July 30, 2014, 03:41:12 PM

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Messages - Don Haines

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EOS-M / Re: Canon EOS M3 in Q3 of 2014?
« on: April 14, 2014, 08:21:41 AM »
The 2 models will be split into entry level and prosumer.

and hopefully the prosumer model will NOT be the 7D2......

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Replacement Mentioned Again [CR1]
« on: April 13, 2014, 03:07:19 PM »
From the UK magazine T3 - "A firmware update in 2012  improved Canon’s aging 7D  DSLR greatly, but now the  Mark II is officially on the  way. It’s been road-tested  at the Winter Olympics and  will have another outing  at the World Cup before  landing in time for Chrimbo"

I think all will agree that it will be out before Christmas.... but the big question is which Christmas?

Landscape / Re: Astrophotography - which camera?
« on: April 12, 2014, 11:38:10 PM »
Wonderfully explained!

Conclusion: a 200mm lens is wwwwwwwway too short for the ISS. It's hopeless, meaning, that even if you capture it perfecty, you will have a hard time spotting it in the final image. And for streak images, 70 is wwwwwway too long.

So, the question is not "which camera" but rather "which lens". The answer is: No lens at all, you will need a telescope for that. So if you plan to get into astrophotography, there just is no other option than getting a telescope. Fortunately, compared to EF glass, telescopes are rather cheap. They are basically mirrors, after all.

I think the real question is "which tripod"... Astrophotography can be of very small objects that require LARGE telescopes, it can be of wide images like the milky way, or it can be anything in-between... but for all of them you need a decent tracking mount. I have an 8 inch telescope that I use for planetary imaging and I also mount my DSLR onto the tripod for imaging nebulas and the night skies...

If you do not have a tracking mount, you will be limited to short exposures and you will have streaks of light on them.... The tracking mount comes before any camera/lens/or telescope in your wish list.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 70D or 6D for mostly indoor videos?
« on: April 12, 2014, 11:29:27 PM »
Go for a 70D, a video light, and if you want sound, either a good external sound recorder or a decent mike for the camera.

Yes, the 6D will outperform the 70D in very poor light, but with either camera you need lighting.... so the difference evaporates.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: April 12, 2014, 09:07:19 PM »
Sheep shearing time....

Featuring Happy Llama and Grouchy Sheep...

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Replacement Mentioned Again [CR1]
« on: April 11, 2014, 04:33:44 PM »
In less than 5 months, it'll be 5 years since the 7D was announced and nothing so far indicates that a 7D II will ever be released ... I've lost my interest in it and if it does get released, I most likely will not buy one.

On the other hand, if it never gets released, I most certainly will not buy one :)

Landscape / Re: Astrophotography - which camera?
« on: April 11, 2014, 09:50:09 AM »
Hi Don,

thanks - 7D it is then, and thank you for the additional advice - wouldn't have thought about using the moon for exposure.


Grant  :)
   I think Moon is still too bright... Last time I use Jupiter for pre-focus and exposure.

   Good luck and have a nice day.


Jupiter and the ISS are similar in brightness, but hard to see without a really long lens.

I've exposed for the moon and then dropped my shutter speed by 4X for the ISS and it seems to have worked... The important thing is to not expose for the night sky...

Landscape / Re: Astrophotography - which camera?
« on: April 11, 2014, 06:41:40 AM »
Hi guys,

the ISS is flying over my house tonight and I really would like to get a shot or two of it.  I have at my disposal a 5D2 and a 7D, a 70-200 2.8 IS2 and a tripod.

Which of the cameras should I use?  Is it best to go for IQ/ISO over reach?

Many thanks,

Grant  :)
Definitely reach.

Set up everything for manual.... Turn off auto focus and turn off IS for any lens you are using. Expose for the brightness of the moon.... The ISS will be about as bright... Manually adjust focus for the moon and use a couple of those rubber bands from a head of broccoli to "lock" the focus.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: April 09, 2014, 09:34:29 PM »
These shots were taken with an SX-50 in "green box" mode, full zoom plus digital zoom (4800mm equivalent) handheld. To the naked eye the ducks were just dots and you could not tell what kind of bird they were.

I realize these shots are not National Geographic quality, but for a cheap P/S zoomed out like that, it is amazing that you can get this much detail and that the IS actually worked!

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS sensors, and technology
« on: April 09, 2014, 09:28:38 PM »
On the subject of cameras and technology.... I took this shot with an SX-50 on the way home today... I put it into "green box mode" and the image was taken handheld at full zoom (1200mm equivalent) plus another 4X digital zoom..... in other words, handheld at the equivalent of 4800mm! Yes, I know it's a cheap P/S and I know the picture is not national geographic quality... but for a toy camera at 4800mm handheld I think that this is amazing. A lot of research went into making this work as well as it did...

P.S. I couldn't tell it was a wood duck until I saw it through the camera EVF....

Sports / Re: Kayaking
« on: April 09, 2014, 11:00:59 AM »
I particularly like the last shot.... the colors, the action, and the framing come together to make it a great photo....

Photography Technique / Re: What if we were still shooting slide film?
« on: April 09, 2014, 10:59:04 AM »
I've had seconds shoot 4,000 digital images at a wedding!
LOL! I know someone who shoots portraits in burst mode and ends up with hundreds of nearly identical shots from a short press conference.  She swears that it keeps her form having a shot with the eyes closed, but it cracks me up when I see her shoot.
I shot about 30 pictures of "the group" at a family reunion... and every picture had someone with thier eyes closed or yawning.... Photoshop to the rescue!

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS sensors, and technology
« on: April 09, 2014, 07:33:11 AM »

OK, I shouldn't say large segment. But "ground breaking" changes or improvements are what big tech companies need to keep the spirit of innovation alive, don't you think? People who echo these sometimes small, and sometimes game changing innovations are what can snowball the market direction.

I think we are on the edge of a shift in digital cameras.

We need to step back and ask "why mirrors". In the days of film, you needed the mirror and optical viewfinder to know what you were looking at and we needed focusing screens to know if we were in focus.... Then came digital sensors and we treated them like film... because that is what we were used to.

A digital sensor is NOT film. It has different strengths and different weakness.... and the mirror is no longer the only way to see through the lens. A decent mirrorless camera (and there are several on them out there) will be designed to the strengths of digital technology. They already do many things better than DSLRs, but a great mirrorless camera will have to do everything better. Right now, the two big stumbling blocks are focusing and viewfinders.

Dual pixel technology may well be the end of the focusing dilemma... and as it matures we should be able to have far more capable focusing systems on mirrorless cameras than with DSLRs... the point I keep bringing up is that we should be able to recognize a bird and track it as it flies through the air, even though the operator is not steady. We already have P/S cameras that recognize individual faces and can even tag them for use on social media and I have a waterproof P/S that has "cat mode" and "dog mode" and when you put it in "cat mode" it tracks the face of the cat and not the dog so please don't tell me this is a far-fetched idea... It's not coming, it's already here!

The second stumbling block is viewfinders. Right now, optical viewfinders are better than EVFs.. A few years ago EVFs were garbage... there are some real nice ones now.... who knows what the future will bring? At some point, people will stop trying to design an EVF to be like an optical viewfinder and design them to the strengths of digital... perhaps they will get a bit bigger... perhaps you will have a little window open up on it to check focus at 10X... or exposure preview.... or whatever... but until they stop pretending it is optical they will be inferior. I am sure that what is currently in the labs is good enough for the real world.... we are that close.

I can see Canon coming out with a new camera that shakes things up. I would love to see a quad-pixel technology 7D mirrorless camera where you could address the sub-pixels individually for a 24megapixel  image with similar ISO and noise to the 70D, or bin them together for a 6megapixel low-light camera that had better low light performance than a 1DX....

Canon has a HUGE R+D department.... they are not all siting on their rear ends playing solitaire... something is coming and the delays to the successor to the 7D may just mean that the change is big.

Very well put. Especially that last bit...the change would really have to be big like that, for it to be justifiable. Otherwise, it's just a demonstration of a major Canon blunder, if the 7D II comes out and is a mediocre improvement over the 7D, and not much in terms of competition against counterpart offerings from other brands.

Regarding the two points about viewfinders and focusing. I'm not sure were "nearing the end" of the issues. I think DPAF marks the beginning of finally moving down the right path, however I think there is a lot of innovation along that path that needs to take place before you start seeing action photographers seriously think about dumping their dedicated AF sensors and familiar AF points for a mirrorless image-sensor-based AF system. DPAF should at least become QPAF, so we can detect phase in at least two directions. I think we may ultimately need to see one further innovation, dual-direction QPAF, where you have horizontal and vertical with one half of the sensor's pixels, as well as phase detected diagonally in two perpendicular directions with the other half of the sensor's pixels. Only then would you be technologically similar to how dedicated PDAF sensors are designed, and only then could you really start building advanced firmware to really produce high rate, high accuracy AF without a dedicated AF sensor.

There is still another problem, however, that mirrorless AF systems will need to overcome before they can really achieve parity with their dedicated AF system counterparts: Low Light Sensitivity. Modern dedicated AF systems are sensitive to light down to the -2 to -3 EV range. Not only that, each dedicated PDAF point receives a tiny fraction of the total light entering the lens (thanks to passing through a half-silvered mirror and an AF unit splitting lens), and each line sensor that comprises an AF point recieves at most half of that tiny fraction of total light. All that, down to at least f/5.6, and in "pro" grade cameras, down to f/8. Dedicated PDAF sensors are ludicrously sensitive to the smallest amount of light...and largely thanks to the fact that they can be fabricated independently of the image sensor, so they can be explicitly designed with huge photodiodes in each line sensor that have massive SNR. I'm  not sure how camera manufacturers will overcome this issue, as even at very high ISO settings, image sensors are nowhere near as sensitive as the photodiodes in PDAF sensors. I'm sure one of the big manufacturers will figure out something brilliant to solve this problem...but I think it is definitely something that needs to be dealt with.

(BTW, I am aware that Canon's current DPAF supports live view focusing up to f/11, however the speed of that focusing is nowhere even remotely close to as fast as a dedicated PDAF unit. The slower speed gives DPAF a bit of an advantage in that area...similar to the advantage Canon creates when they force a slower AF rate when attaching one of their teleconverters to a lens.)

As for EVFs, I can only hope they get significantly better. I'm very curious to see what Canon does with their Hybrid VF...I wonder how that will ultimately work, and whether it will be as flexible and user configurable/selectable as it really needs to be to be a success. I suspect it will be rather inflexible, and only activate the EVF under very specific circumstances (such as recording video).
That's why I'd like to see quad pixel technology with bigger pixels and the ability to address the sub-pixels....

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS sensors, and technology
« on: April 09, 2014, 07:28:13 AM »
Don, we are on the edge. I believe this also. It is the companies that are willing to take a risk that will pull forward. Ricoh cannot afford doing so much longer(Didnt they just merge?), Sigma is stuck with low mpixels. Lytro is just budding....But yes, the form itself is changing. The way we hold the device to our faces can evolve in time. We shall see.

Canon can afford taking risks. Not necessarily big ones. Start with optional AA.

So what if I am of the minority. Who knighted you as the silencer of wishful thinking?
I am not the silencer of wishfully thinking.... As the person in this thread who asked why you can't have a replaceable AA filter like a focus screen used to be, or why in a mirror less camera you couldn't have one move in and out like  mirror, and who thinks something big is about to come from canon, I am probably the king of wishful thinking.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS sensors, and technology
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:36:31 PM »
I opt for Medium Format because what I shoot demands it. My customers demand it. Life would be MUCH easier if I didn't have to bust out a 4x5/MF dB for a shoot. Work would be much smoother.

Are you using a digital back on your 4X5? If so, which one and do you like it?

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