New Camera – Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II

Well, I finally did it. I put down a deposit for a new DSLR. I’ve got mixed feelings about this. It’s a lot of money and I’m just getting started. But by buying the top of the line Canon DSLR I know that the camera won’t let me down.

I ended up buying from a local camera dealer. They’ve been around a long time, and they even have a “commercial sales” department, though it’s not terribly large. In fact, all I did today was put $4,000 down. They’ve ordered the camera which should be delivered within two weeks. It would have been nice to take it home, but spreading out the payments actually helps me a little.
That’s because there’s another $8,000 owing. It’ll be nice not to have to pay that all in the same month. And all that money is just for the camera body, a couple of lens and a flash. Here’s what $12,000 (with taxes) got me:

  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II
  • 100mm f2.8 macro
  • 50mm f1.4
  • Canon macro ringlite MR-14EX
  • TC 80 N3 timer/remote release
  • Lexar 133X SD 2GB memory card

It doesn’t seem like enough for $12,000. In fact, I’ve got a lot more to buy. But it’s a start.
The total price matched what I could have ordered from a large dealer in Toronto from their website. So at least it’s competitive. I’m sure a slightly better price could be had from the New York dealers, but then I’d have to pay shipping with insurance and not have a Canadian warranty.
I thought briefly about buying used, but I haven’t seen any pro level DSLRs for sale locally. I suppose I could have shopped around Vancouver at bit but that’s a hassle.
One concern I had briefly was that this camera has been out for a while and 2007 might be the year Canon comes out with a replacement. That would drive down the resale price. On the other hand I tend to keep stuff I buy for a long time (cameras, computers, cars). The 1Ds Mark II should do everything I need, therefore it’s unlikely I’ll need to replace it soon. Even if a better camera come out, the 1Ds Mark II will continue to do what I need. And with pro build quality it should last a long time.
I had thought to get a more complete set up and finance the purchase somehow. But I think buying what I need gradually will be a better approach. I’m still not sure whether to get image stabalized lenses. I need more time to research them, think about my needs, and maybe try them out.
I’ve always wanted a true macro lens, and it’s hard to go wrong with a 50 f1.4, I’ll want at least one low light capable lens. I can start using this set up right away. I’ve got some 25mm miniature figures I’ve been wanted to photograph. And 50 and 100 are useful for everything from portraits to landscapes. But what’s next, go wide with the 17-40 F4L zoom, or long with the 70-200 f2.8L zoom?
Another factor in my decision to buy now is it’s almost spring time here in Victoria BC. I fully expect having a new camera will energize me to get out and take a lot of pictures. By summer’s end I could have thousands of new pictures. And I won’t earn any money from photography if I’m not making pictures. In fact I’ll have an interesting trade off, go out and take new pictures, or scan my old slides. I know I’d rather be out taking pictures.
I guess my next step is to go see my insurance agent.