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Messages - pj1974

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256
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D & EOS 7D Mark II Speculation [CR1]
« on: May 23, 2012, 07:12:04 PM »
I have the Canon 7D, and believe any 7DmkII will be an APS-C (1.6x crop) with quite a similar feature set as the current 7D.  :)

It appears the current areas Canon might be looking to improve are:
 - basic IQ (eg lower noise at respective ISOs, higher dynamic range)
 - possibly AF / metering improvements
 - maybe minor tweaks to video
 - slight FPS increase

However even if the last 3 didn't improve, I would be interested to upgrade WHEN my 7D retires / dies, etc.  I have taken tens of thousands of great photos with my 7D including landscape, wildlife, macros, etc.   ;)

The build quality, handling and overall feature set are fine for me. A slight improvement to image quality would be all I ask for.  But I don't want it to go full frame, nor APS-H (1.3x crop). If an articulated screen is included, that could be good for some awkward to position macros (for which I often use live view), and certain videoing (which I do rarely).

Let's see what the future holds.  Competition and advances in technology are good.  8)

Paul

257
My recommendation is the:

Giga T Pro II 2.4GHz Wireless Timer Remote for Canon Cameras

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/852088-REG


Noob, there are various answers here, but it really depends on what you ACTUALLY need.

That is:
  • simply a 'wireless shutter release' - for 5DmkIII???  OR 
  • a 'wireless FLASH' trigger for a certain external flash???


I have the Giga T Pro Wireless Timer Remote for Canon, which works great on both my 7D and my Canon 350D (it comes shipped with 2 different cables, 1 for most 'older' Canon DSLRs and a three pin for some of the 'newer' ones!) I'm very happy with that.

It allows a good working range, batteries have not yet needed replacing, and I like the flexibility of it being an intervalometer (eg that I can do time-lapse and control from inside, while my camera is outdoors)

Plus, it's a simple 'self-timer' / portrait help too. I'm not 100% sure if this will work on the 5DmkIII - but someone else (or google or the Hahnel or Canon websites should tell you!)

If it's option 2) - as I don't have a Canon 5DmkIII, I might have different requirements.  (The 7D can control remote flash, wirelessly by it's own flash, etc).

Best regards

Paul

258
Lighting / Re: looking for my 1st flash
« on: May 20, 2012, 09:22:48 PM »

thanks for sharing your thought.. I'd be happier if these can be fired at HSS and lastly they're only available online from other countries.

With pleasure, April.

Just note - that the Nissin 866 (both mkI and mkII) CAN be fired at HSS.   :)

Wickidwombat above said that he would prefer the Canon 430EXii as the price of the Nissin 866mkII is similar (which is fair enough if you want to stay with Canon). Just realise the Nissin 866mkII has similar FEATURES of the higher end Canon though (but at half the price) and it even has some features above the Canon 580 EXII, eg sub-flash.

I do realise though that for some, online internet shopping is a risk. It didn't stop me on this occasion, and I'm happy.  While generally I do prefer to have Canon branded photography equipment, there are times I do buy other manufacturers.  For example, I have a great Sigma 10-20mm lens, and a Hahnel wireless remote timer / intervalometer and the Nissin external flash. I'm very happy with each of these... but most of the rest of actual photography gear is Canon.

Best wishes

Paul

259
Lighting / Re: looking for my 1st flash
« on: May 17, 2012, 11:44:05 PM »
I have a Nissin 866mkII flash, and am very happy with it.  Matched to my 7D, it produces great results.  ;)

It's got good power (slightly more than the Canon 580EXII). The user interface took a bit of getting used to, but now that I'm more familiar with it - find it very user friendly.

The LCD screen is better than the Canon LCD screens, imho - especially when working in low light! Plus it has a sub-flash, and construction quality is professional.  :)

The 7D flash menu can be used for various (including most advanced) functions, OR the 866mkII in-built menu can be used. Note - the Nissin 866 (mkI) works with a 7D, but not all the advanced functions, eg wireless, etc.

I bought the Nissin 866mkII at half the price of the Canon 580EXII! So from that angle, I highly recommend it too.  8)

Paul

260
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: New camera...shooting macros
« on: May 10, 2012, 08:24:06 PM »
+1 for the Canon 15-85mm.  I have a Canon 7D as well as a Canon 350D.  The 15-85mm is such a great all purpose lens for APS-C cameras. I've used a Canon 24-105mm L lens too - which certainly has a nice L feel and build quality to it.  In terms of image quality, the 15-85mm is very comparable to the 24-105mm: both have great sharpness, contrast and good bokeh.

The difference between 15mm and 24mm is substantial.  15mm on an APS-C camera is suitably wide for many landscapes, whereas 24mm is not so wide. There are going The difference between 85mm and 105mm is not so noticable as many people think.  85mm is sufficient on a APS-C camera for portraits, also as the 15-85mm is sharp wide open. The 50mm f1.8 is suitable for a shallower depth of field, or in lower light situations.

I had a good copy of the Canon 28-135mm, which I used as my walk around before I bought the 15-85mm. Photos of whole flowers usually do not require a dedicated macro lens. I've taken many successful flower photos with both my 15-85mm and 28-135mm. If your wife wants to take close ups of PARTS of flowers, a more dedicated macro lens may be required.  The 15-85mm focusses quite close though.

I hope your purchase decision is a good one, and look forward to seeing some of your photos.

Regards

Paul

261
Although I've never been to Nepal or Tibet, I have some experience with mountain hiking and carrying photo gear. In general I would agree with the other posters to go light. My standard setup is a 7D with 15-85 and 70-300, polarizers, spare batteries and CF cards. What to bring depends on what else you have to lug around and on how much time you have to take photos (there's not much sense in taking too many lenses if you have not the time to change them). And in my experience it depends also on the quality of your backpack. If you don't have one already, it really pays to invest some time (and money) on a very good pack that lets you carry relatively heavy loads comfortably for several hours and allows you quick access to your photo gear…
Most importantly: have fun and take care!  :)

You've already received lots of good advice, Phil

I've not been to Nepal / Tibet - but I have been to SE Asian (eg Thailand), holidaying and trekking there.  I also have a lot of experience travelling in and living in Europe (from the Swiss Alps to Western European cities to remote villages in Romania, etc).

My advice would very closely echo stefsan's above.  I have a Canon 7D, and would take that as my primary camera with the 15-85mm and 70-300mm L as my first two 'travel lenses'.  For a third lens I might take my Sigma 10-20mm, though the Canon 15-85mm @ 15mm can often be sufficient for many landscapes, etc.  :)

When I went to Thailand some years ago, I took all my lenses and 2 camera bodies. It was way overkill. I only used my Canon 100mm macro a few times, and my bright prime once or twice during the few weeks I was there. I didn't bring a flash, as I used a tripod for low light / night shots.  IS on lenses and having a camera with ISO capability certainly helps while travelling!   ;)

If I would go to do your trip, particularly as you're doing quite a few different areas, packing light adds to the convenience.  A back-up body is of course handy in case body #1 breaks. For this, I'd probably take my small, old (but reliable) Canon 350D.  I'd probably not take a tripod, but that's me (I often find other things to use or make do without).

Enjoy your time there, indeed. Best wishes... hoping to see some of your photos.
  8)
Paul

262
Lenses / Re: Why buy Canon when third party are this good?
« on: May 01, 2012, 11:55:16 PM »
This has been an interesting thread to follow.  ;)

I think that third party lenses (eg Tamron, Sigma, Tokina and others) have their place, particularly when the prices are much lower than similar lenses

Some time ago, I was looking at replacing my Canon 100-300mm USM which I had for some years. For replacements, I was thinking of the Canon 70-300mm (micro)USM IS, and was also considering the Tamron 70-300mm VC USD which I had seen some good reviews of. I didn't want the Canon 100-400mm L USM IS (because of its weight / size, older IS, push-pull action and design). So after reading various reviews (professionals and 'in the field user reviews') - as well as knowing how good the Canon 70-300mm was... I basically thought I would go with the Tamron 70-300mm VC USD, and even bought a good quality 62mm filter for it - that came up at a good price. Neither the Canon 70-300mm or Tamron 70-300mm had quite the quality I wanted, but I NEEDED both IS (or VC) AND more contrast & sharpness than my Canon 100-300mm could offer at 300mm, as well as being sharper wide open.  So I was on the edge of this purchase 'with a sigh'.

Then the Canon 70-300mm L USM IS was announced. While it was a higher price... I immediately was interested, but thought... hmmmm maybe not - it's a big white L (whereas I wanted and needed something portable). However a few weeks later - when I had tried the Tamron 70-300mm VC USD in store, I asked to see the Canon 70-300mm L. I was immediately impressed how portable it was - and yes, it fit attached to my 7D in my existing LowePro shoulder bag. The salesperson offered me a good price, and would throw in a quality Hoya CPL filter at a discounted price too.

After going home and checking some more early user reviews as well as pro and site reviews, I decided I would purchase it... as it really met all my needs (in terms of IQ, USM, IS).  I have not looked back. A few years ago I was looking at purchasing a telezoom - and was looking at a few Sigmas (eg 80-400mm, 50-500mm, 135-400mm, etc)- but none of the lenses, including the more recently introduced 'OS' versions had as good image quality AND HSM focus and OS, in a truly portable and 'shoot all day without any strain' size / weight. Also, generally I found some of these lenses did not have the best bokeh. Some of them did 'some things' well - but not 1 lens met exactly what I was looking for.

When I was looking to purchase an ultra-wide zoom, I ended up looking at the Sigma 10-20mm HSM f4-5.6 as well as the Canon 10-22mm USM f3.5-5.6.   I ended up getting the Sigma 10-20mm mainly because the image quality was basically identical on both lenses (both are capable of producing great, sharp, contrasty photos) - whereas the Sigma's price was almost half that of the Canon's... plus the build quality of the Sigma is a bit better, plus it came with a lens hood included (and the size / shape of the hood much better than the Canon version).  However, there is one 'niggly little thing' with my Sigma lens (apart from the 'different zoom ring direction' to Canon lenses)- and that is that the Autofocus is not always consistent, nor 100% accurate. Thankfully the way that I use my ultrawide lens (for 90% of the time it's for landscapes) - I just use manual focus, and because of the extremely wide depth of field, all the shot is in focus (and sharp!) The remaining 10% of my use of this lens is a mix of architecture (still use MF) and some 'special effect' photos - which occasionally benefit from AF. Still, for the very few times I use it on AF, it's not an issue. (PS - and the Sigma 'yellow cast' is not really a noticeable issue on my lens, if I need to I adjust in post processing).

Then when I was looking to purchase a macro (I wanted something around 90mm - 150mm) - I didn't find a lens that had the focus I needed (true USM / inner focussing) as well as the optical quality and size.  Whereas there are many very good, ultra sharp macro lenses out there, also from third parties- I ended up buying the Canon 100mm (non L).  It has the characteristics that I needed, without a compromise on IQ.

Ok, the point of all the above is that I do think there are many great third party lenses... and indeed there are some lenses made which the original camera body manufacturers do not have an exact equivalent to (eg the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8, or some ultrawide primes, or the Tamron 60mm f2 macro).  However where there are very similar or equivalent lenses, generally speaking - the original manufacturers lenses seem to have a bit of an edge. Note I say 'generally'. Just as in this case, I think the Tamron 24-70 will have 'great IQ' (and it has the bonus of VC) - but - it won't have the absolute 'stunning IQ' of the new Canon 24-70mm USM, plus I expect the Canon will probably have superior bokeh..  I can understand why a lot of people will be getting the Tamron 24-70mm (particularly for the price) - yet most professionals will probably buy the Canon 24-70mm mk II.  There is a place for both.  8)

Happy shooting everyone!! Competition IS good.

Paul

263
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: What do you recommend? 7D 60D T3i T4i
« on: April 30, 2012, 07:14:54 PM »
I upgraded from a Canon entry level DSLR to a Canon 7D a few years ago.

The AF in the 7D is just what I want - good spread, higher number of AF points, higher FPS when I need it, and much much better build / handling body than either the "Rebel" series, or the XXD line.

However if these things are not so important to you, the 60D or T3i are very good cameras, with sensors and video performance very similar.

Certainly for 'not so challenging' situations, the 60D and T3i can produce stunning images too.  However for the many 'more challenging' situations (eg birds in flight, or compositions requiring more focus points) - I really value the additions that the 7D offers there.

At the end of the day having both very good glass (lenses) and a suitable body is what I've gone without going 'pro' (eg 1 Series).  All the best with your decision.

Paul

264
Street & City / Re: what is it with the brits and DSLR cameras?
« on: April 26, 2012, 11:08:54 PM »
Yep the terrorists won.
So come and take a holiday in Australia!

at least in the UK we dont have creepy crawlies that wait till you drop you pants and sit on the john before they jump out and bite your @rse.

Pure mythology and rumour. Honestly this wouldn't happen more than once or twice a week. I'm telling you, this place is SAFE.

Paul Wright

 ;D

And most of the time, the things that will bite you when you're busy on the loo... (eg red-back spiders) will let you live long enough to finish doing your business. So what's the problem with that?

Sharks, blue-ringed octopus, box-jellyfish and crocodiles on the other hand.......  :'(

another Paul (also in Australia)

265
EOS Bodies / Re: The Big Megapixel Body in 2013?
« on: April 19, 2012, 01:44:36 AM »
Well, seeing as Nikon have just released their ENTRY level D3200 as a 24 MP APS-C camera, I believe this might send some (more?) ripples Canon's way regarding 'Big Megapixel' cameras (whether APS-C or FF).   ::)

See  http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/04/19/Nikon-D3200-with-WiFi-Option

Not that I require a high megapixel count to keep me happy (I currently have 18 MP with my 7D, and 18 MP is sufficient for me, still very handy for cropping, etc).  Give me more improvements in image quality (higher DR, less noise at all ISOs, etc).   ;)

Let's see! I'm still loving photography... spending lots of time outdoors with my 7D capturing things from birds to sunsets to friends to macros to landscapes with my range of quality lenses.

Interesting times.....  Regards all

Paul   8)

266
Lenses / Re: advice re lenses for travel photography
« on: April 15, 2012, 07:00:55 PM »
ok commitment is made
10-22, 17-85, 70-300l and 50 1.4
want to think of it as an investment rather than a lot of cash
now time to think about tripods hmm
thanks for your help

ejas0973, are you SURE you want to get the 17-85mm...  (or did you make a typo, meaning the 17-55mm or the 15-85mm?)  The 17-85mm is an older lens, and the image quality on the wide end is noticeably soft and has strong CA.

The 17-85mm is not nearly as good a lens as the either the 15-85mm or 17-55mm f2.8   As per my post above, depends on what you're looking for - but I use the 15-85m as my 'go to lens' for most every day photos. It's matched very well on my 7D.

Regards

Paul

267
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 350D/Rebel XT Upgrade Thoughts
« on: April 12, 2012, 06:57:32 PM »
Hi Alexandros

I also bought a Canon 350D / Rebel XT in 2005, and have used that for over 80,000 photos. It's still working... despite being displaying a little 'wear and tear'! :)  The main genres of photography that I do include: landscape, wildlife, macro, 'camps' (eg children activities).  So for me, the 350D let me down at times with its speed and focus (only dared to use centre AF point for reliability), but I still have many many great photos from it - across many countries too.

In 2009 I bought a 7D, and haven't looked back. For me, the biggest improvements included: much better AF, quality handling, live view (for macros, etc), higher ISO possibilities. I have been very happy with the crop sensor equivalent ultra-wide zooms (I have a Sigma 10-20mm, and have used a Canon 10-22mm - both very good lenses!)  My Sigma 10-20mm is sharp corner to corner (just one stop from wide open), which some full frame ultra wide zooms can't seem to replicate!  ::)

I was considering the 5D and 5DmkII, and for sure I would have better image quality (particulalry noticeable if one is a pixel-peeper, which I'm not) but I decided to go with the 7D for it's better AF, APS-C (1.6x crop) reach, and imho, superior handling.

By the way, the 7D (and any APS-C camera) CAN do great landscapes, I believe most photos are indistinguisable to 99% at the 'non-pixel peeping level'. I have received a lot of recognition, produced fund-raising images and won competitions with photos from both my 350D and 7D.  8)

If you're happy with the focus-recompose, as others have suggested, perhaps the 5DmkII sounds good, with an ultra wide zoom (eg 17-40mm or 16-35mm). Both those lenses improve (especially corners) when stopped down. However if I was in your shoes, I would also consider the 5DmkIII, for its superior AF and better handling (and buy an ultra wide zoom later).  If I ever went full frame, that would probably be the Canon DSLR I would go for, as I do need a more powerful AF system than the 5DmkII offers - and yes, I've used one.

The options are out there... and you have some decent glass already. All the best with your decision and purchase.    ;)

Paul

268
Lenses / Re: Which Canon lenses DON'T need an update?
« on: April 10, 2012, 08:13:55 PM »
For the price, build quality, size / weight and awesome image quality, I'll add the following two lenses (which I have) to the list of 'not needing an update'. They are pretty much 'spot on' in my humble opinion, and do not need to have a version II:

Canon EF 70-300mm L USM IS
Canon EF-S 15-85mm USM IS

I like having options (eg smaller lenses - usually not as fast glass - with still very high IQ). The above two are ideal as a two lens travel combination.  8)

Jamesy.... I almost cliked the "Report to moderator" link... about your post of the 50mm f1.4   ;D    Ha ha.. I know you were joking!!  That's the one lens I do hope gets an update soon - with true ring type / full time USM focussing, and very good image quality wide open... in fact if it is f1.8 that would also suit me). IS would be a bonus (but not necessary).... :)

Regards

Paul

269
The OP states the 2 first sports are 95% daylight, I think the 24-105mm and 70-200mm are ok lenses for that. A 7D definitely offers signficant improvement over the 40D, specifically in both a more powerful, faster, and flexible AF system, as well as increased FPS.

The other areas (eg children at play) - can be done by both 40D and 7D, but again a definite advantage in 'tricky situations' to the 7D.  I have a 7D and know it's capabilities and advantages very well compared to other cameras, as well as it's limitations.

Reading the OP's post carefully... where he states the types of photos wanting to be taken, I only see one really 'challenging' area where the current lenses might not be suitable: "Cheer (indoor)".  As I'm from a country where "Cheer" is not a big part of our sporting culture (I'm Australian) - I'm taking it to mean 'cheer-leading'.  I would NOT recommend the 50mm f1.8 as suitable because
a) it's AF is slow slow slow (and in my opinion not accurate / consistent enough)
b) the bokeh can be undesirably 'busy'
c) it might not be the right focal length (I'm guessing a 85mm to 135mm more suited).

That's my take on it. Although the 7D doesn't have the same image quality as a full frame, the sensor's 1.6x crop factor advantage can help cover more 'sports' needs from a focal distance perspective.

Definitely the MOST important thing for the OP is to use his camera a lot more, practising using Av/ Tv, and getting to know the AF (of either 40D or 7D). If he's wanting to improve keeper rate, I'd get a 7D as the first step, then perhaps a 85mm f1.8 for 'cheer' if the 70-200mm isn't up to the task in low light.

Best wishes.

Paul

270
Lenses / Re: advice re lenses for travel photography
« on: April 03, 2012, 12:41:35 AM »
My advice would be to go with the Canon 15-85mm as your travel lens. It is so versatile, such a good focal range - and the IS and USM focus are amazing.  I went the 15-85mm over the 17-55mm as the wider and more tele ends were important to me.

Also, when I want 'fast glasss' I go for primes. Most of my photography is outdoor (landscape, wildlife, macro and odd other pieces) I don't do much sports at all (apart from the occasional motorsports) - so I don't require a fast telezoom lens.

As neuro pointed out in his typically 'spot on' advice, having an ultrawide zoom, a 'good kit zoom' and a quality telezoom, plus a prime - makes a great travel package.

I will often take my Sigma 10-20mm, Canon 15-85mm, Canon 100mm f2.8 macro and Canon 70-300mm L as my 'four lens' kit.  At times I'll take fewer lenses (eg 'just' 15-85mm and 70-300mm L, or 10-20mm and 15-85mm - depending on the types of photos I'll be taking).

If I just take 1 lens, it is nearly always the 15-85mm.  The 17-55mm definitely is enjoyed by many others too, perhaps those that take more low light photos without a tripod (eg indoor portraits).

You listed the 100-300mmL as an option. While it has decent image quality, it's an old lens (without IS). I'd recommend the 70-300mm non L (which has quite ok image quality) above the 100-300mm L.

Best wishes.

Paul

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