Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Michael Yon, a combat reporter in Iraq, gives the most amazing, unique, and hilarious camera review I’ve ever read, and believe me, I’ve read a lot of them. Here’s part 1, and this quote is from part 2:

My cameras—they are both women—started fighting. Pandora sneered at her replacement, "I told you she’s a bitch!" she hissed.

"Don’t say that about Pandora 2," I said gently, masking my unease that Pandora may be right, but still somewhat taken aback by the hostility. "She’s lighter than you, you know. She shoots faster and sees better in the dark."

"The bitch is half blind!" screamed Pandora. "Go ahead. Take her on your next mission and get 10 out-of-focus shots per second!"

"Don’t use that language, please," I said, "Children read this site."

"That word is not even banned from television!" came her rejoinder. "I saw Howard Stern use it!"

"Pandora," I implored, "Howard Stern doesn’t count, and besides, most people have never heard of a talking camera."

"I have an audio function, and you would know about it if you read my manual instead of playing with Pandora 2!" I had never seen a camera so jealous.

"She’s a cheap little tramp!" hissed Pandora.

[Sigh. . . . I should never have opened that box.]

The gear under review in the 2-part series are the following cameras:

Sony F707, an amateur camera used as a back up in case the primary gear is lost or destroyed. It's no long being produced.

Nikon D70, which took a licking and kept on clicking for 7 months of very hard use, before succumbing to "combat stress". Yon's favorite "dummy button" was the "sports" setting. I don't believe the D70 is still in production.

Canon Mark II 1Ds, nicknamed "Pandora", costing $8000.00 body only, intended for use by professional photographers, hence, no "dummy buttons", and no built-in flash.

Canon Mark III EOS 1d, nicknamed "Pandora 2", costing $4,500.00 body only and touting lightweight agility, faster shooting, and greater ability to take great pictures in lowlight situations. The problem is, the autofocus system goes blind in hot bright environments, or in other words, almost any daylight situation in Iraq. Basically a very expensive paperweight. (Note to Canon: get this fixed.)

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