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Messages - Famateur

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1
EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II & Photokina
« on: Today at 11:51:20 AM »
When was the last time that we had two sensors having the exact same MP resolution but were "different " ?
I'm afraid it looks like the 7D II will have the 70D sensor . The 70D sensor is pretty good though, its just that we are expecting two sensor revolutions in two years ..which is incredibly rare.

Agreed. I know everyone (including me) hopes that the 7DX will have some jaw-dropping sensor tech, but the 7D and 60D shared the same 18MP sensor. The differentiation that justified the price difference was AF system, FPS, buffer depth, weather sealing and build quality.

Why should we expect the next generation of each camera to have a different relationship to one another? It would be unusual for Canon to make a "successor" to the 7D that was positioned differently in the market. Not saying it can't happen -- just saying it seems most likely that the positioning of the two products in relation to one another continues.

The 7DX uses the same sensor as the 70D and continues the differentiation with beefy AF system, FPS, buffer depth and even more solid build. Seems predictable to me. Of course, it's the predictability that gets so many shorts in a twist on this forum...  :-X

2
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 28, 2014, 11:48:48 AM »

Happy Birthday!
I hit 55 next weekend... I asked for a 600F4 for my birthday.... I will probably get a pair of socks :)

Hopefully they are "Canon" socks!   :o
With size 13 1/2 feet I am almost guaranteed "Big Whites"...

Maybe they can put a red stripe around them for some "L" series comfort, or a pair that's "weather sealed" for those long canoe trips.  :D



* This thread is growing faster than I can keep up, so sorry to reply to something several pages ago...



3
EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors sell the Camera?
« on: August 28, 2014, 11:45:53 AM »
How do those touting Exmor advantages demonstrate them?  They underexpose by 4-5 stops then push the shadows back up.  While there are valid reasons to do that, it's an 'advantage' that's totally useless to the vast majority of dSLR buyers.

A lot of people do just that, yes. However, I have been showing examples where underexposing was a necessity. I'm an "afternoon landscaper"...I can never get up early enough in the morning (which is really early, like 3:30am), in order to be able to drive out to the kinds of beautiful landscapes I want to photograph, but get there in time to set up and be ready to go by the time the rising sun lights the clouds afire with color.

So, I'm stuck taking my photos in the afternoon, when the setting sun washes the clouds in color. Problem is, all the mountains are to my west, same direction as the sun.

As I stated, there are valid reasons, albeit very rare ones.  In your case, not strictly a necessity, since you could get up at 3:30a but don't want to.   :P

Consider the USA – what states are immediately to the east of large mountain ranges?  Yours, Nevada, etc.  Tiny fraction of the US population, so even if there are the same per capita number of landscape shooters, that's not many people. 

That's really the whole point here...the number of people who require (or believe they require) that kind of shadow lifting capability is minuscule relative to the dSLR market.

I'm feeling lucky to be in the Salt Lake Valley -- mountain ranges to my east and west.  ;D

Whether the sun is rising or setting, I've got options for whether or not to shoot into the sun.  :P


4
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 27, 2014, 12:17:55 AM »
@jrista: Spending hours in post sounds downright painful. If high dynamic range landscapes were my bread and butter, but my loyalty was to Canon, I'd be frustrated, too. Perhaps a good ND grad filter might be preferable to hours of post between now and when you either pick up a D800/810 or Canon unveils a comparable alternative?

Also, on the sunflowers -- one thing I've always loved about them at sunset is how because the petals aren't opaque, they glow when back-lit. Just my taste, but I would probably leave them in shadow enough that the petals that glow have contrast to those that are in shadow. That might give more overall contrast to the scene and help it feel more realistic. Just a thought. Glad to see you're out shooting...

I actually have a full set of ND Grads and the Lee filter system. I ended up with only my soft grads the day I took the sunflower shots, and only one weak hard grad (I'm not really sure where all my hard grads are...I've been doing landscapes so seldom lately, they could be anywhere). I don't like the way soft grads darken the background part of the foreground when used with harsh brightness transitions, and the 0.3 Hard GND was simply not enough to be worth hassling with the filter system. So I went with HDR instead (which is still not perfect itself, with so much DR in a scene, and a glaringly bright sun, it's difficult not to encounter problems with posterization and improper blending.)

The images I shared a while back were just quick and dirty preliminary edits...I've edited several more much more extensively now, and I've tweaked the contrast to do just that...allow the sunlight shining through some of the petals to show.

Gotcha. Looking forward to the final edits. On the sunsets thread, yes?

5
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 26, 2014, 08:14:20 PM »
...I will hold off on upgrading until Canon gets a clue, or make the switch to Panasonic, perhaps Sony, (who do appear to have a clue).

A clue about your specific needs, that is.  I wonder if Panasonic or Sony have a clue about how to make products that appeal to the majority.

The popularity of a camera like the 70D (not to mention the 5D3 when ML came out) suggests that your "majority" is very likely a minority. Most buyers will be looking for integrated imaging devices, not specialized stills or video cameras. And since 4K is the future, while HD is the past, that is what is going to drive those buyers, especially when they start to buy 4K TVs and see the difference in quality. People who buy 4K TV sets (in other words, high end buyers - the same folk who buy most high end DSLRs) are not going to be interested in shooting HD afterwards, they will want 4K. So who will they turn to? Apparently that isn't going to be Canon.

Something tells me that by the time 4K displays go mainstream, Canon will have cameras for the mainstream to go with them* -- if success in the DSLR market requires it. While those who adopt 4K TVs early might be the same slice of the market that buys high-end DSLRs, I don't think they comprise a majority of the market Canon depends on for its bread and butter. I don't have a source (so someone feel free to correct/corroborate), but I believe Rebels and 70Ds make up a far greater market for Canon than pro gear.

We have to remember that this is about business . A tit-for-tat strategy on feature set vs. feature set with the competition does not necessarily mean good business. Only Canon decision-makers have the inside information to support their strategy, and the proof will be in market performance and shareholder value.



*Imagine how awesome 4K with DPAF will be!

6
EOS Bodies / Re: Do Sensors Make the Camera?
« on: August 26, 2014, 07:59:32 PM »
I agree that Canon is behind in sensor tech, but like many others already stated it is the camera SYSTEM that is most important. 

If you said, "Canon is behind in sensor dynamic range and low ISO noise," I think I'd agree. With a general term like "sensor tech", well, that leaves it open to which tech you're referring to. Dual-Pixel Auto-Focus is sensor tech, and, as far as I know, Sony/Nikon sensor tech is nowhere close in this regard.

I fully agree with your second, point. While I'd love more dynamic range and better ISO performance, for most things that I shoot, I'd rather "get the shot" and have to do some tweaking in post than have extra dynamic range and editing latitude for a missed shot. Obviously, that wouldn't apply much to landscape shooters...

Of course, the whole dynamic range debate all depends on each photographer's needs, so it's kinda pointless to argue. I doubt Canon decision-makers argue around the board room table about whether dynamic range is important or not (maybe they do). My guess is that they plunk down a fair amount of market research dollars (yen?) to settle that matter and move forward. Not that they conclude dynamic range is unimportant -- just that other things (like DPAF) take priority in the development release pipeline.

I'm in the system-over-sensor* camp -- not because I'm "right", but because that's what works best for me.




*Let me qualify this by specifying current sensors. I'm not suggesting that a really crappy sensor in a good system is a good choice.  :P I also don't consider Canon's current sensors to be crappy.  :-X

7
EOS Bodies / Re: F8 AUTOFOCUS
« on: August 26, 2014, 07:43:27 PM »

When a DSLR auto-focuses it does so with the aperture wide open, regardless of the aperture to be used for the photo capture.  Once focus is achieved, it stops down the aperture to the desired size and takes the picture.


This is probably the answer you were looking for.

For example, if you had an F2.8 lens and set the aperture for the photo to F16, the camera would auto-focus with the aperture at its maximum of F2.8, then close down to F16 for the shutter release. If the max aperture of the lens (or effective max aperture, if used in combination with teleconverters) is F8 or smaller, it will not auto-focus (except on some pro bodies and, hopefully, the 7DII).

This is my understanding, anyway. Take anonymous internet info for what it's worth!  :P

8
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 26, 2014, 04:26:33 PM »
Famateur, good balanced comments!  It's easy to talk big when it's not one's own pocket book. ;)

Jack

Thanks, Jack. It's easy to get carried away (nearly 50 pages now!  :o).

One thing is for sure -- the successor to the 7D is a big deal to a lot of people, people that Canon probably knows a lot more about than I do.  :P I predict a hot seller...

9
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 26, 2014, 12:48:45 PM »
@Don Haines: I've always appreciated your even keel and efforts to temper threads that escalate. Thank you! Maybe everyone should have a good canoe and beautiful country to paddle through. Might do us all some good...



Some general thoughts after reading the rumored specs and subsequent posts:

Looking at the product positioning of 60D to 7D, I would expect a similar relationship between 70D and 7DX/II. Same sensor, but very different build, frame rates and AF system. If such is the case with the successor to the 7D, I'll be a little disappointed, but not surprised. It'll still be a fantastic camera and I imagine will sell brilliantly.

---

There seems to be a lot of assuming going on about what Canon does behind the scenes based on what's released to market (or rumored to be released). I agree with Neuro's point about business strategy, R&D opportunity cost and market research. Developing DPAF was NOT an evolutionary or iterative enhancement to old sensor technology. It was revolutionary. It was also chosen as the development priority at the opportunity cost of things like on-sensor ADC, et cetera. That decision was most likely driven by market research (which is just as vital to a business as technology research). It doesn't mean Canon chose to ignore dynamic range or ISO performance -- it just means that DPAF came first in the development release pipeline.

From a business perspective, it seems clear that Canon does not need increased dynamic range (right now) to succeed in the market. Making the leap from that to "Canon is clueless" seems a little naive. In a still weak global economy, it makes sense for a company to remain as conservative as possible while still retaining market share and shareholder value. Companies like Sony, who appear to be boldly innovating, are compelled to do so by their market performance -- but while exciting to consumers, such a strategy is coupled with high risk. Canon does not have the market pressure (yet) to take on excess risk.

None of us actually have any clue what Canon's sensor development program is in the lab, what's coming, or the strategy for when to release it. Assumptions that Canon doesn't innovate or is ignoring dynamic range are simply that -- assumptions. Assumptions exclude Canon's market knowledge or even factors such as issues with mass production of a new technology that cause delays, et cetera.

I think the takeaway, is that it's not that Canon doesn't value dynamic range and ISO performance -- it just means Canon values AF performance more at this time. We might also keep in mind that the lab is busy developing now what will be released down the road. That could very well be groundbreaking new sensor technology that adds a couple of more stops of editing latitude. Who knows -- and that's the point. Assumptions just stir bickering...

---

I appreciate jrista's desire to see Canon employ technologies for which it already has patents. I'd welcome all the dynamic range and ISO performance I can get, though it's not critical to what I tend to shoot. That said, I tend to believe that Canon is working on that -- it's just that AF performance, including DPAF, were the higher priority -- even after several years of similar sensor performance.

---

@jrista: Spending hours in post sounds downright painful. If high dynamic range landscapes were my bread and butter, but my loyalty was to Canon, I'd be frustrated, too. Perhaps a good ND grad filter might be preferable to hours of post between now and when you either pick up a D800/810 or Canon unveils a comparable alternative?

Also, on the sunflowers -- one thing I've always loved about them at sunset is how because the petals aren't opaque, they glow when back-lit. Just my taste, but I would probably leave them in shadow enough that the petals that glow have contrast to those that are in shadow. That might give more overall contrast to the scene and help it feel more realistic. Just a thought. Glad to see you're out shooting...

---

Finally, I'm looking forward to whatever gets announced next month!

10
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 24, 2014, 06:18:28 PM »
@Famateur: Because of the fact that the sky was overcast, that dispersed a lot of the light, resulting a higher diffuse ambient level. The dynamic range of the scene was within the dynamic range of the sensor. A scene that was directly lit by the sun would actually have had higher dynamic range, and actually posed a greater problem for lifting the shadows.

Given the unprocessed version of your image, I would offer that you could have underexposed slightly more, and avoided the pinkish/purple toning that occurred when you recovered the highlights in the clouds. You might have had slightly more noise in the foreground, but I think that would ultimately be preferable to the color grading issues in the clouds.

Agreed on both points. :)

The first thing I noticed when I opened the file was that, despite the underexposure, I still managed to burn some of the sky. Hard to see on an LCD outside, but what can you do. With wife and kids anxious to move on, no time to fiddle with enabling highlight alert. I'll see if I can desaturate that patch of pinkish clouds with a local brush...

11
EOS Bodies / Re: Are These The EOS 7D Mark II Specifications?
« on: August 24, 2014, 06:00:36 PM »
To a certain extent photography as an art form is defined by its limitations.

I like the spirit of this observation. Knowing that the average shmoe isn't going to bracket/blend a high dynamic range scene means there's still something special when one does it, and does it well.

Thankfully, the soul of a photograph is its composition, lighting, feel -- things that technology will likely never replace...



While digesting all these pages of discussion on dynamic range, I've decided to share my own two cents (if even worth that much):

I recently returned from a short family vacation to Arches National Park. Being a vacation first and photo-op second, I wasn't able to be at Landscape Arch for the light I wanted, but since I was there, I still wanted to get some decent photos with my 70D.

The sky was mostly full of heavy black rain clouds and some sprinkling, but there was a hole in those clouds nearly over the sun, so despite the cloud cover, it was bright -- right behind the arch. I quickly set my camera to a three-shot bracket and fired away, planning to blend them in post. I used the same strategy the night before as the sun set behind us up at Delicate Arch.

Back home with the RAW files in Lightroom, I started to do a little touching-up of the three shots before blending them, starting with the under-exposed shot first. Just for the hay of it, I decided to fiddle with the file as if I didn't have two other exposures to blend. The result? I actually skipped the other two exposures! Sure I might go ahead and take the time to blend them to see if I can get a better result, but I was amazed at what I was able to pull out of the one dark file with only modest noise reduction (Luminance NR at 26).

Here's a before and after (keep in mind I'm not a pro -- just a family guy with a 70D):


Landscape Arch Before-And-After (from underexposed file of three-shot bracket)

Anyway, for this non-pro, I was pleasantly surprised with what I could do, even if Canon is "behind" in dynamic range, latitude, whatever... Had I only shot JPEG, yeah, it would have been a throw-away, but isn't this why we shoot RAW to begin with?

PS: What looks like a halo along the top of the arch is some chromatic aberration (nearly silhouetted arch against bright clouds) "removed" by Lightroom. The color is gone, but I'm not sure how to eliminate the halo effect without resorting to some tedious Photoshopping.

12
Canon General / Re: A Rundown of EOS 7D Mark II Information
« on: August 15, 2014, 01:00:25 PM »
I'm anxious for the 7DX (my guess at the title, because I like hoe Canon named the compact G1X). I'm hoping this means that all their flagship models in each of the three main lines will carry that X brand. Compact. APS-C. Full Frame.  So Canon 7DX is my guess.

That makes sense. Calling it 7DX is my guess, too -- especially with all the comparisons to 1D (top plate, build quality, etc.).

Price points at over 3k?!  Suicide. Abject suicide. Who is going to buy a crop priced the same a 5D3?  The crop factor itself is useful, sure, but the market would be so small Canon would almost certainly lose money long term.  I think we will see a $2200 7DX street price.  I can see a top level crop competing with an "entry" Full Frame (6D) but no way an upper level one.  Canon needs to knock this out the park and in 2015 bring out the 1DX II at $6500 again.

Agreed. Everyone was bracing themselves for a 70D price that was high, but we were all pleasantly surprised when it was released with MSRP of $1,199. I picked mine up for $1,049 just a couple months later. The price even dropped to around $949-999 during the holidays. My guess for the 7DX is $2,199. That's a huge leap over the 70D but not so much that it would compete with the 5DIII.

Oh, and I'm anxious to find out about the new sensor!

13
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Photo Paper advice
« on: August 15, 2014, 12:11:41 PM »
Everyone that prints enough of their own photos these days will eventually discover Red River Paper.

http://www.redrivercatalog.com/

I'm responsible for the care & feeding of an Epson 4900 and I'm not at all shy about spending money on quality supplies. I print a lot and these guys offer top-notch quality and the best customer service in the business. Period.
+1 on Red River - I always found it to be an excellent match for my Epson printers.  I ditched the photo printer for many years (waiting for color profiling to catch up) but bit on the Pixma Pro 100 deal as well a year or so ago for my personal printing.

The best paper I've found for the Pixma is the Canon Pro Platinum paper.  I'm more of a matte paper guy, but I have to say that the Pro Platinum produces some amazing glossy prints and comes close to the metallic prints in terms of depth & color saturation.  Keep an eye on Canon USA's store for deals - last year I purchased several packs of the Pro Platinum 8x10 paper in a buy one, get four free deal with free shipping and extra paper (4x6 packs) for spending over $50.  I spent $67 and got nearly $600 in free paper.  Really.  I have enough paper to last me many, many years now!

Now if they'd just do the same thing with the ink, I'd be all set, but I think there's some kind of conspiracy going on here ;D

Ditto here. I didn't even have a printer yet (but I knew I'd be looking), and when that paper deal came along, I stocked up. Then I got the Pixma Pro-100 with the rebate and paper deal from Adorama in June. The rebate just arrived this week, so when all was said and done, I ended up with 250 sheets of Canon Pro Luster 8x10 paper (~ $175), 50 sheets of 13x19 Canon Semi-Gloss (~ $35) and the Printer (~ $389), a combined value of about $600, for a grand total of about $70.

So far, I'm loving the prints. Took some figuring to get the color management right between the printer driver and Lightroom, but I think I have it figured out now. Holding up a portrait of my daughter to my calibrated IPS display, I was giddy at the result. :)

14
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:49:40 AM »
I see a lot of talk about CPU's, ram, double disk drives, and 17 inch screens. None of that matters if the LCD screen is crap. And trust me when I say all TN panels are just that. It doesn't matter what the resolution is, the upgrade path, whatever. It's still like looking through muddy water, and when you turn your head an inch you're getting different colors and contrast.

Agreed! With current technology, it's IPS or nothing for photo editing.

15
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:48:00 AM »
It might be helpful to know that the Dell XPS 15 is the "consumer" version of the Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation from their "business" line. Not sure if that means it will last any longer.

I use Dell Precision, and it is difficult to fault them. Built like tanks and they are among the most powerful laptops you can buy (hence the size). For video editing and high res photo editing I would say go with a Dell Precision. You just need to decide the size, specs and model you want.

Very reassuring -- thank you! I'm excited for mine to arrive...

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