October 24, 2014, 03:00:12 PM

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Lenses / Re: Sigma APO 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
« on: October 05, 2014, 06:08:32 AM »
I have the "middle" Sigma 120-300 f/2.8. In short, the first one was without OS. Then there was one with, which I have. Then they remade that in the current "Sport" form. The last two appear to share the same optical formula, so you would expect image quality to be similar, although they might have tightened tolerances on the later one.

In short, it provides decent enough images, with medium speed focusing. I mostly do wildlife so can't comment on sports usage, but it does ok on tracking movement similar to, for example, the 70-300L or 100-400L.

As mentioned, it is heavy. You wouldn't want to constantly hold it up unsupported so that may need some consideration.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II: More High ISO Samples
« on: September 28, 2014, 02:32:22 PM »
  It's got the functions, but that is it. The AF module on the 1Dx and 5DII are light years ahead of the 7D II. I for one am very disappointed. Just because of that I will never buy one.

I presume that's the 5D3 not 2? The 5D3 AF was a disappointment to me as they decided not to include the metering sensor tracking assist from the 1D X, even if it has the rest of the stuff, that would have been the selling point to me. I suspect it would have put the 5D3 rather too close to the 1D X at the time. Thus for my uses at least, the 7D2 is on paper miles ahead of the 5D3. Of course, it remains to be proven in use. Anyway, now the precedent has been set, it seems likely the 5D4 will get a similar upgrade whenever that will be.

In general, I wonder if it would be fair to say those that like the 7D like the 7D2. If you didn't like the 7D for your uses, the 7D2 isn't likely to change that.

Lenses / Re: What telephotos do we own?
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:19:33 AM »
Since 300mm class lenses are included here, it would have been useful to have the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 in there too.

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Mark II: More High ISO Samples
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:15:48 AM »
I'm excited over the 7D mk2, just not over image quality from the sensor. The AF is what has practically sold it to me already.

As far as jpeg outputs are concerned, I don't see any radical difference in noise at higher ISO than what we have already. We still get the high ISO mush and, in these examples, chroma noise that hasn't been processed out.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Why haven't you left canon?
« on: September 27, 2014, 04:18:29 AM »
I'll switch when there is something worth switching to!

I'm keeping an eye on other systems to see what they do. There's the occasional nice idea but not enough to swing it in itself.

Possible factors:
Smaller and lighter? - maybe, if they can do it without a reduction in overall quality
AF - mirrorless is getting better but I'm not convinced their tracking ability is there yet (most examples use shorter focal lengths in outdoor light). I'd give it 5 or 10 years. The benchmark will go up to the 7D mk2, so they wont have an easy job.
Lenses - I don't think anyone else has as good a selection of what I want than Canon (higher end, longer focal length). This is a particularly weak area in mirrorless land excluding the Nikon 1 70-300, but I need more than a 1 trick pony.
Some radical sensor tech? - Foveon? Light field? Or something unimaginable? I'm not holding my breath.

For less demanding niche uses, some mirrorless system I'd rate as about as good Canon, in a slightly smaller package. But that in itself isn't enough.

I also have had my 7D since not long after it came out. It is still my primary goto camera for outdoor work. Sorry, I prefer a 600D for indoor thanks to its tilty screen! I've had good use out of it. If I could only have one camera that you can buy today, it would still be my 1st choice. Not had a noise problem with mine. If there's enough light to AF, there's enough light to get a shot. I even prefer it over my 5D mk2 in low light, as at least it doesn't have shadow banding.

Having said that, the reason I got the 7D in the first place (updated AF compared to APS-C bodies before it), is also the reason I'm looking forward to the 7D mk2 some day. I wont be first in the line for sure...

Lenses / Re: Wildlife lens setup
« on: September 19, 2014, 07:39:18 AM »
It really depends on what you're shooting. I own and primarily use the 100-400L. It is sharp enough through the range. It could have better IS, although for moving subjects that doesn't matter anyway. You will need faster shutter speeds to reduce motion blur unless that is what you're going for e.g. to give a sense of motion. While the push-pull zoom generates a lot of love-hate on forums, in practice I find it far better than the twist zooms e.g. of my 70-300L if you need to zoom quickly and accurately.

For flexibility, unless you know you only need one focal length, then I'd pick a zoom. Messing around with switching extenders is not fun in the field.

While I haven't used the Tamron, it has one major flow which might not affect everyone. The zoom ring works in a backwards direction compared to Canon.

Sigma generally do use the Canon zoom direction on their higher end lenses, so if the Tamron is a consideration, maybe waiting for the availability of the Sigma lenses is also a consideration.

The ongoing tale of the 100-400L replacement I personally wouldn't wait for. It's one thing for them to say they're thinking about it, but without some more definite confirmation of timescales you could be waiting a very long time.

EOS Bodies / Re: Official: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
« on: September 15, 2014, 08:58:03 AM »
I don't see the f/8 AF anywhere, but it has the rest of the rumoured AF bits, including the metering system. Really want to play with this!

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Dual Pixel Phase Detect AF While in AI Servo
« on: August 12, 2014, 05:45:42 PM »
It may even be able to AF based on shape and colour of object, which would be very cool if it can be made to work reliably!
I believe such a thing already exists in the 1D X as well as many higher end Nikon bodies. They use the metering sensor to provide that info. Bit disappointed to see this got cut out when they made the 5D3. Really hope it makes the 7D2.

Which has greater noise? An APS-C sensor or a full frame sensor cropped to APS-C size? Bare in mind our hypothetical situation is you're still reach limited, so the bigger sensor in itself conveys no advantage, and the only arguable difference is pixel size. For roughly comparable sensor generations I'd argue they're practically the same. Outside of lab tests, it probably isn't significant.

At ISO6400, I'd happily use either of my 600D or a 5D mk2 (as secondary body to 7D), but when reach limited the 600D would be my preference of the two. To me noise isn't the limiting factor in this scenario.

I can agree with jrista's example, as two of my biggest photography interests are wildlife and astrophotography. If you are reach limited and want more resolution, you simply need all the pixels density you can get. Upsampling a single image can't restore that lost information. The only way a bigger sensor can compete is to stick a bigger optic on the front to offset that. For most of us, there is a point where practicality and cost dictate a limit to how big we go. The other way bigger sensors could compete is to have comparable pixel sizes. I would love a hypothetical 46MP sensor in a full frame body, as that would roughly match the pixel density of APS-C. Then you get the best of both worlds. But until Canon bring out an affordable equivalent to the D810, I'm not holding my breath on that one and will look forward to what the 7D mk2 brings.

As a special case, multiple low resolution images can used to reconstruct higher resolution images! This can and is used in astrophotography where the subjects don't tend to change much, but obviously is useless for wildlife. In essence, you need to move the camera slightly between shots, so the low resolution image is not made up of exactly the same scene. Fractional pixel shifts will do to get you that sub pixel information.

Fyi: Unfortunately there is no way in the EU to upgrade your cps level with money directly, you have to purchase the two camera bodies that qualify you for the platinum level. In essence, there's no "gold" level in the eu as it's either amateur/silver like 6d or pro/platinum like 5d2,5d3, ...

I think most of us aren't lens limited, but body limited here. I just had a look again at the Canon Europe CPN site, and there sure is a gold level. Qualifying bodies only start from the 5D upwards and you need two of them. Platinum was 3 bodies 5D mk2 upwards. I hadn't noticed before the 6D was only silver level. Thought they'd give you gold at least, and you'd still need a 2nd one anyway.

For silver level: "Turnaround time on repairs to registered CPS-serviced equipment is five working days."
For gold level: "Turnaround time on repairs to registered CPS-serviced equipment is three working days. Free back-up loan service, if the three-day turnaround time for repairs is exceeded."

No mention of a loan at silver level...

Way I look at it, the silver level gets you a slight improvement to turnaround time compared to without, so consider it a bonus. If it is so critical you can't do without the camera equipment for a period, then consider some backup plan.

Lenses / Re: Thoughts on 70-200 f/4 vs 70-300 vs 100-400?
« on: August 03, 2014, 03:42:11 PM »
I own and use both the 70-300L and 100-400L. Never had a 70-200 of any form as to me, they're fitting a different niche than my interests. For practical purposes the 70-300L and 100-400L are near enough the same on their long ends, and if you get either that's where you'll probably be spending much of your time. Speed of handling on the 100-400L is great thanks to the push-pull. Older IS system often not that significant if you're shooting a moving target with it, and would need a faster shutter speed anyway to prevent motion blur. Against it, there is a bit more weight than the 70-300L. On that note, the 70-300L does have the newer IS system which can help if you're shooting static subjects, is supposed to have better sealing, and is smaller and lighter. As such I find myself taking this more if I can only take one small(er) bag on travels.

In summary, decide what range you want to use, and pick accordingly. While I haven't used the 70-200 specifically, I have also got the Sigma 120-300 f2.8. For those times I want to change range on it with teleconverters, it isn't a fun thing to do in the field. So this may apply to the 70-200s also, in that is may be best to have what you think you need in one range than to mess around. If you find the 100-400L a bit heavy, use the 120-300 for a bit. The 100-400L suddenly becomes a lot lighter!

Lenses / Re: 5D3 + teleconverter + Telescope
« on: July 09, 2014, 04:05:02 AM »
A workaround would be to not fully fit the TC until it clicks. e.g. release it slightly and turn it so the contacts aren't lined up with the body any more. Of course, you have to be very careful not to let the body fall off if you do this... I didn't say it was a good workaround!

Alternatively, skip the TC altogether and get a barlow for the scope.

EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 07, 2014, 04:03:29 PM »
Many 'serious crop shooters' also own a full frame body to overcome the limitations of the crop sensor.  The 7D plus 5DII was a well-liked combination.  The 5DIII combined the best of both, obviating the need.
I own such a combination, but to me, the 5D series is no replacement. If I had unlimited funds and said I could only have one camera body, I'd still pick the existing 7D over the 5D3 without hesitation. About the only way I might put up with full frame is once pixel densities get more reasonable. The Nikon D800 would be adequate as a starting point for such a hypothetical body, if you could get it to 8fps and focus well at the same time.

I hate to do this, but I might start sounding like a microFourThirds fanboy at this point. The arguments for choosing crop over full frame are similar to those thrown by MFT to APS-C. For a given "reach", the crop sensor is just better optimised. On full frame you'd need silly big (and expensive) lenses. Even if people could afford them, they wouldn't want to carry it! Why not ever smaller? I have to say the Nikon 1 with native 70-300 lens sounds like an interesting reach combination, but I'm not sold on its overall performance.

Full frame serves a single niche of shallow(er) depth of field. If you're not after that, smaller sensors make more sense. Side note: why not continue my own argument and get smaller sensors? Because mirrorless tracking AF is still a long way off even a basic DSLR.

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