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Topics - Steve Todd

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EOS Bodies / Picture Style Settings, How Much Sharpening?
« on: February 13, 2015, 08:37:55 PM »
I've not used the highest setting (7) for sharpness in the picture style customization before, because I have just checked sharpness in DPP and made adjustments as needed.  However, while shooting the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA last weekend - a long time friend and fellow NASCAR photog, told me he always sets the sharpness setting in the picture style menu to the max setting (7). 

He said the max setting has given him sharper images right out of the camera that look sharper to him after processing in DPP, compared to adding sharpness in post processing of images shot at a lower sharpness setting in picture style. 

I have the sharpness setting in my cameras set at one level past the center mark, and have been satisfied using this method.  However, I'm always open to new methods that will produce sharper images.  I am wondering what the rest of you set your sharpness settings at, and have you ever tried the max setting?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Lenses / EF100-400L II Manual on Canon USA Site
« on: December 15, 2014, 10:37:45 AM »
If you're interested, the Instruction Manual PDF for the new 100-400 is available on the Canon USA site.

Here is a link, hope it works for you...if not just check the products tab on the website and navigate to the product page for the lens.


Lenses / With a new 100-400L, is the 28-300L Next?
« on: November 29, 2014, 11:17:20 AM »
I've had my 100-400L since borrowing one from the CPS folks at the 1999 Daytona 500.  It's been a great lens.  However, I must admit I have the "II" version on pre-order (and the current one sold).  As the 28-300L is now 10-years-old, I hope it will be the next zoom lens on Canon's list to get a make over. 

My 28-300L is the lens I pick when I want to keep things simple.  Not having to change lenses on the move and the ability to cover just about every subject, has made it my "Go To" travel lens, mounted on one of my FF bodies.  Although I've never had an issue with the push-pull design of either lenses, I can see the logic in moving away from that type of zoom operation. 

So, the question is, will we see a redesigned 28-300L anytime soon?

EOS Bodies / Interesting Article on DXO Mark Ratings
« on: November 10, 2014, 11:49:14 AM »
You may have already seen this, but I thought it might be of interest to CR folks:


Canon General / How Soon We Forget!
« on: September 29, 2014, 11:15:44 PM »
With all the chatter today about needing more MP or DR, let's not forget where we were just 10-years ago.  For those of you under 30-years-old, 10-years ago seems like a lifetime.  For those of us over 60-years-old, 10-years ago seems like yesterday!

Here's a look back to 2004:

Canon EOS-10D, 6.3 MP 1.6x crop sensor, 3 FPS, $1,499

Nikon D100, 6.1 MP 1.5x crop sensor, 3 FPS, $1,499

Canon EOS-1D II, 8.2 MP 1.3x crop sensor,  8.5 FPS, $4,495

Nikon D2H, 4.1 MP 1.5x crop sensor, 8 FPS, $3,199

Nikon D1X, 5.3 MP 1.5x crop sensor, 3 FPS, $3,899

Canon EOS-1DS, 11.1 MP full frame sensor, 3 FPS, $7,999

Kodak DCS-14N, 13.8 MP full frame sensor, 8 FPS, $9,000+

So, what's my point!  Just this, what we thought was fantastic back then, is "not so much" today.  However, there are millions of great images from back then!  And in 10-years from now, we'll probably still be arguing about needing more MP and DR, yet we'll still have tons of great images from right now!  Life is short my friends, get out and enjoy what you have right now!  The future will be here starting tomorrow, and with it, undoubtably more of everything you could ever wish for or imagine!  

Canon General / More on Hollywood Filmmaker's Albuquerque Landscapes
« on: August 06, 2014, 10:33:52 AM »
Last month I posted a short video on a retired Hollywood filmmaker's HDR panoramas of Albuquerque.  However, the video only touched on his finished results.  This link will take you to his site and some of his work:


After viewing his work, you will understand why I picked ABQ as my retirement home.  Our Fall is usually spectacular, and the winter and spring scenes can be quite good as well.  If you like thunderstorms, July and August can produce some intense weather formations and plenty of lightning!

EOS Bodies / EOS 7D II Specs Listed on KDrama Stars
« on: August 01, 2014, 10:22:01 AM »
Don't know if this is legit, but here is what is on the Korean site:


Here's a short video feature on an award winning movie maker turned landscape photog.  He's an Albuquerque resident (transplant from LA) making a very good business for himself.

BTW, notice his choice of camera/lens combination, and his (homemade) tripod mount!

Sorry, the original link didn't work very well!  Here's a link that actually works on YouTube:

Health scare leads artist to world-renowned art

Canon General / Canon "Bring It" TV Ad
« on: June 27, 2014, 07:42:25 PM »
Just for fun, here's the latest Canon USA ad, "Bring It":

Canon "Bring It" FULL REVIEW 2014

BTW, it runs twice on this link.


EOS Bodies / Canon CPN EOS-1D X AF Guidebook Smartphone App
« on: May 01, 2014, 09:55:02 AM »
Canon Professional Network (Europe) has a smartphone/tablet version of the AF Guidebook for the EOS-1D X:


Lenses / Lens Field of View Comparator on Canon DLC Site
« on: March 27, 2014, 09:53:30 AM »
Canon has posted a nifty new lens field of view comparator on their DLC site:


EOS Bodies / AI Servo AF Versus One-Shot AF For Stationary Subjects
« on: March 25, 2014, 11:05:53 AM »
Having read several posts discussing the pros and cons of using AI Servo AF versus One-Shot AF for stationary subjects, I thought I'd ask the one guy who could best address this issue for us. 

He was kind enought to allow me to post his reply to my questions here:

Hi, Steve:

There are no differences in focusing speed, focusing accuracy, or focusing point selection algorithms between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF with EOS DIgital SLR cameras, period.

The basic difference between them is that One-Shot AF locks focus as soon as it is complete, whereas AI Servo AF continues to track focus as long as it is active. This is why One-Shot AF is recommended for stationary subjects, while AI Servo AF is recommended for most types of moving subjects, especially those that move towards or away from the camera as opposed to lateral movement across the frame.

There are other differences between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF that can affect some kinds of photography:

1) AI Servo AF allows photographers to release the shutter at will, regardless of whether focusing has been completed or not. This is intentional, in order to allow the photographer to prioritize capturing the peak moment regardless of focusing status. The trade-off is the fact that there is no guarantee that the focus will be sharp on a stationary subject in AI Servo AF, especially during handheld photography at close range with shallow depth of field. Under these specific conditions (one more time for emphasis, I am saying Stationary Subject, handheld photography at close range with shallow depth of field), One-Shot AF is a more reliable focusing method because it locks focus while AI Servo does not.

2) As light levels diminish, eventually AI Servo AF will cease to function before One-Shot AF does. This is because One-Shot AF allows a longer sampling period for AF measurement in low light than AI Servo does. (The AF measurement sampling period is analogous to a shutter speed for the AF sensor. The longer the sampling period, the greater the sensitivity.) Remember that the AF sensor in the camera has a low light threshold, typically EV -1 or -2 depending on the camera; this figure is quoted specifically for the center AF point with One-Shot AF. It's usually about 2 stops less than than with AI Servo AF, and even lower with off-center focusing points. Therefore, if maximum sensitivity for AF in low light is your priority, we strongly recommend One-Shot AF with the center focusing point.

Going back to point 1, current professional EOS models like the 1D C, 1D X and 5D Mark III give photographers more control over shutter release priority in AI Servo AF than older models. You'll notice that there are menu settings in the AF menu section for 'AI Servo 1st Image Priority' and 'AI Servo 2nd Image Priority.' These settings let you control how long the camera waits before releasing the shutter in AI Servo, which is better than older cameras like the 1D Mark IV or 5D Mark II. But it still lets the camera shoot when it is out of focus in AI Servo AF if you insist. In other words, shutter release in AI Servo AF is always a matter of "when," it is never a matter of "if" the subject is in focus.

The bottom line is simply this: AI Servo AF is *not* equivalent to One-Shot AF for stationary subjects in terms of shutter release priority, especially for handheld shots with shallow depth of field, and we never claimed that it was. That's why we offer both focusing modes.  This doesn't mean that AI Servo *can't* get it right.  It means that One-Shot AF is more reliable under these specific conditions.

Hope that helps.

    Chuck Westfall
Advisor, Technical Information
ITCG Prof Client Relations Division
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
One Canon Park, Melville, NY 11747

EOS Bodies / Interesting Read For 1DX and 5D3 Owners
« on: March 24, 2014, 09:40:31 AM »
Interesting read on the 1DX and 5D3 AF Systems.  You might have already read this, but I thought it was worth posting for those who haven't:


EOS Bodies / EOS-1D X, Dual Back Button AF
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:38:35 PM »
Having used the back button AF method for several years, I thought I would try the dual back button feature made possible by the recent 2.0.3 firmware update.  Until the new firmware update, I separated the AF Start function from the Shutter Button using the normal back button method.  My focusing method was to have the AF-ON button set for AI-Servo AF.  If I wanted to quickly lock the focus, I would simply focus using AI-Servo AF, release my thumb from the button, reframe the subject and shoot.  I could have just switched between the two modes by pressing the AF Drive button on the top deck and use the Main Dial to switch between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF.  However, that just wasen't quick enough for my shoot style.

Prior to the new firmware update, you could program one of the programable buttons to toggle between AI-Servo AF and One-Shot AF.  However, that required me to press the button set to toggle between the two AF modes (I used the Multi-function 2 button), with my second finger (middle finger) while using my thumb to press the AF-ON button to focus and my index finger (pointing finger) to release the shutter.  That's not good either.  Sure, I could have also left the shutter button to the default setting (AF and Metering Start-Shutter Release), but I still like separating those functions.

With the new firmware update, you can now program the AF-ON button to AI-Servo and the AE lock button to One-Shot AF.  Once set, they are then dedicated to perform those functions when pressed and held in regardless of what is set on the top LCD panel.  Having used this now for a few weeks, I find it the perfect match for my style of shooting.

To program these functions, use page 343 of the updated EOS-1D X Manual (downloadable from the Canon USA website).  Simply use Custon Function 5 (Operation, Custom Controls) To make the programming changes to the buttons. 

BTW, I programed the MF2 button for Spot AF and the DOF button for AE Lock, as I rarely use the DOF button anyway.  I also program the M-Fn button next to the shutter button for the Viewfinder electronic level function.

Using the two back buttons for instant AF selection and activation, together with the Shutter button only used for metering and shutter release, add a great new operational capability to the already wonderful camera.  I just wish I could setup my 1D4 to do the same!

I realize this was a rather lengthy explanation, but I know I like it spelled out fully when someone suggests a new method to me!  Hope this helps!  It is definitely worth trying!

EOS Bodies / New EOS-1D X, 4x5 Flipbook Now Available
« on: February 22, 2014, 11:57:25 AM »
Use this link to download Canon's new 4"x5" flipbook for the 1DX:

Sorry, here's a better link:   The PDF is at the bottom of the page.


New photos and simplified explanation of new features contained in the recent firmware 2.0.3 release.

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