If there exists a photographer who never reads new camera and lens reviews in an attempt to find out what new gear they will want – that photographer would be me. I am so uninspired by tech specs and language; it makes me dizzy. I really just want to create, and all I need is an instrument that will allow me to have the image quality, speed and convenience to do so. I think I could easily shoot with my original full frame Classic Canon 5D for the rest of my life. The only time that I actually start looking for something new is when I feel my workflow is becoming inconvenient, or when a trusted friend tells me, “I really think this camera will be great for what you do!” or when I want to try a new creative something or other and my current equipment doesn’t have the capability to do it. That’s how I upgraded to Canon 5D Mark II from the Classic a few years ago. Mainly, I wanted to try my hand in videography. Later a photographer friend Alexey Dovgulya, with whom we created our Studio Beauty video course, insisted that I try the new Canon 5Ds. Right around that time I discovered macro beauty, and I had caught myself thinking that I would appreciate a few more pixels for my lip art to make it even more mesmerizing.

I also had started shooting for cosmetics brands and client requests to crop significantly tighter than was required initially at the shoot weren’t rare. So, I took a deep breath and purchased Canon 5Ds, which was the most expensive piece of equipment I had ever owned before. Among all specs I mainly cared about the sensor size, of course. My attitude towards my gear has not changed since and I still wouldn’t know whether or not there’s a newer version of this camera out, or how Canon 5Ds is different from Canon 5Dsr, but I can tell you this: I’ve been shooting on Canon 5Ds with Canon 100mm lens and the sharpness and detail in my images are stunning. I couldn’t ask for anything better, but with the large sensor size I also acquired a few tiny headaches:

  • I had to buy a whole new set of 64Gb high-speed CF and SDXC memory cards as it shoots on two cards simultaneously.
  • When purchasing my latest iMac, I upgraded the RAM to 64Gb.
  • I had to get more and larger external drives to archive my shoots, as now each full day shoot with retouched images could easily go over 50-70Gb.

All of these pricey upgrades came as extra baggage with this powerful camera, but all of it is worth it if you do commercial work. So many times over the past couple of years I was extremely happy that I could say “YES!” to my clients when they requested to expand the license on a shot that I photographed for them originally only for web use. I could say “yes” to having my images printed for a billboard, for a cash wrap in a client’s flagship store, or a massive poster for the makeup collection launch.

I have seen my images blown up to a dozen-feet-long wall art pieces and I made sure to come up to them to check the details, and every time I was blown away that they were as detailed and sharp as they were on my screen.

The most exciting “size upgrade” happened for Hourglass Cosmetics, when my macro lip image originally photographed for their website ended up in Times Square in a size I never thought was possible for images shot on a DSLR.

Had I shot my commercial work on my Canon 5D Mark II, I would have disappointed my clients by my inability to provide files that could be used for large prints, and miss out on great opportunities – not only to have my work seen in cool places in a massive size, including Times Square, but also some good additional licensing fees.