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Messages - Bob Howland

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EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Spec List [CR2]
« on: February 19, 2013, 11:07:59 AM »
I own a 7D (and a 5D3). In a 7D2, I'd rather have the same pixel count and dramatically better high ISO image quality and dynamic range than 24MP and slightly better high ISO image quality and dynamic range. (I almost always shoot raw.) I'd like two CF card slots but can live with 1 CF and 1 SD. 10 FPS is better but 8 FPS is usually good enough. Improved focusing is always welcome but, honestly, 7D focusing is pretty good now.

EOS-M / Re: EOS M Autofocus Performance Won't Improve via Firmware [CR2]
« on: February 18, 2013, 03:13:22 PM »
I can't speak for others but slow AF was definitely the reason why I didn't buy the current M body. An absence of lenses can be corrected but I simply wasn't going to be stuck with a deficient body for years to come. What I want is something about the same size (or slightly larger) than my G10 but with dramatically better image quality and overall usability in low light. Also, after seeing the Metabones Speed Booster, I'd be willing to spend $1000 for something like it with professional image quality that lets me use my fast EF WA primes and zooms on an M-mount camera.

Are you listening Canon?

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Cinema EOS C50 [CR1]
« on: February 13, 2013, 01:35:00 PM »
The EOS C50 of my dreams has the same sensor as EOS C100  with M mount and few M cine lenses.

With a price around 3000$

I don't think that would work. The C100 sensor is 24.6mm wide x 13.8mm high (Super 35). The M mount only handles 22.5mm wide x 15.0mm high. They're close though. What I find interesting about the M mount is that it has one more contact that EF mount. My guess/wish is that it is for power zoom controlled/monitored by the camera.

The PL mount and Super 35 sensor size seems to be popular partly because there are a large number of high quality, expensive and apparently highly prized legacy PL cine lenses.

I want something incorporating the best features of both the XF100/105/300/305 camcorders and the 5D3 still camera except with an M mount, an assortment of dedicated video lenses and something like the Metabones speed booster/adapter so that I can still use my EF still lenses and gain 1 (or 1-1/3) stops while I'm using them.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Cinema EOS C50 [CR1]
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:37:04 AM »

What sensor size(s) are used in ENG cameras? Looking at home improvement shows, one striking thing is that there is enormous DOF and there is a lot of movement of both the talent and the camera operator. And, except at night, lighting is natural. I have to think that those cameras use relatively small sensors, automatic focus and automatic exposure.

I sometimes wonder if the M mirrorless lens mount wasn't invented as the foundation for the next generation of XF-class camcorders, except with interchangeable lenses. Is there anything making that impossible?

Any comments?

I own and use both a 7D and 5D3, which replaced a 5D/40D pairing. One thing that needs to be said is that, yes, the 5D3 focusing is better that the 7D's but the 7D focusing is by no means bad. When shooting race cars in daylight, the 7D with a  70-200, a 100-400 or a 300 f/2.8 with or without TCs still works just fine.

EOS-M / Re: Why no Sigma DN lenses for Canon M?
« on: January 29, 2013, 04:41:39 PM »
I'm still blown away by the fact that Metabones believes there is a market for $600 EF to NEX/MFT speed booster adapters. The plain ones with AF go for $300. Canon will really need to up its 'M' game to make those choices moot.
I acutally considered going with that route for a 2nd body. Getting a GH2 for video or an NEX-7 for portability and using a Metabones adapter rather than amassing a new collection of glass. It's actually quite smart because neither company has a collection of lenses that even comes close to competing with the EF-mount system (both Canon and 3rd party options). Yet they had bodies that can do things their Canon counterparts can't.

I actually think that's a market that will continue to exist even if Canon steps up their M game, because they are now several years behind, and they certainly aren't making aggressive moves to match what Sony and Olympus just put out

I fully expect to replace my 7D with an M-mount camera, something even better than the Panasonic GH3. What I want is an "M1", a fully professional model, which I don't expect to see for at least 3 years. Conceivably, Canon could outdo Metabones by introducing a speed booster with a magnification of 0.62996 and a 1-1/3 stop improvement in aperture.  However, the degradation in edge and corner image quality might be excessive.

EOS-M / Why no Sigma DN lenses for Canon M?
« on: January 29, 2013, 01:52:47 PM »
Sigma makes 19 f/2.8 and 30 f/2.8 lenses for Micro-4/3 and Sony E-mount lenses and just announced a 60 f/2.8 lens. The Canon M-mount uses the same 18mm flange distance as the E-mount and a sensor size between M43 and E-mount. The lens protocol is almost certainly very similar to the protocol used for EF and EF-S lenses. So why haven't they introduced these lenses for Canon?

Any guesses? Oh, by the way, I just e-mailed Sigma with the same question. I'll let you know if/when they reply.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Roadmap for 2013 [CR2]
« on: January 27, 2013, 12:57:30 PM »

I don't have a 7D. But what I've heard and read from those who have both it and a 5DIII, even using the same lenses for little birdies when they're distance-limited with both bodies, the 5DIII still beats the 7D.

What you have heard and read is absolutely correct. The 5D3 puts the 7D to shame ... 1.6 crop factor notwithstanding!

Not correct.
Same lens, same distance, decent light, and a large print - the 7D print will be better.

That would be a fair assessment if the AF demands were not too stringent.

The AF demands would have to be very stringent indeed. I've yet to find a situation where my 5D3 would focus but my 7D wouldn't, at least with a "reasonable" amount of light. Mostly I use the 7D as a 1.6X teleconverter when shooting outdoor sports, a role for which it is admirably suited. I think that 7D images are better than  cropped images from a 5D3 or using a teleconverter and a 5D3, except maybe with my 300 f/2.8. I have noticed that 7D images have more contrast and less dynamic range than 5D3 images.

I'm waiting for the Canon M1, the professional model in the M series. With no mirror to move, 24FPS might be possible.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Roadmap for 2013 [CR2]
« on: January 27, 2013, 08:57:08 AM »
After the introduction of the Metabones Speed Booster, I have to wonder if Canon will introduce a version of their own for M-bodies and EF lenses. Conceivably, they could make one with 0.62996 magnification (1.5874 crop factor) while increasing the aperture by 1-1/3 stops, an improvement of 1/3 stops over the Metabones.

EOS Bodies / Re: Any news on the 7dMk2 now that CES is done
« on: January 24, 2013, 05:10:08 PM »
I agree with jrista about EVF's been a long way away from being truly good, but I also agree with your point that technology grows quickly, and it certainly will get there, probably sooner than the decade that jrista predicts.
One of my co-workers brought in an Olympus E-M5...we played comparison between it and a 7D. The EVF on it is comparable to the 7D, it takes better quality pictures in poor light, about the same in good light, and I really can't tell the difference in AF speed or accuracy. I was amazed that this camera was so good. It's hard to deny the existance of something you are holding in your hands... this wasn't just an EOS-M killer, it was a Rebel killer too, and if it wasn't for the way better user interface on the 7D and Canon Lglass, it would have topped the entire APS-C lineup.

And apparently Olympus has announced that the replacement for the E-5 will support both 4/3 and micro-4/3 lenses, which kind of implies that it will be micro-4/3 with an adapter. Nikon users are also complaining about there being no D400. My guess is that everybody is working on professional mirrorless cameras and that the 7D replacement will actually have the name "M1". When it comes is anybody's guess.

Something like the Metabones Speed Booster makes this possible.. That device has a magnification of 0.707 and gives a 1-stop improvement in maximum aperture. However, the Canon version of APS-C is 1.6X  not 1.5X. Therefore, a Canon-specific booster could have a magnification of 0.629 and give a 1-1/3 improvement in maximum aperture.

EOS-M / Re: To buy M or not to buy M?
« on: January 21, 2013, 08:55:14 AM »
Perhaps the only point of the mirrorless from Canon is to keep the party faithful from giving up and buying one of the strong products from other manufacturers.

Or to complete the merger of still photography and video. Granted the current offerings are absolutely pathetic but consider the possibility that the 7D2 (or some "M1" professional model) will be M-mount and capable of taking 24FPS. And, oh yes, that extra pin in the M lensmount is for power zoom and introduced concurrently with the 7D2/M1 are a series of video-centric zoom lenses with that capability.

Lenses / Re: New EOS-M Lenses Soon [CR2]
« on: January 17, 2013, 07:32:23 AM »
Hopefully Canon and/or Metabones will introduce a Speed Booster Adapter ( See ) for Canon FF lenses on the M body. That might actually convince me to buy an M body, although not the current one.

It was annoying that they did not include a focus limiter switch, and it's painful to see that they've now changed the design (and at such a price) to include what should've been there.  However, I feel that when I'm careful I can usually work around this problem.
Based on my experience and observations, the resulting images would not be acceptable.
That's not been my experience.  Did you look at the teleconverter-attached images at POTN forums?  With the EF Extender III I rarely have any problem with the 2011 version.

If you are shooting with a camera with smaller pixel pitch than the 7D and need critical resolution then there may be a problem.  Occasionally the images seem somewhat less than critically sharp - but only at 1:1 magnification (discounting focus errors of course).  I've got a good number of shots that are more than acceptably sharp in my view.  The weakness of the lens and TC combination comes when shooting at somewhat longer ranges against a busy background - occasionally (such as an image across a swamp / small lake) I have gotten an unacceptably busy rendition of OOF backgrounds.  No doubt the 200-400 will excel in this area, hopefully even with the TC active.

The 200-400 will be the single-lens option for wildlife if you cannot afford to remove the lens in the field (I admit this is somewhat burdensome to change), but 120-200mm has been useful surprisingly often and f/2.8 even more so.

After all these considerations, I would be reluctant to toss out the 120-300 entirely in favor of the 200-400 TC 1.4 - especially as it seems to excel in relatively close-up to medium range photography (although you have to work around the minimum focus distance - 1.5m at the wide end, and 2.5m at the far end - it is able to focus closer than many other lenses in this range).  The price on  the original model couldn't be beaten, either - maybe one of the better lens deals in recent times, and I hope the price increase doesn't reflect Sigma's belief they sold the original too cheaply.  I was definitely limited by funds to that lens, however, and for that reason the 120-300 + TC combination will still be tempting compared to the 200-400mm.  It seems to handily beat consumer-oriented lenses in the 1X0-400mm and 1X0-5X0 (etc.) ranges.

Thanks for the comments. I've only used the Sigma TCs and have not been impressed with the 2X. I still would prefer a 200-500 f/4 lens, even if it is substantially heavier and more expensive.

Obviously we're not seeing any tests with this lens yet, but if it performs well with a 1.4x TC I could see this standing in as my poor-man's 200-400mm-ish (168-420mm FF) type of lens for some of that distant action and animal stuff that I.... never do :)

Except that the 200-400 comes with a 1.4X TC, making it a 280-560. To do that with the 120-300 would require a 2X TC. Based on my experience and observations, the resulting images would not be acceptable. Sigma needs to scale up the 120-300 design into a 200-500 f/4. Their 200-500 f/2.8 is an overweight, overly expensive joke.

Lenses / Re: Canon 100mm macro IS vs non-IS - any further input?
« on: January 05, 2013, 08:44:27 PM »
I've got the non-L non IS 100.  Mine is about 10 years old and it is a great lens.  I don't use it for hand held macro photography.  My macro work is done strictly on a tripod.  For general purpose photography, I sometimes use this lens and, of course, my photos are hand held.  It produces terrific results and I have no need to upgrade to an L or to IS with this particular lens.
Same here.

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