark II as 1st overall. The 7D probably offer higher resolution at low to medium ISO, but the D700 should offer better image quality at high ISO.

      7. As for lens choices. For Canon, the best wide angle zoom lens is probably the Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM. For general purpose zoom, you can consider either the Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM or the Canon 24-105mm f4L IS USM. However, for the best image quality you should also consider getting prime lenses like the Canon EF 35mm f1.4L USM, Canon EF 50mm f1.2L and Canon EF 85mm f1.2L USM.
      For Nikon lenses, the best wide angle zoom is the 14-24mm f2.8. For general purpose zoom, try their 24-70mm f2.8 VR. For prime lenses, try AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G and AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF.

      However, having said all that, don’t forget even the best camera and lenses are merely tools. Without good photographic knowledge and skills and post-processing skills on a computer, it will not be possible to get the good quality photos even with the best equipment. This a a part that one needs to spend time and effort to learn and improve and is something that money cannot buy.

  28. Dear Roland,
    Happy New Year of the Tiger. Wish you and family a very healthy and prosperous year with lots of wonderful photography.

    I was just wondering if you could offer me an advice: I’m after a prime lens to take photos of my kids where light is not abundance. I have an EOS 7D and I’ve been reading about EF 50mm f/1.4 and EF 24mm f/2.8. I believe the 50mm is probably the better choice but could you please give me your opinions? Thank you so much.

    • Hi Quang Tran,

      Yes, I would definitely agree that if light is not abundant, then 50mm f1.4 would be a better choice than the 24mm f2.8. f2.8 is 2 stops slower than f1.4 and 2 stops makes a lot of difference in low lighting situation.

      However, it also depends on your shooting distance. If you need to shoot quite close to your kids, then 50mm may not be a good focal length, unless you just want to shoot there head or a face shot. If possible, I suggest you should try out the different focal length lenses on your 7D at a camera shop or Canon showroom, then decide if 50mm is a good focal length for your purpose.

  29. Hi Thanks for an insightful blog.

    Re your reply to Ajis in October:

    Have a Canon 7D. Have read that high resolution/hight pixel crop cameras really test the quality of the lens . You advocate the following wide angle zooms/prime lenses for Canon: the Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM, the Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM or the Canon 24-105mm f4L IS USM. The Canon EF 35mm f1.4L USM, Canon EF 50mm f1.2L and Canon EF 85mm f1.2L USM.

    How would the 17-55 f 2.8 IS compare ?

    • Hi Oystein,

      The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM is arguably the best general purpose/walk-around zoom for cropped frame Canon DSLR like the 7D. Prime lenses are on a different level as far as image quality/aperture size/shallow DOF are concerned though, but for a single lens solution, there is nothing that can beat the 17-55mm on a 7D.

  30. dear Roland,

    i’ll be going to hongkong in a month and really is looking forward to look at the camera shop over there. ive bought a tamron lens once for my 7D in hk a year ago and it was ur blog that gave me the best place to purchase my first lense, cheers to you.
    Right now my passion for photography had increased and i’m thinking of buying a new lense for my 7D. i’ll be doing a lot of portrait work, candid shots and sometimes landscapes on rare occasion, what would you think will be best for me, a Canon 24-70 f.2.8 L or a 24-105 f.4 L. or is there any other lense that you could suggest for me.
    Thank you for ur help, it would mean a lot to me.

    Regards,

    Daniel

    • Hi Daniel,

      It looks like you are looking for a general purpose zoom if you want to shoot portraits, candid and landscape all in one lens. Neither the 24-70mm or 24-105mm are good choice as a general purpose zoom for the 7D as the wide end is not really wide enough on either zooms. 24mm on a APS-C sensor camera like the 7D has a field of view (FOV) equivalent of 38.4mm on a full frame camera. I would say the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM would be a much better choice as a general purpose zoom.

      However, if you just mainly do portraits and candids, maybe you can consider just getting one good lens for this purpose and use another lens for the occasional landscape shot instead. Then the 24-105mm maybe a better choice as you’ll need a longer reach for candids and the 24-105mm will give you that compared to the 24-70mm. If your main work is really just portrait, then your best option would be to get a prime lens. Either the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM or EF 85mm f1.8 USM will b good choices, or alternatively, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM is a fine choice too.

  31. dear Roland,

    I thank you for your reply. your suggestion is indeed a good one. However, the reason for me to consider the 24-70 and 24-105 is because from all the review, those two lense is one of the sharpest “L” zoom lense available for portraiture and considerably an everyday all around lense, and the reason im planning on upgrading for a better lense is because i do a lot of portrait work, family and sometimes model photoshoot. i prefer zoom than fixed because of the portability and ease of usage.

    for the landscape work, i’ll be planning to purchase a canon 10-22. In your oppinion, from those 2 lense (the 24-70 and 24-105), which one is more appropriate for me, cause i like the shallow DOF of the 70 (f2.8) i could shoot better in low light ( i shoot more indoor than outdoor) and get better bokeh, but indeed the 105 is interesting because of the extra 35mm, but a downside of f4 only. Im having a hard time deciding and your opinion would really help me alot.

    about the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM that uve mentioned, does it have the same level of sharpness, build quality, optical quality and picture quality of an L lense ( 24-70/105)?? coz i heard that L lenses are the superior range of canon lenses.

    Right now i have a 18-270 tamron lense and a canon 50 f1.8 lense. so really this upgrade is merely for the portraiture work as i already have an all around lense =)..
    i appologized for the amount of question ive asked..thank you for your help.

    regards,

    daniel

    • Hi Daniel,

      I don’t know which reviews you have read. Although in general, nobody would really argue that both the 24-70mm and 24-105mm are good lenses, most people would not consider either lenses are the sharpest “L” zoom around, especially the 24-70, which is probably due for a replacement soon anyway. Either the 70-200 f4L with or without IS or 70-200 f2.8L or II with IS will definitely be sharper. But if you really want to talk about walk-around/everyday zoom for a full frame Canon DSLR, then certainly either of these zooms will be the sharpest, since Canon does not make any other “L grade zoom lens in the zoom range anyway.

      “L” means Luxury in Canon’s lens line up. They are usually of superior construction quality, like full metal case and lens mount, water resistance etc, and in general, most L grade lens have good optical quality. But that does not mean non L Canon lenses are not of good optical quality. There are L lens with only good to very good rather than very good to excellent optical quality (The EF 100-400mm is one example, the EF 24-70mm is probably another) and there are non L lense with very good to exxcellent optical quality, and the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM is certainly in this class.

      It’s just that the way you talked appeared as if you are really obsessed with the best optical quality, and the 24-70mm and perhaps the 24-105mm as well will not be what I and many others consider as the best optical quality lenses.

  32. Hi Roland.

    Great site.

    Am wondering, what you think of buying refurbished lenses. I am from Singapore, and I am tempted by offerings on Ebay, showing refurbished Canon 5d and Canon mark1’s for even 1/2 the price. And these from vendors with 99%+ vendors, i.e., trustworthy.

    Wife says she rather not, but the thrill of a bargain is always there.

    Also I am thinking of getting a Canon 7D as an upgrade to my existing Canon 40D. I do quite a bit of sports photography with the kids and having tried it out, I like the 8 fps bit. Will be travelling to HK in Oct, from your knowledge and database, where is the best place to get it (body only). I can save on the 7% GST payable in Singapore.

    Cheers, and keep up the good work!

    Dad Bear

    • Hi Dad Bear,

      It is a always a personal preference whether to buy refurbished 2nd hand lenses or not. There are pros and cons of doing so. The major pro of course is that it’s cheaper than buying new. The cons of course is the risk that there maybe something wrong with the lens. Some people are quite comfortable buying 2nd hand, some are not. It’s really only a decision you can make yourself.

      Please read my article on “Recommended Camera Shops in Hong Kong” for my personal recommendation and advise on where to buy cameras in Hong Kong.

  33. hi Roland,
    i just found your blog today and tomorrow i’m planning go to hk tomorrow
    i’m a student with quite limited budget to dslr camera can you recommend me what kind camera should i buy considering i’m still amateur that has interest in photography and want to learn more about it!! THx

    diana

  34. Roland, i have a Nikon D-90 and want to do sports photography and am trying to decide between the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED at HKD7,800 per your site and the Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM at HKD6400. I understand the Nikkor has no motor but a salesman said the D90 has a motor so no need – is that right – will the Nikkor autofocus just as fast as the Sigma with its hypersonic motor? Also, in your opinion, which is the better lens between these? Is it worth the additional HKD1400 for the Nikkor? Are its optics or build much better than the Sigma’s?

    Finally, how important is vibration reduction? I note the prices are MUCH higher to get that feature for both of these lens.

    • Hi David,

      In theory, the Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM auto-focus has an ultrasonic motor (Sigma calls in HSM), which maybe a bit faster than auto-focus on the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED. Of course you would benefit with faster auto-focusing with sports photography. However, auto-focus with the Nikkor should be pretty fast too and there may not be a huge difference in real life.

      Optically speaking, both lenses should perform at similar level and there should not be a huge difference between them.

      These lenses are quite heavy and vibration reduction should benefit these lenses quite a bit with hand holding, especially at long end of the zoom.

  35. hi rolland, im looking for stores in Hongkong that sells Billingham bags, ive been to tincheung, but was wondering if theres any more shop that sells Billingham bags..

    have you ever use any Billingham bags? if so, what type did u choose and Billingham bags are quite pricey, what so special about them?..

    i thank you for your kind suggestion..God bless

    • Hi Daniel,

      As far as I know, Tin Cheung Camera has selection of Billingham bags in Hong Kong. You can find Billingham in other shops, but their selection is unlikely to match those at Tin Cheung.

      Yes, I do have a Billingham 5 Series bag. Different people may have different reasons in choosing to buy a Billigham bag. The reasons I bought one were because I wanted an nice elegant looking camera bag that would not look too out of place at a formal event or venue. A typical black colored backpack style camera bag would look rather out of place. Another reason was because I wanted a shoulder bag, which maybe more secure than wearing a backpack when traveling in crowded not so safe cities, when someone can easily either zipped open or cut open your backpack behind you.

  36. Hi Roland,

    Chanced upon your article about buying cameras in Hong Kong and found it really informative. It pointed me to the right direction on where are the recommended places to visit (at least not to get fleeced) and I’ll definitely take your suggested shops into consideration.

    I wanted to find out is it the practice in the camera shops of Hong Kong to also provide “add-ons”/ “free bundles” when you purchase a camera from them. For example, they will throw in memory cards, camera case, screen protector etc??

    If there is such a practice, is it normal to bargain with the shops on such freebies?

    Cheers,
    Gillian

    • Hi Gillian,

      You have to remember nothing is really free as such and the so called “freebies” are something that you have already paid for and are not really free.

      In general, smaller independent camera shops that may sell at the best prices usually do not give you any freebies. Large chain stores often may bundle some freebies, but often will sell at higher prices as well. Sometimes, even subtracting the prices of the freebies may end up with higher prices than in smaller shops that do not bundle freebies.

      Often, the bundle freebies may not be really useful or the stuff that you really want to buy. For example, they may bundle a memory card, but it maybe a slow card with a smallish capacity from a not so well known maker, say a 8GB Class 5 SDHC from Transultraman, but if you were to buy one yourself, you may would buy a 16GB Class 10 Sandisk Extreme SDHC card.

      So whether it is really worth it to buy with freebies is something for you to decide.

  37. Hi Roland,

    I feel like owe you $1000! I came upon your blog totally by accident when I was looking for camera shops in Hong Kong. Went to Echo and got a D7000 for over $1000 less than any other place I’ve checked out. Thanks for all the valuable advice, your time and effort in putting all this together and sharing!

    PS – your photos are spectacular :)

  38. Hey Roland,

    You have a very helpful site here. I had a question i am soon to get my first dslr and i have to choose between Canon 550d and Sony A580. I really like the Sony A580 specs and according to reviews it shows that overall image quality would be better on the A580.

    I have a alot of friends with DSLRs and all of them strongly suggest Nikon or Canon.

    So could you let me know your general opinion on the Sony DSLRs and if the Sony A580 is a good way to go.

    Also how would the f/1.8 lens be a better thing to purchase instead of the kit lens?
    Or should i just get both as f/1.8 doesnt provide a zoom function.

    Thanks
    Nitin

    • Hi nitin,

      If you have not read my article on “How to Choose a DSLR” yet, please read it first. It may answer some of the questions in your mind.

      Sony A580 should be a good camera and I am sure will be able to give you good results, but I believe my article How to Choose a DSLR should answer your question and I won’t repeat the answer here.

      As for f1.8 lens, of course a prime lens with large aperture has many advantages over the typical kit lenses, but it also has disadvantages. There is never a perfect one lens solution. The beauty of DLSR is that you can own and use more than 1 lens. You can buy the kit lens and the prime lens together or you can always buy the prime lens or other lenses later to add to your collection of lenses.

      Which lens is best always depends on what you want to use the lens for. No one can give you that answer except yourself.

  39. Hi Roland, not sure if you had trouble your side but over here we have been trying to down load firmware 1.2.5 for 7d.For 3 days i have been trying, today I down loaded it but even though they say its 1.2.5 which i down loaded to day when i put it in my camera after down load my screen on my camera says that i have down loaded 1.2.3 to 1.2.3. there is something wrong with canon set up as many are complaining but i could not see the point why they did this rather just with draw and fix the problem.We under stand they may be having problems but deceit is another story i have sent 2 emails to canon and 1 to digital camera reviews but no answer.

    • Hi Louis,

      Sorry for the late reply. The last couple of weeks has been really hectic for me.

      Anyway, I have not tried downloading and upgrading firmware for my 7D yet, so I won’t be able to tell you if I have similar problem to yours. I’ll keep you posted when I have time to upgrade the firmware for my 7D.

  40. Hi roland after the 10th try 125 firmware has been downloaded this is the first time i have encounted trouble with canon have a good day

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