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Messages - pj1974

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196
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!

Paul

197
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.

Paul

198
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

Paul

199
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.

Regards

Paul :)

200
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

AMEN BROTHER! :D
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)

Paul

201
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)

Paul

202
Canon General / Re: Since 7D MkII isn't coming soon.....
« on: February 19, 2013, 12:04:15 AM »
The 7D is a fantastic camera and still very relevant in the Canon lineup.  The 7d is a great match up with any of the EF lenses, especially L glass.  The 24-70mm is fantastic on the 7D, it's only not wide enough if all you shoot is wide... If so, it's still a great walk around lens.  The 17-55mm lens is fantastic on the 7D and the mid range and long lenses are incredible...
+1
I had the 1DIIN and the 24-105. Bought the 7D and the 15-85. Sold the 1DIIN and the 24-105. Bought the 17-55. Sold the 15-85. If I had only one lens, it would be the 15-85. Since I have the 100mm macro and 77mm filters, I kept the 17-55. I does miss the 15mm end though.

I've used numerous Canon bodies, and agree the 7D still has a great place in the Canon line-up. I expect I will keep my 7D till it dies ... It's handling is SO much better than any other Canon APS-C - and while it lacks some of the FF advantages in terms of IQ, often that's only noticed in pixel peeping.

I have several Canon lenses, including L glass, and my 7D is most often paired with the Canon 15-85mm, then Canon 70-300mm L (ie at 480mm in 35mm equivalent).  I also find my 7D great for macro work (with the 100mm) and it handles landscapes / ultrawides well too, eg 10mm (16mm equivalent in 35mm format) sharp corner to corner.

When / if the 7DmkII comes out, I am keen to see what it delivers.  All in all, I'm sure Canon will give us good tools to continue shooting photos.

Best wishes...

Paul

203
Lenses / Re: FoV difference between Tamron 70-300VC and Canon 70-300L
« on: February 18, 2013, 05:32:39 PM »
I suspect that's the case.  There is something a little odd about the design about the Canon 70-300L, though.  For example, if you compare it to the Canon 70-200/2.8L IS II, both have the same specified MFD and maximum magnification (47.2" and 0.21x), but obviously the 70-300mm has a 50% longer focal length at the long end.  Canon mentioned a  The Tamron 70-300 VC, despite not being able to focus as close (55.1" MFD) achieves a higher 0.25x maximum magnification.

The 70-300 L has a 'floating' optical system (the 85L II has this, too).  Canon stated, "As mentioned above, the use of a “floating” optical system means that as the lens is progressively focused closer, other lens elements continually change position to preserve image quality throughout the focus range. (Many lenses are optimized for best quality at or near infinity, and as focused closer, there’s a drop-off in contrast and sharpness… that’s not the case with this new lens)."  It seems something had to be traded for that sharpness when focusing close, and that something translates to maximum magnification, apparent focal length, or FoV at the long end (three ways of saying the same thing, sort of).

That's right!

Though I have not used the Tamron 70-300mm VC, but I've had a few other Canon lenses - and noted that at the same marked mm (eg even lower settings 100mm and 135mm on other lenses - and I think also the 300mm setting on my old Canon 100-300mm USM) - that the 70-300mm L doesn't seem as magnified.

It probably does seem like the 300mm of my 70-300mm at minimal focal distance is around 200 - 240mm-ish (depending on what other lenses it is compared with).

And yet - the good news is compared to several other tele lenses at around 300mm, the Canon 70-300mm L appears very sharp at minimum focus distance. I love it for eg dragonflies, some flowers and other details up close, / even 'tame' birds that allow me to get very near to them.

I was going to get the Tamron 70-300mm after looking at some reviews - even bought a filter to it (to replace my Canon 100-300mm USM) - but then the Canon 70-300mm L came out. I used the Canon 70-300mm L from a camera store (who allowed me to stand outside and try it) - and I was SO impressed... and I was hooked and bought one - got it for a reduced price, already just a few weeks after it was available.  I haven't looked back.

The Tamron 70-300mm  VC looks like a decent more budget oriented option, I was going to get this over the Canon 70-300mm nonL - as that Canon's micro USM AF isn't what I like, plus the lens build was not quite up to scratch - though they are fairly close in image quality at the tele-end....  All the best with your photography, dilbert.

Regards

Paul


204
Wow!!! Sounds awesome. I'll definitely enter... particularly as there are few competitions that allow the global village of the whole world to be able to participate! Yay!!!

I love CanonRumors... and as an Australian with a passion for photography, winning a Canon 6D would be like a dream come true.......  Pretty please!!!!!

:)

Paul

205
Lenses / Re: lens recommendation soccer
« on: February 17, 2013, 08:18:27 PM »
I'd recommend the 70-300mm L - which is sharper (especially at the tele end), better AF, more contrast and superior IS and a bit 'faster' than the nonL lens at the same focal lengths.

On a crop body (eg T2i or 7D, etc) - it's effectively a 480mm, which- when having decent amount of MP (18MP) still allows a decent crop.

I find 70-200mm short for such outdoor sports, though of course the constant f/2.8 is handy for stopping action.

Otherwise going for a large prime (eg 300mm f/2.8 or 400mm f/2.8) is going to cost you a lot more money. I love my 70-300mm L for outdoor work... both occasional sports - and great as a walk around wildlife lens too.

Paul

206
EOS Bodies / Re: $1200 7D vs. $1800 5D II?
« on: February 14, 2013, 09:57:07 PM »
5D2 if you regularly shoot and make large prints at ISO 1600 and above. OR if you have certain Canon lenses which really work best on FF (T/S; the fast wide primes like the 35 f/1.4).

7D for everything else.

No matter how many times people insist...just insist...there's a HUGE difference when they pixel peep at 300%, they cannot pick out 16x24 or 20x30 prints at ISO 100-800.

And $600 would make a big dent for lenses, either buying one you need out right, or getting you that much closer to one that's more expensive.

+1

So true. I have used various Canon (& other brand) FF and currently use my Canon 7D as my 'general go to camera' - from landscape to wildlife to macro to occasional 'event' photography.

The 7D is such a capable camera... awesome ergonomics, great flexible - yet not overly complicated AF system, etc, etc.  Ok obviously several other cameras beat it on ISO noise / detail, etc - but often that's just pixel peeping!

And there are just so many great EF-S lenses (dedicated for APS-C) these days... and many EF lenses (normally for FF) - whic use the 'sweet spot'. I cover 10mm to 300mm on my 7D, and it's awesome (35mm equivalent of 16mm - 480mm!)

Paul

207
EOS Bodies / Re: Big Megapixel Camera in 2014
« on: February 07, 2013, 07:11:37 AM »
Interesting about a quicker sideband "refresh" of the 5D line. I wonder if that is because Canon is finally ready to move to a newer 180nm process, and want to get all of their cameras on it sooner rather than later. I, for one, would happily spend a few grand on a high MP, high frame rate, 5D X (or whatever it ends up being called) if it had reduced read noise and competitive DR (i.e. at least 13 stops).
I can see that you want such a product (dont we all), but what makes you think it will be high framerate? "Big megapixel camera" makes me think that it is to be a D800/MF killer for landscapes/macro, and that framerate/AF/high-ISO will be less prioritized.

I think it will be high frame rate because high frame rate is what Canon does better than anyone else. I have also been poring over Canon patents for the last month, and they seem to have quite a number of parallel readout and parallel pixel processing patents for high speed readout of high megapixel count sensors. Canon has also prototyped a 120mp sensor with a 9.5fps readout rate using some combination of block and row/column parallel readout and on-die image processing.

I see no reason why that technology could not be applied to a "measly" 30-40mp FF sensor to achieve at least 6-8fps. I also see no reason why ISO range would have to suffer. High ISO capabilities are not mutually exclusive with low ISO capabilities. On the contrary, high ISO is limited by physics, while low ISO is limited by electronic noise sources. Canons maximum well capacity is already more than high enough to fully exploit 14 bit data, as well as fully exploit 16 bit data...the only thing in the way is their high read noise. That could be solved with a parallel digital readout approach that applies digital noise reduction similar to Sony. If Canon solves the noise problem, they could easily have both quality high and quality low ISO performance.

Thanks for your post, jrista.

Now THAT sounds logical... and promising!

I keep my hopes up.  Currently a happy 7D user, but always looking to technological advances helping my  future photography.

Paul

208
I have the Canon 7D, and hands down the most used lens on it is my Canon 15-85mm. Great image quality, superbly handy zoom range, and the USM focus and IS are real bonuses to have/ use. Build quality is also above most consumer lenses, eg the 17-55mm.  My strong recommendation is the Canon 15-85mm.  It's not a specialist lens, but as it sounds like  you don't have many lenses for APS-C yet... that would be my 'go to' recommendation.

Paul

209
Reviews / Re: Canon 200-400 f/4L IS Review
« on: February 04, 2013, 06:44:39 AM »
Speaking (ok, 'typing') as an Australian... I find it great to hear a review by an Aussie professional!  :)  I have heard many accents from various other countries doing pro reviews of lenses / photography gear, so this is refreshing.

Aussie Aussie Aussie... oi oi oi!!  :D

And what Joshua says makes sense... of course it is a shame we didn't have access to all his sample shots, but as it's not a final production copy, that's probably understandable (NDA).

I doubt I'll buy this lens, even though I can afford it... but I would very much like to use it (I particularly enjoy taking photos of wildlife).

Regards

Paul  8)

210
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Confirms 70D; Future of Semi-Pro DSLR is FF
« on: February 01, 2013, 06:00:01 AM »
Hi CR folks

I think people should not be reading more into what Masaya said than what he ACTUALLY said.  Remember, the unquoted parts of that interview are simply DPReview's 'take' on it... nothing more (and nothing less, I have respect for DPReview). Quite a bit of what is written in this post assumes incorrectly.

What Masaya actually said about 70D and/or 7DmkII in the interview is very little, and not concrete about those models nor related to the possibility of which models will still be produced, and when, etc, but rather he is talking about market segmentation.   ???

So, careful and critical reading and analysis of what Masaya said specifically regarding APS-C and 70D / 7DmkII is  required.  His words are in bold in this part of that link / article, which I'm copying & highlighting below:

DPR: ... the future of APS-C at the semi-pro level is in doubt, he says:
'That's something we're considering at the moment. From our semi-pro users there's still demand for APS-C but in the future, I think we will see an increase in the number of full-frame models.'
DPR: Either way, that doesn't close the door on an EOS 70D though - when asked when we can expect one, Maeda promises: 'some day in the future. Without fail.

I'm a manager in the Australian Government, and part of my job is to write very specific documentation / policy and to read critically. (I'm not trying to boast, just applying some of my skills here).

So, my take on what Masaya actually says is as follows:
- Canon realises a significant proportion of semi-pros currently demand APS-C
- In the future, Canon believes there will possibly be more demand from semi-pros for FF
- That doesn't mean some or many semi-pros will still want / prefer / need / demand an APS-C
- Which in turn means that Canon needs to determine how to market future models like 70D and 7DmkII
- the feature set and segment positioning of the 70D (& 7DmkII) might be quite determined by the 700D / entry level Canon APS-C DLSRs
- A 7DmkII is still likely on the cards. I think planning, research & development of the 7DmkII has happened some years ago, and R&D are being finalised soon - then ready for production (nowhere does Masaya hint that a 7DmkII is off the cards)
- the 7D has been a popular and long-living successful camera for Canon (ie good profit). I think Canon realise if they create another successful, and perhaps 'noticably improved in some aspects' 7DmkII, they can get a lot of mileage out of it, that is: good profit again.
- Canon is smart and would be very conscious about brand loyalty, and if they remove a 'top of the line APS-C, while the competition offer good top of the line APS-C sized DSLRs, then some folk who don't want to (or can't afford) the jump to FF, may go to other brands.
- equivalent FF lenses are often significantly more expensive than APS-C (when I write 'equivalent' - I mainly mean in terms of 'effective' focal length. (I do realise there are many other aspects to be considered than focal length, but I don't want to write pages here on that!)

Well... feel free to comment on what I've written and determined from the interview!

Totally apart from DPReview's interview - I believe we'll see some high level APS-C cameras.  There are serious Canon EF-S lenses (eg 15-85mm, 17-55mm, 10-22mm, 60mm macro, etc) and many EF lenses (eg 70-300mm L, 100mm macro, etc) that just work so well on APS-C too!

Cheers and regards. Wishing all a wonderful weekend... it's Friday evening here in Australia! YAY!!   8)

Paul

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