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Messages - jrista

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1126
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: July 20, 2014, 01:52:37 AM »
Phenomenal work here lately, everyone! I'm impressed by the quality of work that's showing up in this thread, many of you are VERY talented.

1127
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 20, 2014, 12:38:02 AM »
On top of this, these animals come closer during crepuscular hours, and the 7D just falls flat here with noisy, rough RAW files.

I found the AF somewhat more consistent, but I absolutely agree the 7D is a good light camera.  I cringed when the ISO went above 800.  I barely blink when my 1D X hits ISO 6400.

Not just the 1D X. I shot these at ISO 12800 in at-sunset/post-sunset light on the 5D III (I have to say, I was blown away by the fact that these came out as well as they did...people who complain about the 5D III, it's dynamic range, or its overall performance haven't put one through it's paces):






1128
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 20, 2014, 12:33:59 AM »

The point being, don't fixate on gear. Technique beats gear every time. One of the best techniques to learn in bird photography is to be slow and quiet..... although that said, I would not refuse a 1DX and a 600II if it were offered :)

Location > gear

Time spent at location > gear

I'd rather shoot with a Canon S2 in Yellowstone for a year than a high end camera and lens combo for two weeks.

I bet if I had a 1D X and a 600/4 II I'd create 100x more great photography in two weeks than you would with your Canon S2 in a year. ;) I have absolutely zero doubt, as a matter of fact.

The odds of getting truly great photographs in nature increase exponentially based on time in the field, not what gear you have.

First, you have to get out there. Second, you have to stay out there in all conditions. Then you need to apply technique, and hopefully a bit of luck will come your way, but don't count on it.

Time can be a factor, but gear is not immaterial. If I wanted to get a shot of bears, I'd much rather have a 1DX/5D III and a 600/4 + 2x TC, or a 7D and 600/4, than anything else.

I wouldn't recommend a 7D at all for bears. In fact, I'd choose a 50D and a 40D over it for our ursine friends.

LOL, sorry, but I find that completely illogical. It's also an unqualified statement...so I have to ask. WHY, in very specific terms, would you choose the 50D or 40D over the 7D for bears (or anything, for that matter)?

Technologically, while the 7D is not as advanced as some competitors today, at the time of it's release (after both of those other cameras), it was one of the best cameras on the market. It had a top of the line sensor for the times, and all the other features trounced pretty much anything else...it sat in a fairly unique spot among DSLRs with the high frame rate and pro-grade features.

1129
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 20, 2014, 12:31:22 AM »
That said, I still believe that most of the time technique beats gear. It's when we are at the limits that the gear becomes truly important and most people never get that far. People like Jrista are not typical. His bird portraits are at a level where great technique and great gear are needed to get that level of shot. Myself, I am still learning and only occasionally reach the limits of my gear, and to keep things in perspective, remember that most cameras are left in program or "green box" mode. For all those people, technique is far more important than gear.

Well, thanks. :) I guess it kind of debunks my argument, but thanks. :D

1130
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 19, 2014, 01:03:22 PM »
Right now I'm having flashbacks of a prior thread where people were debating the best technique to get an equivalent shot of exotic water foul using a 50mm lens instead of 600mm.

I think it involved snorkeling while holding a camera just above the water for a couple of years.

LOL...yeah, sadly, that actually WAS a debate. :P

1131
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 19, 2014, 01:02:42 PM »
If interested here is a quick informal test I did yesterday. Crop cameras are the best birding cameras IMO beating a FF pretty handily. Especially with the new crop sensors from sony.

Interesting that Art Morris (of who's website your URL is seemingly a parody, and who actually shoots birds instead of posed pooches) uses the 1D X and 5DIII with Canon 500/600 II lenses and delivers impressive images. 

I must say, your opinion smells like birds that fart.  :-X

  Non sense.  I personally do not like his pics that much, but many do.  Many others that use Canon equipment I like much better.

It doesn't really matter if you like his personal style or not. That isn't what's up for discussion. The simple fact of the matter is, Morris' technique is largely unsurpassed, especially for shorebirds and waders. The point is, he makes effective use of a 1D X, 5D III, and the 300/2.8, 500/4, 600/4 (all with TCs) and 200-400. The gear, the gear you said hurt your friends photography and therefor must not be very good, is not the problem. In the hands of a talented photographer, that gear can be put to use creating photography of exquisite quality. Quality...not necessarily art, you don't have to like it...but you can't deny the quality of Morris' work.

Talent doesn't trump gear. Gear compliments talent.

1132
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 19, 2014, 12:56:50 PM »

The point being, don't fixate on gear. Technique beats gear every time. One of the best techniques to learn in bird photography is to be slow and quiet..... although that said, I would not refuse a 1DX and a 600II if it were offered :)

Location > gear

Time spent at location > gear

I'd rather shoot with a Canon S2 in Yellowstone for a year than a high end camera and lens combo for two weeks.

I bet if I had a 1D X and a 600/4 II I'd create 100x more great photography in two weeks than you would with your Canon S2 in a year. ;) I have absolutely zero doubt, as a matter of fact.

The odds of getting truly great photographs in nature increase exponentially based on time in the field, not what gear you have.

First, you have to get out there. Second, you have to stay out there in all conditions. Then you need to apply technique, and hopefully a bit of luck will come your way, but don't count on it.

Time can be a factor, but gear is not immaterial. If I wanted to get a shot of bears, I'd much rather have a 1DX/5D III and a 600/4 + 2x TC, or a 7D and 600/4, than anything else.

1133
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 18, 2014, 09:22:54 PM »
Technique beats gear EVERY TIME?

You're telling this to someone who shot in dark gyms with a 1D4 and a 7D then switched to a 1Dx.  Technique hardly beats gear every time.  I highly doubt my "technique" increased my keeper rate by about 150% and gave me tons and tons of clean images at ISO 6400.

I'd rather shoot NCAA D2 basketball with a 1Dx and 70-200 f/2.8L II IS combo than an NBA game with a 7D, that is for absolute sure.

I swear sometimes you guys just argue to argue.
point taken.... how about technique USUALLY beats gear :)

I think you have it a bit inverted. Gear compliments technique.

It doesn't matter how good your technique is, if your running into a limitation of the gear, your limited. You may be the most skilled photographer in the world...but a 7D w/ 100-400 is always going to result in noisier images, more missed shots due to it's AF jitter, and missed frames relative to a 1D X with a 600/4.

A skilled photographer will make the most of BOTH setups, which means the better setup is...well, still better. ;)

Don't get me wrong...I still love my 7D. I use it whenever I need the reach. I also use it when I need a smaller image scale for astrophotography (which is basically a fancy way of saying I need smaller pixels.) No matter the benefits of any given piece of equipment, though, there are always limitations. And there are always better pieces of gear, and in the hands of a photographer with good technique, better gear always wins.

1134
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 18, 2014, 09:00:04 PM »

The point being, don't fixate on gear. Technique beats gear every time. One of the best techniques to learn in bird photography is to be slow and quiet..... although that said, I would not refuse a 1DX and a 600II if it were offered :)

Location > gear

Time spent at location > gear

I'd rather shoot with a Canon S2 in Yellowstone for a year than a high end camera and lens combo for two weeks.

I bet if I had a 1D X and a 600/4 II I'd create 100x more great photography in two weeks than you would with your Canon S2 in a year. ;) I have absolutely zero doubt, as a matter of fact.

1135
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 18, 2014, 06:53:18 PM »
Birthday wish list for a new version of the Canon 7D

Histogram in the view finder <-- +1000000
Auto Focus at f/8 <-- +100000

1136
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 18, 2014, 03:28:57 PM »

 If interested here is a quick informal test I did yesterday. Crop cameras are the best birding cameras IMO beating a FF pretty handily. Especially with the new crop sensors from sony.

http://www.birdsthatfart.com/1/post/2014/07/pentax-k-3-sigma-300mm-f28-lens-vs-canon-1d-mark-iv-7d-300mm-f28-ii.html

Informal indeed. Your ignoring a lot of IQ factors. IQ is not solely about shadow lifting ability (which is what your referring to when you say DR) or sharpness. I prefer all of the 7D shots in your comparison. Why? Framing and background blur! Every one of the 7D shots has VASTLY superior background blur, and superior dynamic range. Yup, I said it. LTRLI will be happy about this post. :P

The K3 suffers in the depth of field and overall noise areas. These are critical IQ factors. They affect the overall aesthetics of the photo. Because you had to stop down with the K3, you lost light, which either required you to use a higher ISO or do more lifting in post. The Sony sensors may have more shadow lifting ability, but there is absolutely no alternative to gathering more light. None whatsoever. Its the total quantity of light that actually affects dynamic range...and by that, I mean real dynamic range...not just shadow lifting. Dynamic range affects the entire signal, from the shadows right up through the peak signal. More total light, less noise in general throughout the entire image.

Add in the wider aperture, which allowed for a thinner DOF which blurred out the background more...and you have a much better camera system overall. The 7D images are less noisy because you gathered more light...that means the 7D images actually have better dynamic range. The SENSOR may not be as good as the sony sensor, but the CAMERA setup allowed you to get better photos with the Canon setup than with the Pentax setup. That's really what matters in the end...the final outcome, the end IQ. It might be possible to find a lens for the Pentax that performs as well at f/2.8 as the lens you used on the 7D...maybe. Canon's glass is largely unsurpassed these days, with a few exceptions here and there (like the Otus and a few wide angle Sigmas). Canon, despite their older sensor technology, still has a better overall camera system...and it shows.

It shows even when people try to prove the opposite...which is so ironic. ;)

1137
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 18, 2014, 02:54:56 PM »
How big is the birding/ wildlife photography base for a high end crop camera? I know that the bird/ wildlife pro photographers trend toward 1DX, but there are some very well respected pros using 7D and the Big Whites. Amateurs with this interest are grouped into "money no object (already own a Big White)", "value for money, middling budget (using a Little White 400, 100-400, or a Tammy, planning on upgrading to Big White eventually)", and "bargain basement / don't plan to invest in a Big White, will stick with Little White". I am in the middle group and am a good sales target for a high end crop camera. The last group will be reluctant to pay a premium over the 70D for a higher frame rate.  The first group? I have to say that I have not seen many 1DXs in the hands of amateur bird/wildlife photographers locally, with the exception of a very few tripod/blind shooters.

   I can afford a Idx, and I would not buy one for birding even at half the price. I tried one and tried the 5D III. Those are not birding cameras IMO. Or at least not for me.
  After the new big whites came out with the new FF cameras. My friends that I shoot with changed very quick. And just raved. I have been looking at there photos for the last two years. The detail and quality of there photos have gone downhill. And not just by a little. All of them also bought the new 600 to go with the new cameras.

 If interested here is a quick informal test I did yesterday. Crop cameras are the best birding cameras IMO beating a FF pretty handily. Especially with the new crop sensors from sony.

http://www.birdsthatfart.com/1/post/2014/07/pentax-k-3-sigma-300mm-f28-lens-vs-canon-1d-mark-iv-7d-300mm-f28-ii.html

The fact that your friends bird photo quality went downhill is not indicative of the equipment, it's indicative of their own skill. I'd wager that they are having a harder time with the larger, heavier equipment, but that is something that can be dealt with via practice.

Big name, long time pros use the 1D X and the 5D III, and they make phenomenal bird photos with both. There are also some pros that use the 7D and 100-400, and their work is still excellent. It's a matter of skill, really. There is certainly the IQ benefit if you can get closer with a bigger frame and a longer lens...more pixels on subject and more light gathered. If you know how to use a 7D and a smaller lens, and use it in good light, it is extremely difficult to tell the difference.

I think the 7D line with the 100-400 and Tammy 150-600 really fill the growing market of budget birders, who can't spend $20,000 on a 1D X and 600/4 II, or who simply refuse to/can't justify it, don't want the big heavy equipment, whatever reason.

I use a 7D and 5D III with a 600/4 II myself. There is no question that the 7D has the reach, but I've got the skill...and more importantly the patience, to get close. The large frame of the 5D III definitely gets the better IQ if and when I fill the frame. Assuming the 7D II get a good still photography IQ boost and gets a much-improved AF system, I'll probably get one to replace the 7D at some point in the future. If instead the 7D II hits as a "big time" DSLR video camera, I'll skip it.

1138
Photography Technique / Re: Help: lightning photography?
« on: July 18, 2014, 02:44:41 PM »
The trick with lightning photography is to expose for long enough, at a narrow aperture, and do so repetitively, that you capture live bolts. Personally, I use a simple $35 intervalometer with my 7D and 5D III, along with exposures around 10 seconds, ISO anywhere from 100 to 3200, and apertures around f/8 to f/16 (depends on the time of day/night and intensity of the flashes).  I usually program the intervalometer to take a few hundred shots, and after pointing both cameras in the direction of lightning activity, I just let em rip.

Here is a recent shot (I have more, haven't processed them all yet):



It's also possible to use lightning preflash detectors to look for the initial burst and dispersal of electrical energy that preceeds the main bolt. These will automatically trigger your camera for you once the preflash has been detected. They are pretty accurate these days, and the nice thing about them is you don't have to expose for a long period of time, which blurs the clouds.

1139
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: July 17, 2014, 03:19:10 PM »

1140
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 16, 2014, 04:15:04 PM »
I dunno. I've read the subsequent DPAF patents, and there isn't anything remotely revolutionary in there. Mostly just using different sized photodiodes for the AF part, and a means of increasing sensitivity for AF without reducing IQ. If that's all Canon's got for the 7D II, they are going to take a HUGE reputation hit...and they HAVE to know that... (If they don't, then they've totally lost touch with their customer base, and I am seriously hoping that's not the case.)

Are you suggesting that the people here are representative of Canon's customer base?  I see lots of clamoring for better IQ on forums but until the 70D, the 7D remained a strong seller.  I'd bet a 7DII with 41ish AF points and 10 fps, and a 24 MP DPAF sensor similar in IQ to the 70D, would sell quite well.

It may sell, but I think it would still hurt Canon's reputation. To date, they actually have a very good track record of listening to their customers and delivering on their customers demands. Both the 1D X and 5D III are excellent examples of that...Canon pretty much NAILED both on the head, delivering exactly what their customers wanted.

It's very clear that their customers want a better sensor in the 7D II. If Canon was to make it some big video DSLR, and completely ignore their still photography customer demands, I just think that would hurt Canon's reputation as a company that listens to their customers, and delivers meaningful improvements in IQ. As much as the 1D X and 5D III did not improve low ISO IQ to the same degree as the D800, both improved high ISO IQ considerably, and people are quite happy with them.

All I've heard, for the last several years, from people all over the net, is they want Canon to deliver better DR. Regardless of whether more DR is nearly as meaningful or important as people seem to think it is, it's still by far the single loudest demand that Canon customers, as a gigantic mob, have been demanding. I think it would be damaging to Canon's reputation to completely ignore that demand, and not only that, but completely ignore still photography demands overall and just focus in the video stuff (which is what LTRLI's posts seemed to indicate whatever rumors he read said.)

One of the things I like most about Canon is they've listened to their customers, for decades now, they have delivered new products based directly on customer feedback. I remember for years the "fewer megapixels, better pixels" demand of pro photographers who were sick of the endless megapixel race. I remember the AF system of the 5D II being one of the biggest complaints about that camera. I remember the lack of f/8 AF in anything but the 1D line being another sticking point. Canon directly addressed all of those things, and other key issues their customers had. If they ignore the sensor IQ/DR thing...they are ignoring a BIIIG issue their customers have. It doesn't matter if it matters, it doesn't matter if low ISO DR isn't as important as some of the Canon naysayers and die-hard Nikon fans insist...all that really matters is Canon's low ISO DR is most definitely at the top of a very significant number of Canon users complaint lists. They have to respond to it...some how, some way...they can't simply ignore it.

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