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Topics - BL

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Lighting / How to tell when Eneloops are running dry in 600EXs?
« on: April 17, 2014, 04:17:04 PM »
So I use 4 600EXs for all my lighting needs, powered by Sanyo eneloops.  In the past using 580s and 430s, I've used a full power flash dump and counted in seconds for the ready beep to determine roughly how juiced a set of batteries were - 2.5s meant fine, 3.5s-4s served as a reminder to change out a set for a fresh.

What I've been finding with the 600EXs is that even when the batteries are near death, the ready beep still engages after 2.5s-3s after a 1/1 test, only to discover it stops firing and dies just a few pops later mid session.

I doubled checked to ensure every test on each flash is not set to 1/32 but to 1/1 full power.  It's frustrating when you think everything is charged and a speedlite fails, and perhaps I've been foolishly relying on those ready beeps to gauge battery status.

Anyone else experiencing this? 

Canon General / 16 MEGA-byte CF card!
« on: April 12, 2014, 12:26:41 PM »
Guess what I found in the nightstand next to my Van Halen mix tape?  :D

I tried unsuccessfully to take a picture with it, but even 1 file exceeds its capacity and refused to write haha

i think this is what you would call a "x1.0" speed CF card :D

It's mind boggling to think how quickly technology changes.

EOS-M / EOS M Grip with integrated Arca Swiss plate review
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:10:56 PM »
Came across a grip on eBay that looked promising that I thought I'd share with you guys.  Been using it for several weeks and I really like it!

NOTE: I do not make these, and do not profit in any way from sales. 

It's made entirely out of metal, and feels great holding anything from the pancake to larger EF lenses with adapter.  What I like most is that it can still mount on any Arca Swiss compatible head without blocking the battery/SD door, does not block the strap lug, and it doesn't increase the overall size.  This combo still fits in my tiny Lowepro Dashpoint 20!

It's important to note however, is that the dovetail will block the EF adapter's tripod foot.  I don't use it, so it didn't affect me, but those that do might find this to be a deal breaker.  The other possible negative thing about the all metal construction is that it can be very cold to the touch outdoors.  I wish the grip itself was covered in plastic for this reason.  But overall, very pleased with this grip.  Here's a breakdown of pros/cons

+ Vastly improves ergonomics and balance
+ Arca Swiss compatible
+ Does not block battery door
+ Made entirely of metal (Aluminum?)
+ Relatively inexpensive (paid $45 shipped from China on eBay)
+ Does not increase overall size (still fits in Dashpoint 20)
+ Has a threaded tripod socket underneath
+ Anti-rotation lip

- Arca Swiss dovetail blocks the EF adapter's tripod socket
- All metal construction makes it cold when using in colder weather
- Metal construction means a heavier camera
- Blocks Canon logo, which is kinda ugly IMO

If you're interested in one yourself, try the link below:

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Ditching One Shot and shooting AI Servo fulltime
« on: February 24, 2014, 06:43:55 PM »
So I've never owned a camera I felt confident enough to trust in AI Servo until I started shooting with the 1Dx. Old habits die hard though, and I'd still been toggling between one shot and AI-Servo based on subject matter.  I've always held this pre-conceived, personally unfounded notion that One Shot would be more accurate than AI Servo on stationary subjects.    Given how amazing I found AF accuracy to be on the 1Dx, I decided to test my theory by exclusively using Servo mode for all non moving subjects.

In the past month I've shot mostly portraits, some landscape, and quite a bit of macro.  At the pixel level, I can't tell any difference in regards to focus accuracy between shots taken using One Shot vs. AI-Servo based on my real world use.  Granted, I have my shutter release priority biased towards focus as opposed to release.  I don't see myself using One Shot ever again as far as I'm concerned, and I appreciate not having to press a button or switch modes to engage Servo if something does start to happen unexpectedly. 

Can anyone think of any cons to using AI servo fulltime and ditching One Shot if I I'm able to achieve the same level of accuracy?   (ok yes, as a concession I'm taxing the battery, but battery life has become a total non issue for me having moved to a 1D body)

Thanks in advance!

Lighting / Sync speeds beyond 1/500 sec (not leaf shutters)
« on: January 22, 2014, 12:27:54 AM »
So there are Canon compacts like the powershot G15 that allow for insanely fast sync speeds of 1/2000.  Can someone please explain how that's possible?  Does it have to do with the size of the sensor and/or shutter assembly?


EOS-M / EOS M touch screen works great for off-camera speedlite adjustments
« on: December 29, 2013, 09:26:19 PM »
I recently upgraded my speedlites to Canon's new RT system, and I've got to say, the touchscreen on the M is just really nice for making off-camera speedlite adjustments.

I was shooting a bunch of family portraits along with the ST-E3, and found the transmitter just painful to use when the camera is orientated vertically.  The touch screen control of the M made it very easy to make adjustments, despite the rotation, and found it so much faster to navigate menus and make selections as opposed to using the ST-E3 or 600EX LCD menus.

The M platform is really a pleasure to use with the new RT flash system because of its in-camera speedlite control along with its touch screen functionality.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Canon 1DX paired with Ec-S focussing screen
« on: December 17, 2013, 10:47:23 PM »
For folks using the 1DX along with the "unsupported" Ec-S high precision focusing screen, what sort of exposure compensation are you having to manually apply, since it's not supported by firmware?

Canon states the following:
Previous Ec-S, Ec-N and Ec-R screens: These are previous generation screens that will fit into the EOS-1D X. They’re a bit brighter than standard screens, such as the Ec-C or Ec-D series, with no custom function to adjust metering to compensate for the added brightness (some degree of user-applied exposure compensation will be needed if they’re installed).

I already use a high precision screen on my 5D for fast MF primes, and would very much prefer not to use AF points along with focus confirmation aids on the 1DX.

Thanks in advance!

EOS-M / Does IS on EF lenses even work when mounted on the M?
« on: July 29, 2013, 08:58:39 PM »
I've been using my M for a few weeks now and loving every minute of it!

Just tried the 70-200 II for kicks and felt like the IS isn't working properly for non EF-M lenses sporting IS, based on all the jiggling I was experiencing on the LCD.   

When I checked the menu screen, IS was enabled.  So I tried disabling IS with the hard switch on the lens istelf, and the screen looks just as unstable as before.

Anyone else noticing this?  IS works perfectly and just fine on FF btw...

EOS-M / Options Menu for Auto ISO?
« on: July 17, 2013, 03:26:06 PM »
Hi all,

Using auto ISO has been somewhat frustrating because it keeps locking my shutter speeds at 1/30, no matter what the lighting conditions are.  I'm finding that I need to keep my shutter speeds up with the 22mm pancake since it's became all too apparent that I'm not as stable a platform as I am with my 5D.

Is there an option to change min shutter speeds, or any other parameters?  I looked in the manual and it didn't say much about the AUTO ISO feature. 

Thanks in advance!

EOS-M / Arca Swiss plate for EOS M
« on: July 08, 2013, 08:18:26 PM »
Hi all,

My EOS M will be arriving in a day or two, and I'd like to get it paired properly with a small, arca swiss compatible plate that doesn't extend way past the body (like a typical DSLR plate would on the M)

Any one out there happy with the one they are using?  I'd like to keep it semi permanently attached to the camera, so not blocking the battery door is a must.


Software & Accessories / Low profile bag needed for 5D and 40mm pancake
« on: January 04, 2013, 02:42:27 PM »
Hi folks,

I'm in need of a very small, low profile bag (satchel?) that will carry my 5D and 40mm pancake only

The smallest bags i've come accross tend to be the "messenger" type, but even the smaller ones are too bulky since they are designed to carry a speedlight, and maybe 1 or 2 other lenses, which i have no interest in doing with this combo.  I don't want to look like I'm carrying a DSLR either.

Anyone have any suggestions?  Thanks!!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 85L II + 6D outer AF point performance?
« on: December 23, 2012, 03:20:05 AM »
Hi folks,

Looking to see if users rocking the 6D and 85L II have any experience to share regarding performance/accuracy of AF on the outer points for this combo.

My 85L II is the only lens in my kit that's epic fail when it comes to AF points aside from the center on my 5Dc, and is the primary factor in considering an upgrade.  For all other glass 70-200II, 100L, etc., hit rate is generally "ok" for non moving subjects with outer AF, but wouldn't mind getting better consistency here either.

I've been using the venerable 5Dc for 6 years now (landscape/portraits at low ISO w/tripod), and while there is nothing compelling me to upgrade, I find myself frustrated at times manually focusing at 1.2 (and occasionally at 2.8.) for off center subjects.  I've been using Canon's high precision MF screen for several years now, and while it has helped moderately in good light, would like to explore alternatives to my 5Dc AF which is feeling a bit "long in the tooth" and antiquated at the moment. 

Your feedback is much appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

Canon General / Canon's Minimum Advertising Price to go into effect Nov 1
« on: October 31, 2012, 06:31:08 PM »
"Canon to Begin Crackdown on Minimum Advertised Pricing Tomorrow, November 1

Canon will begin cracking down on minimum advertised pricing (MAP) starting tomorrow, Nov 1. The retail prices for several DSLR cameras as well as some lenses will be changing significantly. If you plan on buying a DSLR camera in the near future, I suggest buying it now."

I must be missing something here or perhaps I don't understand the idea behind MAP.

What on earth would incent a retailer to carry Canon gear if they have no control over the pricing of their inventory? 

EOS Bodies / 5D III focus accuracy with fast primes wide open
« on: March 26, 2012, 06:16:58 PM »
I've been rocking a 5DC since launch, and have never been happy about having to manually focus on anything outside of the center cross AF point with pretty much any of my fast primes wide open (e.g. 50L, 85L II, 135L). 

The high precision, MF screen helps and is a life saver, but it's become a crutch as I've come rely on that to validate all focussing.  That said, the new 5D III does not have user replaceable screens allowing for proper DOF previews for lenses faster than 2.8

For folks shooting primarily fast primes with their 5D III, how are you coping with this?  Is the AF capable enough so that focus points on the edges are accurate down to f1.2?

Focus and recompose is not an option for me.  The focal plane is in the millimeters at f1.2 for tighter portraits

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