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Messages - traveller

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EOS Bodies / Re: D4 AF vs 1d X AF
« on: January 07, 2012, 12:42:39 PM »
Over to Neuroanatomist...?


Noticed and hypothesized on yesterday:,2707.msg57623.html#msg57623

In short, my take agrees with yours - it's a firmware implementation, and there is a possibility that Canon could match it with the 1D X (if it works well enough with their sensor, and if the choose to (they may not, either for marketing reasons - driving customers to buy longer lenses - or to avoid being seen as reacting directly to the competition).

Sorry, I missed your post on that thread! Didn't mean to tread on your toes. 

Here's hoping that your "possibility (2)" is correct and that Canon can respond by enabling AF at f/8 in firmware. 

EOS Bodies / Re: D4 AF vs 1d X AF
« on: January 07, 2012, 08:02:33 AM »
I've just noticed this about the D4's AF system, from Rob Galbraith's website (

"Autofocus with lenses or lens + teleconverter combos whose maximum aperture exceeds f/5.6. With the D3S, and many other Nikon digital SLR models past and present, attaching something like a 600mm f/4 + 1.7x teleconverter would result in sub-par autofocus or no autofocus, because this combination is beyond the f/5.6 AF limit of most Nikon models. The D4 can autofocus properly to f/8, the first Nikon digital SLR to be rated to do so, as long as your composition keeps the subject relatively close to the centre of the 51-point array.

If the maximum aperture of the lens or combo is between f/5.6 and f/8, the number of AF points that retain their cross-type performance drops to nine, while six others, left and right of centre, operate with single line sensitivity only. The remaining 37 AF points in the array may function, but may not detect focus distance properly if they do.

If the maximum aperture of the lens or combo is f/8, the total number of properly-operating points is 11, with the centre-most AF point retaining its cross-type sensitivity. Other points may function, but might not function well.

Note that the D4 doesn't prevent the user from selecting a non-optimal AF point. If you plan to hook up a long lens and teleconverter that puts you into the beyond-f/5.6 territory, you'll want to pay special attention to which of the 51 AF points work best."

From what is stated here, it doesn't seem that Nikon have actually made physical changes to the design of the AF sensor to incorporate f/8 sensitive lines, just that they are confident that the AF chip is capable of operating with less light and a smaller 'rangefinder' base length.  Perhaps because (ibid.):

"The minimum light level for AF detection, at EV-2, is one stop better than the D3S' EV-1."

So, if the 1D X's AF system is also capable of working at EV-2... (

"The benefits of the new AF system include finer precision and increased AF tracking speed, increased low-light sensitivity down to EV -2"

Would it be possible for Canon to simply do the same as Nikon and not disable their AF system at f/8 and simply warn users that only the central sensors are likely to be reliable?

Of course, without actually seeing the D4's AF sensor, we can't know what changes Nikon have actually made to enable f/8 AF, so my logic may be totally wrong!

Over to Neuroanatomist...?

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon price match the 1DX to the D4?
« on: January 07, 2012, 07:40:44 AM »
I don't think that people should make too much of the "ISO 12800 maximum without expansion" on the D4 versus the "ISO 51200 without expansion" on the 1D X; I think this is just a difference between the two companies' nomenculture.  The term 'native ISO' is misleadingly used by many people; each sensor only has one native ISO (its base ISO); in Canon's case this is ISO 100 and in Nikon's ISO 200.  Every other ISO is achieved by either on-chip amplification, or by under/over-exposure with post capture software signal amplification.  I had always thought that the switch over point was where the ISO expansion (boost) settings kicked in, but recent forum posts by others have led me to believe that I was wrong in this assumption.  It seems that where this transition occurs is somewhat of an opaque subject that is not revealed by the manufacturers.  Thus, one canot tell from the quoted ISO range specifications what one can expect in terms of signal to noise ratio for each sensor.  It seems that each company has its own standards for what it considers acceptable signal to noise for its cameras "normal" ISO range.  The only way to determine the sensors' signal to noise performance will be to test the actual sensor post-release (i.e. we'll have to wait for DXO Marks analysis).  Of course, some are suggesting that the camera manufacturers are starting to 'cook' their RAW files by subjecting them to a certain amount of post-capture noise reduction during the initial on-chip stages of image read out. 

EOS Bodies / Re: D4 AF vs 1d X AF
« on: January 05, 2012, 03:04:15 PM »
neuroanatomist, teaching people as usual. How do you have so may smites? Do people hate the truth that much?

People just hate it when they're proved wrong, especially in public...

My two cents? I think that the major AF advantage the D3 series had over previous 1D cameras was the tracking by colour that the meter did.  As Neuro states, the 1D X now has this; I wonder if they had to pay Nikon a licensing fee?

Canon General / Re: EOS Announcements in January?
« on: January 04, 2012, 06:17:38 PM »
There have been a few things coming in about a possible DSLR announcement in January 2012. Canon has no real interest in CES/PMA as far as EOS goes, since in their own words; it’s a “consumer” show. “L” lenses and high end DSLRs don’t fit that category.

Hmm, so integrating PMA into CES hasn't resurrected it as a serious show then?

What DSLR? I can’t say at the moment, all I can gather is it won’t be a large megapixel camera, i.e. 30+ mp.

I thought that it was Keith Cooper that was backing the lower resolution camera and your bets were on 30+MP?  ;D

I guess Nikon will have the DSLR spotlight during CES.

This is the reason that I don't think we'll see a major DSLR announcement from Canon at CES, it would be drowned out by the hype from the D4. 

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon's D4 Outed Officially
« on: January 04, 2012, 06:09:00 PM »
Sort of makes you wonder why Canon had to announce the 1D X so early, just to make everyone wait for 5 months to get hold of one.  Of course, there's a big difference between having some D4s available in February and them being generally available at that time (not that I'm in the market for either camera). 

From what I've seen so far, I don't think that either camera will be a 'game changer' or a catalyst for many people to change systems.  What happened with the 1D Mk.III generation was a kind of perfect storm of Canon getting it wrong, whilst Nikon delivered the goods. 

EOS Bodies / Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« on: January 02, 2012, 03:28:13 PM »
If you spend that much time editing your photos, then you may as well shoot RAW.  Assuming that you are shooting your jpegs quite neutral with the aim of maximising your options in post, shooting RAW will add only one more short step to your current work flow.  The benefits are an increase in the amount of information available in your camera's files, which gives you more options for post-processing; this is especially true with exposure and white balance latitude. 

The disadvantage (from what your needs appear to be) is that the cameras buffer will fill up far quicker shooting RAW images.  If this is a big problem then you might want to shoot high speed action in jpeg, or invest in a 7D...

As to which RAW converter to use, this is probably a matter of personal preference rather than a clear winner.  I'm sure that the likes of Neuroanatomist will be able to expand upon this further...!

In the meantime, try starting here:

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 3D & 5D Mark III Mentions
« on: January 02, 2012, 03:14:40 PM »
I still find it remarkable that people have come to expect deliberately hobbled autofocus systems from Canon's below-1D-series lines.  Once upon a time Canon pioneered AF technology; now we seem to be accepting the message that if you want cutting-edge AF and don't want a 1D, you should have bought a Nikon.  Don't oblige the little men in Canon's marketing department by passively accepting inferiority; Nikon manage to put their best AF systems into their mid-range cameras and so could Canon.  The only thing that's stopping them from doing this is the fact that they believe that people like us will buy their marketing cr*p!

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 3D & 5D Mark III Mentions
« on: January 02, 2012, 09:06:18 AM »
Just a thought, Canon has added letters to differentiate models eg: 1D(X) and 1D(S) perhaps they will do something similar with a "3D" to save confusion, call it a 3Ds for example?

Nintendo would be overjoyed!  ;D

Software & Accessories / Re: ANOTHER tripod topic!
« on: January 02, 2012, 08:44:21 AM »
Having used it for six months, so far I can add my recommendation for the Manfrotto 055CXPRO series (I have the 4 section for compactness -get the 3 section if you value set-up speed and stability higher).  I tried out the tripod against a Gitzo GT1542 series tripod at Mifsuds in Brixham (from whom I bought mine); I would recommend trying a tripod in a high quality camera shop such as this before buying, nothing beats handling it for yourself. 

FWIW the Gitzo was better in every respect except for price (basically, is it worth the 75% price premium for you?): I prefer the leg locks (but others don't); it is slightly better built; I like the fact that you can remove the extending centre column (but others may prefer the Manfrotto system e.g. for macro shooting).   

Whilst high wind stability is an issue for all the lighter carbon fibre tripods, they do damp wind induced oscillations better and are lighter.  I would highly recommend a carbon tripod if your budget allows, if not then I'd probably go for a slightly heavier duty aluminium model, such as the Manfrotto 055XB or 055XDB. 

If you want an even lighter and more compact tripod, I did try the 190CXPRO series as well and on the basis of my in-shop handling only, would second Neuroanatomist's recommendation.  They are considerably smaller than the 055s, very well built and much taller than my Slik PRO340DX -don't overlook this last specification. 

If you're looking for a tripod to mount super-teles, then you're looking for the Gitzo 35XX series upwards.  I can't pass any judgement here, but would recommend that you read Arthur Morris' site for assistance (  You might also try if you can cope with a Nikon based site (not that this matters for tripods!).

The exception to my Manfrotto recommendation is the RC2 plate that I have mounted on the 498 head I bought for the tripod: again I agree with Neuroanoatomist, it is poor! Even the Slik quick release plate is superior! Personally, I'm not sure if a ballhead is right for my (landscape) needs; I find it difficult to use a hotshoe level without altering my composition.  Perhaps I need a pan and tilt, or maybe a better ballhead.  I cannot give an overwhelming recommendation for the Manfrotto ballheads, but at least they are relatively cheap!

Sorry this is a bit long, but I hope it helps...

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 3D & 5D Mark III Mentions
« on: January 01, 2012, 04:31:33 PM »
Notice also that there's mention of the mystical "EOS 3D" (in Keith Cooper's own words "expected since 2004"!).  Craig's sources completely disagree with Keith's in regard of the high/low megapixel sensor.  Perhaps this time there are more than one 'enthusiast' full frame prototypes out there (for sake of argument, I'll call them the 5D Mk. II and the 3D).  This could explain the mixed messages that we keep hearing over the specifications of these cameras.  All I hope is that Canon can produce something that is truely competitive with the D800; Nikon don't look like they're going to hold back on the build, performance, video features or the megapixels...

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D Mark II for Photokina? [CR1]
« on: December 30, 2011, 05:34:52 AM »
I don't think it is the EF-S lens issue that would decide whether a 7D Mk. II would be APS-C; it is more likely to be the position that Canon wishes to market the 1D X in.  If Canon were to fit the 7D Mk. II with an upgraded APS-H sensor, they would risk 1D Mk.IV users who wanted the extra reach moving to the 7D Mk. II instead of the 1D X, costing them thousands in lost margins. 

I think that it would pay Canon to place the 7D Mk. II at the top of the crop line with all the goodies (and I do mean all: AF & metering systems and 10+ fps burst rate) from the 1D X except the full frame sensor.  I think that this could be done now that the 1D line has moved away from APS-H and created a clearer marketing distinction.  If Canon were smart enough to implement the 1D series control system (button layout etc) like Nikon do with the D300 - D3, it would also make the 7D Mk. II an attractive second (or third) body for 1D X users when more reach is required. 

EOS Bodies / Re: 7D Mark II for Photokina? [CR1]
« on: December 29, 2011, 06:41:43 PM »
I can't see APS-H returning in the 7D line, I think that for all intents and purposes it is now dead. 

I could see Canon upping a lot of the specifications of the 7D Mk. II to turn it into a mini-1D X, now that the 1D series has gone full frame.  I could also see that staying at 18MP would work within this marketing scheme; the only problem would be selling this sensor in lower end cameras, now that the other manufacturers are starting to push megapixels.

P.S. In case you didn't get the message from many of the review sites, more megapixels are good now that it isn't Canon leading the way.  Indeed, once Nikon adopt the 24MP Sony APS-C sensor, DP Review will declare that they don't know how they managed to live with so few previously (hell they even gave the A77 one whole percent more than the D7000  -that's quite something!). 

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III Sooner Than Later [CR2]
« on: December 27, 2011, 06:10:37 PM »
We can all thank Nikon for this

I'll thank Nikon if the 5D Mk. III finally gets a better AF system!

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D Mark III Sooner Than Later [CR2]
« on: December 27, 2011, 12:14:31 PM »
About the same time that a lot of Nikon commentators are predicting the D800 to be launched (assuming a 6th January D4 launch).  I bet the launch price is well North of £2500/$3000US. 

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