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Messages - jrista

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1471
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:29:07 AM »
Sad Eyes

Yellow Eyed Penquin

Kaikoura Seal

Capuchin

Tuatara


WOW. These are STUNNING. Absolutely love the color, and the subjects and composition are excellent.

1472
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:26:55 AM »
Juvenile Northern Rough-winged Swallow, catching its breath.  I was pretty astonished by this bird, I was standing at an overlook above a small lake when the bird landed just a few feet away from me on the fence railing.  It was plainly very out of breath and it sat there for a couple of minutes while it got its breathing under control.  My guess is that it is newly fledged and that it is just learning the ropes of being a swallow.

Canon 5Diii, 400DO, ISO 320, f6.3 @ 1/800, aperture preferred setting.

Great shot! Poor little guy, he does look beat. Wonderful detail, though.

1473
Animal Kingdom / Re: Lizards
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:26:22 AM »
Wonderful shots, guys! Really amazing detail. Lizards are intriguing subjects, what with their scaly and colorful skin. Looking forward to more!

1474
EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:18:34 AM »
I rarely switch modes in the middle of a shoot. I pick one for the scene, and keep it there for most of the shoot. I have accidentally moved the mode selection on my older bodies. I'd welcome this EOS-1 set-up.

Besides, is it easier to take your eye out of the viewfinder to switch modes than it is to hit the button and spin the dial while still keeping your subject in the viewfinder? We all shoot different. I think it would take a day to get used to, and you might not want to go back.

The mode dial thing really comes into play with custom user modes. With bird photography, you often have to switch modes quickly, when say an Egret or Heron goes from happily hunting fish to flying off in a start because someone decided to stomp up to the edge of the pond and oogle all the birds that WHERE there a moment before with their woefully inadequate binos, then you need to switch to a mode tuned for flight photography in a heartbeat.

With the 7D, I was able to do that just by tightly pressing my index finger to the mode file and rolling. I pretty much always had my eye away from the VF for that, but it was still on the bird, sighting in so I could get the flight shots. The 7D was always a pain for flight, at least with the 600, so I rarely ever got any good shots. The large frame of the 5D III is excellent, however now with the mode dial lock, I have to take my eye off the bird to enter the custom mode. I'm now working on configuring my alternative AF mode so I can reconfigure that one button to an AF setup better suited for BIF, and I think that will do the trick (and possibly even be better than my 7D was.)

Anyway...there ARE reasons to quickly change camera modes. More configurability, and the option of toggling subsets of the camera system into different modes, would actually make for a more flexible setup. I like where Canon has started going with the 5D III...it'll be very interesting to see how much configurability the 7D II has.

1475
Photography Technique / Re: technique for hand held larger lens
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:07:57 AM »
Check out the third photo on this page (of Arthur Morris) - that's how I hold my lenses, if they have feet. 

Me, too, except I try not to stick my tongue out like that.   :P

Ah! But you see, the tongue is part of the whole Morris Special Technique. It acts like a wind sensor, giving you early cues as to direction and strength, allowing you to preemptively combat wind pressure. Besides, it makes you look like a goofball, so the birds won't be afraid. :D You GOTTA stick the tongue out! :P

1476
EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:00:32 AM »
I think touch screens will have a lofty place among entry level cameras and mirrorless cameras. When it comes to professional grade cameras...I don't really think that touch screens are going to be all that important.

Think about what you are saying.

Can you set a 600 RT without ever taking your eye off the viewfinder? Select flash groups? Adjust flash A:B C balance while looking through the viewfinder?

And, with that new 5DIII can you set tracking sensitivity or accelerate or decelerate your tracking through the viewfinder?

Setting tracking with a touch screen -- now that alone would be worth it.

First, I never said touch screens weren't useful. Just that they won't be the most important feature of an action-oriented camera like the 7D II.

Regarding flash...no, however I have never really needed flash for my bird and wildlife photography. I don't think flash is used all that much with sports either. Flash also quickly becomes useless in high frame rate photography, since even with high end Eneloop fast cycle batteries, the flash still can't keep up.

So whether you can control flash or not is moot. It's unimportant in the high speed action photography context.

As for AF, the 5D III brings AMAZING button customizability. It actually allows you to configure the "AF Stop" button to alternative behaviors, one of which is "Switch to registered AF function". You can register your own AF function, and switch between it and the main AF function, with the press of a button. So, while you don't have 100% complete control over every aspect of the AF system from individual buttons, you can do what you stated, change tracking sensitivity, acceleration, etc. without moving your eye from the VF.

I suspect that functionality will only get more refined in future generations of Canon pro-level DSLRs. And regardless...even if you can tweak those settings on a touch screen, you still have to take your eye away from the VF, which is worse than what I can do now with my 5D III.

Yikes! You're starting to sound like Sella or Dilbert. You don't use flash so there's no reason for Canon to make it easier for others?

*Sigh* Very low blow, man. And uncalled for. And I repeat myself:

Quote
First, I never said touch screens weren't useful. Just that they won't be the most important feature of an action-oriented camera like the 7D II.

^-- That is not something Dilbert would say. He refuses to acknowledge any point other than his own. I have acknowledge your point. I NEVER said touch screens weren't useful. Nor did I say they shouldn't add one to the 7D II. I only said that it won't be the most important feature of an ACTION-ORIENTED camera like the 7D II. My prior reply to Don explained why I believe that. Do you read?  ::)

And, of course, you can customize your autofocus settings and add them as a custom functions. But in order to do that, you still have to go through the old-fashioned menu and dial and button setting procedures. It's just so much easier and more intuitive to change and adjust any setting with a touch and swipe system than a scroll and press system. You can still set a custom function, but you can do it much more quickly and intuitively with a touch and swipe.

Your still completely ignoring what I've said, assuming you even read it. What your talking about has nothing to do with what I was talking about. AT ALL. WHATSOEVER.

I was simply comparing the usefulness of a touch screen as a primary mode of camera operation, based on what Don originally said. I HAVE NEVER ONCE made ANY argument that Canon SHOULD NOT add a touch screen to the 7D II. That IS NOT MY POINT. I'm sure it will probably have one, but that is entirely irrelevant to the point I was trying to make. You've inferred something from my posts that is not there.

And once again, why would anyone think that adding a touch system is somehow going to mean taking away buttons or wheels? It augments, does not replace, the existing system.

Again, that is not my argument, I never said Canon shouldn't add a touch screen. ??? Go re-read what I wrote, maybe a few times, and once you understand it, then we can have a discussion.  ??? ??? ???

1477
EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 11, 2014, 11:04:24 PM »
I think touch screens will have a lofty place among entry level cameras and mirrorless cameras. When it comes to professional grade cameras...I don't really think that touch screens are going to be all that important.

Think about what you are saying.

Can you set a 600 RT without ever taking your eye off the viewfinder? Select flash groups? Adjust flash A:B C balance while looking through the viewfinder?

And, with that new 5DIII can you set tracking sensitivity or accelerate or decelerate your tracking through the viewfinder?

Setting tracking with a touch screen -- now that alone would be worth it.

First, I never said touch screens weren't useful. Just that they won't be the most important feature of an action-oriented camera like the 7D II.

Regarding flash...no, however I have never really needed flash for my bird and wildlife photography. I don't think flash is used all that much with sports either. Flash also quickly becomes useless in high frame rate photography, since even with high end Eneloop fast cycle batteries, the flash still can't keep up.

So whether you can control flash or not is moot. It's unimportant in the high speed action photography context.

As for AF, the 5D III brings AMAZING button customizability. It actually allows you to configure the "AF Stop" button to alternative behaviors, one of which is "Switch to registered AF function". You can register your own AF function, and switch between it and the main AF function, with the press of a button. So, while you don't have 100% complete control over every aspect of the AF system from individual buttons, you can do what you stated, change tracking sensitivity, acceleration, etc. without moving your eye from the VF.

I suspect that functionality will only get more refined in future generations of Canon pro-level DSLRs. And regardless...even if you can tweak those settings on a touch screen, you still have to take your eye away from the VF, which is worse than what I can do now with my 5D III.

1478
...
The D800/E are the best still cameras as far as dynamic range goes. That makes the difference 2.27 stops at best, or 2 1/4 stops.
...
The D600/610 are a little better than the D800/E in terms of screen DR.

Indeed, you are right.

1479
EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 11, 2014, 09:38:30 PM »
Yes.... the touch screen is a game changer... either use it like a 1DX or tap the screen.... as touchscreens mature it will be interesting to see what happens.

Maybe, it depends. Personally, I'm the kind of shooter that doesn't like to take the camera away from my eye if I can avoid it. You can easily miss the best action that way. (I just did recently, testing my new 5D III...snowy egret fluffed up as I was fiddling with something on the camera...when I had my eye AWAY from the VF!! BAH!) I like a camera that has LOTS of buttons that allow me to directly access LOTS of things, combined with a viewfinder that displays enough information to allow me to configure everything about the camera, mode, exposure, AF, metering, etc. all from my near-permanent viewpoint through the viewfinder.

Button layout plays a BIG role here, as does the number of buttons and how configurable each one is. This is one of the areas I think Canon EXCELS at, and one of the few primary reasons I've stuck with the brand. Canon ergonomics are superb.

Touch screens...well, they are very intriguing, and certainly make using P&S style cameras, like say the EOS M, easier and more convenient. But, they really don't do squat to help me configure my camera on the fly without ever removing my eye from the viewfinder. By definition, touch screens require that I remove my eye from the VF and touch the LCD screen on the back. Not only that, I have to take my eye off the subject to use a touch screen. Not very good for action shooters, who have to keep their eyes on the scene/subject at all times and be ready, at all times, to press the shutter button when the action occurs.

Buttons and a good VF HUD are essential for what I do. For the most common things, I barely even have to think...changing exposure, selecting AF points, etc. are largely autonomic, procedural memory and a tiny fraction of my mind take care of them when I need to (most of the time). I have to think a bit more to do other things, say lock autoexposure (if I'm using an auto mode), because I don't do it as often, but I can still do it without taking my eye away from the VF with lots and lots of buttons. I would actually prefer to have buttons rather than a dial for mode selection...the dial is actually difficult to use, even more so these days, like with the 5D III which has the mode dial lock button...it's basically a two-hand requirement to change modes now. (I like that in one sense...now I'm not changing modes accidentally, which occurred far too often with the 7D...but now I can't simply roll my left finger along the dial to change modes...)

Anyway...I think touch screens will have a lofty place among entry level cameras and mirrorless cameras. When it comes to professional grade cameras...I don't really think that touch screens are going to be all that important. They introduce a highly disruptive workflow for changing camera settings, one that is not conducive to action shooting at all (and, since this is the 7D II were talking about...action is basically what it's designed for.)

1480
EOS Bodies / Re: A Few EOS 7D Mark II Specs [CR1]
« on: June 11, 2014, 09:25:26 PM »
Can somebody explain to me HOW lack of a mode dial is a good thing? I've never really understood the button system on the 1D line. To me it seems to be a lot slower to switch modes like this.

Dials are difficult to seal. You can't REALLY seal a rotating component...there is always going to be the open joint where the seal meets the shaft of the dial.

Buttons, on the other hand, can be completely sealed. You place the button on the outside of the seal, the electronics that activate on "press" inside the seal, and everything is good.

The 1D X uses buttons to meet it's weather sealing grade...which is quite a bit higher than the current 7D. If weather sealing is important (and if you shoot sports or any other kind of action, it's plenty common to shoot in the rain or other wet weather), then the 7D II moving to a button-only system is actually a rather welcome thing.

1481
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 11, 2014, 05:44:46 PM »
Here's one of a juvenile Bald Eagle in Alaska last summer.  Still don't have a 5D, but it was great to use the GPS function on my 6D to plot every shot I took up and down the Inside Passage.  This one was taken at the Anan Bear Observatory.

That's a big bird! Interesting pose, too...you can kind of see the birds inexperience.

1482
The improved processor(s) and high speed memory required for 4K video and DPAF opens up an interesting possibility for the action shooter..... 30fps burst mode in live view....

Interesting indeed. Here's what's most interesting:

Assuming a 24mp sensor, which has a "full" pixel count of say 27mp (including masked border pixels, inactive calibration pixel rows and columns, etc. all of which DO get read and which ARE included in every RAW image). Also assuming the ADC is 14-bit. Then, for a 3-second burst:

(3 * 30 * 27,000,000 * 14) / 8 = 4,252,500,000 bytes

In one three second burst at 30fps, you generate 4.2GB worth of data! :P If you tend to take 3-5 second bursts, and shoot at least a few dozen bursts on any given outing... Well, S___...now those two new 3Tb hard drives I just purchased aren't going to be going very far...and I'm going to need four times as many long-term backup and storage bluray disc for permanent backups...and my import/review/cull time is going to go through the roof...

;) Be careful what you wish for...   :D
:) I know :)
Storage demands are constantly going up.... I remember buying a hard drive for work $9995 for 10Mbytes and my first digital camera shot 640x400 with 8 bit color... Todays camera storage requirements were unthinkable back then.... two days ago I shot a time lapse on a GoPro that sucked back 48GBytes...

The crazy thing is that storage space doesn't seem to be advancing as quickly as it use to anymore. It was quite a number of years ago that we hit 2Tb....then a few years ago that we hit 3Tb, and now only recently have 4Tb drives have begun to become "affordable" (the ones with TERRIBLE access times are still around $150, and the ones with faster access times are still in the $220-$300 range). There are less than a handful of 6Tb drives on the market, and only LaCie seems to be selling 5Tb hard drives...both of which are at lest $300 a pop if not considerably more expensive.

While larger hard drives, all built with the same semi-reliable technology that has been plaguing computer users for decades, trickle slowly onto the market, our data use needs are RAPIDLY growing. As video, especially 4k video, becomes more accessible, I think 48Gb worth of video files is only the beginning! :P And as still image sizes skyrocket to 40, 50, 70 megapixels and beyond... Yeesh...I shudder to think about the costs of storing it all. Cloud services aren't even remotely "there" yet when it comes to space/dollar, and then you have to deal with transferring tens or hundreds of gigs across the wire.

1483
The improved processor(s) and high speed memory required for 4K video and DPAF opens up an interesting possibility for the action shooter..... 30fps burst mode in live view....

Interesting indeed. Here's what's most interesting:

Assuming a 24mp sensor, which has a "full" pixel count of say 27mp (including masked border pixels, inactive calibration pixel rows and columns, etc. all of which DO get read and which ARE included in every RAW image). Also assuming the ADC is 14-bit. Then, for a 3-second burst:

(3 * 30 * 27,000,000 * 14) / 8 = 4,252,500,000 bytes

In one three second burst at 30fps, you generate 4.2GB worth of data! :P If you tend to take 3-5 second bursts, and shoot at least a few dozen bursts on any given outing... Well, S___...now those two new 3Tb hard drives I just purchased aren't going to be going very far...and I'm going to need four times as many long-term backup and storage bluray disc for permanent backups...and my import/review/cull time is going to go through the roof...

;) Be careful what you wish for...   :D

1484
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 10, 2014, 08:03:24 PM »
OK Jon, 

The previous image you referred to in post #5784 was in my opinion also, darkened too much.  This came about due to my friend commenting about the woodpecker being black and me making it look grey.  I usually look more at the face and try to ensure that it is exposed the way I recall it looking.  My latest shot which you say is OK, I suppose I don't like because of the total blowout of the sky, which is probably unavoidable.  If you PM me with the file # of the one you'd like to play with, I'd go back to the original raw settings and forward that to you, no problem. 

I should mention, isn't it always the case, that this guy showed up (can you believe he landed on a stool right in front of me on the deck just outside my full glass patio doors and then flew to the prop) when I was on the phone and I rushed out unprepared and unaware that I was set 1 stop overexposure.  I was using the upper focus point but of course the exposure is taken from the center on the 6D (black midsection of bird) so overall it was quite blown out.

Jack

I consider you lucky to have those birds at all! :P You have a greater variety of birds in your back yard than I do...I'm generally limited to house finches, house sparrows, chickadees, and the occasional goldfinch. At certain times of the year, mourning and eurasian collared doves come through as well. I get the extremely rare flicker or downy woodpecker, but they rarely ever land on my perches. It's just a crowded neighborhood, so I don't think the more interesting birds really like coming through much.

Anyway, you should work in stretching your exposures. It looks like you have getting exposure correct in-camera, and pulling down your exposures in post to compensate for ETTR, down well. The trick then, would be to achieve the right colors in the right parts of the bird, but doing so "locally". You can "stretch" down the lower midtones and compress the blacks without affecting the higher midtones and highlights, when you use the tools you have correctly. That allows you to achieve, say, the "black" belly without affecting the red and white in the crest and head.

Before I ask for any files, I'd like to see you give it a try. I'm sure you have the ability...just experiment. ;) I use lightroom myself...if you use it as well, it is an amazingly powerful tool. The curves and/or highlight/shadow/white/black/exposure sliders can be used to perform the necessary stretching. When you really have to do some major separation of tones, you will usually have to resort to the curves tool, which gives you more fine-grained control than the sliders (note that at the bottom of the curves, you have little triangles, drag those to change the tonal ranges that each part of the curve affects.)

1485
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 10, 2014, 03:53:55 PM »
As I see it now here in the thread this last shot is overexposed - don't like it.

Jack

I think it's perfect, honestly. :P Are you willing to share your RAW? I can do some processing in Lightroom, and share it back, just to show you how useful your exposure in the last image is.

BTW, when I mentioned underexposure, I was actually referring to Reply #5784 in this thread. It's still the woodpecker, but the exposure was a lot dimmer, contrast was lower. I noticed you posted this latest image before...that one actually looks pretty good, and does not actually look improperly exposed.

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