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Author Topic: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?  (Read 3089 times)

Aglet

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Has anyone who's experienced shadow banding issues with their 7D tried the version 2 firmware to see if it made any improvement over version 1 firmware in this regard?

I was considering trying it but had some concerns the v2 firmware raw files might also play differently with older software I'm still using, or more correctly, might no longer play at all.

None of the other changes in v2 firmware for the 7D are of any use to me so I have no point in upgrading and possibly breaking my post-processing workflow just to test this and it's too much like work to try hack back to the earlier version.


When I had my 5D2 it seemed to have more pronounced midtone banding (e.g. blue sky) using v1 firmware.
After the v2 firmware updates the midtone banding on my particular 5D2 camera was rarely noticeable, altho shadow areas are still an issue of course.


FWIW, the only reason I keep the 7D is because its works great on my 100-400mm L zoom and gives me great reach for birding and wildlife while also providing a more reliable AF system than any other crop body I've used on that lens.

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revup67

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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 03:28:46 AM »
Quote
FWIW, the only reason I keep the 7D is because its works great on my 100-400mm L zoom and gives me great reach for birding and wildlife while also providing a more reliable AF system than any other crop body I've used on that lens.

This is a misnomer if / when comparing against the 5D Mark III FF camera.  I have both the 7D and 5D Mark III with a 400mm 5.6 L.  When I crop my 5D shots so they are in affect the same angle of view against the 7D photo (another words we are looking at two images of the same bird taken with both cameras where the size of the bird is equaled by the crop of the 5D to equal the 7D native image) the 5D destroys the 7D hands down.  Less noise for starters.  I can zoom and crop all day long on the 5D image and it just doesn't break up nearly as fast as a 7D.  I have used my 7D only once for birding since I got the 5D which was back in May.  I was in your shoes and thought the same until I began shooting with the 5D Mark III.  With firmware 2.0 there's no noise improvement on the 7D.  To the best of my knowledge this would reflect a change in the sensor which is not possible as the sensor is what captures and reproduces the data (but someone correct me if I am wrong).  I upgraded to 2.0 to get the GPS external device to work and some other niceties  / features it offered.  Don't worry too much about the software, just upgrade to the latest EOS Utility Software and DPP and you won't have an issue.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 03:30:46 AM by revup67 »
Thanks
Rev
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K3nt

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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 04:23:28 AM »
I've been shooting with the v2.0.3 firmware for the 7D for a while now and it is robust, works really well and exhibits none of the hiccups I had with pre-v2 firmwares. However, there seem to be no changes to noise-cancelling routines in the programming as the pictures (RAW) look pretty much the same as they did before. Nor has it broken any part of the workflow, all software I use functions the same way as it did before.
I really like the longer burst buffer it makes available for my sports shots I can't complain.
Good update and can't fault it.
I love my 7D and will probably keep it, even if I am planning to go full frame at some point.
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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 12:00:04 PM »
Firmware does not change the sensor. Raw images have little manipulation in camera, its all in PP.  The jpeg images might be better, but I do not use jpeg.

Aglet

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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 12:18:24 PM »
Firmware does not change the sensor. Raw images have little manipulation in camera, its all in PP.  The jpeg images might be better, but I do not use jpeg.

I was hoping they'd add a startup routine to better calibrate the ADCs between the 2 digic processors.
The dual-readout mismatch seems to be the major cause of banding on my 7D with solid 8-pixel wide stripes.

This is a misnomer if / when comparing against the 5D Mark III FF camera.

I thot about the 5d3 instead of 5d2 + 7d but 5d3 is not enough IQ improvement for what I usually want to warrant the trade.


I'm also concerned about AF issues some are experiencing.

www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=10096.msg182181;

right now my 7D and 100-400 AF performs extremely well, would hate to lose that.

revup67

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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 12:10:34 AM »
Quote
I thot about the 5d3 instead of 5d2 + 7d but 5d3 is not enough IQ improvement for what I usually want to warrant the trade.

Can you be more specific?  Are you referring to Shadow areas?  If you're happy with the 7D then the 5D (IMHO) handles noise and resolution so much better

I've got some great bird shots, all cropped off the 5D III with a 400mm L 5.6 at my link if interested
http://www.flickr.com/revup67 (won't post photos to avoid clutter)
Thanks
Rev
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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 12:31:48 AM »
I've got some great bird shots, all cropped off the 5D III with a 400mm L 5.6 at my link if interested
http://www.flickr.com/revup67 (won't post photos to avoid clutter)
Great photos! I love the diving Tern. How did you track it? How far was it from you?

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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 12:31:48 AM »

Aglet

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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 01:50:39 AM »
Can you be more specific?  Are you referring to Shadow areas?  If you're happy with the 7D then the 5D (IMHO) handles noise and resolution so much better

I've got some great bird shots, all cropped off the 5D III with a 400mm L 5.6 at my link if interested
http://www.flickr.com/revup67 (won't post photos to avoid clutter)

Some very nice shots there.

I'm not sure how the 400mm prime compares to the 100-400 zoom for AF.

yes, shadow areas and lower midtones are my concern with both 5d2 and 7d, and even the 5d3 frankly, it's not that much better at low ISO than the 5d2.  They're all relatively decent at higher ISO.

I'm not happy with the IQ of the 7D or any of the 5ds for landscape work so I limit their use to avoid their weaknesses.

5D's pixel density is half of the 7d's but yes, the quality of those fewer pixels is better because of the better SNR.

I've considered this trade before but, because that still leaves the 5d3 as a one-trick-pony in my stable, I can't justify moving to it just for this purpose at this time.  If I didn't already have both of those bodies the 5D3 would be a clear choice. 
IF the 5D3 price drops to about $2500 and stays there, I'll consider the trade only because...

.. I can't find a zoom that's comparable to the 100-400mm L that works in the Nikon lineup.
If I did, I'd have my answer! :)

with Canon alleged to be improving their sensor tech in the next generation of cameras I have another reason I don't want to buy a 5D3 now. 7D2 might be much improved or another FF body may appear that will do a better job. Then I'd have a better case to justify a new FF Canon as I could also use it with their excellent T&S wide angles.

As it is right now and for the foreseeable future, Nikon bodies are meeting most of my critical needs much better and will likely continue to do so for the next year or 2.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2012, 01:58:40 AM by Aglet »

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Re: 7D low ISO shadow banding; any improvement with version 2 firmware?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 01:50:39 AM »