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Messages - pj1974

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Software & Accessories / Re: DxO Optics Pro
« on: March 25, 2013, 03:27:08 AM »
I have been using DxO Optics Pro for some time now, and been through a number of upgrades / versions.

For my purposes, I really like it - batch processing - optimising my lens and camera outputs (I have 2 DSLR bodies and 5 lenses - all combinations of which are covered). It matches lenses and body combinations using modules, and produces high quality results. It's really targeted to doing batch work.

It's different to Photoshop.  I use Photoshop when I need to apply critical attention to individual photos (my 'favourite photos'  that I will upload, share, print, etc).  But in many cases DxO Optics Pro does a great enough job.

I use the latest version of DxO Optics Pro on a new 64bit quite fast PC - and it makes a noticeable difference (speed wise) operating under Windows 8 (64bit).  My photo management / view program is ACDSee. That way I feel I have the best of all worlds.

That's my take on it. Hope it's helpful!

Paul  :)

Canon General / Re: Announcements Coming Tonight
« on: March 20, 2013, 06:45:44 PM »
Cool... looking forward to the actual specs. Mainly because I expect any improvements (or the technology associated with it) will migrate across to other lines that may be part of my future digital photography equipment.

Currently I have a Canon 7D - a camera I really love using (and good ol' trusty Canon 350D). I really like the APS-C range Canon has at the moment, and if/when my Canon 7D is ready to be replaced / upgraded, something in the Canon 7Dnn will definitely be something I look at very closely.

The 18-55mm IS STM lens looks a good kit lens... if the optics are decent, that would be great... both with the STM focussing and IS.

I'm wondering if the new small DSLR will be suitable as a walk around for my gf.... she's a great photographer, and having a smaller camera would be great (she currently uses her Samsung phone - but obviously that is limited, particularly in terms of AF and IQ).



EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS-b Images Leak & a New Kit Lens
« on: March 19, 2013, 09:06:49 AM »
Wow, cool - specs! Interesting times ahead.  8)

Lenses / Re: How's the 70-300L?
« on: March 16, 2013, 12:46:27 PM »
I'm surprised Paul hasn't chimed in yet! Must be busy with other stuff...

Who? Me? Or another Paul?  :)

I have the 70-300mm L USM IS - upgraded from the Canon 100-300mm USM - and the L is night and day a MUCH better lens.  I've also used the Canon 70-300mm nonL, and Tamron 70-300mm.

The 70-300mm L is one of the best all purpose tele zoom lenses out there, portable, great range, awesome IQ.

Go for it!! (if within yr budget).


Lenses / Re: best NON L long lens
« on: March 12, 2013, 09:55:05 PM »
The OP wrote "Probably 300mm+ on a full frame.

So the 70-200mm f/4 L (non IS) - while a great lens, doesn't meet his stated criterion.

Some time ago I was looking for a new telezoom to replace my Canon 100-300mm USM (which didn't have the IQ at 300mm, and also lacked IS).

I considered the Sigma 120-400, Sigma 150-500 and Tamron 200-500, as well as the Canon 70-300mm nonL and Tamron 70-300 VC.  I would've gone for the Tamron, except I tried the Canon 70-300mm L, fell in love with it: was blown away with the IQ and usability (while still being portable) as well as getting a good deal on a new one.

When I tried the Sigma's, I found they had both a lack of contrast / sharpness wide open, not as sharp AF as I wanted, and the Canon 70-300mm nonL wasn't too bad, but not great in build quality, AF a bit dodgy and IQ generally quite good except wide open at tele-end. The Tamron 200-500 didn't meet my focal length requirements (but might the OP's) - but the IQ isn't the best

So in the end I thought the Tamon 70-300mm was the best pick of the bunch, decent IQ (lacking sharpness wide open at teleend, but not bad)... maybe the OP can obtain a good deal on a new one, or a decent 2nd hand copy. I'd steer clear of the variation incarnations of the older / cheaper Canon 75-300 ... they are plain poor. I'd much rather have the newer Canon 55-250mm (vI or vII)...   There is nothing like an L tele lens though (either the good zooms or primes). I'm very happy with my Canon 70-300mm L... it really shines, but I realise it's probably out of the OP's planned budget!



Software & Accessories / Re: Which wireless radio control for the 5D3?
« on: March 07, 2013, 09:32:23 PM »
I have the Giga Pro (v1) - and love it.

Use it as an intermeter, remote release, timer (for settings different to the 2 second and 10 second Canon DSLR options), etc.  I've used it for macros, time-lapse, night photography, liveview, critical landscapes, etc, etc. Very flexible - and also has quite a few good settings.   8)

I've not had any issues with my home modem / router wireless interfering with it. (And yes, I have it on- and have some neighbours with modems). Maybe only some modems are affected (or it's country-specific / Hertz specific - I live in Australia).

The 'short auto-power down' of the remote/transmitter - can be annoying, but all one needs to do is half press the shutter-release to keep it active. The receiver has a longer 'auto-power down' (if it does at all) - I think I nearly always turn that off manually.

Like neuro, I like that I can use the remote/transmitter directly wired to the DSLR too. I have a Canon 7D and Canon 350D... and my Giga Pro has connecting cords that fit both of these cameras.  The Giga Pro wasn't the cheapest, but it was worth the $90 or so that I paid for it, and I've used it often - and as it's so small and handy, I can take it with me easily anywhere, any time.

Hope this helps.  :)


Lenses / Re: EF or EF-S for 7D/70D
« on: March 07, 2013, 07:14:28 PM »
I have used both FF and APS-C DSLRs for several years.  I currently own a Canon 7D and Canon 350D... and have owned both EF and EF-S lenses since I got into DSLRs in 2005.

My current mainstay of "go-to-body" and lens combination is the Canon 7D with Canon 15-85mm. It's vastly superior than the 17-40 in IQ sharpness, focal length range at both wide and tele-end, usability, IS - and at least on-par USM. The only advantage of the 17-40 is a somewhat better build quality (also incorporating improved weather sealing).

When I was considering what lens to use as my walkaround for my 7D, I had owned a good copy of the EF 28-135mm - but it is not as good as the EF-S 15-85mm even at equivalent focal lengths. I have an EF-S 18-55mm (but a non IS version) so that's "ok" the IS version of the kit lens is better  The newer EF-S 18-135mm STM is quite good (better than the non STM one).

Macro-wise, I went with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM, over above any 3rd party (mainly to do with AF and IQ).  I chose the EF 100mm over the EF-S 60mm, really only due to preferring a longer working  focal length when doing macro photography. I am glad I did... there was a small consideration that if can also use this lens on a FF.

I own an EF 70-300mm USM IS L - which is a truly great lens, and as photozone points out - is superior on a crop body (in terms of using the sweet spot / centre of the lens) - and gaining the 'crop factor' advantage, that is presents a 480mm equivalent image on a APS-C body. But even if this 70-300mm L would have been an EF-S... I still would have bought it!

Finally in UWA land, I own a Sigma 10-20mm HSM EX... which is a great lens. When I was considering UWAs, there was much less choice then than there is now. I went with a new Sigma 10-20 based on a much better price than I could get a new EF-S Canon 10-22mm USM for. My Sigma gives me sharp corner to corner images at the equivalent of 16mm in 35mm format.

Lens wise, I say buy what you can budget / ie what is affordable to you - and what you will use often now. That's my 2cents worth.


EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Information [CR1]
« on: March 07, 2013, 05:57:36 PM »
At this stage I don't necessarily need a replacement / upgrade to my 7D....


That's what they all say at first... keeps the wife from poisoning them till it is too late  ;D ;D

:D  Phew... that sounds scary!  Yes... well in my case I am not married - I'm divorced (but I don't believe photography had anything to do with that). Therefore at this stage I have no reason for poisoning fears when I am considering photography equipment...  ;)

Having written that, I have a secure and decent paying job, and I don't spend a fortune on photography equipment... I prefer to use more of my money for more important things: eg projects to benefit people, etc.

Maybe if I do remarry one day... I'll take more things into consideration... however I'll tackle that when I come to it - and with a degree and background in accounting, I generally don't have troubles with sensible budgetting.   8)

Come-on new technology... it's always a good thing!


EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Information [CR1]
« on: March 07, 2013, 04:23:50 PM »
Nikon would Just love the 7D mk 2 to be 3k, would make the d400 pretty easy to sell ;D (and yes I am a Canon user, but also a realist!!!!!!!)

Canon knows which side of their bread is buttered... for reasons I discussed few posts earlier, it is likely 7D2 will come in under 3K...well under probably.

If Canon priced their cameras based on clueless fanboys drooling over gear while living in their parents' basement playing dungeons and dragons and wondering about Taylor Swift's bra size... we would be living in an alternate universe with Minolta as king of the market ;)

^THIS is gold!!   ;D   LOL.

And I agree, the 7DmkII will most likely come out quite well under $3,000 US (and hopefully in some they can be purchased at lower prices).

I bought the 7D very soon after it came out, so I paid a bit of a premium for that, but I wanted the camera then - and I haven't looked back. It's a great all round performing DLSR.

At this stage I don't necessarily need a replacement / upgrade to my 7D, but if the 7DmkII has features and image quality that really impress me, then I will consider buying it soon.


Lenses / Re: your goto everyday lens and why?
« on: March 04, 2013, 08:05:43 AM »
Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS on my Canon 7D.

Love that combo... awesome image quality, portable, very versatile with USM & IS - and it didn't cost the earth!


Sounds very promising!!

Hopefully this technology will also 'trickle through' / cross-polinate to stills, as I believe it could really benefit DSLR photos too! :) Any advancement is great news.


Lenses / Re: Lens purchase strategy
« on: March 03, 2013, 10:14:17 PM »
I have attempted to purchase lenses somewhere in the 'middle ground'. I believe the very 'cream a-la cream' (top of the best) of lenses are often priced high, because of the laws of diminishing returns (with regard to image quality, etc). The 'cheapest / basic' lenses generally 'do things ok - but nothing very well.  So the middle ground often works for me (both in terms of functionality, image quality and price).  ;)

Almost 10 years ago I bought my first Canon DSLR 350D, complete with the 18-55mm kit lens - but also had a few other lenses, eg the Canon 28-135mm and Canon 50mm f/1.8   Have since sold those 2 'extra' lenses (still have the kit lens).  I used the Canon 28-135mm most the first few years, it was superior in image quality (and in many other ways-  eg IS, USM, contrast, etc)  to the 18-55mm - though of course 28mm on a 1.6x APS-C / crop body isn't very 'wide'. 

Then upgraded to the Canon 7D, and have the following lenses (and I use all of these extensively):
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 HSM EX
Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM
Canon EF 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 IS USM

The only 'future' lens I'm looking for is a new Canon EF 50mm USM fast prime.  (None of the current 50mm primes - either Canon or 3rd party) is really what I want.   ::)

I have upgraded a few lenses - eg Canon 100-300mm USM to the much better Canon 70-300mm L IS/USM, because eg the lack of IS AND the image quality at tele end just weren't good enough. In other instances I bought a 'totally new lens' ("new" in my line-up) - like the Canon 15-85mm which can't really be compared with either the 18-55mm kit lens nor the 28-135mm. Only the 17-85mm is really comparable - but it is not very good IQ at wide end.

The 17-55mm f/2.8 (better for low light- but not the zoom range I like). The Canon 100mm USM macro is another 'special purchase' lens, and one that I decided on after using a friend's copy of this lens, and I was 'sold' as in - what I wanted in a macro lens.  BTW, I keep the 18-55mm kit lens as it's a handy light 'travel option' - eg going hiking with my 350D.  8)

I have achieved thousands photos that I'm very happy with, and many people that I've shared these photos with really appreciate them too... so I explain I've got 'good camera bodies and lenses' - but not 'the best / professional' ones.  It's more about technique, understanding light and being creative & composing well.  I'm very happy with my kit, and as I wrote above, only see a 50mm prime as a future upgrade...hopefully Canon will release a great new (hopefully IS / full USM) prime in the near future. 

Best regards


Lighting / Re: Which flash for a 5d mkIII
« on: March 03, 2013, 09:37:09 PM »
... Then there is the Nissin 866 with a built in sub flash for fill in, a feature I think would be useful. I think both of these have high speed sync which you might want if using for outdoor fill. Price points are roughly 1/4 and 1/2 that of the 600 respectively....

On the flip side you tend to get what you pay for with Canon stuff, and it's really a matter of whether the "shortcuts" of the third party stuff will cause you problems worth spending for Canon...

Some time ago I bought my first external flash... was toying up between Canon's 580EX II and the Nissin 866mkII.  I bought the Nissin (new) and am very happy with it not just because it was less than half the price of a new Canon 580EX II, but because it works very well on my 7D. Note that the original Nissin 866 (not mark II) does not have full compatibility with some of the later features.

The sub flash on the Nissin 866mkII really works well, and when I use it as a remote flash, and also use my Canon 7D's pop up flash to fire too, I effectively have a 'mini 3 flash' system. That is:
 1) using the Nissin866mkII's main (powerful) flash to bounce off the ceiling, or off a wall
 2) using the Nissin866mkII's subflash for some slight fill side light and
 3) using my Canon 7D's built in flash for some direct fill light.

Thankfully I can control each of the 3 flash's output separately, that's cool. Creating some quite interesting possibilities. I realise that the 5DmkIII doesn't have a built in flash (which I would like Canon to change!) - but still, I'm just sharing with you my experience, and being v happy with the Nissin.  The AF assist works very well on the 7D (eg dark room, it will focus on a blank surface).

If money really is no object, I'd probably go with the Canon 600 EX-RT - for the radio technology, which is certainly handy. Otherwise - I can recommend the Nissin - which I've learned to use - and it does very well with ETTL-II being utilised.  Hope you go well with your decision.


Paul :)

EOS Bodies / Re: 7DII and D400 Specs
« on: February 25, 2013, 09:22:03 PM »
There is a part of me that thinks Canon may differentiate the two by offering slightly fewer megapixels but better low-light performance in the 7D, as they have done with the ID-X.

That would make the 7DII a more interesting offering, from my perspective.  If it can come within 1.3 stops of the 1D X (i.e., right at the theoretical difference between APS-C and FF, vs. the currently greater advantage of the 1D X), coupled with a high-density AF sensor (e.g. 41 points with 20 crosses) and improved metering, that'll be an impressive camera...
That would be awesome ... I do hope 7D II will be a 1.3x crop sensor

By 1.3 stops, I believe Neuro meant the ISO performance. 1.3 stops equates to the difference between ISO 256 and ISO 100 - which is the theoretical difference between a 1.6x crop APS-C camera and FF - this is due to the 2.56 times greater surface area (read: light gathering area) of FF.

Canon may change tack, but so far they haven't once changed the size of a sensor in a DSLR line. If a camera comes out named 7D mk II, it's very likely to be 1.6x crop.

Ps - I really hope Canon resist the temptation to take their 1.6x crop sensor up to 24mp. It'll suffer from softness due to diffraction from f6.0 onwards - mount an f5.6 lens on there and you've got little in the way of options. Even the legendary 300/2.8 II with a 2x TC III will underperform, and leave you with just one aperture option if you want to attempt to utilise all of those megapixels. Leave the MP lower, and let those lower processing overheads allow them to push the hardware of the small mirror and shutter to its limits.

"Amen!" to that!

I certainly don't hope (and neither do I see there being any logic or proof) that the 7DmkII will be a 1.3x crop sensor.

But if it's noise performance is within 1.3x (one and third stops) of the 1DX (or 6D) - I would be happy  ;)

No need for 24MP, 18 is fine by me (if they're sharp). I have some great lenses for my 7D - including L glass and some awesome EF-S specific lenses. :)

The 1.3x day is over. Either FF or 1.6x crop for Canon.  Roll on actual annoucements. The rumoured specs for the 7DmkII look spectacular! :D

Happy photo-shooting everyone!  8)


EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Spec List [CR2]
« on: February 19, 2013, 08:37:15 AM »
If these specs are real, I find this an impressive upgrade. As I own the 7D (which I love) - the increase in ISO performance (close to the 5DmkIII) is a particularly attractive feature for me. 61 AF pts and 10 FPS are definitely great, but not essential (I'm quite happy with the 7D's current 19 AF pts and 8 FPS).   ;)

WiFi and GPS are 'nice' but not necessary for my use. Even less important for me are the 'lots of video' features and the dual memory card slots (please keep it CF, I have some great CF cards I want to keep using - plus same battery please while we're at it!)

The 24.1 MP is interesting.. if it has sharp per pixel definition and also has low noise across the ISO range (particularly @ ISO100 & ISO200 for landscapes) I'll be particularly happy!  I do like to crop in various photos, especially for some wildlife.

Cheers! Let's see if this becomes a CR3 and then reality....!! Hope so....  8)


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