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Messages - pj1974

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196
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

197
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

198
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)

199
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

200
I have a Hahnel Giga T Pro system, which I'm very happy with.  It is wireless - operating on a 2.4 GHz system, and cost me just less than AUD $100 - but I really needed a wireless system for what I do, including:
1) regular wireless shooting at more than an arm's length distance,
2) also time lapses -  controlled & programmed from indoors,
3) quick speed and programmable sequences of shots.

http://www.hahnel.ie/index.cfm?page=dslrremotecontrols&id=80&pId=80

You and/or other people might find wired systems work for your needs... and that's great - probably saves both in terms of money (and batteries).  I have only gone through 2 batteries (the transmitter and receiver each have a battery, different types, but each type readily available from most department stores).

It can also operate as a wired system using just the transmitter which uses the same 'wire' as the receiver and so can plug directly into the camera. (The version I have for Canon works on most Canon DSLRs, it has 2 wire connections, so it fits both my 7D and 350D).

My transmitter / receiver seems to work fine to a distance of about 30 metres, or about 10m to 15m through walls. :)

Cheers....

Paul

201
Software & Accessories / Re: Pistol Grip Ball Head - Advice / Experience
« on: January 28, 2013, 07:27:13 AM »
Last year I bought a second hand Manfrotto #3265 (it also says #222 on the grip, and "Made in Italy").
Mine is a bit like the 322RC2, but the camera sits on top of the grip handle (rather than on the side of it).

I got it for a great price, and I used it a bit in person before I bought it (from Gumtree, the Australia free online selling / buying community).  So I was happy with that, as it works well and the price was much less than new. It sits on my tripod which I bought about 1.5 years before.

The main reason I wanted to get a ball-head was for macros and 'the quick release possibility'. It complements my existing 3-way Manfrotto head very well.

Hope you'll get a good outcome with your decision and purchase.

Paul

202
EOS Bodies / Re: Any news on the 7dMk2 now that CES is done
« on: January 23, 2013, 10:39:16 PM »
When I go back to my 350D - or when I go 'even further back' to my Fuji digital P&S, I think "wow, how did I ever use those tiny, limited view-finders?" [and use the tiny 1.5" rear display??]  But I did, and still have thousands of great photos, real keepers with each!
I know the feeling... Here's one taken in 1996 with an Apple Quicktake... 320 x 240 pixels at 8 bit color depth...no focusing, no iso settings, no screen on back.... just point and hope for the best. By 2001 we were up to lcd displays on the back, 1.3Megapixels, and you could set ISO, shutter speed, white balance...very crude by todays standards but even with those limitations got the second picture... and this the image with no editing. It will be interesting to see what the future holds

Thanks Don for your quote & reply!

I really like the 2nd image you captured and shared, Don - the colours and composition really work well for me(though it seems its a huge 2MP image - ie 1600x1200 pixels, or did you upsize from the camera output?  What a lovely feeling of cruising along on the mirrored water!

My first use of digital camera was in the late 90's - there was a camera (I think 760,000 pixels in total). Then in 1999 another updated one at work, a Kodak 1.3 MP.  By 2000 I had my own Fuji P&S (3MP) which was much improved on the work's Kodak... and things have only got better from there!   :D

So, when I show people people some of my early digital photos- often people say "Wow, that is great... how many megapixels?!" and I say 1.3MP, or I have downsized a 3MP to a 1MP file, and I say "just 1"... and so begins my explanation that MP isn't everything.... really it isn't....  ;)

The above was a bit of a digression from the OP, but in one sense it proves, technology has done great things regarding digital imagine in just half a generation or so!  I expect that there will be great mirrorless cameras, very capable and much along the same specs as our current DSLRs soon.  How soon... well, I won't commit to a date, but definitely before many people expect it!   :P

Paul

203
EOS Bodies / Re: Any news on the 7dMk2 now that CES is done
« on: January 23, 2013, 06:38:43 PM »
Hi All.

Interesting thread, some good posts.

I have had the 7D since it came out, and love the camera. It was a real step up from my 350D in every way. The specs (eg FPS, AF pts) build quality, functionality (eg live view, video), body size and (believe it or not!) APS-C sensor are all positive attributes to me.   :)

Not that the 7D is perfect, eg it has more noise than I would like, but with careful exposure and post-processing, good results can be achieved even at ISO3200 to ISO4000. I have taken so many photos with it, that the camera feels totally natural to me. When I go back to my 350D - or when I go 'even further back' to my Fuji digital P&S, I think "wow, how did I ever use those tiny, limited view-finders?" [and use the tiny 1.5" rear display??]  But I did, and still have thousands of great photos, real keepers with each!

I have used digital cameras with poor EVFs, but also those with much better ones.  I remember when the DSLR world was caught be surprise with Live-View and Video. Many people were saying "It will never happen" or "The quality will be rubbish". While there are still improvements to be made, I think most of us will agree - Live-View and DSLR Video are maturing along quite well, quality is very good and each present many positive benefits to users.   ;)

So, with regard to an EVF... I'd like to see a good one incorporated into a mirrorless Canon DSLR in the near future. Maybe that will be the 7DmkII (before the same progresses up to a FF). I'm sure the scientistics, electronic engineers, etc at Canon (and other DSLR companies) have been researching and developing these for ages. Or it might be that we're not quite ready, and the 7DmkII will come out, still having an OVF. 

Either way, technology is advancing in this segment in tangible steps, and should I upgrade my current 7D in the future (there is no reason to at this point in time) - I'm sure models succeeding the 7D eg 7DmkII, 7DmkIII, etc - in the right pair of hands - will be capable of taking stunning photos.

I, for one, am very much looking forward to the future.   8)

Regards

Paul

204
Lenses / Re: Sigma 35mm F/1.4 Reviews - Vignetting Disparity?
« on: January 15, 2013, 09:37:31 PM »
I've read a few reviews about the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens, and it seems to have a lot going for it (very sharp, great contrast, good build quality) - particularly for the price.  (As a side note, if Sigma produce a similar 50mm to the new 35mm... I might consider... I've read / heard too much about the previous Sigma 50mm f/1.4 AF issues / QC / decentring to 'risk it').

There have been some concerns raised for the Sigma 35mm's bokeh at certain settings, and vignetting.  I can't recall reading details in reviews about vignetting, but maybe 1 review quoted full frame (FF = generally much higher vignetting) - and another test was on an APS-C (crop) body.

Paul

205
Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: January 15, 2013, 07:25:33 AM »
Wow... lots of truly beautiful images of sunsets here... thanks for sharing all!

Here is my contribution of 2 images taken a few days ago, in Adelaide, South Australia.  It's lovely SUMMER here!

Paul

206
Lenses / Re: Sigma 8-16mm on FF & Crop Vs Fisheye on FF & 15-85 @ 15
« on: January 15, 2013, 07:22:22 AM »
Thanks oscaroo for the comparison.

Good job, technically, and helpful labels / explanation.

I have a Canon 7D which I love (and Canon 350D... but let's not go there... lol... my trusty 1st DSLR).

Amongst my arsenal of lenses, I also have the Canon 15-85mm (love as a walk around) and the Sigma 10-20mm (great UWA).

Your comparisons are helpful.  I do like the Sigma UWAs, and interesting you can use it on the 6D.

I have never ever liked the fisheye effect, so again your post makes me glad I have and am sticking with the rectangular lens versions.

Cheers... nice image! Where was this photo taken?

I live in Adelaide, South Australia.

Paul

207
Lenses / Re: Your favorite lens is?
« on: January 14, 2013, 10:43:33 PM »
Perhaps my fav lens at the moment is my Canon 70-300mm L f/4-5.6 USM IS.  I live in Australia, and its captured a lot of photos in the 2 years since I've had it!

It's great on my 7D, from wildlife to birds in flight to candid portrait to even a bit of motorsports and/or field sports in daylight.  The sharpness, contrast, colours and bokeh are very good - that is: very high imagine quality (IQ). Plus it's very portable and for me an awesome hand-holdable lens (IS helps!) up to the equivalent of 480mm, with snappy USM AF.

My 'fav workhorse' lens is the Canon 15-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS, which gets the most use. Great range, very good IQ, and USM / IS as bonuses.  Then I have other lenses that I consider more 'specialist' eg Sigma 10-20mm EX HSM and Canon 100mm macro USM.  My 'next' lens will be a fast prime, probably the next Canon 50mm (with true USM?).  The 'favourite' lens I would like to TRY is the new Canon 200-400mm L f/4 USM IS 1.4x... though I doubt I'll buy it (mainly due to size, weight and alleged cost, even though I can afford it..)

Cheers.

Paul

208
Sweet, thanks all. I definitely didn't switch it on purpose. I took a picture of some Thai kids and showed them the result. One got all excited and started pressing buttons. Perhaps that's what happened.

Any who, after reading about it, it actually seems handy.

Do you guys use the mirror lock up feature often?? I enjoy night photography and it seems useful.

I agree about Mirror Lock up being useful for slow exposures on a tripod.
Liveview is a good way to go too as it locks up the mirror. Use Liveview  ESPECIALLY  if you are doing multiple exposures for say, HDR. Much faster. The mirror locks up just once and all the exposures are made, and then the mirror goes back down. Very convenient.
Vibrations for the mirror are significant. I was in an abandoned factory a couple of weeks back and was using a carbon fiber tripod, with weigh on it for added stability. I was shooting on a solid concrete floor.  I could actually feel the vibrations from the mirror in the balls of my feet when I was doing my test shots. At first I thought I was mistaken...but I did some more tests and amazingly it was true. To me...that was significant vibrations from that mirror. Amazing.

Wow, infrared... I'm so glad you shared this.

I had a similar experience just the other day (believing I could feel vibration caused by my DSLRs mirror going up and down).  Then I thought, 'Nahh... I must be mistaken or it's just the sound and my imagination'. (I had also put my hand on my steady Manfrotto tripod... to 'check', but believed I was overly sensitive to things).

So I will be doing more HDRs using live-view I think!! And thankfully my camera batteries do last quite long, even with live-view :)

Cheers.

Paul

209
Live View has another advantage - in addition to the mirror being locked up, Live View uses an electronic first curtain.  There is an additional component of vibration added by the opening of the mechanical first curtain that's eliminated with Live View (the second curtain causes vibration, too, but since that vibration starts as the second curtain closes, it's irrelevant because the exposure is over).

Thanks Neuro for your such insightful, accurate input. With posts like the one above, your knowledgable and generous contribution is so much appreciated.

It's good to know the benefits of live view.  I have been using it more and more lately (including some landscape bracketed exposure shots - ie for HDRs).  Good to know all the technical advantages. 

Again, cheers.  ;)

Paul

210
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Anyone still using a 20D?
« on: January 06, 2013, 10:05:05 PM »
Ok, seeing as others have chimed in with their other 'older DSLR camera' input, here's mine.

I bought the Canon 350D (2nd 'entry level' Canon DSLR - aka 'Rebel XT' in some parts of the world) back in 2005.  I had a few digital P&S cameras before that, and was deciding between a 20D and 350D.

The 350D was slightly newer, cheaper - but didn't have all the same features of the 20D (eg real dial, as many Custom Functions, etc). I decided on the 350D, mainly due to price and size.  I was happy with it - and have taken many photos over the years (probably over 100k photos now).

In 2009 I bought the 7D... it was a definite step up for the 350D, and soon after the 7D had been announced I 'knew' this was the 'upgrade I was waiting for' (the 30D, 40D, didn't cut it for me). The 7D has been my workhorse since.  The improved AF, handling, LiveView, higher ISO capabilties, bigger, brighter OVF and screen all really made the photographic experience more pleasurable.  With my 7D I usually use my Canon 15-85mm USM IS lens.

Having said that, I still do use my 350D for the following:
- time lapse photography (either macro - with Canon 100mm USM macro or landscape usually with my Sigma 10-20mm), and my Hahnel Gigapro timer
- teaching friends / relatives aspects of DSLR photography (I give them the 350D to use / practice with often with the kit lens 18-55 attached)
- outings where I want the lightest / smallest travel package, again using 18-55 kit lens
- back up (eg when I have had my flash on my 7D serviced, under warrantee).

I hope to always keep my 350D as a backup, particularly as I have 3 well functioning batteries for it... (I have 2 for the 7D - which do last longer, but that's another story), and the 350D uses CF cards (win!)  When I run my 350D photos through DxO Optics Pro, I do find I need to adjust the settings a bit more than I do with the 7D (ie for more saturation, sharpness) to get the same results that I'm looking for.

Cheers

Paul

Cheers.

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