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Messages - jocau

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Reviews / Re: Tony Northrup - D810 vs. 5D Mk3
« on: August 08, 2014, 04:01:26 PM »
I want to see him perform a decent AF comparison and not one where he only uses the center/central AF point(s). Let's say photographing a kid on a swing (in motion) at F/1.4 to F/2 with one of the side AF points located at roughly one third of the image. If you do that, you'll be comparing crosstype AF points (5D3) vs non-crosstype AF points (D810) and will see the D810 getting blown out of the water.

Canon General / Re: Who's on Instagram?
« on: August 08, 2014, 12:23:29 PM »
Possibly one of the best things about instagram is that all pictures are only 612 pixels by 612 pixels (there is no other possibility). That means nobody can "steal" your photos and sell large prints of them to earn some money.

Well, you can't have it all I guess... At least the app is an extra reason to upgrade. ;)

There's a new app in the Mac App Store to retrieve the shutter count of EOS cameras. It's called "EOS Inspector" and it's made by Konstantin Pavlikhin (Photography-On-The-Net forum). It's free for a limited time, so hurry up. Following cameras are supported:

  • 1D X
  • 1D Mark IV
  • 5D Mark III
  • 5D Mark II
  • 6D
  • 7D
  • 70D
  • 60D
  • 50D
  • 40D
  • 700D / Rebel T5i / Kiss X7i
  • 650D / Rebel T4i / Kiss X6i
  • 600D / Rebel T3i / Kiss X5
  • 550D / Rebel T2i / Kiss X4
  • 500D / Rebel T1i / Kiss X3
  • 100D / Rebel SL1 / Kiss X7
  • 1100D / Rebel T3 / Kiss X50

System requirements are: OS X Mavericks and a 64-bit Intel CPU. More info can be found on the EOS Inspector support page.

I can confirm that it's working great with my 550D and the application is giving me the same results as with gphoto2 under linux, so that means the results are reliable.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Dual Pixel AF Performance
« on: July 04, 2013, 01:35:53 PM »
So many goodies in this new camera. Makes you wonder why would anyone get a 6d now!

High ISO performance.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 70D Dual Pixel AF Performance
« on: July 04, 2013, 12:00:45 PM »
I don't know why, but I'm not really impressed by the AF speed shown in the videos. It doesn't seem that much faster than the EOS M with firmware 2.0.2 installed. PDAF is still a lot faster than this.

EOS Bodies / Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« on: June 26, 2013, 02:18:13 PM »
I understand Marsu42. I've been following all the news/rumors about the 6D months before it got released. I have a 550D right now. I'd call its AF system a 4,5 point AF system i.e. I basically only use the 4 AF points that are located at the (vertical) thirds of the image and now and then I use the center AF point (that's why I call it a 4,5 and not a 4 point AF system). I've been wanting to upgrade to something better for a while now. I don't take many pictures but I'm a perfectionist, so I want better gear (less noise, better AF performance...).

I have fancied the 6D for a long time because of its superior noise performance compared to the 5D3 and because of its WiFi remote shooting capability. I've even tried one out at a local store. AF point spread on the 6D wasn't horrible at all, but not great either. And while non-crosstype AF points can work fine, I've regularly found them limiting (even in good light).

I can justify the price of the 6D, but in my opinion the AF system of the 6D does not live up to its price unless you use the center AF point almost 90-95% of the time. I love the fact that the 5D3 has a lot of AF points located at the thirds of the image (horizontally and vertically), but I find it very hard to justify its price. I'm also afraid that Canon will release a "5D4" within the next 1-2 years with a lot more dynamic range at low ISO than the current 5D3.

That's why I'm not buying a new camera for now. However I'm keeping an eye out for the "to be announced" 70D and 7D2 though. And I'm also keeping the 5D3 and possibly the 6D in the back of my head.

EOS-M / Re: The New EOS M Firmware in Action
« on: June 20, 2013, 03:42:31 PM »
And here's the full list for people who care...

1) Focus speed current firmware (1.0.6)

- 18-55mm @ 18mm (Flexizone Single):
- 18-55mm @ 55mm (Flexizone Single):
- 18-55mm @ 18mm (Flexizone Multi):
- 18-55mm @ 55mm (Flexizone Multi):
- 22mm (Flexizone Single):
- 22mm (Flexizone Multi):

2) Focus speed new firmware (2.0.2)

- 18-55mm @ 18mm (Flexizone Single):
- 18-55mm @ 55mm (Flexizone Single):
- 18-55mm @ 18mm (Flexizone Multi):
- 18-55mm @ 55mm (Flexizone Multi):
- 22mm (Flexizone Single):
- 22mm (Flexizone Multi):

Thanks again everyone for all the excellent suggestions and tips.  I really got some great advice and I’m sure it will be very helpful for lots of other folks too.  I looked into every single person’s suggestion and came up with the two following options:

Option 1:
Gitzo - GT-2531 (3 section, 26.46 load, CF)
RRS – BH-40 LR (mid-size 18 lb load)
RRS – B5D3A plate (AS plate for 5D3 body)

Total cost with current rebates $992

Option 2:
Manfrotto - 055CXPRO4 (4 section, 17.64 load, CF)
Manfrotto - 468MGRC2 (Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead, 22 lb load)

Total cost with current rebates $540

I’m going with option 1.   Is it an overkill for my needs/uses?  Probably, but I hoping this will last my lifetime.  Although option 2 is very nice gear and nothing to snarl at, I will always wish I had gone with option 1.  Later I will pick up a Wimberley P-20 plate for my 70-200 ring and a plate for my 7D.

Now the one piece of advice I’ll give back (and what so many others have already given):  Don’t buy a mediocre tripod and head.  You will become frustrated like I did and end up spending more money in the long run.  I broke my own rule and did not buy a quality item in the first place. 

A great tripod/ballhead setup is one that you can keep for a lifetime (as a matter of speaking). The added cost doesn't really matter then. A good or mediocre one is one that you'll upgrade sooner or later and in the end it will cost as much or more....

Sounds like a good, future proof plan. Also, given the fact that you have an expensive camera (5D3), I wouldn't go cheap on a tripod/ballhead setup.

Quite easy.

1) Tripod: Gitzo or RRS

What additional functionality do you get from the $700 Gitzo or the $900 RRS that a $400 Manfrotto doesn't give you?

I am all for quality engineering, and there will always be customers for Rolls Royce, but if the object is to safely drive around surely a Mercedes "will do" for most people, especially when cost was mentioned originally by RC.

After trying Gitzos, I just don't see the cost/function equation approaching that of the Manfrottos. I have never owned a RRS tripod, but clearly I do value their brackets and plates, but again, whilst you might get a fraction more stability sometimes for your $900, unless you have nothing better to spend $500 on, or you truly do NEED that last fraction of performance, or if you have requirements RC doesn't, then the far cheaper options are more than up to the simple task of holding an average weight camera and short tele lens a few feet off the floor.

If the OP said "I have a 600 f4" then the added cost of the beefier tripods is a small supertele tax, but in this instance is just not needed. I use the Manfrotto fine with a 300 f2.8, 2xTC and 1 series body, way over the stated requirements of RC.

A great tripod/ballhead setup is one that you can keep for a lifetime (as a matter of speaking). The added cost doesn't really matter then. A good or mediocre one is one that you'll upgrade sooner or later and in the end it will cost as much or more as the great one mentioned in my first sentence. I made that mistake once with my first tripod... With longer exposures every tiny bit of extra vibration is seen in your final image. But if it has to be cheaper I'd probably go for a Feisol or Benro tripod with a Sirui ballhead or something like that.

Quite easy.

1) Tripod: Gitzo or RRS
2) Ballhead: Arca-Swiss (Monoball Z1 sp or dp) or RRS (BH-55)

I have a Gitzo GT3541XLS tripod and an Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp ballhead. The ballhead feels like it's bulletproof. Just by holding it you immediately notice that you're dealing with a top quality product.

Canon General / Re: Why did you choose Canon?
« on: March 28, 2013, 01:57:12 PM »
My parents wanted a digital camera in (I believe) 2003. I helped them with the decision after reading various reviews on the internet. After hearing my advice, they bought a Canon Powershot A40. My parents actually never used the camera. I always took the pictures even though I didn't know anything about photography back then and I always used the fully automatic mode. I have always been very satisfied of that camera except for the low resolution (1600x1200).

In the beginning of 2010 I wanted to spend some money on any "gadget". At first I wanted to buy a videocamera, but a friend of mine told me to get a DSLR since they could shoot video too. And the "reading reviews on the internet" phase was there again backed up by my good experiences with the Powershot A40.

I finally decided to get the 550D with the 18-55mm kitlens after reading the review on dpreview. I also learned everything about exposure/lenses thanks to the video tutorials of Ben Long on the lynda website. At first I was blown away by the difference in image quality compared to the Powershot A40.

After about a year I experienced that anything past ISO800-1600 was too noisy for my taste. Last Summer (2012) I was really considering switching to Nikon because of the superior Sony EXMOR sensors even though I've always loved Canon. So I played around with a D3100, D5100, D90 and D7000. At that point I knew Nikon wasn't an option anymore even if it had 2234232 stops of dynamic range. Those Nikon DSLR bodies are ugly as hell (I guess I could get used to that), the menus are made by a "designer" who was born somewhere before Jesus Christ (I could probably get used to that too), but my hands didn't like the various Nikon DSLR bodies at all (this I CANNOT get used too). Ergonomics and especially grip were horrible in my opinion. If a camera isn't fun to hold, it will spend the rest of its life in a closed camera bag which would be a waste of money.

So here I am. Still owning the 550D, but preparing a move to the 6D/5D3 somewhere this year (5D3 is in pole position right now).

EOS Bodies / Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« on: March 26, 2013, 02:00:57 PM »
Another scenario where the 6D will fail is this one:

Taking portraits at very large apertures ( F/1.2 - F/1.8 ) at close or minimum focus distance while following the rule of thirds without using liveview and without cropping the image in postprocessing. That's the reason why I'm preferring the 5D3 at the moment. I like to have points exactly located on the thirds of the image in the viewfinder.

It was actually quite easy & fast. Not much editing either. Wanted to keep a rather natural look and thus nothing fancy. I performed 3 steps:

1) Changed the White Balance
2) Used Curves
3) Applied Unsharp Mask

And if you count in resizing the image, then I performed 4 steps...

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