Photography Business

Canon 5DSR vs 5D Mark IV, which should you buy?

When it comes to buying new cameras, it can sometimes be quite difficult deciding which is best. This seems to be especially true when it comes to deciding between the Mark IV and 5DSR. A number of people have been asking me which of these two would be best to buy and in this review, I aim to answer that question. 

I will quickly mention, before starting this review I thought that this was a tough question, however, as I did more and more comparisons, the decision became much clearer and easier. Also, I was a little conscious about the length of the original video so I have split some of the comparisons into a second unlisted video, available for you to view below. 

To begin with, we started in the studio taking a few images of Amina who is a fantastic model. Considering my lack of experience working with models I decided it would be best to have my friend Imran take over for this section. His experience working in studios and with models meant that he could deliver the results and also express his thoughts. Ultimately he wasn't too bothered about the extra features of the Mark IV and opted to side with the 5DSR. The detail and clarity were what really blew him away. Things to consider are the fact that when shooting with the 5DSR, any issues in your technique will be amplified and the results can be vastly different. The 5DSR is a very unforgiving camera whereas the Mark IV can be far more flexible and forgiving to your techniques.

Dynamic range can be quite an important feature for allot of people and this is where the 5D Mark IV really excels. For any single image taken from each of these cameras the Mark IV images are far more flexible and clean. The amount you can recover safely really make a difference to your workflow, you may not need to take that extra shot you do with the 5DSR increasing time spent and storage costs. Having said that, adding some noise reduction to the 5DSR can really shrink the gap. Also if time and storage costs are not a factor for you then using several layers to create the final image will really increase the difference in image quality. Both have their respective advantages in this area and it depends on your individual requirements. 

Long exposures have similar results in that the 5DSR is much noisier when compared to the 5D Mark IV across the frame. This is going to a much bigger factor to consider if you're shooting at slightly higher ISO, as the amount of noise may start to make the images unusable for many. Noise reduction will still clean up the 5DSR images quite a bit making them very comparable and potentially even more detailed. 

The main areas where the 5DSR can perform really well are colours, sharpness and detail. In controlled environments where you shoot at the lowest ISO, you can achieve some of the absolute best image quality. The colours tend to be more vibrant and accurate based on my testing and the detail is significantly more.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I much prefer the 5DSR, the incredible image quality and detail are very appealing to me. Most of my professional shoots are done using manual lenses, therefore I tend to take my time for each image ensuring I'm getting the best results. I enjoy shooting with more layers and bringing out the extra detail in post, that to me is part of the fun and not at all a chore. 

Before doing this comparison I didn't enjoy using the Mark IV very much at all because to me, it represents a little bit of a middle finger from Canon. Having said that, after doing all of these tests and comparing it to the 5DSR, I now firmly believe that it is one of the best cameras you can buy. For most people, the Mark IV is a much better option, the 5DSR is far too niche of a camera for the majority. Yes, the 5DSR does have better image quality, however, image quality is not really that important when comparing cameras at this level. For that extra detail and resolution, you will be sacrificing far too many useful features to make it worth while. On top of that, the Mark IV will dramatically improve your workflow when compared to the 5DSR. The cleaner and more flexible images straight out of the camera from the Mark IV mean that for most uses it is far more effective.  

I'm still quite disappointed in Canon for releasing a camera with such unnecessary and obvious limits. Even with that, however, I strongly recommend the 5D Mark IV above the 5DSR.  

Please check out my video above and if you're interested in seeing some of the other tests I did please check out the second video below. 

Interior Design and Photography

These days, professional photography is pretty much a requirement for many industries. With more and more people on social media and even better, higher resolution screens on mobile devices, it's illogical to have sub par images demonstrating your service/product. Fortunately for us, our clients only demand the best photography, which not only keeps us on our toes, but also adds allot of value to the work we do. 

The framing stand of the bedside cabinet brings a really unique look. 

We recently had the pleasure of working with interior designers, Tareen and Tareen. Sisters, Nadia and Ayisha Tareen, produce some amazing results together and we were lucky enough, to be able to photograph their latest work.  Their passion and flair is clearly visible in what they do, from the smallest details to the bigger picture of creating whole room sets. 

Many people don't consider the benefits of hiring an interior designer and allot of the times, it's based on assumptions relating to price. The value of working with an interior designer, is to essentially create something that couldn't have ordinarily been created by one's self. In many cases interior designers have benefited clients by preventing costly mistakes and even helped increase property values, thus negating the initial apprehensions relating to price. Not to mention the fact that, a good interior designer will have a significant number of contacts which can again, help reduce the overall cost. This is similar to the photography industry, clients hire professionals because they understand the importance and value it brings. The initial cost is effectively an investment rather than a sunk cost and therefore has a return associated with it. On occasions those returns may be intangible, however, not hiring a professional poses a higher risk factor. 

There are allot of great reasons why you should hire an interior designer for your projects. Picking the best one for you depends on your project and vision. Having said that, a good designer can also provide much needed help when devising primary plans. We highly recommend Tareen and Tareen, because we firmly believe in their customer service and more importantly, their ability as designers. It's an absolute pleasure working with them and we look forward to continuing with them. 

 

New Year... New You? :P

I know the title is cheesy, but I think a new year does somewhat represent a bit of a reset. It allows for a little perspective on what has been achieved so far and what could have been done better. I find myself being over critical of what I could have done in 2015. Looking back, I think overall I'm quite pleased. 

Matt Granger is a professional photographer who's also developing a popular Youtube channel, and I feel he really hit the nail on the head in his last video. I speak to allot of people who say they want to own a business but there are always some obstacles or something preventing from doing what they want.  It does frustrate me because I honestly believe the people making the excuses could also be the people who achieve so much, if they were to only change their perspective. 

Anyway enough of the mini rant, I hope watching this video helps. 

Just to quickly add a few points of my own: 

  • Don't procrastinate. It's so easy to suddenly get lost on Facebook or YouTube and several hours have been lost on doing absolutely nothing. 
  • Believe in yourself. I'm aware this is cliché, but it is for a reason. Doubting yourself really kills any dreams or ambitions you could have had, find a way past your doubts.
  • Just Do It. Seriously just do it. 

 

Thank you so much for all the support over last year it means allot to me and I want to sincerely wish you a wonderful new year. 

  

Why Canon is failing

In 2013 you may have heard that Nokia sold their mobile division to Microsoft at a price considerably lower than what it was once worth. One of the main reasons behind this is because they failed to keep up with the market and customer demands. Canon seems to be facing similar issues and has recently had to cut it's profit forecast for 2015. 
Now admittedly the profit cut was due to several issues and not just a Canon problem, however there are a number of underlining problems at Canon.

A good number of our sources agree that Canon is facing some internal problems and it's preventing them from operating effectively. There are internal conflicts and due to this they seem to be reacting extremely slowly to the market and customer demands. Canon seem to be more interested in maintaining their faltering position as opposed to innovating, or executing their innovations. Customers are very quick to notice when companies drip feed features and it's frustrating and alienating. Their latest DSLR the Canon 5DS and 5DS R has a 50mp sensor which at a glance seems amazing, however when you dig deeper you find 2010 technology repackaged with a premium price.  Compare this to the Sony A7R II and you'll see why this is not innovating. 

The main reason why Canon is failing to innovate is because of how they manage their two divisions. Essentially their Cinema and their DSLR divisions are constantly looking to ensure they don't step on each others toes. Basically they don't want to make any cameras that could affect the sales of another camera. Now if this was done by two separate market leading companies then it could work, similar to price fixing (which is illegal of course). However when this is done internally, it's illogical and benefits no one but your competition. The most frustrating aspect about this is that Canon is aware of this huge problem, but has failed to come up with a solution. 

Companies like Nikon and Sony have been making significantly better cameras for a good number of years capitalizing on Canons unwillingness to keep up. A quick look at sensor technology on DXOmark shows how Canon has remained behind for quite some time now. They also seem to believe 4k is still some elusive feature that can only be added to the most expensive high end cameras, even though it's been available for 12 years now. 

Lastly their latest camera The ME20F-SH boasts 4 million ISO and can pretty much see in the dark. Again this sounds pretty cool but then when you break it down, it's a 2mp camera with a 30k price tag, simply ridiculous in my view. 

Ultimately Canon are facing some tough issues moving forward and it doesn't seem like they're doing enough to fix things. Internally their departments are not working together effectively and it's creating a negative loop. Should this continue which I'm guessing it will, there could be some really difficult times ahead for Canon as their market share inevitably shrinks. 

I'm a fan of Canon and would love to see them continue as the market leader. I hope Fujio Mitarai has a plan for the future which does not involve doing the same thing and hoping for a different result. 

Professional Photography is Critical for Virtually Every Industry

My interaction with professional photography has made me agree that it’s a very significant part of every industry today. The job of a professional photographer is to be able to capture some of the best aspects of every industry.

You might be asking why interior and architectural photography. Well it’s mostly because of the fact that architecture as a visual art lets buildings talk for themselves.  With professional photography equipment and a creative attitude goes a step further and interprets it in a number of ways.

Whether it is photographing the interior or exterior or capturing the unique and magnificent images through various techniques, the professional photographer is helped by an observant eye capable of realizing different capture points and points of view. This is the kind of photography I love and provides both clients and artists, amazing images.

However, professional photography is real, diverse and very vital today. Every industry today deserves great, quality and perfectly captured images and moments. While everyone can take a selfie and some images it takes a professional photographer to bring out the details, points of view, angles and all kinds of aspects out of a simple item. Food related photographers are one of the key reason we make orders for groceries, pizzas, meats, ice creams, hamburgers, French fries and all kinds of delicacies because of the way they capture them. I love taking a peek at these photographs and marvel at the way they literary compel you to eat fruits, green leafy vegetables, salads, make an order or simply eat at a certain exotic hotel.

It is also the same with wedding photographs. They are so vital that while you can take another image of a delicacy a fortnight later, you cannot do so in the case of a wedding. Everything has to be perfect from the beginning and the expectations are way too high. Just any photographer is not sufficient. A professional is demanded, sought and given the job.

Any professional interior and architectural photographer will tell you why clients demand professional photographers. Even high school senior year photographers must be professionals and schools are very meticulous. This is the reason any yearbook looks awesome and perfect 30 years later. At the same time, professional baby photography is big business and a superb job is expected.

A real estate firm dealing with properties also demand professional photography. I love a well taken image of a building for sale, both the interior and exterior. A shoddy photography will not draw any buyers and this is counterproductive for any seller.

In a nutshell, professional photography is extremely important in virtually every industry today. I’m aware this post is very biased self-serving, however it’s difficult to refute the argument. I work within an industry that is over saturated for a reason and I absolutely love it.  

The Part-Time Photographer

Just like you I have noticed there are affordable DSLRs compelling so many people to consider photography either as a part-time or fulltime career. Camera equipment can really be expensive, but photography is one of those businesses with a low overhead and once you have your own photography gear you can enjoy a flexible yet rewarding part-time job.

As you’d expect, to begin with things were quite slow for me so I used that time to develop my craft and learn as much as I possibly could. A subscription with Lynda.com and a ridiculous number of hours spent on YouTube watching anything and everything about photography. I loved the technical aspects of photography and I think that really helps with my interior and architectural photography. Once I felt like I was ready (which didn’t take too long) I was able to get my first job through the help of friends. I gave them the world and got paid peanuts for it, amazingly I still made a profit.

Profit was the key thing because I needed to make enough money to leave my part time job, dear god I hated my part time job. The work was menial, I was not being utilised properly in any way shape or form and I had so much more to offer, so I set out to create something for myself. Working initially as a part time photographer meant the majority of my free time was taken up by something I love.

One of the most prominent thing I kept hearing was how difficult the photography industry was and how competitive it is. It seemed like every other video had a warning included about how tough it’s going to be. Honestly I don’t know what all the fuss is about I haven’t found it difficult at all. Anything is difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing, if you haven’t prepared a sound strategy or done sufficient research. Business fundamentals remain the same across all industries and I made it a priority to understand business before understanding photography. I think anyone who wants to set up their own business should do it because I can tell it’s an amazing feeling.

One of the great things about working as a part time photographer is that hopefully your part time job can cover your essential costs. This means the majority of your income from photography is extra income and can be used to properly develop a potentially thriving business. There is of course a pitfall in that when you have disposable income, fancy gadgets and shopping sprees starts to look very appealing. I know I've made a few questionable purchases and even recently I purchased a set of Bang and Olufsen headphones for £399.00!

 

 But they're sooo pretty....

But they're sooo pretty....

Fortunately I was quite disciplined when it came to my company and I'm very aware of the affliction known as Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I can’t stress how important it is to manage your finances and remain strict when it comes to any purchases.

The main disadvantage of being a part time photographer is the lack of time. Just when you’re in the middle of doing something amazingly creative, you’re rudely interrupted by that deep dark pit of a feeling… tomorrow is another day at work. Sundays were probably the most heart breaking days ever. Managing time is essential when it comes to being a part time photographer. The week is split into two sections, days when you’re working and days when you’re at your job. Utilising any and all time is so important especially in the beginning, in my mind any time I was not working on my company was time wasted. I keep asking myself one question, “Is there something I could be doing right now to further my company”, the answer is always YES!

It’s amazing how much time can be spent procrastinating, looking at Facebook and Twitter feeds, watching random videos, stuff on Netflix and just surfing the net. Don’t worry this post does not come with a familiar warning because I procrastinate too and yet I still manage a growing company :).

I've now left employment and set up my photography company. I worked at British Gas and while the company may not have had the best reputation in the industry some of my co-workers were pretty amazing. I used to hate every minute in that place and couldn't wait to get out and do my “real job”. It was strange, when I was close to leaving British Gas, I suddenly became very thankful for having that job and realised how important it had been. Without having that part-time job, I wouldn't have been able to set up my company, so in short,...

Thank you British Gas.