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Messages - Robert Welch

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31
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 refurb or new 7D as backup to 5D3?
« on: March 21, 2013, 07:52:34 PM »
Having had all these cameras, currently using 5D3 with 6D as backup at weddings and the 7D sits in the trunk for dire emergencies only. The AF on the 5D3 and 6D is way beyond the AF of the older cameras, 5D2/7D. I know on paper, the 6D has very similar AF as the 5D2, but simply put it's way more precise and consistent. I just did a portrait session with the 6D and the 7D as a 2nd camera, shot well over 200 photos. 100% of the 6D images were tack sharp, perfect focus. 22% of the 7D images were just not there at all, and more were just a little soft. I found the 5D2 to be about 80-90% accurate with the center point only focus, worse with the others. If you use the 6D with the outside focus point, then you'll see a little bit of loss of consistency. But that center point is the best AF point Canon has ever made, period.

I know the OP question didn't include the 6D, and understand his reasons. But, if you want to be a serious professional photographer, and it sounds like you do, using older equipment like 7D & 5D2 is not a wise compromise. I would say the 20D is really not that far behind either of those cameras as a backup, until you can get a 6D (it is obviously not as good for high ISO as either, but the AF is just as good). I would wait until you can afford a 6D at least, spending the money on a 7D/5D2 will only be wasting your time for getting what you really should be using, either a 6D or another 5D3. The only other camera that might be worth considering would be a good copy of a 1DmkIII, I have one and it's AF is somewhere between the 7D & 5D3 in terms of accuracy and consistency. And the used market on these is probably closer to what your current budget is, and it's high ISO capability is somewhere between the 7D & 5D3, IMO. However, being sure you get one that does have good AF is the tricky part. Good luck

32
Reviews / Re: Hands-on Review: Canon EOS 6D
« on: March 12, 2013, 12:01:31 PM »
Nice review Graham, I think you hit the highlights of the camera well. One correction, the 6D doesn't have the same sensor as the 5DmkIII, the 6D is 20mp vs. 22mp on the 5DmkIII. The actual difference in IQ is minimal, they are in essence equal cameras in terms of the sensor.

I have both, and enjoy both. The 6D is the newer camera for me, having used it now at 2 weddings I've grown quite attached to the camera. At first I wasn't sure about it, but the one thing that did appeal to me was the additional sensitivity of the AF sensor, and I've found this to be quite pleasing in practice. For those dark receptions, the camera locks on focus quicker than the 5DmkIII (which is no slouch, except in extremely dark conditions). I have yet to find a situation where the 6D has been unable to attain focus. Also, even though it's primarily useful as a center focus point only system, I've been finding this to be rather quick and uncomplicated to use this way. With the 5DmkIII, I am constantly trying to move the active AF point around, and find myself fidgeting with it quite a lot at times. With the 6D, using focus and recompose technique, I'm finding I'm actually a bit quicker in shooting, to my surprise. I've also started using it with the AF lock button on the back, and this technique is also proving useful. This camera is teaching this old dog some new tricks.

Also, a nice aspect is the viewfinder is brighter with faster lenses than the 5DmkIII is, the different screen in the 6D provides a nicer image through the viewfinder in this respect.

Over all, it's a very nifty and finely tuned camera, one that I find is actually fun to use, more so than the 5DmkIII in some respects. It just feels like driving a sprite little sports car, brings back the joy of shooting.

33
For me, overall, I prefer the 24-105L for portrait work, but for more general purpose work, the 24-70L II is probably the better lens, over all.

Not sure whether to be frustrated or grateful after reading this.  ;)  I'm getting the 24-70 II, and had planned to sell my 24-105 this week.  But you've got a great point - the flexibility to go from wide to a headshot is very useful.  I'd not use it outdoors (where I prefer fast primes to blur the background), but rather indoors with a backdrop and monolight+Speedlites in softboxes.  In that situation, I'm stopped down a bit because I've got plenty of light and no need for background blur, and as you say, perfect sharpness isn't usually necessary or even desirable. 

If nothing else, I suppose I should hang onto the 24-105 for a while.

(By the way, I'm grateful - thanks!)

I'm guessing you might be able to get around $500-$600 for a used 24-105L, at that price you might as well keep it, I'd say. I just bought a new one for $850 (to replace one that needs to be fixed, AF motor went out), they go for $800 in the kit with a 6D/5D3, pretty easy to get new ones for around that price range if you look, even without the kit. While the 24-70L II is the better lens IQ wise, the 24-105L is THE bargain.

34
For architecture and landscape, the 24-70L II is the clear choice. For nature, I don't know, depends on what kind of nature you are talking about.

For portraits, it's almost a toss up. I don't think extreme critical sharpness is the most important thing for portraits, in fact just a little softness in the image can be preferable, not blurry, but not overly crisp, if you get my meaning. So in this respect, the improved sharpness of the 24-70L II isn't as important as the other features, which would be f/2.8 vs. IS & additional focal length when compared to the 24-105L. Frankly, for portraits on a cropped sensor camera, I'd say the 24-70L, but on a full frame the 24-105L might be just a little more useful, the extra mm on the long end can make a lot of difference for a nice portrait, particularly with the added benefit of IS. At 70mm, you are just a little short to get a nice head & shoulder shot, definitely for a close headshot. You get a little more out of focus background at 2.8, but at 4.0 it is reasonable for a nice portrait, especially zoomed out to 80-105mm. For bigger group shots at the wide end, the distortion is an issue with the 24-105L, the 24-70L II is probably better, but that would mainly be at 24mm I suspect, which isn't a good portrait focal length anyway.

For me, overall, I prefer the 24-105L for portrait work, but for more general purpose work, the 24-70L II is probably the better lens, over all.

35
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon 5D Mark 2 or 5D Mark 3??
« on: March 10, 2013, 06:59:58 PM »
The other option is the 6D, nobody seems to have mentioned it. I know it's video features aren't quite a good as the 5D3, but the IQ should be about the same (aside for possibly worse moire issues). If the video features of the 6D are adequate for your needs, then it may be worth looking at over the 5D3. It seems to me, many of the advantages the 5D3 offers over the 6D are more for photography rather than video (increased AF points, for instance). So you may be paying extra for features that are of little value to you.

36
Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / Re: Lexar CF cards FAIL - Sandisk?
« on: March 10, 2013, 04:07:12 PM »
I've used both Lexar and Sandisk with pretty much equal success. I had some Sandisk cards fail on me about 10 years ago, but since then, the only other card I've had fail was a Delkin.

I think Lexar and Sandisk haver similarly good products, they both have some who have had problems, but the problem rate is rather low I would think. Those who do have problems are very vocal, of course, and may make it seem that the products are worthless, and that is understandable. If you've had a number of Lexar cards fail on you, then you are not likely to continue to use Lexar and I wouldn't blame you. But you can find this is the case for any card, I'm sure.

If you really want the highest quality card, and are willing to pay for it,  you can get the Transend 300x UDMA 16GB, which have a different type of error correction built in:

http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-300x-CompactFlash-Memory-TS16GCF300/dp/B0017NO1H2

Be careful, though, not all Transcend cards use this technology, and I don't think the ones that don't have as good a reputation as either Lexar or Sandisk, from what I can tell. The only Transcends I know for sure have this is the one I linked to, and you can tell by the price (almost 3x the price of the regular Transcend cards), it's not cheap technology.

37
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Finnish wearing on my 5D Mark III
« on: March 02, 2013, 07:23:15 PM »
I've had mine since the week they first were available, so it's almost a year old. Shot ~50 weddings, and I see no signs of wear, not even a scratch. I try not to treat my gear rough, of course, so with care I'd say the 5D3 won't look like the photo on this thread. But it would appear from that photo that if perhaps handled roughly, it might not resist wear as much as would be ideal.

38
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Transition from Nikon to Canon
« on: March 02, 2013, 04:23:32 PM »
I know the D800 has exceptional low ISO DR, but other than that how much better is Nikon for DR than Canon? For most other models, is it really a significant difference in actual usage (in other words, how much difference will it make in print)? And at high ISO, that advantage is lost for Nikon, isn't it? And as for AF, seems with the 5D3 and more recent at least, Canon has become the equal at the very least. I know my 5D3 never misses unless it's user error, and I just got a 6D which in almost no available light it will lock focus perfectly. I don't see any of those being reasons to pick one or the other.

As for the OP, if you are looking to go full frame with Canon, then the original 5D is the absolute bargain camera, it's far superior IQ to any cropped camera (at least up to 1600iso), and you can probably find a good condition one for less than a new 60D, or maybe even a 650D. I'd pair that with the 40mm pancake for the most cost effective, high quality full frame setup to get started with from any camera maker. As you learn to appreciate full frame, you can save your money to upgrade to 6D or 5D3, depending on your need for AF (the 5D3 being better for moving subjects, and the 6D better for low light, stagnant subjects).

39
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Spec List [CR2]
« on: February 20, 2013, 12:12:30 PM »
This camera would have a pixel density equal to a 61mp full frame camera, that is far beyond the resolving power of most lenses.

Grrrrr....would people quit saying entirely wrong stuff like that please?  First of all resolving power doesn't work like that.  Second, even if it did the better lenses can already resolve up into the many hundreds of megapixels on full frame.

Yes, but diffraction softness at this pixel density starts to become a problem, get up to f/5.6 or higher and you start loosing sharpness.

40
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Spec List [CR2]
« on: February 19, 2013, 11:59:16 PM »
What strikes me odd is if Canon makes this camera, it would mean their highest MP camera would be an APS-C format body, not full frame. That just doesn't sound logical, why would they do that? This camera would have a pixel density equal to a 61mp full frame camera, that is far beyond the resolving power of most lenses. I doubt this camera would really come anywhere close to the IQ of the 5DmkIII, that is just wishful thinking, at any ISO.

41
Canon General / Re: Lone protester takes on the camera companies at CES
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:35:08 PM »
I have a good friend who has been an independent camera repair shop owner since the 1970's. He has held on through the onslaught of P&S cameras then digital, weathering the changes of the industry by adapting and learning. But the current trend of companies not supplying parts is threatening his lively hood in a way that it has never been threatened before. His business was not a threat to Nikon/Canon or the other manufacturers, but now they seem to be looking to prevent him from continuing to serve his clients. It's a shame because there is a level of customer service that he, and others like him, can provide, and it's a disservice that the camera makers are doing to their own loyal customers by no longer allowing him access to parts so he can keep their cameras working. Will it result in more new camera sales when owners can't get a sometimes simple repair done at a reasonable rate? Probably, and I imagine this has a lot to do with their decision to no longer supply these parts. But the good will he provided for those companies on their behalf will be lost, and they probably don't appreciate how much of a loss that will be.

42
Reviews / Re: Why I Chose a Canon EOS 6D over a 5D MKIII
« on: February 09, 2013, 01:41:43 AM »
I have owned the 5D3 since it first came out (got the first one delivered to the local dealer), and recently acquired a 6D as a 2nd camera (well, actually as a 7th camera, as I also have 1D3, 2 @ 7D, 40D & 30D). I appreciate the 5D3 as the best Canon I've owned to date (though I still really love the 1D3, but it's just older tech at this point), but the 6D is an impressive camera, and I can tell that I will enjoy using it very much. I need more time with it to really determine when I will use it most, but there will be times I'll pick it up instead of the 5D3. There is something to be said for it's simplicity and compactness, these are 'features' that, though they are about things that are not there (extra weight & additional controls, etc.), are helpful in increased nimbleness and in some ways improved handling. Sure the 5D3 has more controls and features, but the 6D has a nice consolidation of features and controls that make it an efficient and effective tool for some photographic situations. It's not as versatile as the 5D3, but for a lot of photographers it will be just as effective. I'm not even taking the GPS & WiFi into consideration here, those are additional features that in my mind put an already good camera over the top into the category of excellent camera. Really, there are only a few features that I find make the 5D3 a truly superior camera, and at a $1k premium, it is debatable which is the better buy. It depends on if things like the AF flexibility and dual cards are worth the extra money for you. Beyond those two features, I find it largely a toss up between the two cameras, as the other differences are rather minor.

43
EOS Bodies / Re: 6D kit with 24-105 F4L for $2499 at Amazon
« on: January 21, 2013, 05:31:58 PM »
Congrats on the 6D purchase, I have been looking at taking advantage of this price as well, pickup a backup lens for a steal.

As for the 24-105L, there is a fair amount of distortion at 24, but otherwise it's a stellar lens. It's a little bit older lens now, not quite as good as the new 24-70L (either the mkII or IS) most likely, but still a great lens, and probably the best deal to be had in Canon glass for this price.

As for wide angles, I can't comment on the 35/2.0, but I do have the 28/1.8 which is quite good on full frame. I also have the 17-40L and would recommend that if f/4.0 is sufficient.

44
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Thinking of downgrading my 5d3 system
« on: January 20, 2013, 06:19:45 PM »
The only Canon camera you can downgrade to that wouldn't result in lower IQ would be a 6D. You would be giving up a few very nice features, gain a couple (GPS & WiFi), and reduce size.

As for lenses, the photo you just posted I assume was at f/2.8. If you get a 24-70/f4.0 you'll probably give up just a little bit of IQ (from the test I've seen so far, the 24-70/2.8II is the sharpest in it's class), but will get the ability to handhold in a couple of stops lower light with reasonable results.

All in all, stirckly speaking I don't think you can get better results over all by downgrading your equipment, but you can reduce the weight of the equipment you are carrying around and may be able to increase your handholding capabilities by up to 2-stops perhaps, but otherwise you'll be downgrading for the most part.

45
If you think about the job this photographer has, 99% of the time he is taking photos and having to be as discrete as possible, that means he probably often has to work sans flash I'm sure. But he as to always be able to get a shot, no matter the lighting conditions, so having an f/1.2 lens as your standard working lens is probably mandatory. It's a great lens, and I doubt the results would have been meaningfully better with any other lens, even though this lens probably isn't optimized for shooting as such a small aperture.

As far as the DOF, it seems proper for such a photos, as has been mentioned the flags are a compositional element, with meaning in this photo. I think the amount they are in focus, and the amount of separation between the president and the background is just about as perfect as can be. Job well done, IMO.

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