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Messages - jrista

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61
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.

62
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

63
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. ;)

64
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.

65
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.

66
Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: July 17, 2014, 03:19:10 PM »

67
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.

68
Landscape / Re: jrista et al, Why Astrophotography?
« on: July 16, 2014, 04:07:02 PM »
  Boy am I feeling old.. Astrophotography was the first thing that interested me.  I bought an OM-1, had a 12.5" reflector made, and bought a Bill Schaefer mount. Used to cook my film myself.

  I am so behind times, it is amazing how technology has taken over. I got into computers when analog to digital was coming into play. Writing software for machines.

  I still have all my old equipment. Is there a way to computerize the old Schaefer mount. It has an old drive corrector that works. But, it is ancient.
 
  Been thinking about having the mirror re-coated on the reflector, and playing around with it some.

  Gary

 Scott Rosen srosen@frazmtn.com might be able to help you with your mount. His site says he has put steppers on his Schaefer.

You need more than just steppers, though. You need to track accurately enough to actually take long exposures. Even if you purchase a mount like an Atlas or ZEQ25, you still need to guide in order to be able to expose for more than about a minute or so. Just slapping steppers on a mount will get you longer than 20-30 second exposures, but not long enough to really do any kind of deep exposures that are necessary to lift detail above the noise floor (which is actually quite high on a DSLR). You would also need to jury-rig something that made those stepper motors controllable via a guider...either via ASCOM Pulse Guiding or an ST-4 guide port.

It's probably best just to buy a used lower and mount. You can find a ZEQ25 for maybe $500 used, if that if you find a good deal. A used Atlas or EQ6 can be found as low as $700 used. A Sirius/EQ5 might be found for as littel as $500-600. All of those mounts are guidable...the only real issue would be capacity, but so long as your not using larger scopes, you should be fine. You could even get an AT6RC for $400 new, or as little as $250 used, and have a real nice Ritchey-Chretein astrograph.

69
Latest rumor out mentions that the dual pixel AF will have a radical, ground-breaking update and that that is basically what the new 7D2 sensor tech is about and not so much about still image quality improvements at all.

Another rumor from weeks back hinted that the 7D2 will introduce some new tech and that the 5D4 will get the rest (that one implied more image improvements for the 5D4). Who knows.

Got any links to these rumors? I haven't seen this on CR...

70
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 16, 2014, 03:10:24 PM »
Latest rumor suggests that the big new sensor tech for 7D2 is all about a radically improved dual pixel AF that will be completely revolutionary but was also 100% silent on any talk of actual image quality improvements (an earlier rumor hinted that the next FF might be the one to focus on also improving IQ). But who knows, these sources may all be garbage.

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.)

Sounded like they were hinting at way upping the speed and making it not focus hunt at all and perform super well for real time tracking and focusing during video.

But who knows.

That still doesn't sound revolutionary or anything like that. It's just expected evolutions on the existing DPAF. I think the patent that covers increasing sensitivity could cover a lot of that, as all PDAF is is a bunch of highly sensitive strips of pixels that can be used to detect a phase offset. Current dedicated PDAF sensors use pixels in the strips that are huge compared to current image sensor pixels...increasing the sensitivity of the photodiodes would allow DPAF to perform at a more competitive level, and by consequence become more useful for realtime focus and focus tracking during video.

Still...it just, if that's ALL Canon does with the 7D II sensor...wow. FLOP. I think Canon is smarter than that...

71
EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How EXCITED will you be if . . .?
« on: July 15, 2014, 11:50:14 PM »
Latest rumor suggests that the big new sensor tech for 7D2 is all about a radically improved dual pixel AF that will be completely revolutionary but was also 100% silent on any talk of actual image quality improvements (an earlier rumor hinted that the next FF might be the one to focus on also improving IQ). But who knows, these sources may all be garbage.

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.)

72
Notice that the patent was filed in December of 2012. So they've had over a year and a half to work on it, plus whatever time they spent before filing. So it's possible it will be included in a 7D2 this fall.

I'd expect Canon to announce a prototype, and show off the benefits of their technology, as they have in the past, before actually using it in a product. There certainly isn't any guarantee that would happen, but it doesn't feel like the technology is ready yet. I expect more patents on the technology, and a prototype test, before we actually see a competitive layered sensor in a DSLR.
What about a P/S camera with the technology? That would be a lot safer way to introduce it.....

Possibly. I dunno, sometimes I think it's a very careful balance for companies like Canon. On the one hand, it might be cheaper (and therefor "safer") to introduce new technology at the low end. On the flip side, you then have your really high end, like the 1D X, where pros who really understand the value of the technology could actually put it to good use, and some of whom might be miffed if the technology did not show up there first.

73
I'd expect Canon to announce a prototype, and show off the benefits of their technology, as they have in the past, before actually using it in a product. There certainly isn't any guarantee that would happen, but it doesn't feel like the technology is ready yet. I expect more patents on the technology, and a prototype test, before we actually see a competitive layered sensor in a DSLR.

Is this something you would want to actually introduce, and not trail?

I can think of few better ways Canon could produce its own 'Osbourne Effect' than to show something so different whilst still churning out a range of cameras with 'existing' technology.

Much like Craig, I've had quite a few 'rumours' sent about upcoming 'new' sensor technology, but nothing overly convincing, and nothing from anyone who's genuine (i.e not hiding behind anonymity) understanding of sensor technologies I'd rate.

Canon wouldn't be pioneering layered color sensor technology. That was done with Foveon. Canon certainly wouldn't be the "first" with a layered sensor if they released the 7D II with one.

Also, keep in mind, the very vast majority of "cutting edge" sensor technology has never made it's way into a DSLR or Mirrorless camera. Sony's Exmor technology is a pretty interesting step towards a better, more integrated sensor design, but even that is still a very far cry from the most cutting edge sensor technology. Most of the really amazing stuff is in video sensors and small form factor sensors...the ultra tiny 1/8th inch sensors that are used in phones, tablets, and other small and cheaper cameras.

In the grand scheme of things, Canon is a "little" behind, Sony is a "bit" ahead, when it comes to large form factor sensors. The technological differences are far from large, and not even remotely close to huge. The single largest differentiator is low ISO noise, which is largely due to Canon's ADC units, which are not actually part of their sensor at all...they are part of the DIGIC chips.

Both companies larger sensor technology is quite far behind the level of technology employed in smaller sensors, though. Even Sony's small 1/3" ICX CCD sensors have better technology in them than either Canon or Sony DSLR/Mirrorless sensors.

Canon could easily close the gap if they either fixed their ADC units in the Digic chips to introduce less noise, or move to a lower frequency on-sensor-die column-parallel ADC approach. All the rest of their sensor technology is actually very good. If they employed more of their noise reduction patents, they could dramatically reduce dark current noise (which can be problematic for higher ISO settings and long exposures), reduce readout frequency when a high speed readout is no necessary (lower frequency reduces noise), etc.

74
Notice that the patent was filed in December of 2012. So they've had over a year and a half to work on it, plus whatever time they spent before filing. So it's possible it will be included in a 7D2 this fall.

I'd expect Canon to announce a prototype, and show off the benefits of their technology, as they have in the past, before actually using it in a product. There certainly isn't any guarantee that would happen, but it doesn't feel like the technology is ready yet. I expect more patents on the technology, and a prototype test, before we actually see a competitive layered sensor in a DSLR.

75
Maybe 7D2 gets the new dual ISO instant read per pixel (ALL pixels) thing? And 5D4 that plus multi-layer sensor in late 2015?
Or maybe 7D2 gets enhanced dual pixel AF and 5D5 gets dual ISO read per pixel (NOT the ML stuff that has issues, true, dual read of each and every photosite) in late 2018  ;D.

Why dual ISO, instead of just reduced read noise? All dual ISO does is work around a read noise problem. I know Canon already has several read noise and dark current noise reducing patents, some seem quite effective. Dual ISO is a workaround that ML discovered and implemented, because current Canon cameras have high read noise.

If Canon would just reduce their read noise, then we wouldn't need dual ISO...the problem with noise and DR would be solved directly.

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