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Messages - Robert Welch

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31
EOS Bodies / Re: Pick between two options for the Canon 7D II
« on: June 25, 2013, 03:17:20 AM »

...ISO 6400 is not really usable on 5D3, so on 7D2? Not gonna happen... I guess this comes down to the definition of "usable". My shooting style is to avoid high ISOs especially when it's dark....

This is the first I've ever seen this opinion, I find 6400 quite 'usable' on both my 5Dmk3 and 6D. I do agree that one must define 'usable', and if you don't want to see any grain in your photo when you view it at 200% on a monitor, then perhaps you won't find it 'usable'. However, if you want to make nice looking prints, even at rather large sizes, a well exposed file at 6400iso from these cameras should do nicely. As far as avoiding high ISOs when it's dark, well that simply makes no sense at all. I suppose when it gets dark you lower the ISO? Well, no comment.

As for the 7DmkII, or whatever it will be called, I'm not too keen on cropped sensor cameras anymore. My 7D may be the last one I'll own. I think the cropped sensor has 2 places, for cheaper cameras like the Rebel series, and perhaps for a high performance sports/action camera where the longer effective focal length of tele lenses becomes an advantage. For the later, high FPS and good high ISO would be be important, so the 2nd option would be preferable. I should think that 'usable' 3200 iso would be reasonably easy to achieve these days with current technology. The 7D really isn't that bad at 3200, it just loses detail when compared to it's full frame alternatives because of heavy handed NR. They just need to get the high ISO detail retention up, and improve the AF to the accuracy of the 5D3 and it will be attractive to sports and other similarly minded photographers. For portrait/wedding photographers like myself, I feel the cropped sensor cameras are no longer of value.

32
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 6D as a Compliment to 5DMkiii
« on: April 02, 2013, 01:09:14 PM »
I picked up a 6D originally as a camera for my wife, since it was a compact size and weight I thought she could handle it easily (she currently uses a 7D, the 6D is actually smaller). I also wanted to test it and see how I liked it as a 'second' camera to my 5D3. I must say, I like it a lot. I find I go to it often instead of the 5D3, it's very nimble and easy to handle. I just use the center focus sensor, and recompose when needed. I find that center sensor to be extremely reliable, and more sensitive in low light than the 5D3. The camera is a pleasure to use, not a replacement for the 5D3 obviously, but a nice and very usable camera. My biggest gripe with the camera would be it doesn't have dual card slots, I would prefer that.

33
Don't overlook the 30D either, there were probably more of those made and it's not that much less of a camera than the 40D. I've still got one of each, don't see a point in selling them as they just won't get me enough money to make it worth selling. I use them when I can, just to keep them operational, and they will serve as emergency or beater cameras when needed. Whenever I do use them, I marvel at just how good they were for the time, and still quite good unless you need high ISO performance (higher than 800 at least).

34
EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D L Announced, Shipping in May
« on: April 01, 2013, 12:24:12 PM »
So, do the photos come out reversed, left to right?

35
EOS Bodies / Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« on: March 26, 2013, 11:37:46 AM »
i don't think anyone has said the 6d af is in the same ballpark as the 5diii.  Center point only, its probably a tie, but everything else its not even close.

I have both the 6D & 5DIII, and the center point only focus on the 6D is better, particularly in low light. The 5DIII will just stop working if the light get's too low, but the 6D remains accurate. In fact, in my use that center point on the 6D is the best AF sensor Canon has ever made. I have had a higher 'hit' rate of in focus photos with that camera than I have with any other, and that includes the 5DIII. Obviously, the AF isn't as versatile as the 5DIII, it wouldn't be very good for shooting butterflies, for instance. But for portrait work, and slow moving subjects, it does a fine job. I don't notice it particularly slow in focus either, I have used it at several weddings and have yet to find a situation where I felt I missed a shot because the camera wasn't fast enough to lock focus. In very dark situations, I have had that happen with the 5DIII, so in those situation I actually prefer the 6D AF, whether the subject is moving or not.

36
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 refurb or new 7D as backup to 5D3?
« on: March 22, 2013, 12:43:01 AM »
Thank you to everyone for your comments and suggestions.

I gave the 6D another hard look.  Anyone who own it - is the lack of thumb-multipoint control tough to get used to?  I love the thumb multi-control.

Oh, something that bothers me about the 6D is the 1/4000th shutter, but even more so, the 1/180's X-Sync for flash/strobes.  That could be a problem as 1/200 is already rough.

I have a request in to my account rep. to see what they can do on the 6D.  After tax and shipping, the 5D2 refurb set me back $1,611.  B&H, Adorama, etc. w/out the tax implication, the 6D is presently $1,789.  If I can get them below $1,700 that's not going to be a tough decision (5D2 refurb vs. new 6D).

Actually, thinking out loud, I was considering adding a Mack warranty on the 5D2 refurb and that would make the difference far smaller.

I am impressed with the 6D's noise vs. 5D2.  Obviously, smokes the 7D.  The 5D2 'feels old' after using the 5D3 for almost three months now.

I was worried about the same things you are when I decided to get the 6D, but I found things like the lack of multi-controller really weren't an issue when I started using the camera. My biggest problem is the FEC activation button is no longer on the top of the camera, as it has been on every other non-1 series body. But I changed the 'set' button to that function and have gotten used to it. Over all, the 6D is a nice 'handling' camera, don't over think it, just use it and you'll probably find it's quite well laid out with the controls in very usable configuration.

I am really impressed with the 6D IQ, and as a backup to the 5D3 it's really nice to use it and feel like my backup isn't inferior in IQ, especially at really high ISOs. I recently used the 6D at 25,600 ISO, and the results are actually rather good. The 7D/5D2 can't do that.

37
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 refurb or new 7D as backup to 5D3?
« on: March 22, 2013, 12:28:48 AM »
PS: You could of course do as most on this site would: sit on your derriere behind your computer, not shooting much if at all and wait for the Eos 7D MarkII to appear... No, seriously, when I read comments like "no compromise buying "old equipment" then I just laugh and know: another wanna be! Maybe the pro scene here in Japan is not as 'advanced' as in the States, but you would be surprised how many Eos 7D's you see in the bag of many a PRO! Get yourself one and shoot away!

I'm no "wanna be", been working as a full time wedding photographer since 2000, my comments come from the perspective of one who earns his lively hood selling images to other people.

The 7D isn't a bad camera, don't get me wrong. IQ is good, build quality excellent, would be nice to have 2 cards slots though. My biggest gripe with it is it doesn't have nearly as consistently accurate AF as it should. Take 10 photos with it, and most likely at least 2 of them will clearly out of focus, and a few others may be questionable. I had one, and thought maybe it was just a bad body, got another and it's a little better, but not much. The AF on that camera has some great features, but not the best performance. That is why I say it's not a great camera for a professional at a wedding to use. It's not a bad backup, and used to serve as my 2nd camera in fact, but it's not the best backup/2nd camera available today for a 5D3, the 6D would be that IMO. I would say for the OP, the 5D2 would be better as the center AF point on it is probably more reliable than the 7D AF, but neither is as good as the 6D. The OP mentioned he wanted to do weddings, and reliable AF is one of the most important considerations in the camera choice for a professional. That is why I said it's better not to compromise. Otherwise, if every shot isn't critical as it is in weddings, then the 7D may be just fine for your needs.

38
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

39
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.

40
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.

41
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.

42
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.

43
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.

44
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.

45
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).

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