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Messages - RC

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Buying 60D, what lens + accessories get?
« on: March 25, 2012, 09:22:51 AM »
My 2 cents and to echo many of the comments.

Don't go out and buy everything at once.  Get your body and primary lens and spend enought time so you will know what else it is you need. 

Lens - get the best you can afford.  For gen purpose, choose between the 17-55 and 15-85.  Expect excessive distortion on the 15-85 at 15mm.  If wide angle is important you might consider the 10-22 plus the 24-105.   Hold off on tel zooms for now.  Don't be surprised if you discover the 55-250 is not what you really want.  I would save up for one of the 70-200s.

Filters - I highly recommend filters for lens protection.  All my lens have B&W UV filters.   Don't skimp on filters.

Flash cards - I have high end Sandisk. 

Bags - buy a bag specific for your setup which means you will have more than 1 bag.  If you are at a walk around event, maybe a top loader, when hiking a back pack.  Don't try and get a single bag that covers everything, it won't be streamlined and efficient, furthermore it won't get used.

Flash units - I wouldn't recommend anything less than a 430EXII.   Hold off until you figure out what you are going to shoot and need.  You might discover (like I did) you really want to get into flash photog. 

Tripods - I recommend going back to that shop and putting your hands on tripods.   Get a tripod and head that can support the weight of your gear plus at least 50% more.  My main tripod has a ball head, my smaller back packing unit has a pan head. 

Misc - check out the Canon RC-6 remote, my most used accessory.

Good luck, let us know what you go with.   :)

Edit:   After reading your post again, I get the impression that telephoto is not very important to you where wide angle is very.  I would seriously consider the 10-22 plus 24-105 option.  105 on a crop will give you decent telephoto anyway (168mm FF).  Probably get the 24-105 first and save up for the 10-22.  Personally I would hold off on everything else until you get your essential lens. 

EOS Bodies / Re: Disappointed in Amazon 5D Mark III Preorder
« on: March 24, 2012, 04:37:45 PM »
But Amazon always  a. sucks   b. lies   c. doesn't give a **** what we're goin through so why commit to "never doing business with them again" when you may want to save $200 -300 in sales tax on the next big thing?  It's about like declaring to the freeway you hate commuting on every day you'll never drive on it again.  But since its Amazon, everyone automatically gets an unlimited, multi-use back  that **** up pass on saying "Good-bye forever, Amazon!" , anyway,  just so you know.

... and you chose this as your first post on CR?     :o.   Might have been better on

EOS Bodies / Re: Disappointed in Amazon 5D Mark III Preorder
« on: March 24, 2012, 02:25:45 PM »
They're trickling out.  My Body Only order from Amazon just now arrived from UPS.  Charging the battery atm.

Order placed: March 2, 6:51am Pacific
Shipping notification received: March 22, 10:31am Pacific
Shipped from the Fernley, NV distribution center to Sacramento, CA
Delivery: March 23, 2:40pm Pacific

Can you please provide us your packaging slip? I want to show it to the Amazon CS cuz they keep saying it's not release yet and they haven't have any yet.

Agreed.  A senior Amazon representative swore to me yesterday that they had not shipped a single unit.  I asked her to repeate that twice.  She said she was absolutely sure they had received none from Canon and had not shipped any.  I told her people on blogs were saying they got theirs but she was very clear that this is untrue.

I ordered my camera 2:30 am PST on March 2nd (body only).  I am so pissed off with Amazon I am pulling all my business forever.  I don't mind waiting if necessary but lies really bother me.

By the way, she said they will not be shipping any cameras at all to anyone anytime soon.  She said she estimates their first shipments will ne May 2nd.

Just maybe she is telling the truth and the warehouse she is looking at which services your area for this item does not have stock.   I notice my amazon orders come from lots of different warehouses.   Even photo gears comes from different WHs.   

Lighting / Re: 580ex II or 600EX-RT
« on: March 24, 2012, 11:42:56 AM »
I just noticed in the announcement link at, that the new 600 was plugged into a 7d AND using a cable.

Does this make any sense? Or, was somebody just wanting to use all the bells and whistles for the shot?

Flash in hot shoe with sync cable?   Makes no sense to me.   

EOS Bodies / Re: Upgrading from crop sensor.
« on: March 24, 2012, 08:30:33 AM »
If I were in your shoes I'd buy the 5D3 in a heartbeat!   Obviously you have the money, you do not need to justify it to anyone--unless maybe your spouse.  You do not need to be a pro, you do not need to make money from photog, you just need a passion for photog like most of us CRers.   Do you need a 5D3 or FF body for that matter?  Probably not, but so what. 

I have a 7D and a few nice lens, I'm happy with all my gear.   I do not have funds for a FF body yet, but I plan on adding (not replacing or "upgrading"), to one when I can.   The hard part will be justifying it to my wife, 3 plus grand is a lot of money to me.  What the hell, its my hobby, my passion, my escape in life.   

I suggest skipping the 5D2 and go straight to 5D3 if your heart is set on it otherwise you will always wish you did.  Yes, a 5D2 will save you some bucks for another lens, but who says that you can't get that lens a little later?

Even though I'm not in in the market for a FF, what I'm reading about the 5D3 sounds like an awesome piece of technology.  And I do understand some of the disappointments that many have posted. 

Get your 5D3 and enjoy!   :)

Edit:  Don't get to hung up on all the negative comments on the 5D3.  It seems most of the neg comments are due to disappointments in expectations and not defects or some other product problem.  Like I mentioned, I honestly understand and in some cases agree with many of the comments and disappointments.

- 2 Western Digital SATAs @ 6 Gbps 1, for system, 1 for photos & LR (2 Tb)
- 2 Western Digtial SATAs @ 3 Gbps, 1 for system, 1 for photo storage (1.5 Tb)

- 1 Western Digital 2.0 USB 1.5 Tb for archive storage.   Drive goes in safe.

All photo images get pushed to 2 other PCs just in case.   

No too sure about off site storage services.   Anyone got a good off site storage recommendation?

Lighting / Re: 580ex II or 600EX-RT
« on: March 22, 2012, 07:48:49 PM »
Im not changing to radio controlled any time soon.   I have 1 580 EXII,  2 430 EXIIs, and a 33' ETTL cord.   Too much invested and the 600EX is very pricy.

Ah - the Syl Arena approach :D
:D :D Yip, I'm a big fan of Syl.  His Speedliters book is my Bible. 

Lighting / Re: 580ex II or 600EX-RT
« on: March 22, 2012, 07:44:00 PM »
Im not changing to radio controlled any time soon.   I have 1 580 EXII,  2 430 EXIIs, and a 33' ETTL cord.   Too much invested and the 600EX is very pricy. 

Software & Accessories / Re: Best photog backpack??
« on: March 22, 2012, 08:31:44 AM »
There are lots of great bags and back packs on the market and it really comes down to personal preference and specific needs.  Currently all my bags are either Tenba or Lowe Pro, I have several bags for several setups based on what I'm carrying, and where I'm at.    My back pack is the Tenba Shootout Day Pack, I will probably buy a larger BP for longer trips.  These are two good brands to start your research with.   My only specific advice is to buy a bag/BP for a fairly specific use and not a "one size fits all" bag.  Yes you will end up with multiple bags but your setup will be streamlined and efficient.

Site Information / Re: Problem on Mobile
« on: March 21, 2012, 08:07:37 AM »
Visit CR multiple times daily on my droid and I have not seen any issues.   I have an older HTC Incredible, running latest ver of Android OS for my phone (as pushed by Verizon).  I access it via the non-official CR app which just takes me to the default HTC browser.  I occasionally use Firefox, no issue there.  I'd try clearing history and cache, and maybe pull the battery.   

I also access it via my (company issued) iPad and have not seen display issues there either.   

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7Dmk2 any rumors??
« on: March 20, 2012, 11:27:52 PM »
Paul those are great shots!    Thanks for sharing.   Would you mind sharing your settings?   I'm specifically interested in what AF mode you use when shooting in AI Servo (moving/tracking subjects). 

I've been experimenting with different modes (single point expansion, zone, etc.), and have not come to any real conclusion.   I do realize it depends on what you are shooting, distance, and so on.


I am glad that you appreciate the photos that I took and posted in this thread.  THANKS!!  :)

Sure, I don't mind sharing my settings.  Just to give you a bit of background, I 'came up' through the ranks of initially using a film P&S, then some Fuji digital P&S, then a Canon 350D DSLR in 2005 and a Canon 7D about 2 years ago.  With each change of camera I had, I learned more about AF and had better bodies to practice with. Particularly with the faster response of the DSLRs... and the 7D captures many 'action' photos that I couldn't have with my 350D.

What I've found to be the best settings on my 7D for a 'bird in flight' (BIF) with a (relatively) busy background is the 'AF point expansion'. I keep the selected AF point over the bird, and it tracks well using AI Servo.  If the bird is large, I can even use single point AF with AI Servo.

However with the photos that I took of these rapidly and erratic moving 'Little Wattlebirds' in flight, was the Zone AF. The reason is that the birds were quite close, and with the larger area of AF points selected, I was more likely to get an active AF point to pick up the birds against the mainly clear blue sky (there were a few clouds or at times trees near / in the frame when they were flying around -but most of the time it was clear blue sky).  :)

The birds were catching insects mid-air, and thus flying and swooping suddenly (they were perched, semi-hidden in branches - waiting till an insect (or many!) would come within certain distance - and they would go in for a meal! Taking these photos was a real challenge.  I found the most successful setting for my camera was to have it on Manual (ie shutter speed of about 2500 and aperture f/5.6), with Auto ISO.  (I like that even though I normally have ISO set to 1 full stop settings - ie I change between ISOs 100, 200, 400, etc -  with Auto ISO it can go up and down in 1/3 EV settings!)

I was using my 70-300mm L lens which is very sharp wide open, also f/5.6 at 300mm - this was the best setting. The birds were so close that often I was not shooting them at 300mm as they were either too large to fit in the composition, OR too hard to 'find' at 300mm after they had launched in flight from the tree. (There were several birds around, perched across 2 trees which I was standing near / almost under!) So I usually had my lens at around 70mm - 100mm, hand on the zoom ring - and when a bird took off  I then brought my camera to my eye quickly - and got focus on the bird, then zoomed in sufficiently (keeping AI Servo going all the time) - then 'snap snap snap' took a few photos in rapid succession.   8)

The 8 fps really helps in situations like this.  Plus of course, it is basically essential to have a super fast focussing USM lens to capture these types of photos.

I hope sharing my strategy and settings is helpful to you, RC (and to others who may be reading this thread).  I am happy to share my experience (as I do with my recipes!)... we're not in competition!!   :P

Best wishes


Thanks for the insight and taking the time to respond!   Yes it was very helpful information and what you are saying seems very logical and make sense.   I will say that there have been plenty of times I have been confused as to what  AF points to use For moving subjects.   I'm inspired to go out to my local bird refuge and work on AF tracking. 

With spring training (MLB) here in Arizona, and being played outdoors in plenty of light (as opposed to indoors during regular season), I've been practicing with action shots.  I found AF expansion to work well with my 70-200 F4 IS for pitchers and batters.    I try to sit at the first base line about 25 - 30 rows up.  From this point I shift my AF points to far left allowing the batter to move into the center of the frame.   I do just the opposite when shooting the pitcher--right side with the pitcher moving to the left.  Lots of frames shot at 8fps trying to capture the bat striking the ball or the ball just leaving the pitcher's hands.    Been shooting TV around 1/4000, wide open, auto ISO.   Got some ok shots but need to tweak them in LR.   

Still a rookie and novice with photo editing, this is my next main focus and effort.   Since beginning with film SLRs in the 80s and them switching to digital SLR just a couple of years ago (after a long absence), I consider myself to have a good knowledge of  a photography but I need to work on various skills.   So I turn to CR and other resources to assist in that.  Thanks for contributing and sharing.    :)

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 7Dmk2 any rumors??
« on: March 19, 2012, 10:30:44 PM »
Paul those are great shots!    Thanks for sharing.   Would you mind sharing your settings?   I'm specifically interested in what AF mode you use when shooting in AI Servo (moving/tracking subjects). 

I've been experimenting with different modes (single point expansion, zone, etc.), and have not come to any real conclusion.   I do realize it depends on what you are shooting, distance, and so on.   

Anyone know if these counterfeit batteries register the s/n in the battery menu?    The reason I ask is because one of my 3 batteries (purchased from Amazon fulfillment) has a different length serial number from my other 2.   I was a little suspicious but I could not tell any differences between batteries or packaging.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Backup body for dangerous areas
« on: March 19, 2012, 01:10:11 AM »
At the very least (and if that's all you can carry), carry pepper spray.

Edit: Gramar

If you are serious about a 7D, PLEASE do your due diligence and research it first.

Google the following phrases:

"7d vertical lines"
"7d soft focus"
"7d AF issues"
"Canon 7d lemon"

Don't get me wrong... I own a 7D and use it as a backup.  However, when it was my primary body, it almost made me want to give up photography entirely.  I had so many problems with it that I never used it.  Went about 6 months without taking a photo because every shot I got out of it was garbage.  The shots my 40D gave me were works of art compared to what the 7D crapped out.  And now, with rumors that Canon may not even update the 7D (ie, discontinue the line after one version), it makes you wonder what Canon figured out with this unit.

Bummer about all your problems, that definitely sucks.   Maybe you had a lemon.   I suspect you could google "anything lemon" and get all kinds of negative info.    My experience is the 7D is a fantastic camera   On the other hand I'm not expecting 5D image quality.   Also there are equal rumors the 7D II is on the horizon--time will tell. 

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