canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: Talys on March 08, 2018, 01:40:41 PM

Title: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 08, 2018, 01:40:41 PM
I've been fortunate enough to have a friend's Sony A7R3 and 100-400 4.5-5.6 GM OSS for a little while.  I've been playing around with the lens, and thought I would share my first impressions of it in comparison to the 100-400 L II, which I own.

DXO gives the Sony a very high score, significantly higher than the Canon.  Plus, this is a much more expensive lens (in Canadian dollars, about $800 difference).  So I was pretty excited to compare them.  Because of the weather (downpour), and the nature of the lens, I haven't had a chance to shoot anything worth sharing, but there are many differences between these two similar lenses.

Spoiler: I like the Canon much better ergonomically.


Make no mistake, the Sony is a finely crafted zoom lens.  It has a super-premium feel about it, tough it "feels" more delicate to me than the Canon.  The construction is very high-end (it had better be, at it's price), the focus and AF rings have a nice feel to them, and it's almost exactly the same size and uses the same filters (77mm) as the Canon.

There are some things I like better about the Sony:

1. It has a better tripod foot.  The foot has 2 threads, which means that if you put an arca plate on it, you don't have to worry about twist.  On the other hand the Canon has many third party foots, and you can get a foot with an arca plate right on it.  However, this works better for me, because I like to put a 3.75" Fusion plate, since that gives better grip when holding the camera by the foot, and also a flip-down BlackRapid loop.  It also angles sharply (like 45 degrees) forward, keeping it out of the way of the grip.

2. The lens hood is really nice.  It has a rubbery ring around it, and is just finished better than the Canon.

3. It has no play with the body.  My Canon has a very small amount of play; the Sony has none.

4. * Theoretically, it has better resolving power.  I haven't seen this yet; I'll report back when I get to shoot with it.  Of course, I don't want to minimize this -- it could be a big deal -- but this post is really about ergonomics, not performance.  After all, if you're gonna lug it and use it for 5-10 hours, ergonomics matters.

Now, things that I like more about the Canon:

5. HUGE.  The Canon is ring USM.  The Sony is Focus by Wire.  'nuff said.

6. Canon has IS Mode 3, which is great for BIF -- or just set it and forget it.  Sony does not.  On that note, maybe I'm smoking something, but I swear the IS on the Canon is better than the Sony, even with IBIS thrown in.

7. On the Canon, Zoom is in on the front, and MF ring is near the body; on the Sony, it's the other way around.  I think the Canon way is much, much better.  Why?  I use zoom a lot more than MF, and the tripod foot is in the way of the zoom, the way Sony does it.  Also, if you have it on a gimbal (like a Wimberley), the zoom control is smack in the middle of the balance point, which is a terrible design.  Even on a monopod, I can't put my hand under the zoom ring (I have to adjust from the left).

8. The Canon has a zillion-times better zoom lock.  When you lock the Canon, it's locked.  When you lock the Sony, it's "tight".  Which means, unfortunately, that it slowly creeps out if you walk around with it pointed down.

9. The plate on the side where the controls are is plastic on the Sony.  Why?

10. The tripod collar is better on the Canon, though not by a lot.  The Sony is somewhere between the 100-400L2, which is the nicest tripod collar I've ever owned, and the 70-200IS2, which is decent but not spectacular.  Personally, I think the collar is a little too much friction on the Sony, but it is a pretty smooth glide.

11.  The zoom ring on the Canon is much more effortless to get it from 100-400.  On the Sony, it's more resistance, though of course, since the lock doesn't work for beans, it's going to end up at 400mm anyways.  The MF ring is also stiffer, but it's focus by wire and sort of annoying anyways, so who knows how much I'll use it.

Other than that, without shooting any meaningful photos, ergonomically with the A7R3, I think that it actually doesn't feel too bad handheld with the A7R3, because you're mostly supporting the camera on the lens end, and compared to my last adventure with the A7R2, the deeper grip makes a big difference. 

One ergonomic design issue -- the A7R3 has an AF illuminator built in.  But the problem is, the Sony 100-400 -- and every other pro Sony lens -- has a barrel that's in the way of the illuminator :D  But that is not a minus to the lens design, and in fairness, I'm not sure there's anywhere on the camera where you could put the AF illuminator and not have it blocked, if you're using a bigger diameter lens.

On a gimbal, it feels ok, if not great.  There's not quite enough camera to grab on to.  However, I really don't like the feel on a monopod, where I'm not supporting the lens with my left hand.  It feels like the body end is just way too small.  Perhaps that would be different with a grip on the A7R3, but my friend doesn't have one, and I'm not going to buy one just to find out :D

One last thing, there are 3 (!!) focus hold buttons on the lens.  I set my cameras to back-button AF (with shutter button AF disabled), so hold is just, "don't press the back button".  Unless I'm missing something, for back button AF people, these are totally useless.  When I was playing with it, sporadically, the buttons would bring up a histogram.  But other times, not.  No clue :)
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: AlanF on March 08, 2018, 05:05:50 PM
Phil, thanks for this, it's most useful. The key things now to know: 1, how sharp is the lens on the A7RIII compared with the Canon on a high resolution body; 2, how good is the focussing for birds in flight?
Thanks
Alan
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: Talys on March 08, 2018, 07:09:37 PM
Phil, thanks for this, it's most useful. The key things now to know: 1, how sharp is the lens on the A7RIII compared with the Canon on a high resolution body; 2, how good is the focussing for birds in flight?
Thanks
Alan

It's dumping gobs of rain here; when I went out on my patio, AE says, 1/1600, f/5.6... ISO 20,000 :D 

So, I will definitely test this out, and report back, along with a pictures of subjects I photograph all the time with 6D2 (like mallards, for an easy comparison) and an idea of how well it is able to acquire focus, and give a fair assessment of all of the other potentially useful birding-related goodies :)

If I have time, I'll take some studio shots for comparison, so that you can see the sharpness of Canon glass vs Sony glass on the Sony body.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: Ryananthony on March 08, 2018, 08:00:32 PM
Phil, thanks for this, it's most useful. The key things now to know: 1, how sharp is the lens on the A7RIII compared with the Canon on a high resolution body; 2, how good is the focussing for birds in flight?
Thanks
Alan

It's dumping gobs of rain here; when I went out on my patio, AE says, 1/1600, f/5.6... ISO 20,000 :D 

So, I will definitely test this out, and report back, along with a pictures of subjects I photograph all the time with 6D2 (like mallards, for an easy comparison) and an idea of how well it is able to acquire focus, and give a fair assessment of all of the other potentially useful birding-related goodies :)

If I have time, I'll take some studio shots for comparison, so that you can see the sharpness of Canon glass vs Sony glass on the Sony body.

I'm heading to Reifel tomorrow, the weather says it should cooperate.  ;)
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: stochasticmotions on March 08, 2018, 08:20:57 PM
I currently own both lenses (and 1.4 teleconverters) and use them mostly for nature photography.  Currently using the Canon 5DS and Sony A7RII.  So far I find them pretty much equivalent and am confortable using either in most conditions (neither are the fastest for either company but they seem to be pretty close in capabilities).  There are cases for both where autofocus is slightly better than the other.  I am finally used to the sony (after 14 years of canon).  With the cameras I currently have autofocus with the teleconverter is better on the sony, however once you drop the aperature below f9 the sony uses contrast detect and loses its value for anything in motion. 

Image quality is fantastic on both, high ISO is better on the sony and image stabilization is absolutely fantastic (canon is very good). 

As spring comes I will be getting out more with both combos for birds on the South Carolina coast and hopefully the bears in the smoky mountains.   If anyone would like to see some specific comparisons let me know and I can try to put something together.  I'm also going to be comparing 16-35 f4 and 24-105 f4 since I now have both in each system (not likely to get a 500 f4 on sony anytime soon).

Right now I don't have many pictures of the same bird on either since I usually go out with the 500 on the canon and and 100-400 on the sony...but you can see what I have shot lately on flickr if you want (flickr.com/photos/stochasticmotions)
 
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: Ryananthony on March 08, 2018, 09:39:02 PM
  With the cameras I currently have autofocus with the teleconverter is better on the sony, however once you drop the aperature below f9 the sony uses contrast detect and loses its value for anything in motion. 
 

Is this only when you have the exposure simulation on ( the "what you see is what you get" , I'm not sure what it's actually called.)

If you have that off, the lens focuses wide open and stops down for exposure like canon, if I'm not mistaken? Do you have any input on this? That would make a big difference, as it would still use phase detect.  Thank you!
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: AlanF on March 09, 2018, 03:48:53 AM
I currently own both lenses (and 1.4 teleconverters) and use them mostly for nature photography.  Currently using the Canon 5DS and Sony A7RII.  So far I find them pretty much equivalent and am confortable using either in most conditions (neither are the fastest for either company but they seem to be pretty close in capabilities).  There are cases for both where autofocus is slightly better than the other.  I am finally used to the sony (after 14 years of canon).  With the cameras I currently have autofocus with the teleconverter is better on the sony, however once you drop the aperature below f9 the sony uses contrast detect and loses its value for anything in motion. 

Image quality is fantastic on both, high ISO is better on the sony and image stabilization is absolutely fantastic (canon is very good). 

As spring comes I will be getting out more with both combos for birds on the South Carolina coast and hopefully the bears in the smoky mountains.   If anyone would like to see some specific comparisons let me know and I can try to put something together.  I'm also going to be comparing 16-35 f4 and 24-105 f4 since I now have both in each system (not likely to get a 500 f4 on sony anytime soon).

Right now I don't have many pictures of the same bird on either since I usually go out with the 500 on the canon and and 100-400 on the sony...but you can see what I have shot lately on flickr if you want (flickr.com/photos/stochasticmotions)
 

Thanks for this very useful information from real experience. The A7RIII reviews say it is significantly better than the II, including better AF, which would suggest the III would outperform the 5DS. On the other hand, the 5DIV is better than the 5DS for AF, though the 5DS is no slouch. I look forward to more input from Phil and others.

One thing I really like about the Canon AF is centre spot focussing which enables me to focus on a small bird hidden in foliage. Does the Sony have equivalent fine focus pinpointing?
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: Talys on March 09, 2018, 03:50:57 AM
Here are some studio shots.  I manually focused on the ColorChecker text on the top right of the Passport.  All of the photos were taken with a remote trigger and on a solid, geared-head tripod.

Warning - the RAW files from the Sony are huge (83MB)!

Sony A7R3 + Sony 100-400 JPEG http://talys.icxi.com/lenstest/sonysony.jpg
Sony A7R3 + Sony 100-400 RAW http://talys.icxi.com/lenstest/sonysony.arw

Sony A7R3 + Canon 100-400 L2 JPEG http://talys.icxi.com/lenstest/sonycanon.jpg
Sony A7R3 + Canon 100-400 L2 RAW http://talys.icxi.com/lenstest/sonycanon.arw

Canon 6DII + Canon 100-400 L2 JPEG http://talys.icxi.com/lenstest/canoncanon.jpg
Canon 6DII + Canon 100-400 L2 RAW http://talys.icxi.com/lenstest/canoncanon.cr2

Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: Talys on March 09, 2018, 04:01:12 AM
Thanks for this very useful information from real experience. The A7RIII reviews say it is significantly better than the II, including better AF, which would suggest the III would outperform the 5DS. On the other hand, the 5DIV is better than the 5DS for AF, though the 5DS is no slouch. I look forward to more input from Phil and others.

One thing I really like about the Canon AF is centre spot focussing which enables me to focus on a small bird hidden in foliage. Does the Sony have equivalent fine focus pinpointing?

Alan, check out the sharpness for yourself above to compare the Canon vs Sony lens.  I think that it goes to show us how lucky we are that optics that are so sharp are commercially available.

Compared to A7RII, the autofocus on the A7RIII is a incomparably better; also, it feels this way because the EVF is vastly improved, so it's easier to point the camera at what you want to focus on.  But, my memories of using the A7RII AF system for birding was not a happy one, so that bar isn't particularly high.

Regarding Spot AF (little square in focus point square), versus 1 point AF - Sony has this, with a (big) caveat.  There is centre AF, which is a huge square, and there is a more precise one, called flexible spot AF, where you can specify small medium or large focus point.

The major caveat is that medium is outrageously large, and small is only slightly smaller than the Canon 1pt AF.  There is no flexible spot AF size that is as nearly as small/accurate as Canon's Spot AF.  So, for example, if you want to AF on its eye, rather than its beak, you may not be able to.

  With the cameras I currently have autofocus with the teleconverter is better on the sony, however once you drop the aperature below f9 the sony uses contrast detect and loses its value for anything in motion. 
 

Is this only when you have the exposure simulation on ( the "what you see is what you get" , I'm not sure what it's actually called.)

If you have that off, the lens focuses wide open and stops down for exposure like canon, if I'm not mistaken? Do you have any input on this? That would make a big difference, as it would still use phase detect.  Thank you!

You're thinking of Live View Display, Setting Effect On/Off.  I only know because I had to look up to be able to see anything to take the shots I did above :D

But... No.  It's really, really stupid.  If you set aperture > f8, autofocus feels like a Nikon on live view.  On the A9, you can go up to f11.

There are some other things I have found that make me laugh.  For example: the a7rIII is 10fps... but, for anything that's moving fast where focus has to change, they recommend you turn off H+, which drops you down, I think, to 8fps max.  Why?  In H+, what you see in the viewfinder... isn't what's actually there :)  (it's delayed). 

They also recommend you turn off silent shutter -- which is something that is pretty useful for certain types of birds; I'm not sure, but I think it also decreases maximum fps. 

There are also some bizarre ergonomic decisions.  For example: there's an AF illuminator.  Yay!  The camera needs it, because AF in the dark is lacking, I think.  But... slap on any pro lens (like a f/2.8), and guess what?  the lens barrel/lens hood is in the way of the illuminator :D

And there's a touch screen, but there might as well not be.  You can tap to change focus points (but not actually focus or take a picture), and you can use it to move the focus points while you're using the viewfinder.  And I think that's it.  I don't think there's anything else you can touch on the touch screen, not even big orange "Ok" type buttons, or any of the back controls when you put it in the equivalent of the Canon "Q" mode :D

So strange.

btw - I found this very helpful and informative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNloKXpUOWA

I'm heading to Reifel tomorrow, the weather says it should cooperate.  ;)

Share your photos from the visit!

I was thinking of going myself on the weekend, with that promised sun :D  But it's been a bit of a crazy week, so I may put it off.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: stochasticmotions on March 09, 2018, 06:31:09 PM
I currently own both lenses (and 1.4 teleconverters) and use them mostly for nature photography.  Currently using the Canon 5DS and Sony A7RII.  So far I find them pretty much equivalent and am confortable using either in most conditions (neither are the fastest for either company but they seem to be pretty close in capabilities).  There are cases for both where autofocus is slightly better than the other.  I am finally used to the sony (after 14 years of canon).  With the cameras I currently have autofocus with the teleconverter is better on the sony, however once you drop the aperature below f9 the sony uses contrast detect and loses its value for anything in motion. 

Image quality is fantastic on both, high ISO is better on the sony and image stabilization is absolutely fantastic (canon is very good). 

As spring comes I will be getting out more with both combos for birds on the South Carolina coast and hopefully the bears in the smoky mountains.   If anyone would like to see some specific comparisons let me know and I can try to put something together.  I'm also going to be comparing 16-35 f4 and 24-105 f4 since I now have both in each system (not likely to get a 500 f4 on sony anytime soon).

Right now I don't have many pictures of the same bird on either since I usually go out with the 500 on the canon and and 100-400 on the sony...but you can see what I have shot lately on flickr if you want (flickr.com/photos/stochasticmotions)
 

Thanks for this very useful information from real experience. The A7RIII reviews say it is significantly better than the II, including better AF, which would suggest the III would outperform the 5DS. On the other hand, the 5DIV is better than the 5DS for AF, though the 5DS is no slouch. I look forward to more input from Phil and others.

One thing I really like about the Canon AF is centre spot focussing which enables me to focus on a small bird hidden in foliage. Does the Sony have equivalent fine focus pinpointing?

I agree with Talys on the answers to your questions.  As further comment I have found the spot (small) to be very good and works off any focus point well.  For me it works well to grab focus through tree branches.  Lock on also works well.  I'm not yet familiar with how much better the A7RIII and the A9 are but I have heard good things.  One thing I have found is that with the A7RII backlit shots it will miss focus and hunt for it more than I would like, canon is better for the center point in those situations (but about the same for other focus points).

On the camera side, I've heard good things about the updates to the sony cameras and small incremental benefits to the canon, but that makes sense since sony had some serious catching up to do and canon is using mature technology.  There is a reasonable chance I will pick up a A7RIII or A7III soon, but on the canon side I probably won't update until I see what they do for 5DS(R) update....if that comes out and matches capabilities of A7RIII or D850 it will be in my bag in a flash.



Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - first thoughts (ergonomics)
Post by: bwud on March 09, 2018, 06:35:22 PM
With the cameras I currently have autofocus with the teleconverter is better on the sony, however once you drop the aperature below f9 the sony uses contrast detect

Note that the a9 will continue PDAF until f/11 (which I suspect you know given the "with the cameras I have")
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: stochasticmotions on March 09, 2018, 06:45:46 PM
here are a few examples, first shot is sony with 1.4 teleconverter, second is sony 100-400, and third is canon with 1.4 teleconverter.  All shot have been cropped and adjusted to my liking in lightroom and posted at @2000pixels long side on flickr.  I don't have many recent examples of in flight shots at the moment.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4662/39933320094_efbea9bd6e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23QLGNS)Nice fluffy nest bed (https://flic.kr/p/23QLGNS) by Barry Scully (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stochasticmotions/), on Flickr


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4710/40124821251_0833be6bc8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/248GcqX)A turn of the head (https://flic.kr/p/248GcqX) by Barry Scully (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stochasticmotions/), on Flickr

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4623/24786563327_d88926c16d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DLiBJ8)blue grey on Palo verde (https://flic.kr/p/DLiBJ8) by Barry Scully (https://www.flickr.com/photos/stochasticmotions/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: Talys on March 10, 2018, 12:55:44 AM
Well, I ran into a potential deal-killer for Sony mirrorless as an "only body" any time soon -- the AF illuminator.

As I noted previously, the in-body AF illuminator is nearly useless, because on pretty much every pro lens (anything with a 77mm filter, for sure), a big chunk of the illumination beam is cut off by the lens barrel.  And anyways, it shines a constant, solid red light where you point the camera (not just a flashed pattern), so it's pretty darn annoying even when you put on a cheap kit lens.

More importantly, flash unit AF assist beans don't fire (I understand, they're not helpful to the Sony AF system).  Which means that you can pretty much never use an A7Riii anywhere there isn't enough light to autofocus.

Also, another ergonomics/design issue: the sony flash pins are insane.  They have a whole bunch of little tiny delicate pins at the end, so delicate that both the camera and the cover have plastic covers to protect them when not in use.  It's so delicate that the flashes have a cover over them when not in use, as does the camera (since it has matching, ultra-fine matching pins).  They look like a nightmare for durability.

For bird photography, it's still helpful to have a flash to help with front illumination if the sun is on the wrong side, or with an off-camera flash for lighting the subject, generally.  But low light flash photography, I think the AF situation would make it a non-starter.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: Talys on March 10, 2018, 01:44:15 AM
@Alan re: AF speed and accuracy in the field (and then some other observations) -

I spent about an hour today taking pictures of a few mallards at a lake near my home.  There weren't many BIF opportunities, and it was at the end of the day (about 4:30pm) with not terrible, but less than ideal light.  That said:

1. A7R3 with FE 100-400 is way, way better than A7R2 for BIF AF.

2. AE was a problem; I'll need to play with that.  Multi pattern metering (default) sucks for BIF, as it was underexposing the birds almost every time.  Tomorrow, I will have more time and will try spot metering with large circle.

3. The BIF AF was surprisingly not terrible in center + expansion... but it also wasn't great.  Maybe in-line with a 6D2, though definitely less enjoyable to use.  IMO, inferior to 7D2/5DIV.

4. A7R3 seems to be a fantastic bird portrait camera.

5. A super useful feature is crop mode.  First, because of composition, and second, because the file sizes are 18MB for an 18 megapixel file that benefits from the excellent Sony sensor.  It's so useful that I programmed one of the most accessible Custom buttons to that feature for rapid toggling (around where the Canon top ISO button would be).

At the end of the day, if you can fill up the APSC square and get the center 18 megapixels in focus with good composition and lighting, it's going to be a great photo.

6. The battery is not even close to the durability of a LPE6 on a Canon body birding.  1 hour = 25%+ used for me, looking through the viewfinder a pretty good chunk of the time.  I couldn't imagine owning one of these guys without at least 2 batteries; probably 3, or even 4 to go into a grip two at a time.

7.  I wish my friend had a grip.  The camera was painful after an hour - I'm not a big guy and I don't have sasquatch hands, yet, my palm hurt from the bottom of the camera biting into it.  No idea how people do it without a grip.  I'm tempted to buy him one and call it Christmas -- also as a nice thank you for extended usage of his rig. :)

I do have some pictures that I have to go through, but may not get to them today.  I will experiment some more tomorrow.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: Neutral on March 10, 2018, 07:41:31 AM

2. AE was a problem; I'll need to play with that.  Multi pattern metering (default) sucks for BIF, as it was underexposing the birds almost every time.  Tomorrow, I will have more time and will try spot metering with large circle.

3. The BIF AF was surprisingly not terrible in center + expansion... but it also wasn't great.  Maybe in-line with a 6D2, though definitely less enjoyable to use.  IMO, inferior to 7D2/5D

For #2 you would possibly  better go with "focus point link" , then exposure will be linked to the selected focus point, basically the same as  one would do with 1dx or 1dxm2. Possibly still need to do some AE compensation though. Here is the link for more info.
http://helpguide.sony.net/ilc/1710/v1/en/contents/TP0001211747.html

For #3 best one on clear sky would be wide AF area using AF-C.
It works surprisingly well finding any bird within the frame , even very far and small, locking to it and then performing its tracking.
But do not expect it to be on par with a9 with its superfast sensor readout and calculations for AF which seems to be more close to military implementations of objects tracking rather than normal photography implementations.

For stills (birds sitting in foliage) for precise focus point you could use focus magnifier , i have it assigned to AEL button. Press twice and you will have "+" where you have focus point. AF works for this in AF-S mode only which is ok for still object. This is similar to 1dx and 1dxm2 dot focus ( dot within single point focus rectangle )

Regards
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: Neutral on March 10, 2018, 11:59:23 AM
This could be helpful to see resolving power of Sony FE 100-400mm.
Here is test bird shot done today (after reading this post) with   ILCE-7RM3_FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS combo.
One is original shot to see the whole frame and two more are 100% crops.
One is processed  in standalone Lightroom 6 (with no support for a7r3 ???) , not going to move to cloud version.
The other one  is processed  in Capture One 11 with all default settings, only levels  are slightly adjusted so image contrast would be close to one done by LR6.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: bwud on March 10, 2018, 06:36:18 PM
This is with sony lens and 2X teleconverter (800mm f/11 on a7riii). ISO640.

edit: sorry, the second image (not the big crop) is at 690mm
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: ecqns on March 10, 2018, 10:04:20 PM
This could be helpful to see resolving power of Sony FE 100-400mm.
Here is test bird shot done today (after reading this post) with   ILCE-7RM3_FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS combo.
One is original shot to see the whole frame and two more are 100% crops.
One is processed  in standalone Lightroom 6 (with no support for a7r3 ???) , not going to move to cloud version.
The other one  is processed  in Capture One 11 with all default settings, only levels  are slightly adjusted so image contrast would be close to one done by LR6.

Yes Capture One is in a whole other league vs Lightroom. (Wait until you master Linear Response curve over Auto in C1P with the Sony sensor.)
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: privatebydesign on March 10, 2018, 10:31:46 PM
This could be helpful to see resolving power of Sony FE 100-400mm.
Here is test bird shot done today (after reading this post) with   ILCE-7RM3_FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS combo.
One is original shot to see the whole frame and two more are 100% crops.
One is processed  in standalone Lightroom 6 (with no support for a7r3 ???) , not going to move to cloud version.
The other one  is processed  in Capture One 11 with all default settings, only levels  are slightly adjusted so image contrast would be close to one done by LR6.

Yes Capture One is in a whole other league vs Lightroom. (Wait until you master Linear Response curve over Auto in C1P with the Sony sensor.)

Bullsh!t.

Prove it, post a RAW file, one of yours, one from DPR I don't care, and we'll both process it, you show me what C1 can do and I'll try to match it in LR then create a preset and import any number of images to be the same.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS - UPDATE w/sharpness comparison
Post by: Talys on March 11, 2018, 01:32:01 AM

2. AE was a problem; I'll need to play with that.  Multi pattern metering (default) sucks for BIF, as it was underexposing the birds almost every time.  Tomorrow, I will have more time and will try spot metering with large circle.

3. The BIF AF was surprisingly not terrible in center + expansion... but it also wasn't great.  Maybe in-line with a 6D2, though definitely less enjoyable to use.  IMO, inferior to 7D2/5D

For #2 you would possibly  better go with "focus point link" , then exposure will be linked to the selected focus point, basically the same as  one would do with 1dx or 1dxm2. Possibly still need to do some AE compensation though. Here is the link for more info.
http://helpguide.sony.net/ilc/1710/v1/en/contents/TP0001211747.html

For #3 best one on clear sky would be wide AF area using AF-C.
It works surprisingly well finding any bird within the frame , even very far and small, locking to it and then performing its tracking.
But do not expect it to be on par with a9 with its superfast sensor readout and calculations for AF which seems to be more close to military implementations of objects tracking rather than normal photography implementations.

For stills (birds sitting in foliage) for precise focus point you could use focus magnifier , i have it assigned to AEL button. Press twice and you will have "+" where you have focus point. AF works for this in AF-S mode only which is ok for still object. This is similar to 1dx and 1dxm2 dot focus ( dot within single point focus rectangle )

Regards

Thanks for the advice, Neutral.  I tried exactly this, as well as a few variations today in about 1.5 hours of shooting.

A few thoughts:

- Blue sky photos were underexposed by up to 1-3 stops (!!), and bird portrait photos were underexposed anywhere from 0.5 - 2 stops.  I could actually see it in the WYSIWYG viewfinder, but I decided to stick with it and try focus-linked spot metering for the whole session, and see how it came out in post.  I guess it's good that the Sony sensor is very good for correcting underexposed photo sin post :)

- My BIF ratio was terrible, shooting eagles (which I'm pretty decent at).  There were many shots that I thought were in focus (the camera said it was), but the resulting photos were unsatisfactorily soft.  However, I will attribute this in part to my inexperience and concede that it would probably improve.

- Tracking eagles is ridiculously easy on the Sony.  The camera does an exceptional job of this (although, perhaps it only claims it is, as many of my shots were soft).  However, acquiring the lock in the first place is a whole other thing.  There were many times where the camera would hunt, and I'd lose the shot by the time it figured things out (or not).  One problem is that the MF ring can't be turned without going to manual focus -- so I can't just turn the ring to a close enough distance first, to make life easier for autofocus.

- Switching from some Wide AF on AF-C (the equivalent of AI Servo) to some spot AF mode in order to take portraits or BIF against a busy background is too clumsy.  I ended up setting Focus Area to down arrow and Focus Mode (single shot or continuous) to C4.  But it just takes too many pushes and jabs.

- I don't think you can change back-button AF to a configuration where you can do AF and AE from the back button with one press.  Which is a bigger deal because the display just says "ISO Auto" until you half-shutter press.

Below is the best BIF shot I took today, compared with a pretty decent one from a few weeks ago using a Canon 6DII and 100-400L2.  I picked this specific Canon photo because it was approximately same cropped width; about 1500 pixels wide.

Although cropped the photos attached are 1:1 pixels (unresized).  I would like to point out that the top Eagle photo was about 1 stop underexposed.  Sony, with its vaunted dynamic range, did not let me pleasantly lift the shadows on the wings, and this was a consistent problem with every BIF I had.  Lifting the shadows on the wings left unpleasant artifacts (a dithering pattern), despite the low ISO of the photo.  I was more successful with the Canon in this respect.  Where it comes out ahead (possibly) is preserving detail in the whites.  But even that's a bit hard to tell at the moment, since the photos are underexposed, which would help preserve the whites anyways.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 11, 2018, 03:20:58 AM
Here are a couple more taken with the Sony/Sony 100-400 combo to demonstrate resolving power.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: JBSF on March 11, 2018, 11:35:14 AM
I've been fortunate enough to have a friend's Sony A7R3 and 100-400 4.5-5.6 GM OSS for a little while.  I've been playing around with the lens, and thought I would share my first impressions of it in comparison to the 100-400 L II, which I own.

I use 7D2 with 100-400 Mark II for birds much as you do (passerines, not so much BIF).  However I also use it a lot for insects, especially dragonflies/damselflies.  At MFD, photos from this combo can be incredibly detailed.

Can your or anybody else here post insect photos taken with the Sony combo?  Or the Sony with the Canon 100-400?
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 11, 2018, 01:08:07 PM
I've been fortunate enough to have a friend's Sony A7R3 and 100-400 4.5-5.6 GM OSS for a little while.  I've been playing around with the lens, and thought I would share my first impressions of it in comparison to the 100-400 L II, which I own.

I use 7D2 with 100-400 Mark II for birds much as you do (passerines, not so much BIF).  However I also use it a lot for insects, especially dragonflies/damselflies.  At MFD, photos from this combo can be incredibly detailed.

Can your or anybody else here post insect photos taken with the Sony combo?  Or the Sony with the Canon 100-400?

I would happily take some, but it's not quite insect season yet.  I've not yet seen dragonflies where I normally do.

I agree: the Canon 100-400LII takes amazing MFD bug photos.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: bwud on March 11, 2018, 01:31:35 PM
Can your or anybody else here post insect photos taken with the Sony combo?  Or the Sony with the Canon 100-400?

At 100mm or 400mm?

It's a rainy, cloudy day and I don't know if I can find any photogenic insects, but will if I do.

Sun came out, but no insects readily posing. Here's a decollate snail at 400mm, roughly minimum focus distance, though shot handheld with AF, so focus isn't as good as it chould be.

Full size and then big crop with some editing.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 12, 2018, 01:20:41 AM
Well, after a couple more hours of shooting the Sony, I have to say that my biggest complaint about it - by FAR - is the focus by wire.

This is a really major problem for me for birds in flight that may be insurmountable.  I'm not sure.  What happens is that the bird is quite far away, but my last subject was a portrait at a different distance.  On a 100-400L2, I can simply turn the MF ring and get at least to the point where I can see the bird -- which takes a fraction of a second -- and then let AF lock on.  My success rate for big birds (which are, of course, slower), is very high. 

With the GMaster, what happens is that by the time the AF finds its way to the 30m or 40m, the bird is (long) gone.  It must have happened to me 10+ times today.  A potential solution may be to map the AF/MF button to the little button at the end of the lens, MF, and then switch it back to AF.  But that sounds like such a stupid solution.

Also, subject tracking while panning is excellent, but when the subject is moving towards me, the number of in-focus shots is quite low, especially if I qualify that to wanting the head of the bird in focus.  When photographing eagles, out of 8 shots, there'd be 1 with the head in focus, and a half dozen where the head/eyes are soft.

As a bird portrait lens, and using the "+" autofocus magnify tip from Neutral, the camera/lens setup is magnificent.  The downside to this is that to get out of single-shot autofocus and back into continuous autofocus for BIF is cumbersome -- it's a 2-step procedure that is several button presses.

Finally -- my solution to the camera's apparently crappy AE (at least with the GMaster 100-400) has been to manually set +/- EV using the thumb dial.  Shooting outdoors in good sunlight -- it is a bit mind-boggling to me how far off the AE can be.


Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: AlanF on March 12, 2018, 08:25:42 AM
Phil
Thanks so much for relaying your insights and experience. It has been most useful for me and I am sure many others. I threw my 5DSR + 100-400mm II into the car on Saturday as I thought I might have had some shooting opportunities yesterday on the way back from an event. The combination behaved flawlessly for BIFs I cam across, and the 5DSR is not the best Canon for BIF. The 100-400 II is such a reliable lens.
Alan
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Neutral on March 12, 2018, 11:59:53 AM

Also, subject tracking while panning is excellent, but when the subject is moving towards me, the number of in-focus shots is quite low, especially if I qualify that to wanting the head of the bird in focus.  When photographing eagles, out of 8 shots, there'd be 1 with the head in focus, and a half dozen where the head/eyes are soft.


For better a7r3 AF tracking for BIF you might try to increase AF Track sensitivity from standard 3 to 5 and change AF-C priority from default settings to AF.
Here is AF guide for a9 which is applicable to a7r3.
http://support.d-imaging.sony.co.jp/www/support/ilc/focus/en/a9/settings/index.html
But I would not expect the same AF performance for a7r3 as for a9, which I think is the only one Sony FF camera which tracking AF capabilities are on par with DSLRs with dedicated AF sensor.
A9 is doing AF sampling and recalculations at 60Hz but for a7r3, I did not find any information.
Probably for 10FPS tracking a7r3 should be doing  at least twice more so AF sampling rate could be up to 20HZ though I have some doubts that is so high.
If you have bird not far from you approaching you at 60km/h this is about 17 m/sec advance per second.
So for a9 with 60Hz AF every object will be moving about 0.27m between samples so it is easy for a9 to track and predict object position and keep it within lens DOF.
If we assume that a7r3 has 20Hz AF sampling then tracked bird distance change between AF samples would be around 0.83m so approaching bird could get out of DOF range easily, especially if bird is close to camera.
So I would not expect a7r3 to be on par with a9 as well as with any modern DSLRs which have dedicated high speed AF sensor.  Only a9 is real competitor at the moment, and this performs for BIFs perfectly, much better than a7r3 , on par with 1DXm2.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Neutral on March 12, 2018, 12:12:55 PM
Phil
Thanks so much for relaying your insights and experience. It has been most useful for me and I am sure many others. I threw my 5DSR + 100-400mm II into the car on Saturday as I thought I might have had some shooting opportunities yesterday on the way back from an event. The combination behaved flawlessly for BIFs I cam across, and the 5DSR is not the best Canon for BIF. The 100-400 II is such a reliable lens.
Alan
And Canon 100-400 II with  2x III  extender has  better optical quality than  100-400 GM with Sony 2x extender
Sony 1.4 extender does not have noticable impact for image quality  but for 2x it is very noticable so need to be used only when there is no other choice.

As I already mentioned for BIF shooting, especiallty if they approching fast  along lens direction, any modern DSLs are still better than any Sony cameras except for a9 which is specially designed for high AF performance and high tracking speed, but this is not within reach for many people , though still cheaper than 1Dxm2.


Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: AlanF on March 12, 2018, 12:43:07 PM
Thanks Neutral, I a,m finding this all very instructive.
Alan
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 12, 2018, 12:57:22 PM
Phil
Thanks so much for relaying your insights and experience. It has been most useful for me and I am sure many others. I threw my 5DSR + 100-400mm II into the car on Saturday as I thought I might have had some shooting opportunities yesterday on the way back from an event. The combination behaved flawlessly for BIFs I cam across, and the 5DSR is not the best Canon for BIF. The 100-400 II is such a reliable lens.
Alan

Thanks, Alan.

I should mention one other ergonomic detail that is extremely irritating on the GMaster 100-400.  Unlike the newer Canon focus-by-wire lenses (like 70-300 II and 18-135 nano), the GM manual focus ring does not accelerate very much.  While I didn't particularly like the feature on the Canon lenses in comparison to mechanical USM, at least you could quickly go from near to infinity.

On the Sony, it is impossible to get from near to infinity with a single action.  It seems that no matter how fast you twist it, the GMaster takes 1 full rotation to do that, and it's obviously not possible to do this without letting go and twisting again.  In practice, it takes a good 3 solid twists if I really want to go from one end to the other.

The lack of a distance scale on the top hurts it in this respect too.  On my 100-400LII, I subconsciously check the distance scale when I'm not using the camera to set it to a closer range of my next, anticipated BIF shot so that I can see a bird through the viewfinder, if it it's blurry, and so that AF locks quickly.

For better a7r3 AF tracking for BIF you might try to increase AF Track sensitivity from standard 3 to 5 and change AF-C priority from default settings to AF.
Here is AF guide for a9 which is applicable to a7r3.
http://support.d-imaging.sony.co.jp/www/support/ilc/focus/en/a9/settings/index.html
But I would not expect the same AF performance for a7r3 as for a9, which I think is the only one Sony FF camera which tracking AF capabilities are on par with DSLRs with dedicated AF sensor.
A9 is doing AF sampling and recalculations at 60Hz but for a7r3, I did not find any information.
Probably for 10FPS tracking a7r3 should be doing  at least twice more so AF sampling rate could be up to 20HZ though I have some doubts that is so high.
If you have bird not far from you approaching you at 60km/h this is about 17 m/sec advance per second.
So for a9 with 60Hz AF every object will be moving about 0.27m between samples so it is easy for a9 to track and predict object position and keep it within lens DOF.
If we assume that a7r3 has 20Hz AF sampling then tracked bird distance change between AF samples would be around 0.83m so approaching bird could get out of DOF range easily, especially if bird is close to camera.
So I would not expect a7r3 to be on par with a9 as well as with any modern DSLRs which have dedicated high speed AF sensor.  Only a9 is real competitor at the moment, and this performs for BIFs perfectly, much better than a7r3 , on par with 1DXm2.

Thanks, Neutral.  Your advice has been very helpful; I really appreciate it.  I will give some of your other suggestions a try while I have this beast.  It has definitely been an enjoyable experience, unlike the A7RII, which was very frustrating for birding.

It's worth mentioning that you can't really get 10fps in a useful sense out of the A7R3.  10fps is only possible in Hi+ drive mode, and according to Sony, unlike the A9, the A7R3 has a delayed viewfinder image with Hi+ -- making it not possible to track the subject.

So, Hi+ remains useful, for example, with a diver, or if you want to capture a bird taking off (I suppose), but generally, the 8fps "Hi" speed will be the fastest desired setting for BIF.

By the way, I'm not comparing the AF on the A7R3 to a 5D4; although I've used one before, my main camera is a 6D Mark II, and the AF tracking for a large bird flying towards me (like a eagle at a height of about 6-10 meters) is so far markedly better.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: JBSF on March 12, 2018, 01:24:26 PM


Thanks.  Good point.  I meant at 400mm.  The photo you provided is extremely similar to what I get with 7D2 and 100-400 mark II.  The tiny flecks at the sharpest point of focus are what I would hope to see, and it appears that a crop from the full frame Sony is about equal to what I get on the APS-C Canon.  I sometimes back off to about 350mm, but more often to increase depth of focus than to get a sharper image.  In fact, I'm not convinced that my copy is less sharp at 400mm than it is at 350mm.  I think one of the greatest strengths of the 100-400 mark II is the IS, which is fantastic for handheld photos like this.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 16, 2018, 10:30:20 AM
Well, I used the 1.4TC yesterday, so some comments there:

1. The size is excellent, extending the camera by just 16mm (compared to 26mm on the Canon 1.4 IIII). 

2. It is a very important piece of the puzzle for Sony for now, because native lens options essentially end with it at 560mm/f8.  The 2x is not a real option on the camera, because autofocus past f/8 is not PDAF.

3. Good news for Sony: The TC on the 100-400 GM has a smaller hit to autofocus speed than the Canon 100-400LII + 1.4 III.

4. Bad news for Sony: like the 100 - 400LII + 1.4 III, it's a pretty terrible Bird in Flight combination in terms of autofocus speed.  But then again, the Canon combination isn't very good for birds in flight either -- not so much tracking the bird, but getting the initial AF lock, if you only have a couple of seconds and you aren't already focused on or near the vicinity of the bird.

5. The only way I could get it to autofocus was to AF on some trees at about the same distance at a lower zoom, then point it at the bird, and then letting it do its thing.  Then, following the bird (using a small zone AF, like center + expanding).

6. I photographed 105 shots of two eagles circling in the air.  I was very lucky: they circled for a long time.  If you've ever shot eagles, when they do this, it's very easy to focus on them, because their flight pattern is relatively slow and predictable.  Exposure setting was something like 1/2000, f/8, ISO 320.  I was using a monopod with a sirui tilt head.

Literally ONE was in "best" focus, which wasn't really perfect, but was probably as good as I'd get with AF.  TWO were very close after artificial sharpening.  FOUR more were close enough to be considered good focus after artificial sharpening.  98/105 shots were garbage.

For reference, on a 6DII, my shot percentage would have been something like 60%+ in perfect focus, with or without an extender.

7. For bird portraits in a situation where the extra 40% reach lets you take a well-composed shot where the subject fills up the frame, it's excellent.  In my opinion, better than the Canon, because you can focus magnify, manually adjust, and guarantee a perfect focus on the eye much easier than you can on the Canon.

8. Whites against contrast solids had CA that don't correct in post (without manually photoshoping it).  Slightly OOF whites had bad CA, worse than without the extender.  It is also small enough that if your subject fills up the frame and you can resample that image down to typical distribution sizes from the original 42mp, it will disappear. 

9. IQ was generally pretty good, but it definitely suffers a little.  If I could split the difference and get 20% closer to the subject, I would rather do that than to use take the extender, with the 40% magnification.  This, based on some heron shots (though the extender shots were in a different location as the non-extender shots).  Note that this is no different than the Canon.

Attached is the best shot I could get out of 105.  It was photographed using uncompressed RAW (so, 85MB file), 1/2000, f/8, ISO 320.  It is cropped, but not resized, and sharpened as best I could in LR.

This image has a long edge of about 1800 pixels, so it's not exactly a deep crop, though it's still a significant one.  That said, I am able to get very good 1500-2000 pixel bird crops out of a 6DII with the 100-400LII with or without the extender, definitely superior to this one.  But I will try some more, and report back.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: AlanF on March 16, 2018, 01:38:40 PM
Phil, thanks for more testing. To my eyes, both eagles are very soft, and they are over-sharpened.  I can do better than that with a Canon 100-400mm II + TC.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 17, 2018, 01:29:08 AM
Phil, thanks for more testing. To my eyes, both eagles are very soft, and they are over-sharpened.  I can do better than that with a Canon 100-400mm II + TC.

I couldn't agree more, on both points.  I'd have deleted them had they come out of my 6DII.

The autofocus for birds in focus is simply a waste of time, except for the very specific circumstance where the bird starts stationary (eg perched), and takes flight laterally where the AF doesn't need to adjust. 

I took about 1,000 more BIF photos today, mostly with the TC, and a few without; With the TC, it was awful.  Without, it actually went pretty well.  I'll post up some of the shots when I get a chance.

With the TC, I was able to get some great photos of larger subjects, like dogs -- so, I suspect, it is an acceptable wildlife lens combination, just not for small, moving subjects, like birds.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Neutral on March 17, 2018, 03:56:08 AM
Well, I used the 1.4TC yesterday, so some comments there:

1. The size is excellent, extending the camera by just 16mm (compared to 26mm on the Canon 1.4 IIII). 

2. It is a very important piece of the puzzle for Sony for now, because native lens options essentially end with it at 560mm/f8.  The 2x is not a real option on the camera, because autofocus past f/8 is not PDAF.

3. Good news for Sony: The TC on the 100-400 GM has a smaller hit to autofocus speed than the Canon 100-400LII + 1.4 III.

4. Bad news for Sony: like the 100 - 400LII + 1.4 III, it's a pretty terrible Bird in Flight combination in terms of autofocus speed.  But then again, the Canon combination isn't very good for birds in flight either -- not so much tracking the bird, but getting the initial AF lock, if you only have a couple of seconds and you aren't already focused on or near the vicinity of the bird.

5. The only way I could get it to autofocus was to AF on some trees at about the same distance at a lower zoom, then point it at the bird, and then letting it do its thing.  Then, following the bird (using a small zone AF, like center + expanding).

6. I photographed 105 shots of two eagles circling in the air.  I was very lucky: they circled for a long time.  If you've ever shot eagles, when they do this, it's very easy to focus on them, because their flight pattern is relatively slow and predictable.  Exposure setting was something like 1/2000, f/8, ISO 320.  I was using a monopod with a sirui tilt head.

Literally ONE was in "best" focus, which wasn't really perfect, but was probably as good as I'd get with AF.  TWO were very close after artificial sharpening.  FOUR more were close enough to be considered good focus after artificial sharpening.  98/105 shots were garbage.

For reference, on a 6DII, my shot percentage would have been something like 60%+ in perfect focus, with or without an extender.

7. For bird portraits in a situation where the extra 40% reach lets you take a well-composed shot where the subject fills up the frame, it's excellent.  In my opinion, better than the Canon, because you can focus magnify, manually adjust, and guarantee a perfect focus on the eye much easier than you can on the Canon.

8. Whites against contrast solids had CA that don't correct in post (without manually photoshoping it).  Slightly OOF whites had bad CA, worse than without the extender.  It is also small enough that if your subject fills up the frame and you can resample that image down to typical distribution sizes from the original 42mp, it will disappear. 

9. IQ was generally pretty good, but it definitely suffers a little.  If I could split the difference and get 20% closer to the subject, I would rather do that than to use take the extender, with the 40% magnification.  This, based on some heron shots (though the extender shots were in a different location as the non-extender shots).  Note that this is no different than the Canon.

Attached is the best shot I could get out of 105.  It was photographed using uncompressed RAW (so, 85MB file), 1/2000, f/8, ISO 320.  It is cropped, but not resized, and sharpened as best I could in LR.

This image has a long edge of about 1800 pixels, so it's not exactly a deep crop, though it's still a significant one.  That said, I am able to get very good 1500-2000 pixel bird crops out of a 6DII with the 100-400LII with or without the extender, definitely superior to this one.  But I will try some more, and report back.
Thanks for sharing test results.
As I mentioned earlier, to my opinion, the only one Sony camera that could be used for BIF with long tele lenses  is A9.
I am not birds shooter but i did some tests using 100-400GM and a9 and results are excellent for BIF, practically every shot in focus. For a7r3 this is different, many shots are soft.
One missing feature for a9 and a7r3 as well for other mirrorless brands is ability to register  focus distance preset in camera. This is very irritating when you can not set focus to infinity instantly.
Using such feature AF preset could be assigned to  any button ( e.g. on focus lock button on lens ) giving ability to set requied focus distance instantly. Register focus to infinity and then by single press of button you are there.
This would be very useful for any mirrorless cameras, not only for Sony but also for Canon when working in live view.  Also this could be extreemly useful for sports shooters.
If Canon does that for their future mirrorless then they could have some advantage over other brands. And do not forget to pay me royalty  fees for advice if they do that 😁

Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: AlanF on March 17, 2018, 07:39:14 AM
Thanks Talys and Neutral for removing any GAS I had for the Sony. I am always on the hunt for better gear. Last time, I bought on-line the A7RII because of the rave reviews, and sent it back after two days as the SF wasn't good enough with Metabones and other factors. The reviews on the A7RIII then said that it was the camera the A7RII should have been, with better AF etc. It's so easy to be swayed into buying, and you you can't trust reviewers so it is just so helpful when Forum members give their real and honest experience

I was looking seriously at the Panasonic G9 as it had such rave reviews and the new Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 is a stunning lens. But, thinking about it, you realise it has not much better resolution than a 5DSR and hardly any more than a 24 mpx Canon APS-C. Then, you start seeing seeing the odd throwaway line in otherwise rave reviews: "you can't expect Canon AF"; "The lens does hunt rather too much" etc. Only Nikon could tempt me away for bird photography, but they don't have a 100-400mm II or a 400mm DO II, so Canon, you have me hooked, as the 200-500mm is heavy and not as good as my Canons for BIF, and nothing compares with the DO.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Neutral on March 17, 2018, 11:29:03 AM
Attached is FE100-400 with 1.4x extender on Sony a7r2 , full frame and 100% crop.
560mm ,1/1000sec, f8, ISO1000
Also earlier shots ,a7r2 with Canon 100-400 with 1.4x III extender using Matabones IV adapter, I posted it here some time back
Also at 560mm, camera was in crop APC mode to cut off not required from frame.
Both Canon and Sony 100-400 with 1.4x extenders are top-notch performers.

Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: Talys on March 17, 2018, 01:41:29 PM
I have some additional photos that are better, and that describe some of the problems with the camera for me, personally.

1.  First of all, in the first photo, I used center point + expanding points on the dog.  I've highlighted the center; yet you can see how the AF picked up the grass.  There's really no excuse for this.  It's much worse for bird portraits, because a stray leaf that you can't see will grab autofocus if it's closer to the camera.

2. Here is the best deep crop with teleconverter that I could get with the TC.  Note that I took over 1,000 photos that day, and the vast majority (like 99%) were garbage.  The shadows on this photo were not recoverable without adding unwanted artifacts.

3. Deep crop without the TC - this one is actually pretty good, I think.  My ratio of in-focus shots without the TC went up dramatically without the TC, and using center point only.  The only problem is that it's hard to know WHERE to focus, because 90% of the time, I couldn't see anything at all, and without a distance scale or a way to manually rotate focus, all I could see in blue sky was, well, unfocused blue.  I ended up AF on trees at approximately the distance, then spot the bird.  The problem is, if the center spot wasn't right on the bird, BOOM.  Blurry blue, again with no bird, and no way to find it.  This is just not an issue with Canon.

Setting the AF range to 3m-infinity definitely helps, and I'm rarely getting within 3m of any subject anyways when birding.

4. But all is not lost - with single focus point, it is possible to get some relatively good shots, even with a busy background.  It works with center + expanding, too, as long as NOTHING will get in front of the bird.

I give up on the subject tracking.  Yes, it looks so nice to see in the viewfinder that my bird is being tracked by the camera.  It's so impressive that it can be anywhere in the VF, and apparently in focus.  There's a green box around it right?  I can lock on the bird somewhere in the VF, and it tracks as the bird flies towards me and blow that beautiful buffer... that's 16 uncompressed frames at 42 megapixels, with a nice, juicy one at the end that's tons of pixels wide of bird!!  Buuuuuut... when I check... most of the time, the first or second frame looks pretty good, and the next 14 are all OOF unless it's a panning shot, where focus barely changes anyways.  Maybe not horribly OOF, but not good enough to keep.

That's using the 8fps drive speed that Sony recommends (instead of 10).

My general impression is: the TC is a no-go for birds in flight, and adapted lenses just don't focus quickly enough.  So if you want > 400mm for BIFs, the Sony A7R3 isn't the right choice. 

Without the TC, it's tolerable.  It is a compromise, because you can get gorgeous bird portraits, that are perfectly focused on every shot.  But at least for me (and I'll concede that I'm sure I'd get better if I stuck with it), I'd have to give up a decent chunk of in-flight photos, which are much more exciting when I do get to capture them.
Title: Re: Canon 100-400 L II vs Sony 100-400 GM OSS
Post by: AlanF on March 18, 2018, 07:17:48 AM
Dylan777 showed some very sharp BIF shots from the Sony RX10 IV (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=19270.msg700232#msg700232 and following). It uses the same algorithm for tracking as does the A9 and A7RIII. The 220mm lens on the RX10 is equivalent to about 410mm in terms of resolution on the A7RIII or 600mm on the A9, based on pixel size. Has anyone else tried the RX10 IV?