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Messages - jrista

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1156
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 16, 2014, 01:14:11 AM »
Jack, Thanks!  If I had stopped shooting to take the 1.4X off, I might have gotten everything in the frame.  Was really concerned that the required movements would cause the hawk to fly off but after it was over, I believe it might have been possible.

I say stick with your instincts in the field. Hindsight doesn't tell you as much as having that in-person presence does. I've often been in the same situation, thinking I could have taken off the TC...but usually, the birds I photograph just don't sit still for long, and taking the time to switch the TC in the middle of photographing an interesting sequence usually results in losing the moment.

1157
EOS Bodies / Re: Hybrid Viewfinder Coming To Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: January 16, 2014, 01:12:35 AM »

It's a Bower. I think it's the same generic brand as Rokinon/Samyang.

It may not be the Bower TC that causes the IQ loss. I mean, it will cause some, but the 100-400 sucks even with the EF 1.4x III (which it doesn't even function properly with), and while it functions properly with the much-loved Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 GDX 1.4x TC, the IQ still sucks (a little bit more than the Canon 1.4x, but the differences aren't huge.) I think it's just that the old 100-400mm lens design was built in the film era, at the early dawn of the digital era, and the bar for quality wasn't as high back then. It is most definitely a softish camera at f/5.6 and f/6.3, and only really starts to sharpen up by f/7.1 and f/8. With a TC, you would be at f/11, which imposes a significant hit on either shutter speed (which increases softness from camera shake) or ISO (which packs on the noise, especially on a 7D).

It is possible that your $80 Bower TC is just fine, and that it just doesn't pair well with 100-400 (because, well, NO TC pairs well with that lens. :D )
There's probably something to do with the age of the 100-400 and its dislike of TCs, but I've tried the Bower TC on my old 28-135, and the TC definitely degraded the sharpness there too.  Maybe I got a bad copy.  I imagine the Kenko brand is a tad better than Bower.  I hear the Bower/Rokinon/Samyang conglomerate makes fairly good lenses, so maybe they just don't make good teleconverters.  It's probably very difficult to optimize a teleconverter for a bunch of very different lenses.

The Kenko is decent, but it is definitely not as good as the Canon TCs. It allows just barely visible improvements when attached vs. when not attached. Subjects are definitely larger in the frame, but you don't get the same kind of increase in overall detail as with a Canon TC.

Something else I've noticed with the Kenko TC...boke circles look TERRIBLE. They have this funky warped star effect which just looks rather bad, so I don't really use it much anymore. It's great though, for people who want f/8 AF on camera bodies, like the 7D, that don't normally support it (so the boke issue just doesn't matter in those cases). It does allow f/8 AF, and in good light, even the 100-400 will focus automatically, albeit slowly.

If you have a good lens, and a body that supports AF at the smaller apertures, get a Canon TC. No question they offer better quality. If you have a body that does not support f/8 AF and you need it (probably best with the 400/5.6 L prime), the Kenko is the best bet. (Actually, the Kenko MC4 seems to produce better IQ overall than the Kenko Pro 300 DGX, so I actually recommend getting that one...I simply couldn't find one for sale when I bought mine.)

1158
EOS Bodies / Re: Hybrid Viewfinder Coming To Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: January 16, 2014, 12:22:11 AM »
Daniel, I'm no expert to believe! ;)  One thing for sure though is that the 1.4X and 2X if they help you to fill your frame, are better than cropping.  I've proven that with my 300 2.8 II and converters III.

I believe what some like me are hoping for is more reach while still being able to keep the portability of the 300 plus converters, and for AF improvement.  While I might be able to scrimp and afford a 600, I would be seriously challenged to take it where I would most want it.  Thus, I want to try out the elusive 7DII.

If you're thinking wide, go full frame for sure.

Jack
A lot of argument over the relative value of teleconverters and crop/ff depends a lot on the lens.

If you use a teleconverter on a soft lens, you can decrease the resolving power. If you use it on a sharp lens you will increase the resolving power.

Likewise, a soft lens on a FF camera may out-resolve (or at least be close to) that same soft lens on a crop camera, yet with a sharp lens it may be the other way around...

In other words, if you are going long, the lens quality is more important than FF or Crop.

And Jack is definitely right about going wide.... FF all the way! The wider the angle of the lens, the harder it is to design without distortion and the harder it is to make it sharp. If you wanted the same angle of view on a crop camera as 24mm on a FF camera, you would need a 15mm lens. With the same level of design and materials you can not make a 15mm lens as well as a 24mm lens, so just on the glass, FF wins in IQ.....plus there is all the usual stuff about less noise, higher ISO, etc etc...


This is very true: certain lenses are known to disagree with teleconverters - the 100-400L is a good example of that, for multiple reasons.  The teleconverter quality also matters - a cheap teleconverter can be worse than cropping a photo.  I have an $80ish TC that actually degrades the quality of my 100-400 - a total waste of money.

I have a Canon 1.4 mkii teleconvertor.  Just as a cautionary tale... mind telling people which brand the $80 TC is?
It's a Bower. I think it's the same generic brand as Rokinon/Samyang.

It may not be the Bower TC that causes the IQ loss. I mean, it will cause some, but the 100-400 sucks even with the EF 1.4x III (which it doesn't even function properly with), and while it functions properly with the much-loved Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 GDX 1.4x TC, the IQ still sucks (a little bit more than the Canon 1.4x, but the differences aren't huge.) I think it's just that the old 100-400mm lens design was built in the film era, at the early dawn of the digital era, and the bar for quality wasn't as high back then. It is most definitely a softish camera at f/5.6 and f/6.3, and only really starts to sharpen up by f/7.1 and f/8. With a TC, you would be at f/11, which imposes a significant hit on either shutter speed (which increases softness from camera shake) or ISO (which packs on the noise, especially on a 7D).

It is possible that your $80 Bower TC is just fine, and that it just doesn't pair well with 100-400 (because, well, NO TC pairs well with that lens. :D)

1159
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D - Vertical Banding Noise
« on: January 16, 2014, 12:13:05 AM »
If they are going to charge $1,000+ to change the sensor, plus my cost to ship it there, I won't bother sending it in to Canon.  So, I posted that top photo (red car) online and a link to it - and sending that link to Canon Canada tech support to see if they will look at it and give me at least and idea of what they think the problem is.  No sense sending it in if it's $1,000+.... I'll just buy another 7D.

I've been considering selling my 7D to build up some cash for a 5D III. If your interested, let me know. I'll let it go for a decent price under $1000...it has some cosmetic scratches, but otherwise, the thing is a damnable tank! (I hope the 5D III holds up as well as my 7D has...love the durability of this camera!! :D)

1160
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D - Vertical Banding Noise
« on: January 16, 2014, 12:00:12 AM »
An old PowerShot of mine had a very similar banding issue - I ended up sending it to Canon.  It needed the entire sensor and lens assembly replaced.  Canon's repair costs are actually surprisingly reasonable for what they do to the gear, I'd actually recommend just sending the camera in.

The cost wouldn't be reasonable if it was more expensive than a brand new camera....or for that matter, the majority of the cost of the camera (the 7D sales for $1200 very frequently....so even the low end $1000 cost simply isn't worth it, IMO.)

1161
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 15, 2014, 11:59:05 PM »
Some great ideas for the yard, or anywhere for that matter, Jack and jrista.  I actually laughed reading your post Don(roughing it).  I've gotten most of mine by backing into a bush but a full blind would probably be better.  Some of you might have seen this video by Cornell.

...

Nice Mandarin closeup Harv!  Supposedly we have one or two here but they were imports :(

Loving the snowies, ftico and IslanderMV.  Still a tough call, 80F clear weather or snow, freezing temps and snowies.

Awesome video! Hadn't seen that before, guy did a great job. I know some Spotted Sandpipers nested and hatched chicks around the Cottonwood Creek Wetland near me last year. I should set up my blind out there this year, and see if I can capture some good shots. I never brought my blind last year, and man, daddy piper did his job well. I figure if I could get set up before sunrise, I could probably get some good shots and maybe video of the pipers around Cottonwood Creek this year.

1162
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 15, 2014, 11:51:57 PM »
jrista, now you got that off your chest, you'll feel better. ;)

I looked for that chair and found one at Canadian Tire that looks the same, around $100.  What's your opinion of that particular chair and is there anything else that might be preferable?  That's better than the open lawn chair that I parked at "my" pond during the summer (actually my acreage backs onto county reserve so technically it's not "my" pond (another confession). ;D

Jack
I picked up one at Canadian Tire that is about 4 feet square on the base and sits about 5 feet high.... It is sitting out in the yard with a comfortable folding chair in it... and I must also confess that there is a long extension cord and a small space heater.... takes the edge off of things when you are shooting below -10.... and it is also within WiFi range of the house... (Roughing it is for amateurs)... I was sitting in it on the weekend trying to catch chickadees in flight (DARN THAT'S HARD!!!) and this lovely lady ran through the yard..

Haha! Indeed! :P I do pretty much the same thing...I have a little space heater in mine on the cold days, too. Actually, if you put small stones on the bottom edge of the tent, and zip up tight around the lens, it actually holds heat in pretty darn well, even when the temperature is -10.

As for the Chickadees in flight, you should get Alan Murphy's eBooks. He has some good setup tricks in there that helps a LOT. All the best songbird/passerine BIF shots are setups...it's pretty much the only way to do it. The trick is getting them to land a short way away from "the treat"...seed, berries, suet, whatever...so that they will make that short little "flight" between the initial perch and their goal in a known spot. Then, you basically just point your lens towards one spot, leave it there, and fire away the moment the bird looks like it's going to take off from that initial perch.

Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get any shots. I have yet to create a setup where birds will land first on my special perch, then fly to the treat bar... They always seem to find a more amenable perch from which they launch their attack on the food, so I don't have any passerine flight shots I consider keepers yet. I think part of my problem is space...I only have a quarter acre of land, and everything is pretty tight and close. I want to give some setups out at the nearby state parks a try, see of I can lure some ground fowl and some passerines into a handy little setup and get some better shots.

1163
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 15, 2014, 10:01:36 PM »
jrista, now you got that off your chest, you'll feel better. ;)

I looked for that chair and found one at Canadian Tire that looks the same, around $100.  What's your opinion of that particular chair and is there anything else that might be preferable?  That's better than the open lawn chair that I parked at "my" pond during the summer (actually my acreage backs onto county reserve so technically it's not "my" pond (another confession). ;D

Jack

Your lucky to have land. I live in the suburbs, so I don't have nearly as much space for a really good bird setup, let alone a pond! :P

As for the chair, it's excellent. There are little huts that fit multiple people, tall huts for standing in, etc. But this chair is really the best option. It can be a bit of a pain to get the telescope with a big white lens to fit into initially, but once it's done and you have the lens pointing out the front window, you can sit in it for hours and the birds really don't know your there. You can even make sounds, talk on the phone, whatever...so long as your inside that "odd looking big bush", they just don't care. The moment you poke your head out, though, they all scatter.

I spent $80 on mine on a sale at NatureScapes.net. I think the regular price was $99. Definitely worth it, though.

1164
EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon ditch the AA Filter?
« on: January 15, 2014, 09:25:04 PM »
I realize this is the CANONrumors forum, but we seem to have some people engaged here who understand AA at a fundamental level and I'd like to pose something to them.

Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor (APS-C sized, 16mp) doesn't use an AA filter.  They claim by using a different Bayer filter layout, they don't need an AA filter.

http://www.fujifilmusa.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujifilm_x_e2/features/index.html

Blowing smoke or do they have a point?


I think it is definitely a legitimate approach, assuming it's real (more on this caveat in a minute). Aliasing (of which moire is a type) occurs when two regular repeating patterns interfere with each other. For example, the even grid of fabric, when resolved by a lens such that the threads of the fabric resolve to about the same size as a pixel, is what opens up the opportunity for aliasing. The regular pattern of the threads in the fabric, even though they may resolve to similar dimensions as the sensor's bayer array, will never line up perfectly. Since a CMOS image sensor resolves discrete points, rather than a continuous analog signal, the sensor ends up "aliasing" real-world information. This image from wikipedia demonstrates (they used to have an animated one, seems to be gone now):



Assume the top third is the sensor array, the middle third is the fabric your photographing, and the final third is the result of the two patterns interfering. The result is effectively nonsense. It doesn't resemble reality at all, most certainly doesn't resemble the fabric you were photographing. The problem with modern cameras is even worse...you have an uneven distribution of color pixels, which results in not just an interference pattern, but a color interference pattern (and they can be quite hideous, and take on a whole variety of forms, depending on what kinds of patterns are interacting, so there is no well-known algorithm that can easily clean moire up once it's been baked into your photos...not without severe degredation in image quality.)

Fuji's X-Trans claims an interesting in that, instead of using the most sparse approach to interpolating the raw sensor data, they use a very greedy approach to interpolating the raw sensor data. Moire occurs when analog signal patterns as resolved by the lens interfere with the bayer array. Normally, each bayer pixel is roughly the same area as an output (screen) pixel, input pixels and output pixels are at roughly the same frequency, so that interference shows up when you view a RAW image on your screen in something like Lightroom. X-Trans interpolates a 6x6 matrix of pixels, meaning that one output (screen) pixel is blending information at a larger frequency...moire is INTRINSICALLY blurred away. By interpolating a 6x6 matrix of sensor pixels, X-Trans is technically reducing the maximum potential resolution...by a factor of three...but technically speaking the results would be superior.

Now, there is a caveat I mentioned before. X-Trans could be better, IF that is actually what's happening! I researched the X-Trans a while back, and could never reconcile some of the specifications. Fuji claims the sensor has 16.3mp effective, and 16.7mp actual pixels. The full size RAW output dimensions are 4896x3264. Well, first, if that is the dimensions of a RAW image, that is actually 15.9 megapixels, not 16.3 megapixels. Second, with 15.9, 16.3, or 16.7 megapixels, there simply aren't enough pixels to perform 6x6 interpolation. This has always thrown me for a loop.

Fuji's images are a bit misleading about how bayer interpolation works as well. They use the following diagrams:



On the left is what Fuji claims is standard bayer interpolation. With modern RAW editors, AHDD, or Adaptive Homogeneity-Directed Demosaicing...or some close variant thereof, is pretty standard. AHDD uses a much more complex approach to bayer demosaicing that aims to maximize the information recorded in a standard bayer sensor, minimize stairstepping, minimize color artifacts, and minimize aliasing. AHDD aside, however, true "standard" bayer demosaicing is actually like this (this is an animated GIF image I created some time ago to describe bayer demosaicing):



Watch the image above for a little while, as it counts all the groupings of 2x2 sensor pixel matrices that are actually involved in the most basic form of bayer demosaicing. Notice the multiple overlapping. It isn't each discrete 2x2 matrix of pixels that are demosaiced without any overlap (as in Fuji's image)...it is every possible INTERSECTION of all neighboring pixels that is demosaiced, WITH overlap. A lot of information is reused, so every last scrap of high resolution detail is preserved. Luminance detail is very high with standard bayer, while only color information is spread around more and "blurred" a bit.

Fuji doesn't really explain in all that much detail exactly how they interpolate their X-Trans bayer array. Do they overlap a bit? Given how they rearranged the layout of red, blue, and green pixels, there don't seem to be as many options for overlapping. Even assuming they do overlap...with a 6x6 matrix interpolated for each output pixel, overlapping would greatly soften the output image, both in luminance and color.

The only way I can reconcile how Fuji explains their interpolation process with the megapixel counts and RAW image dimensions is to assume that when they say "megapixels", they mean output pixels, not sensor pixels. That would mean the sensor actually has pixels that are 1/6th the pitch, and that the sensor is 575 megapixels of super tiny pixels, which would be high in noise and low in color fidelity. The high noise/low color fidelity wouldn't matter like it does in a standard bayer, because they are interpolating 6x6 of them for each output pixel. Problem is...575 megapixels? If Fuji had actually achieved that...they would have said something...

So, I'm left with this conundrum. I can see the benefit of interpolating discrete non-overlapping 6x6 pixel matrices. It would certainly eliminate the need for an AA filter. It brings in more color information per output pixel, so color fidelity is higher. It brings in more light per output pixel, so noise would be lower. Theoretically, it sounds awesome. However, with only 4896x3264 pixels in the sensor...the interpolated output resolution would have to be 816x544. That also doesn't make any sense.

I suspect Fuji has some more complex approach to interpolating their RAW sensor data that isn't nearly as simple as a 6x6 matrix of "more random" red, blue, and green pixels. What that interpolation algorithm is, I cannot say. Given the way they arrange pixels, I think it is entirely possible they are interpolating 3x3 matrices of pixels in some AHDD-style demosaicing process that more richly factors in luminance information from all pixels, and cleverly interpolates color information so as not to blur too much. I do think there is some blurring...in a lot of X-Trans sample images, I've often seen halos around things, or softness where one would expect crispness.

X-Trans has really great theory. In application, I don't think it quite lives up to it's claims of critically sharp detail (not on the level of something like the 5D III, 1D X, or D800 for example), however it does seem to have very low noise at high ISO, and I can't say I've seen any moire or aliasing in any of the sample images I've viewed in the past.


Jrista, your demosaicing gif got me thinking.

Canon must be using a slightly different method. Here is a 100% crop of a noisy pixel off my 5D2. When the image is initially being processed (before final resolution is shown) the dot is originally green, then turns grey as seen here.
It looks to me like the green pixels are being average out separately from the rest, it would be interesting to see if lightroom and other editors produce similar effects from hot pixels.





My GIF just demonstrates the most basic form of bayer demosaicing. It is highly likely that DPP is using something more advanced (although what exactly, I don't know). I know for a fact that LR uses a form of AHDD. DPP tends to produce sharper results, however it is more susceptible to aliasing. LR tends to produce really clean edges, but it also produces slightly softer results.

There are lots of trade offs to be made for using different forms of demosaicing. There is also "SuperPixel demosaicing", which uses groups of 2x2 RGGB pixels in NON-overlapping space. You get less resolution and can still suffer from mosaicing, but higher color fidelity and better sensitivity per output pixel.

1165
EOS Bodies / Re: Hybrid Viewfinder Coming To Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: January 15, 2014, 07:21:59 PM »
Although I haven't longed for a hybrid viewfinder, I can see its benefits as a stills shooter as well. Particularly if they offer a "Heads Up Display" sort of arrangement, much as Fuji has done in some of the X series. For example, a  transparent, live Historgram overlaid over a corner of the optical view might be useful in challenging lighting conditions.  Only time will tell if this is the sort of thing they plan to implement into this new hybrid viewfinder. 

TOTALLY AGREE!! I've said that very thing a few times in the past...with Canon's existing translucent LCD overlay for their OVFs, they could put in a monochrome histogram, which would be IMMENSELY useful for those times where you can't really take your eye away from the viewfinder, and the basic exposure meter isn't sufficient to gauge proper exposure. I think there are so many things Canon could do with their current OVF technology...would be very cool to see them take it farther.

As for Canon's lack of innovation in sensors, well that may be coming to an end.  Certainly DPAF has shown that they can be inventive and innovative.  Insofar as the technology is more useful for video, some might think that it's a sign that Canon is favouring video over stills, but I don't think that's the case.  We've already been told that using Dual Pixel technology for AF is just the beginning of what it can do, so it could be an interesting 3 or 4 years for Canon if that promise can deliver new tricks for stills. 

I also think it is wise to keep in mind how amazing the original 7D was when it first came out.  Given how the 5D series has moved from strength to strength, I don't think Canon will compromise on the quality of the 7D II, simply because they will lose a golden opportunity to build on an already incredibly popular product line.  If they "blow it" with this product, it will hit them hard where no corporation wants to get hit--their reputation.  Although the bread and butter Rebels may be what pays the bills and keeps the lights on, it's the high-profile "flagship" products that allow them to sell those rebels.  Delores from Idaho may not know which end of a 1DX is which, but she knows there are lots of Canon cameras at the Olympics and as well as in the hands of pro photographers, and that is what makes her decision to buy a T3i, or SL1 (or a little Canon pocket camera, for that matter).   Companies can afford to "blow it" with a low end camera, then replace it with a nearly identical model some months later.  Witness the "oops--T4i had a problem with the grips turning white.  Better add a fully rotating dial and call it a T5i six months later!" situation.  But the same isn't true for a high-end camera.  A bad rap in a premium camera is harder to shake. 

Another point to consider is the time factor.  Given how long people have been waiting for it, Canon doesn't want the 7D II to underwhelm.  It may actually be a positive that it's been so long, insofar as it might mean Canon is waiting till the product is "right" before they release it.  Consider the 200-400 F4 IS with 1.4TC--the wait was so long it became a running gag that it was more akin to Bigfoot than a real lens.  Yet it delivered all that was promised of it when it finally shipped.  I know, for most of us that's a moot point--we can't afford it.  But we all still wanted it to be phenomenal anyway--and it is!  I think it will be like that for the 7D II--except this camera WILL be affordable (if still expensive compared to the other APS-C cameras). 

I've said it before but I'll say it again, I think Canon will make the 7D II (and I hope they choose that name for continuity) will be great, because they don't dare make it anything less than phenomenal.  I could be wrong--in which case it will likely flop and flop badly.  But I still hold out hope that it will be everything the 7D was in its time---and more!  ;D

+1 Great insights. Particularly the points about the great overall leaps forward the 5D III and 1D X were relative to their predecessors. I guess if you apply that logic to the 7D II, which is still a pro-grade DSLR, then that would indicate the 7D II should see a similar overall leap forward. I still fear THE TRICKLE...but maybe that's just Canon's MO for lower end products (which they release far more of far more frequently than pro-grade anything.) Maybe the 7D II will still be what we all hope it will be, plus the Hybrid VF.

(Personally, I am not concerned with timeframe, as you say...the more time Canon takes on the 7D II, the better it should be when it finally arrives. I can get the 5D III in the interim, which I suspect would still be my primary even if I picked up a 7D II in the future.)

1166
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D - Vertical Banding Noise
« on: January 15, 2014, 07:14:54 PM »
Thanks again, Spokane and jrista.

Nothing seems to change the image... seems like it's permanent damage.  I'm going to take it into the best local camera shop together with some prints just to see what they think. 

I've seen some lightly used 7D's for as low as $500 (a 2011-made one... mine's 2010 - so my warranty is long expired.) If the sensor's shot, I might just bite the bullet and get a new one for $1500 and pay extra for an extended warranty.  It sucks that such a relatively small part/replacement costs about as much as a whole new body!

Thanks again!  :-)

You could just buy three 7D's at $500 a piece, and keep two in reserve. ;P You would pay less than a single new one with an extended warranty. :D

1167
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:39:21 PM »
Since being recently converted to the ranks of trickery  ;D, here's the backdrop I hope you'll be seeing more of.  How long till someone finds this an attractive roost??

Jack


Haha! Welcome aboard! :D I have a similar setup in my back yard right now, where I got those Bushtit shots:





1168
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7D - Vertical Banding Noise
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:28:35 PM »
How are you creating the images? Out of Camera JPEG? RAW? If using RAW, what converter are you using? DPP? Adobe LR? Apple Aperture? RawThearapy or DarkTable?

Have you tried different memory cards?

I forget how long the warranty lasts...is it just one year? If it will cost that much to fix (and you can bet it will cost closer to the $2000 mark), then your just better off buying another 7D. I've sent things in to Canon for repair. I've never had quite that high of an estimate, but when my 100-400mm lens was dropped and needed fixing, the repair estimate was $360-400, and it ended up coming out to $420 when they finally took it apart and figured out all that was wrong. There is absolutely no reason to spend $2000 to fix an old 7D...just find a lightly used one, and you can buy it for less than $1200.

1169
EOS Bodies / Re: Hybrid Viewfinder Coming To Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:23:02 PM »
Daniel, I'm no expert to believe! ;)  One thing for sure though is that the 1.4X and 2X if they help you to fill your frame, are better than cropping.  I've proven that with my 300 2.8 II and converters III.

The 300/2.8 II would be one of those "$8000 lenses" he was talking about, though (even though it's really only about $6500, it's still out of the price range of most individuals). ;) If you try to use a 1.4x or 2x TC on the 70-200 f/2.8, or a 1.4x on the 300/4, the results are not nearly as phenomenal as what you experience with your 300/2.8 II.

When you cannot afford to spend thousands on a Mark II supertele and a couple Mark III TCs, the 7D line offers something that is very valuable to a LOT of shooters who have less deep pockets: Free reach. The 7D II should still continue to offer that, and even more so, if it gets a good resolution boost to 24mp.

1170
EOS Bodies / Re: Hybrid Viewfinder Coming To Canon DSLRs? [CR1]
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:19:49 PM »
"I am aware, from reading previous discussions here, that the crop factor is not a huge advantage (if at all),"

Dan, if the 1.6 factor helps you to fill the frame and you can't otherwise, then it is an advantage that you can't make up by cropping FF.  I believe jrista has explained this in other threads.  The huge downside of crop is the smaller pixels that result in poor high-ISO performance.  If you have 24 MP in a crop, the resolution should be pretty impressive, assuming top of the line lenses (advantage goes away as FF gets more MP).

Jack

I read jrista's comments about it a while ago, and to be honest I had a conclusion in my mind that, in the end, one could achieve similar results when cropping FF. Have I misunderstood? Maybe it was exactly that, pixel density was counterbalanced by cleaner image, and in the end there was no clear advantage for crop. I am not sure anymore, though, and if you are, well, I guess I had better believe you... :)
Question: Is it better to shoot with a crop camera than with a FF + teleconverter?
Anyway, other than that, I am not sure it will be worth buying a 7D2 because a 5D3 will be costing (am I wrong?) nearly the same at the time. We keep praying for 5D3-like AF, 5D3-like IQ etc... Well, if the price is similar, then I see no advantage of the new 7D2 except for when the extra reach is important (not my case).
(Sorry if it was waaaay off-topic.)
Thank you for answering, Jack!
Daniel

The quirky thing about that question is it has changed over time. Back when the 7D was first released, there was no question it produced better results in reach-limited scenarios. It's higher spatial resolution extracted more detail, even if that detail was a little more noisy.

The situation has changed today, with the 5D III and 1D X. Both of those cameras have considerably less noise than the 5D II did beforehand, and even less than the 1D III and 1D IV. The quirk here, is that with so much less noise, the detail they resolve can be pushed around more, and cropping then enlarging still produces great results.

Now, technically speaking, the 7D still resolves more detail. The 7D has 4.3 micron pixels, while the 5D III has 6.25 micron pixels. You can fit 2.11 7D pixels into every 5D III pixel. Even despite the AA filter and the noise levels, the 7D still resolves more detail. I think the key difference most people observe is that the 5D III images are crisper and smoother and cleaner, which in the grand scheme of things produces more pleasing results.

I feel it these days, when I take nice, razor-sharp images with my 7D, they still lack the clarity and cleanliness of similar 5D III or 1D X images. For those who shoot with the 5D III or 1D X with a 600/4 + 2x TC, even though they have a smaller maximum aperture, their results are STILL less noisy than what I get with my 7D. The 7D only gathers less than 21000e- per pixel at maximum signal (and most images don't expose every pixel to maximum, so the average signal in terms of charge is probably less than 18000e- at ISO 100, and certainly less than that at higher ISOs. The 5D III has over 67000e- per pixel at maximum signal, and the 1D X has over 90000e- per pixel!! The 1D X has a stronger signal at ISO 400 than the 7D does at ISO 100. The 5D III has nearly as strong a signal at ISO 400 as the 7D does at ISO 100. It's that stronger signal that largely overpowers the loss in resolution. For what detail those two cameras DO resolve, despite being less detail than the 7D, it is more well defined detail.

If the 7D II gets its much-needed sensor improvement, and achieves around 30000e- FWC at ISO 100, then that would bring it up to par with the 5D III at ISO 200. That's a full stop of real-world improvement. That could have significant implications for the 7D II IQ. Especially if it achieves that increase along with a resolution increase. At 24mp, with 30000e- FWC, the 7D II would once again be able to offer a TRUE reach advantage over the 5D III and 1D X. It would be roughly equivalent to using the 5D III or 1D X with 1.4x teleconverters to achieve more reach, which would level out the noise differences...however the 7D II would still have a meaningful resolution advantage. Both FF cameras could still be used with 2x teleconverters, at which point they could regain a small advantage over such a hypothetical 7D II...being able to pack more pixels on subject with only slightly greater noise.

I dunno if that answers your question or not, but there is a bit of generational flipflop going on. The 7D used to demonstrate a significant resolution advantage over FF models. With the 5D III and even the 1D X, that resolution advantage is no longer sufficient to overcome the benefit of having less noise with FF. With the 7D II, assuming it gets all the goodies we hope it does, it will once again attain that resolution advantage. If that occurs, then there will be no way to get around the fact that as 7D II with 400mm lens will be just as good as a 5D III with 600mm lens, for a very small fraction of the cost. (Can't forget the very significant cost advantage that the 7D enjoyed for so long...the 7D II will have it, too!)

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