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Messages - PeterJ

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EOS Bodies / Re: Shooting in manual
« on: October 01, 2011, 12:13:00 AM »
I often use "M" mode for shooting birds in flight, although admittedly I sonetimes 'cheat' in that the 7D has a functional Auto ISO in M mode (unlike most other Canon bodies that fix the ISO at 400 if Auto ISO is set in Manual mode).  For BIFs, I almost always want 1/1600 s and f/6.3 - f/8 for more DoF, and Tv mode would open the aperture wider than that.
The 7D auto ISO is a good feature, I'd seen some talk of the 7D having a native ISO of 160 and multiples of that being cleaner but doing a brief test I couldn't see that, things just seemed to get gradually more noisy as you'd expect. Most of the discussions I'd seen about that were talking about video, maybe the sensor is sampled a different way for video that doesn't cope with the "in between" ISOs so well. I've never used video much.

EOS Bodies / Re: Microadjustment
« on: September 29, 2011, 07:10:04 PM »
Aiming at the two holes for alignment, particularly with shorter than long tele lenses, as a 100 macro at the required distance of 25*focal lenght, it is impossible, due to parallax, to have both of the two holes perfectly centered.
I noticed the same when doing my 100mm macro, on the back of the Lensalign Mk II the outer alignment hole is marked macro target so I used that one. I wasn't 100% sure though so tried the center one as well but results were too close to call, so it doesn't seem to make much difference. I'm guessing the outer one is just marked macro in case you're so close the center hole and ruler aren't visible at the same time.

EOS Bodies / Re: Microadjustment
« on: September 28, 2011, 04:20:33 AM »
After reading this thread I ordered a LensAlign MkII which finally turned up today. They posted quickly but mail from the USA to Australia seems to have been a bit slow lately. Anyway I thought I'd post my results after using it on my lenses with a 7D:

24-70mm f/2.8L, +5
50mm f/1.4, -1
70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, +2
100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, +8

So my two most used lenses the 50 and 70-200 were pretty much on the money, I've always been happy with them but it'll be interesting to see if they are just that little bit now, that may have been a small "problem I didn't know I had". The 24-70 I've mainly used for things where I didn't want too shallow DOF so it doesn't really suprise me I'd never noticed that one.

The 100mm macro was my last purchase and I hadn't been happy with autofocus, but being my first macro lens just put it down to the usual recommendations of tripod + manual focus for macro. After trying a few things like AI servo in case it was me moving too much I'd pretty much given up on handheld for anything approaching macro. After the adjustment I just wandered around the house doing a few hand-held test shots and now everything is bang on target.

Anyway that's a lens I see I'll get much more use from now, so I'm glad to have heard about the LensAlign and about focus adjustment in general which I must admit I didn't know about until I read this thread :).

Canon General / Re: 5D mark II versus 7D spot focus
« on: September 27, 2011, 04:44:13 PM »
Thanks everyone for the feedback :).

I don't think anyone has specifically addressed this issue.  If by 'spot AF' you mean that mode on the 7D, there is no such mode on the 5DII.  With Spot AF, the AF system reduces the effective size of the AF points.  Most people aren't aware that the actual AF point is significantly larger than the little box that represents the AF point in the viewfinder.  That's one thing that leads to complaints about AF - you place the box right on the small feature you want to focus on, but the actual AF point is larger, and if there's a high-contrast feature that's just outside of your selected AF point 'box' the camera will lock onto that instead of what you put the box over.  The 7D's Spot AF restricts the region of the AF point used to an area approximately equal to the size of the box in the viewfinder (note: not the tiny inner box that indicates Spot AF, but rather the larger, main AF point box). 
That I didn't realise and probably isn't something I'd enjoy, as the article you linked mentioned focus and recompose does have some things to be wary of but I've always preferred the 7D spot mode over single-point. Having said that I'm sure it's something I'd get used to and just a matter of knowing the limitations.

Back to my statement above.  The center AF point of the 5DII does better in low light than the center AF point of the 7D.  With the center point, my 5DII will get an AF lock in lighting conditions so dim that the 7D would hunt and give up.  With a Speedlite mounted, the AF assist comes on sooner and more often with the 7D than with the 5DII.

I presume you avoid the AF assist on the 7D because the strobing of the popup flash is annoying - I know that's the case for me.  You might consider using a Speedlite - you can set it so the flash doesn't fire, only the AF assist lamp does, and the AF assist is a much less offensive red grid (just be sure to get one with the dedicated lamp, like the 430EX II - lower flashes, e.g. 270EX II, just strobe the main tube like your popup flash).

Hope that helps...
I agree the popup is vastly annoying. I've got a 580EX II and do find the AF assist beam is good, but for some shots prefer them to be candid rather than that "oh look we're about to have out photo taken" look that you always end up with using AF assist. Anyway it sounds like for for those situations the 5D will win hands down, I was aware of all the IQ advantages in low light but didn't know how the AF held up there.

Canon General / 5D mark II versus 7D spot focus
« on: September 27, 2011, 08:52:18 AM »
I bought a 7D a while back over a 5D II and my main reasons at the time were the more advanced autofocus system plus higher fps. I'm an amateur but now I'm finding myself more confident I rarely take the camera out of manual, tend to meter based on a point of interest and for focus just about always use spot towards the center of the frame and recompose.

I've seen some complaints about the 5D autofocus but I'm guessing they are mainly about the lower number of focus points and less cross-type. Anyway I guess my question in general is from anyone that's used both would spot AF be noticeably different on either body? All my lenses are f/2.8 or faster, but sometimes I do take some photos in low-light conditions without AF assist where the 7D does hunt a while.

Australia / Re: Buying Camera gear in Aus? Who do you use?
« on: September 26, 2011, 03:26:26 AM »
I live near Hobart and get just about all my stuff from Cameras Direct. I always seem to get my stuff reliably the next day when I order it early enough and never had any sort of problems. Fortunately I've never had reason to use their warranty service, but the conditions read OK like included freight both ways, anyone got experience with them in that regard?

I'd also be interested to hear what Canon Australia are like with warranties if you're not eligible for CPS. Just wondering if there's a lot of advantage to non-grey items as long as the reseller does a reasonable job of honouring the warranty.

EOS Bodies / Re: Nikon unveils V1 and J1 Mirrorless Cameras
« on: September 21, 2011, 04:13:35 AM »
About the only thing I saw of interest was the phase detect autofocus. I'd previously thought that was only possible with a mirror system but see in the Wikipedia article on autofocus it can be incorporated into the sensor. Still a bit of a nothing product for me, too large to always carry on you like a cell phone,  too inferior to a DSLR for planned shots.

EOS Bodies / Re: *UPDATE* Firmware 1.2.5 for EOS 7D
« on: September 18, 2011, 08:50:51 PM »
I always have an issue under Windows 7 x64 trying to do this where I can copy/delete from the DCIM directory but get a permission denied error trying to put anything in the root directory. I'm pretty familiar with Windows permissions and I've tried running explorer under administrator and can't get access to the permissions for the device. I've got 64-bit Windows loaded, Lightroom and the Canon utilities loaded so maybe one of those is doing something funky.

Anyway I didn't find a solution to it other than using a card reader.

I wonder if it's more a case of a relatively small dealer in the pro market just not wanting to place another order when they think there might be a new model on the horizon? I seem to remember something originating a while back from another NZ store. I'd assume Canon has an MOQ of some form so maybe they just don't want to order another 10 when they only sell one or two a month?

P.S. I live just a little north in Tasmania so of course not saying anything negative against NZ, I just understand how a dealer in a smaller country that has less sales doesn't want to get stuck with "possibly" obsolete stock :).

EOS Bodies / Re: Your wishlist for your next body...
« on: September 14, 2011, 09:31:18 AM »
For the 7d mkii:
RAW histograms
RAW picture review
I'm only an amateur so might be missing something, but I shoot my 7D in RAW only mode and get histograms and picture review fine?

EOS Bodies / Re: APS-C Camera with an L Lens as a Kit
« on: September 11, 2011, 12:05:18 AM »
I can understand why they don't want too many variants, it would be extra stock codes for all the suppliers to carry and at the end of the day the kits are really only a starting point, you could have hundreds of kit options and many would still want something else.

The pricing above looks a little odd to me and maybe you can find a better deal on the 7D + 24-105. I'm in Australia but checking at the place I normally buy gear and converting the currency a 5D kit is 2671 Euro, not much different to above, but a 7D + 24-105 is only 2095 Euro.

Canon General / Re: 16GB CF PANIC!
« on: September 10, 2011, 08:32:43 AM »
I'm glad to say I took it to my regular camera shop in Bangkok (I'm in thailand) and for about $15 they recovered all the images.
A very reasonable price, glad you got it sorted :)

But, now I am wondering: is there any greater risk of corrupting files when switching between the camera and a card reader? Does anyone know, or have some thoughts on this. I've never had a problem with downloading straight from the camera. Am I just being paranoid?
I work with electronics and my feelings are mixed on this, I'm not sure about CF cards in particular but many connectors I use professionally that look quite robust are only rated for 500 insertion / removals. They're probably using very conservative numbers in their datasheets but still it's not a great number, and CF card pins are tiny, so I'd guess a USB connector is more mechnically robust plus it has a lot less pins to fail.

As for non-mechanical failures your camera could have a bug in the USB stack, hardware or drivers that could cause corruption, but so could a card reader. Personally I download via USB, and if my camera fails can switch to a card reader, but I don't think it's a question with a really clear cut answer and I'm sure plenty of people would argue either way.

Software & Accessories / Re: Command Line Software to shoot photos
« on: September 09, 2011, 10:42:41 PM »
The Canon SDK comes with examples in VB and C++ and has a wrapper for C#, if you're familiar with any of those what your'e trying to do will only be half a dozen lines of code and I got that far within a few hours of getting the SDK. I was having a play around with movement detection using live view mode. I got it working OK but unfortunately the general technique was a a bit slow to be of much practical use.

The following Google page does a reasonable translation on that Japanese site, although it's nothing all that new / specific.


Canon General / Re: 16GB CF PANIC!
« on: September 07, 2011, 09:33:55 AM »
When you do data recovery foresically you first do a bit by bit copy of the data  and then work on the copy leaving the card untouched theirfore leaving the original unchanged.  Some of the auto recovery tools can trash the card.
I just wanted to "+1" this - it's very important and I wouldn't go running any automatic recovery tools over the card until you've done this step.

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