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Messages - Stu_bert

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Lenses / Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« on: January 01, 2013, 08:10:51 AM »
So, when you do get round to doing your testing, make sure you compare both with a 1.4TC and crop the 1Dx, you might be surprised. :)

Probably not.  The reason I haven't been terribly motivated to set up the test is that I've done the test between the 7D and cropped 5DII (about 18 months ago, now), so I know the only difference is MP not IQ, and the 1D X is better than the 5DII for sensor IQ.  I assume the test with the 600 + 1.4x on both bodies would show the same, or an advantage to the 1D X at higher ISO. That test is less relevant now that the 1D X supports f/8 AF - not much difference in pixel-level magnification comparing 2x on FF to 1.4x on 1.6x crop.  I disagree with natureshots that the 7D + 1.4x will optically outperform the 1D X + 2x.  That might be true with a lesser lens, but the MkII supertele lenses just don't take that big an IQ hit from a TC, even a 2x (and keep in mind that the 600 II + 1.4xIII beats the 800/5.6 for IQ).  As for AF, while the 7D's 19-points are very good, the center point of the 1D X is better.  But the real kicker is that most times I've been out shooting with the 600 II, my ISO has ranged from 1600 to 6400. The bottom of that range is ok on the 7D, but the top end just doesn't cut it on the 7D. 

For those reasons, I'm pretty sure the 7D gives me no advantage over the 1D X, other than a few more MP (and not really all that many more, comparing the 1.4x on the 7D to the 2X on the 1D X.

The question I suppose I'm really asking myself is, do I want to keep the 7D as a backup body?  Or should I take what I can get for it, now, and put that money toward a 24-70 II?

Backup body is frankly always worth it IMO, especially if you take any sort of "costly" trip where swapping / repairing a body is impossible...

But although I agree with what you have said, I also thought part of the point of the tests were to give the OP options on 500mm vs 600mm. Appreciate you don't have the 500mm but would it not be valid to compare 600mm with 1.4x to 600mm with 7D ie is the crop sensor better than a 1.4x converter or indeed 1Dx with 2x vs 7D? If the 7D with 1.4x was equal to 1Dx with 2x, then might that infer a 500mm with crop sensor could be a viable alternative to 600m / 1Dx. Appreciate the comments on AF and ISO and the OP has a 1Dx :(

On your original test - the 7D had the same IQ as the MK II, but "higher MP" based on FOV? Was that with extenders as well by chance?

Or Canon.  Or panasonic.

We'll find out by the end of 2013 (assuming it is announced ahead of release) :)

Lenses / Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« on: December 31, 2012, 11:19:19 AM »
I'm really interested to see how a crop sensor can measure up to a FF on focal length limited applications.

Me too, and I've been planning to do such a test for a while, but haven't gotten to it yet.  Besides curiosity, I want to determine if there's a point in my keeping the 7D (other than purely as a backup camera).

Obviously not everybody has seen my comparisons yet, though I know Neuro has :)

These were shot to determine if I would gain any advantage with a 7D, I set it up in ideal conditions that very much favoured the crop camera. After seeing these I determined a 7D was a waste of my money although there are very good reasons for others to get one, however thinking you are getting extra resolution in focal length limited situations in real world shooting, ie, AF, IS, panning etc etc is not one of them.

Left hand image is full 1Ds MkIII image with 7D image from the same place with the same lens marked in red, right hand images are very tight over 100% crops, this equates to very sizable prints and from a couple of feet or so away I can't tell the difference in resolution. If you look closely the 7D does have more resolution (and noise), but I found in real world shooting situations that extra just wasn't realisable. Don't forget, in these two crops the 7D image has over twice as many pixels as the 1Ds MkIII image.

I may be missing the point, but I though the comparison requested was between a cropped sensor vs FF with an extender? Did your comparison include the extender on the 1Ds? Apols if it did.

EOS Bodies / Re: Does a 39.3mp Sensor Exist? [CR1]
« on: December 31, 2012, 11:10:56 AM »
just a possible small fly in the ointment, which I wanted opinions on please...


The article indicates that with the large MP of the D800, your CoC is now closer 10 microns which means diffraction starts being noticeable sooner - at around F/8. So for the more knowledgeable on the forum please

  • Is this correct?
  • Is the inference that the 7D being of a similar pixel size has the same limits?
  • Are we therefore assuming that for landscape photographers, any high MP body requires the use of focus stacking if you want to maximise perceived DOF?

ps I do use one of the iPhone Apps - OptimumCS, but have no affiliation to the author. Hope I have not infringed any posting guidelines, apols if I have...

Lenses / Re: 500 x $10K or 600 x$13K
« on: December 30, 2012, 01:03:56 PM »
I was lucky enough to pick up a MK 1 IS 500mm in the USA back in 2007 when the dollar was 2:1 (GBP) and the MK 1 was under USD 7K. Never regretted it. I bought it over the 600mm based on cost. The MK II versions are sharper & lighter. Do I miss the extra 100mm ? Sometimes. I've done 8 safaris but alas 3 of them without the 500mm, and yes there are times the extra 100mm would have been nice, but there are solutions some of the time...

  • Use extenders
  • Use a crop sensor for better "effective" reach
  • Use an operator who is allowed to get closer to the subject - private parks are often better
  • Have patience, sometimes waiting a while offers significant rewards

Ultimately as mentioned, it depends on what you photograph, how you photograph and where you photograph as to whether the extra 100mm would benefit you. Personally the weight is not an issue on the type of trips I do with the lens, it tends to be in a vehicle and the only challenges I have are choosing the right airline with sensible hand luggage policies, or not trying to show @ check-in that there is 17KG on my back :)

Couple of other points - 1) Consider whether you current camera bag will cope and 2) Consider good insurance - a friend of mine was out shooting deer in Berlin, walked between hides with it slung over his shoulder still on the monopod, and dropped it... fortunately he still has a 600mm and an extra 5K to spend on his next body... :)

interesting snippet from Luminous landscapes 2012 review....

"...within the next 18 months one of the major sensor and camera makers is going to release an advanced multi-layer sensor which bypasses the Foveon patents....."

Any guesses? Mine would be on Sony :(

Landscape / Re: Lower Antelope Canyon, Page Arizona
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:26:35 PM »
Great shot.  I live in Arizona (not near Page, though) and could fairly easily drive up there on a two day trip.  However, I have never been and likely never will for one reason.  Everyone I know who has gone in the last decade says that it is always full of photographers with tripods no matter when you go and you have to fight for a place to get a shot.  Just too popular and too small of a space.

Am I wrong about this?
I've been twice to Lower Canyon and thrice to the upper. Upper is indeed busier, especially in high season, but my most recent visits to both where Jan (2011) and Mar (2012) and you often had sections to yourself. Most people on the lower respect photographers and will happily wait the 20 secs of a long exposure! Time wise, you want the sun overhead to get best illumination to the bottom, but if you prefer more contrast then adjust accordingly.

Upper Canyon you have to do tours, Lower you can just drive up and park and do your own thing. The extended tour is certainly worth it. In March I went twice, and still never completed all of it. I also did the upper and the only down side is the guide makes the pace and suggests pictures. Lower is cheaper and although it does not have such wide openings as the lower, then does not quite have the same majesty as the upper does, but I find it more enjoyable.

Off season make sure you pack gloves etc - it really is quite cool down there, tripod of course and pack a wide angle and a mid-range zoom, spare battery...

For general info on other photographic opportunities, check out Laurent Martres Books...

EOS Bodies / Re: Memory Cards--What is the absolute best?
« on: December 11, 2012, 07:02:49 PM »
I have used SanDisc cards since I switched from film to digital cameras.  I shoot a 1Dx and a MKIV.....what is the absolute best card that I can put in my cameras?
Be careful on the 1D MK IV, SD speeds are indeed hampered by the controller (in the camera). So doesn't matter what card you put in beyond a 20MB/s card, you'll find no difference. Which means if you are writing to both then the SD is a "bottleneck"

Both the MK IV and the 1DX can do UDMA 7 in CF so the latest cards will give you the best performance. Of course this is more in terms of how quick the camera flushes to the memory card. I recently tried a 60MB/s CF vs 30MB/s on the MK IV and was pleasantly surprised by the difference  :D

Finally, you perhaps might want to consider trading off size of memory card vs speed. By this I mean I'm not happy with more than 8GB card for normal (16GB for sports nature) on the basis of how much data I am prepared to lose should a card fail. I've only had 1 CF fail - a transcend, which failed before I used it in anger (failed during soak testing)

Best therefore does depend, as mentioned, on your needs...

Video & Movie / Re: if you have 12 minutes to spare...
« on: November 25, 2012, 08:40:53 AM »
...you could watch this breathtaking short-film taken with 5d(markII?) and 7d (not the underwater and air footage though).

Sea Bites (english subtitles) on Vimeo
(you have to click on the link just under the video)

Breathtaking story, killer filmmaking about, probably, one of the most dangerous ways of living you can have.


Paul, that was a worthywhile 10 minutes spent - thank you for sharing it with us all. I honestly didn't care what equipment was used, but the final results - wow.

Yup, concur with others. Manual focus for landscapes etc. I chose the hyperfocal distance and focus there at 10x magnification. Avoids AF hunt, avoids changing the lens / body position to focus. Allows simple composition - rules of thirds, and finally allows me to tune exposure in real time before I shoot (visually / using the RGB overlay)

For any "static" subjects, I'm not sure why I would *not* use LV :)

EOS Bodies / Re: February & March are Announcement Months for Canon [CR2]
« on: November 18, 2012, 05:15:01 AM »
A non-removable grip is a catastrophe for me, as it makes the camera not fit where I want it, and it makes it heavier and bigger than it needs to be for the 99% of the time I don't need a grip.  If you want a grip, buy a grip.  I never have, and I never plan to.  That's the beauty of a removable grip - those that want one can have one, those that don't aren't forced to have one.  This is one reason I'd never buy a 1D body.

The downsides to a removeable grip are that, when installed, there's a fair bit of flex (which results in additional vibration when mounting to a tripod), and the grip-body attachment has no weather sealing (that's at the battery compartment, and we all know electricity and water don't usually play nice).  The integrated grip is one reason I'm very glad I have a 1-series body.

Since I use a hand strap, simply taking the grip on and off is not something to be done frequently or on a whim.

Also, the accessory grips bulge out both in front and in back, whereas the integrated grip bulges in front only, exactly like the 'landscape' grip. That makes the 1-series more comfortable to hold vertically than a gripped non 1-series body, to me.

The 1-series should be built just like the 1V was - removable grip that's far better designed that the bottom-mounted removable grips of today.  It was good enough for the 1-series then, and to me it was better than the 1-series is now.
Wouldn't that cause problems with the dials on the 1Dx?

I'm an integrated grip guy and miss them if I go back to a 7D or 5D for all the reasons mentioned - balance, grip/size, controls. I frequently walk around all day just holding the 1Ds by the grip - I find them that comfortable and the extra size makes it easier. The extra balance is definitely a plus....

If they could make a 1 series removable with all the buttons n dials in the best position, then I am sure that would appeal to more people... guess that's another trade off  ???

Alternatively, on the basis that the price has dropped £600 in 7 months (launch £3K, current £2350), maybe you just need to wait until Feb for it to be where the D800 is now  :D

If anyone knows why HK prices for Canon is closer to Nikon pricing, would be interested if it is more than local market conditions.... I'm just assuming that's why grey import price for the D800 is closer than 5D MK III

To the original OP, have you considered digitalrev? I know it's tempting me!

You pay more than the original prize in the UK when customs get their hands on the camera.

As you point out, you need to read the small print when considering Hong Kong imports, it generally goes

"...you will be considered the sole "Importer" of the product to your country for all purposes, including customs regulations and copyright and trademark laws."

Another source that you might consider is HDEW et al. A lot of people swear by them (they are a 'grey importer') and you can even pick your camera up from their shop in Surrey.  There are still the other concerns about warranties etc. that go with using unauthorized channels. 

My personal feeling is that if you're willing to spend two grand plus on a camera, a few hundred for peace of mind is worth it, but as our American friends like to say YMMV  ;D
I know you said your personal feeling was don't bother, but just to toss one out there, so to speak :)
Procamerashop (co.uk) are grey importers and you get the warranty from them, not Canon (but you should check their duration matches the manufacturer when it is >1 year). You're thus risking whether the MK III would go wrong in warranty and if it did, would the repair cost more than the difference between UK retailer and them. There's no issues with VAT & import duty...

I've used them 3 times without issue, always with a bank transfer and it has been seamless.

Current body only price is £1,956.99 vs their D800 price of £1,867.99. Direct bank transfer saves you 3% (so £1901), but there are people who are not prepared to do that with HK companies even with UK bank a/c - l've been fine. Google them if you're interested in pursing it. Camerapricebuster lists the closest as £2347.

Personally for all the stuff I've bought and the fact that I have been buying L lenses, then it's no different to when I went to the States back in 2007, spent a considerable amount on kit (I picked up my 500mm f/4 when it was <USD 7K and the exchange rate was just shy of 2:1) - the money I save went to a combination of extended warranty and into a savings a/c. To date, the only repairs I've needed are when I have been a little clumsy  :-[

Finally, I have no affinity to them...

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« on: October 30, 2012, 08:06:23 PM »
I would not say that Canon is lying, they got a little help. No the Digic 5 is not a Divinci derivative, I can't say what it, but I can say what it not.
The Digic V is the first joint-design is it not? But not one which TI mention one iota on their site. Not even a press-release, "we helped design Canon's next gen Digic processor in their dSLR"?

TI definitely provided some know-how, but perhaps more around the "manufacturing design" aspects and not in the critical imaging side based on what Canon has developed before. Sorry, don't consider the TI angle to be anything significant....

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon to start using 0.18um (180nm) process for FF?
« on: October 30, 2012, 07:59:42 PM »
The main problem as I see it is that Canon don't really have any real development momentum (or budget!) on higher resolution processes. They outsource almost everything except for the larger format sensors.

The biggest difference between the others and Canon is that all the other manufacturers are all dominated by their small-sensor image sensors sales, that already now are manufactured at 90 and 110-130nm metal processes on 300mm wafers. Panasonic and TSMC will start volume shipping of sensors made on 65/45nm rules in Q1 2013. Lower mask resolutions than 130nm are not enough to land you any sales any more. Most cellphone and compact camera sensors are manufactured at those levels now, and have been for the last few years. Also consider the fact that some of the others have very large yearly revenues from logic CMOS processes at 45, 32 and even 22nm levels. All of those markets are areas where Canon totally lack any type of experience. Canon outsource all more advanced fabs on their camera bill-of-materials.

The Digic sensors are made by UMC http://www.umc.com/english/class_300/index.asp, and were designed by Texas Instruments http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/apps/videovision/end_equipment.page
The memory is most often made by Samsung http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/consumer-dram/overview
The memory/Digic package-on-package mount has to be outsourced, since Canon cannot do it themselves, and it is believed that UMC does the mounting too.
Other peripheral control and logic chips are TI, Mitsubishi, AD and Fairchild.

And is that different from Nikon how? Canon design their sensors and currently co-design the Digic 5, but to what extent they do it and what extent TI do it is not clear. What is clear is that TI don't sell that part or even mention it on their web site, so it is exclusive to Canon. Does not infer of course who own the most significant IP.

Going from a 500nm process to 180nm is like going from a 10MP FF camera to a 70MP camera in one generation. This means some really noticeable strains on the process, especially since the CMOS manufacturing process isn't as forgiving as just "taking pictures". You cant "scale to web size" and sharpen in post when you're making CIS wafers.

What you're basically asking from your equipment is to all of a sudden provide compact camera type linear resolution in a FF lens projection coverage - something almost unthinkable in the normal photographic world. The process has to be precise, to a degree where every single contrast and item on the new 70MP image is equal to or better than the 10MP camera - per pixel. In normal photographic resolution usage, we just want the final output to be good enough, which means that we downsample most images - we seldom deliver full-res images to the customers, and we seldom use full-res images in our own output.
Going from a 350nm mask to 250 and then 180nm and 12" wafers was a BIG step for most CMOS manufacturers, and most other manufacturers are a LOT bigger than Canon in this area.

So it's not that Canon COULDN'T do it. Even really small (in the imaging field) firms like STMicro can do it by stitching, and thereby tripling the unit prices. For Leica this isn't really a problem since the total BoM on a M series camera is most certainly lower than 2k USD. This gives a healthy margin up to the projected 7k USD end price point.
This isn't what Canon does. They live on volume, not on extreme margins.

Hold on, your making multiple assumptions here

1) Canon needs to make the leap, in volume, on FF at once otherwise they'll what exactly... go bankrupt?
2) Canon needs to sink billions (immediately) in order to compete with Sony's sensor manufacturing capability or indeed other (sensor) manufacturers to stay competitive on their own products
3) A 180nm sensor is the only way Canon can provide competitive products to Nikon / Sony
4) Canon cannot survive if it manufacturers its' own sensors

oh and presumably, Canon has been ignoring all this, has changed culture and wants to do it all together?

They presumably know what investment is possible, and what is required for their next iteration of sensors. I'm also assuming that this information is not something recent, and that they have been developing capability. Not to the level to suddenly compete with Sony, but to a level that would be sufficient to remain profitable. Whether the next FF or APS-C will be 180um and whether they will design or design / manufacturer frankly is high conjecture. Anyone who wants to make a decision on their future camera purchases based on this conjecture is someone with more disposable income than I!

In another thread, it was mentioned that the latest Sxx sensor was 180um. And clearly that's an ocean away from FF manufacturing @ 180um, but maybe that is the first "volume" process for Canon and that elsewhere they are refining a low-yield FF capability. I'm happy to be wrong, but Sony & Nikon have not been manufacturing FF sensor for more than 5 years (less?), and that's not exactly a high volume capability either. Agreed it is more than Canon have been doing, and that may explain why Canon has taken so long to switch (problems) or just the bean counters (sweat assets / more risk adversed in a shrinking market)

But Sony doesn't have too many other lines of business making money for them. Finding their position in sensor manufacturing has been a great success. Canon is not looking to manufacturer sensor for smartphones and other areas, either because they don't have the capability or don't want to be there.

And presumably, that investment Sony has made is based on the diversity of sensors they produce and indeed the volume. Again, Canon is not in that market, and surely that means the investment - should they decide it will be viable over the next 10 years, is considerably less than Sony needs to.

Finally, are we sure a 320um or 250um with the other sensor tech that has been outlined would not provide a significant step-change for Canon sensors, and since it's been done to death that a photographer / photography is more than his sensor, then if Canon's next APS-C or FF sensor is not 180um does that definitively mean it won't be much different from the current sensors???

Think I'll go back to err, taking pictures on my dinosauric kit... :)

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