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Author Topic: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]  (Read 24296 times)

jrista

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2013, 12:08:17 PM »
As a side note, since it would take an increase to 82% Q.E. for the 7D II to gain a true ONE stop improvement in high ISO performance, we can never hope to see a true two stop improvement. The 7D II, nor any successor, nor any new pro-grade APS-C line of cameras from Canon or anyone else, will ever perform as well as a FF sensor that has larger pixels. So long as the average pixel size for FF sensors remains larger than the average pixel size for APS-C sensors, FF sensors will always perform better at high ISO. Nothing we can do about that...its just physics.

Well, there are a few tricks that Canon could do.  For example, if a camera used a series of fast exposures, the camera could do motion vector analysis on various parts of the image, then add them programmatically after compensating for camera and subject motion, resulting in roughly the same image as you'd get with the shorter shot length (blur-wise), but with the SNR of the longer shot length.  However, that's way beyond the realm of sensor tech.  :)

How would that work with a selectable shutter speed, though? I mean, if I as the photographer chose a 1/1250s shutter speed, a single exposure that long is going to be better than multiple separate exposures blended together. You'll lose light in the interframe time as well, so gain would have to be higher...

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2013, 12:08:17 PM »

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2013, 12:25:29 PM »
Wait, aside from people ranting about DR, what exactly is wrong with the 5Dmk3 that has everyone clamoring for a successor?

I'm clamoring for a successor to the 5D3 to be announced, so that the price of the 5D3 will drop. I'd like to pick up a 2nd 5D3 for around $2K, and retire my 5DC.
Fair enough.  I second the request for a mark 4 on those grounds alone!  ;D
If 5D3 new costs as low as 2700$ isn't a used 5D3 close to that value? Of course it comes down to availability of used 5D3 cameras. But still a new 2700$ value 5D3 seems more attractive than a used 2000$ 5D3 one. Just my opinion...

We're talking new . . . that and we're being silly.  Unless they want to drop the price, then we're serious  ::)
OK! that's a better price. I saw 2nd and instead of thinking second I thought secondhand! My mistake.
But when a new version of a body is introduced the old one disappears fast! And, if the price of the new one is much higher, they will not feel much compelled to lower the price of the old one (think 24-70 2.8 version 1)

Jack Douglas

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #62 on: December 23, 2013, 12:41:45 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but after reading here at CR and elsewhere for quite a few months I sense that it comes down to this.  High resolution via smaller pixels is a killer of high ISO capability.  APS-C will indeed give one a reach advantage when it's not possible to get closer to fill the fame with the subject but there will always be the requirement of adequate lighting (thinking tele and birds here).  One has only to imagine a sensor size that keeps shrinking far beyond APS-C and thus improving the reach to realize that there is no free lunch and IQ has to suffer.  Higher gain in electronics always brings amplification of noise, that much I know for sure.

Still the lingering question in my mind is, is it possible that with very good lighting a 7D2 could give an IQ similar to say my 6D and provide me with the added reach I long for (and the action advantages)??  In that case I'd buy the imaginary 7D2 as the second camera I would pack around.  Any thoughts on this?

Jack
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jrista

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #63 on: December 23, 2013, 01:44:23 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but after reading here at CR and elsewhere for quite a few months I sense that it comes down to this.  High resolution via smaller pixels is a killer of high ISO capability.  APS-C will indeed give one a reach advantage when it's not possible to get closer to fill the fame with the subject but there will always be the requirement of adequate lighting (thinking tele and birds here).  One has only to imagine a sensor size that keeps shrinking far beyond APS-C and thus improving the reach to realize that there is no free lunch and IQ has to suffer.  Higher gain in electronics always brings amplification of noise, that much I know for sure.

Still the lingering question in my mind is, is it possible that with very good lighting a 7D2 could give an IQ similar to say my 6D and provide me with the added reach I long for (and the action advantages)??  In that case I'd buy the imaginary 7D2 as the second camera I would pack around.  Any thoughts on this?

Jack

IQ is more than just noise, gotta remember that. It is currently possible for some compact and mirrorless cameras that have SMALLER sensors than APS-C, and smaller pixels, to produce better IQ than your 6D under just decently good lighting. Those sensors tend to use much more advanced manufacturing processes, are usually BSI designs these days (so while pixel size is smaller, it isn't as much smaller as you might think), and the quantum efficiency of many of those sensors is over 60%. They also usually have relatively weak AA filters, which while you run the risk of encountering color moire, the sharper results help offset the increase in noise.

So yes, it is most certainly possible for the 7D II to produce excellent IQ, in decent light or better, that would rival your 6D. The 6D would always have less noise, but in the event that reach and detail is the more important factor, it doesn't really matter how much noise the 7D II has, so long as you capture that extra detail. (Sharp detail has the effect of greatly mitigating the perceived impact of noise.) It is only when speaking purly in terms of noise, and especially in the context of identical framing, where FF sensors will always be better than crop sensors. Make sure you understand that: Identical Framing. You would either need a longer lens on FF, or you would need to be closer. Why does that allow the FF to be better? Two significant reasons:

1. You are putting more pixels on the subject, as FF sensors usually have more pixels than APS-C sensors.
2. You are putting larger pixels on the subject, as FF sensors usually have larger pixels than APS-C sensors.

Between those two things in concert, you can get SIGNIFICANTLY better IQ...you have less noisy pixels, and probably more of them (at least in the case of the current 7D...a 7D II might have more than the 6D.) Scaling a larger more detailed image down to the same size as a smaller image is going to reduce noise even more, and result in even sharper results. That is why a 1200mm f/8 lens on a 5D III will still produce better results than a 600mm f/4 lens on a 7D. You have 22.3 megapixels of larger, less noisy pixels covering the same relative area of your subject. The 5D III also has a slightly weaker AA filter, so the detail it resolves is sharper to boot, which has that perceptual impact to noise. Scale those 22.3mp down to 18.1mp, and the results just get that much better (as scaling averages noise, reducing it further.)

The 7D II is just as likely to come in at 24mp as at 18-20mp, so it is possible that it would have more pixels. That would be where your REAL reach advantage comes from. Depending on how strong the AA filter is, those 24mp might be crisp and sharp, somewhat susceptible to Moire, but maybe detailed enough to achieve parity with the 6D/5DIII. That's just in the interim, though. At some point, Canon is going to release higher resolution FF sensors. We might see a 46mp FF sensor in the near future not long after the 7D II. When that happens, FF will once again have both a total pixel count and a pixel size advantage. Even tough the pixels will be smaller than the 5D III or 6D, they will still be larger than the pixels of a 7D II. So while there may be periodic leapfrogging that temporarily brings APS-C bodies to parity with older FF bodies, that benefit will itself always be leapfrogged.

That's the nature of the game, though. :D You just gotta evaluate your needs, weigh your choices, and make a decision. A camera body is generally only going to last a few years before your going to find a good enough reason to upgrade. My 7D will barely be three years old by the time I purchase my next body. My 450D didn't even last much more than two years before it was the most significant thing holding me back. This is why you will regularly hear photographers most ubiquitous quote: A body is ephemeral, glass lasts forever.

If you are truly serious about photography, buy the right glass for the things you photograph. I love birds and wildlife. I need reach, but I also want quality. The 7D is a good camera, but it's showing it's age. I live in an area where birds are extremely wary of people, so it's difficult to get close, even with skill. I intend to move to full frame at some point, so I'll need even longer lenses (400mm was the sweet spot on APS-C, and 600mm is the sweet spot on FF.) I am no pro (not yet, at least, I have aspirations! :P), and my work is ok, but by no means great. I spent over ten grand this year on a 600mm f/4 L II lens. I used up a huge chunk of savings that, in hindsight, I could have used to help me through the time I'm going through now. But I don't regret the purchase. It was the best purchase I made. The investment account I had my money in has languished, not really moved anywhere, and it's not really expected to move. But I managed to purchase the lens for about $3000 off list price, and the current sale prices are still about $2500 over what I paid. If I amortize the cost of the lens over my lifetime, another 35-40 years, it actually costs me less than $1 per day! ;)

The best value for your money is glass. It lasts for decades, and there is nothing that surpasses really good glass. You could work your way slowly towards the ultimate prize, something like the 500mm or 600mm lens, but your really just increasing your total long term cost. If you have the ability, save, save like you've never saved before, invest in big dividend payers or monetize your current photography or whatever you can to scrounge up the money you need to buy the lens that will really do your photography justice. A 500mm f/4 or 600mm f/4 lens will last you forever, and in that same eternity, you'll buy a dozen camera bodies, and each one will always be better than the last (even if they are mid or lower end, like the 6D). And the quality and reach of either of those lenses will be the biggest boon for your bird photography, hands down.

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #64 on: December 23, 2013, 02:02:37 PM »
Well, as often happens, Jon has provided an excellent technical explanation -- far better than anything I could hope to provide.

Obviously, this is a subject of major debate on internet forums with both sides holding something that resembles religious zeal.

Here is my understanding: If the choice is between a uncropped APS-C image and a full frame image cropped to the same field of view, the cropped 6D image will often be as good or better than the APS-C image. That's because you can afford to "throw away" quite a few pixels and still have a decent image for most purposes.

However, if the choice is between a significantly cropped APS-C image and an even greater cropped 6D image, there will be circumstances where the APS-C image will be better. With either sensor, at some point in cropping there just won't be enough pixels left to get you a good image and you'll reach that point sooner with a 6D because more pixels have to be cropped away to achieve the same field of view.

Since many wildlife, birding and sports shooters are distance limited (you simply cannot get closer because of physical restrictions or the nature of the subject) under the right conditions an APS-C can give a better image because there will be more pixels to work with in the final image.

Now, to jump the shark a bit here: One of the more mind-bending thoughts I have had is wondering if the rumored high-megapixel camera might actually be an APS-C camera. Imagine, for a moment, if Canon were to offer a 30-40 mp APS-C camera with roughly the same sensor performance as the current 7D sensor. While it would never match a full frame at higher ISOs, let's say it could come close at say, ISO 800 or below.

To use your example of shooting in good light, imagine then how useful it would be to have an APS-C camera with a 400mm f5.6 lens (effective focal length of 640) and then be able to crop that image down to 10 mp. In essence cropping away 2/3rd to 3/4 of the original frame.

I would argue that such a camera, if possible, would be in much greater demand that a high-megapixel full frame studio camera as there are a lot more sports, bird and wildlife photographers out there than there are studio shooters with a need for high megapixels. In addition, since most bird and wildlife photographers fall into the "enthusiast" category, they have deeper pockets than many professional studio shooters, who would have to justify the expense by determining if it earns them any money. A constraint that enthusiasts don't have to deal with.
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jrista

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #65 on: December 23, 2013, 02:21:19 PM »
Well, as often happens, Jon has provided an excellent technical explanation -- far better than anything I could hope to provide.

Thanks! Please, though, don't ever let my answers prevent you from writing one of your own!

Obviously, this is a subject of major debate on internet forums with both sides holding something that resembles religious zeal.

Here is my understanding: If the choice is between a uncropped APS-C image and a full frame image cropped to the same field of view, the cropped 6D image will often be as good or better than the APS-C image. That's because you can afford to "throw away" quite a few pixels and still have a decent image for most purposes.

However, if the choice is between a significantly cropped APS-C image and an even greater cropped 6D image, there will be circumstances where the APS-C image will be better. With either sensor, at some point in cropping there just won't be enough pixels left to get you a good image and you'll reach that point sooner with a 6D because more pixels have to be cropped away to achieve the same field of view.

Since many wildlife, birding and sports shooters are distance limited (you simply cannot get closer because of physical restrictions or the nature of the subject) under the right conditions an APS-C can give a better image because there will be more pixels to work with in the final image.

Now, to jump the shark a bit here: One of the more mind-bending thoughts I have had is wondering if the rumored high-megapixel camera might actually be an APS-C camera. Imagine, for a moment, if Canon were to offer a 30-40 mp APS-C camera with roughly the same sensor performance as the current 7D sensor. While it would never match a full frame at higher ISOs, let's say it could come close at say, ISO 800 or below.

To use your example of shooting in good light, imagine then how useful it would be to have an APS-C camera with a 400mm f5.6 lens (effective focal length of 640) and then be able to crop that image down to 10 mp. In essence cropping away 2/3rd to 3/4 of the original frame.

I would argue that such a camera, if possible, would be in much greater demand that a high-megapixel full frame studio camera as there are a lot more sports, bird and wildlife photographers out there than there are studio shooters with a need for high megapixels. In addition, since most bird and wildlife photographers fall into the "enthusiast" category, they have deeper pockets than many professional studio shooters, who would have to justify the expense by determining if it earns them any money. A constraint that enthusiasts don't have to deal with.

+1  8)

(Oh, and for reference, at a the exact same 4.3┬Ám pixel size of the 18mp APS-C, you would have 47.6mp FF. ;))

Jack Douglas

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2013, 02:34:43 PM »
Thanks unfocused and jrista!!

That's a lot to digest but it's making more sense every day.  Very thorough!

In buying the 6D I went cheap camera so I had no problem buying the 300 2.8 II.  Don't know if I'll ever be able to make the jump to say 600 F4 but I do know that I have very strong positive feelings about having bought the 300.  I've gotten 100's of beautiful shots this season that have revved up my desire for next year to a level I never imagined possible when getting into the Nikon D5100 DSLR just two years ago.  WOW.

So, I will wait patiently for more on the 7D2 or whatever while loving my 6D because 300 X2 is a mighty fine compromise that gets me more than I ever imagined.  Remember I once shot with a Canon F1 and a 200 F4 and was actually pretty happy.  Amazing isn't it.

Now when it comes to another $12- 15K for more glass boy that's a tough one because I'm already retired and not loaded! ;)

Jack
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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2013, 02:34:43 PM »

jrista

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #67 on: December 23, 2013, 03:36:58 PM »
Thanks unfocused and jrista!!

That's a lot to digest but it's making more sense every day.  Very thorough!

In buying the 6D I went cheap camera so I had no problem buying the 300 2.8 II.  Don't know if I'll ever be able to make the jump to say 600 F4 but I do know that I have very strong positive feelings about having bought the 300.  I've gotten 100's of beautiful shots this season that have revved up my desire for next year to a level I never imagined possible when getting into the Nikon D5100 DSLR just two years ago.  WOW.

So, I will wait patiently for more on the 7D2 or whatever while loving my 6D because 300 X2 is a mighty fine compromise that gets me more than I ever imagined.  Remember I once shot with a Canon F1 and a 200 F4 and was actually pretty happy.  Amazing isn't it.

Now when it comes to another $12- 15K for more glass boy that's a tough one because I'm already retired and not loaded! ;)

Jack

The 300/2.8 II and a 7D II would make a phenomenal combo. If your going crop, the 300/2.8 is probably the better lens, as it still offers phenomenal quality with a 1.4x TC (420mm real, 672mm effective focal length). You would probably only need a 500/600 f/4 if you went full frame, like a 5D III, because to maintain that "same framing" I talked about, you simply have to go with a longer focal length. If you stick with APS-C, then it sounds like you already have your long-term glass. ;)

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #68 on: December 23, 2013, 04:25:44 PM »
Well jrista, that's what I'm wondering.  The 6D has proven to be very capable for stationary subjects with the odd grumble when I've been in need of a spot focus away from center point due to a full frame capture - rare indeed, maybe 2% of my shots.  But BIF is another matter.  For me the 7D2 would be very useful if the AF is top notch and the added reach gave me the ability to fill the frame.  I think the 1.4X would do the trick being more than the 300 X2 I presently use 90% of the time.  However, I'd be more thrilled if 300 X2 X1.6 was an option that was still good! ;)  I guess that's hoping for a lot.

A day with decent lighting and I'm often at ISO 1250 with the 6D and no complaints so that may not be too big of an issue.  If a 7D2 would handle that with ease I'd be happy.  I think the two would complement each other nicely.

Jack
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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #69 on: December 23, 2013, 06:47:41 PM »
Well, I'd say in real life a cropped EOS 6D pic won't quite cut it [below ISO 1600 that is], but a cropped D800 FF pic (15.3 MP) is better than a 7D  APS-C 18 MP picture. I've seen it. :-)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 06:50:46 PM by AvTvM »

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #70 on: December 23, 2013, 06:53:26 PM »
A day with decent lighting and I'm often at ISO 1250 with the 6D and no complaints so that may not be too big of an issue.  If a 7D2 would handle that with ease I'd be happy.  I think the two would complement each other nicely.

Unless you relly want/need a second body and are willing to lug it along you might be better off with a 5D III [not to mention a Nikon D800]. Gives you a better AF-system than 7D and virtually equal IQ to 6D.   

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #71 on: December 23, 2013, 08:24:49 PM »
A day with decent lighting and I'm often at ISO 1250 with the 6D and no complaints so that may not be too big of an issue.  If a 7D2 would handle that with ease I'd be happy.  I think the two would complement each other nicely.

Unless you relly want/need a second body and are willing to lug it along you might be better off with a 5D III [not to mention a Nikon D800]. Gives you a better AF-system than 7D and virtually equal IQ to 6D.

He is speaking hypothetically about a 7D II, not the current 7D. If a 7D II does bring improved IQ (and at 24mp with a very slightly weaker AA filter than the 7D), and a better AF system, it could indeed give the 6D and possibly even the 5D III a run for their money (until the 5D IV comes along.)

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #72 on: December 23, 2013, 08:30:57 PM »
Well jrista, that's what I'm wondering.  The 6D has proven to be very capable for stationary subjects with the odd grumble when I've been in need of a spot focus away from center point due to a full frame capture - rare indeed, maybe 2% of my shots.  But BIF is another matter.  For me the 7D2 would be very useful if the AF is top notch and the added reach gave me the ability to fill the frame.  I think the 1.4X would do the trick being more than the 300 X2 I presently use 90% of the time.  However, I'd be more thrilled if 300 X2 X1.6 was an option that was still good! ;)  I guess that's hoping for a lot.

A day with decent lighting and I'm often at ISO 1250 with the 6D and no complaints so that may not be too big of an issue.  If a 7D2 would handle that with ease I'd be happy.  I think the two would complement each other nicely.

Jack

Depending on what kind of birds you are shooting, and whether you are photographing them in flight or not, you will want the full range of versatility the 300/2.8 and both the 1.4x and 2x TCs give you. For stationary small birds...songbirds on the perch, shorebirds, you will easily want 600/5.6. I've used that combo, it's great, IQ takes a hit but it is still as good as the 100-400 L.

For BIF, 420/4 is ideal. I have also used that combo (and this was a while ago now, about a year and a half or so, and my BIF still was NOT very good), and it is GREAT for BIF. The ~400mm focal length on APS-C is really as LONG as you want to go for most BIF, which is usually of larger birds...raptors, waders, waterfowl and the like...they fill the frame at a comfortable distance at 420mm on APS-C. The 300/2.8 is a lighter lens than the 600/4, so it is even better for BIF (which is why it's on my list, even for FF.)

For both wildlife and BIF, 300/2.8 really can't be beat. You'll need to get a bit closer to the birds, but you won't have the framing problems you will inevitably sometimes encounter at 420mm or longer (the bird is GOING to move around in the frame, the tighter you frame, the more likely it is that a not so insignificant percentage of your shots are of half a bird, head or tail). With a 7D II's reach, at 300mm f/2.8, you will have TONS of light, FAST AF, and plenty of room in the frame to track the bird. Assuming the 7D II gets a better AF system than the 7D, that combo would be a BIFfers dream.

The 300mm f/2.8 lens is also ideal for wildlife in closer quarters at sunrise/sunset, where light can be poor. You can also slap on the 1.4x TC for 420/4, which is ideal for medium to longer distances for wildlife.

So, if you have your heart set on a 7D II (or whatever it is Canon releases to replace the 7D), you already have your top notch glass! I don't recommend changing a thing (unless you don't have BOTH the 1.4x III and 2x III EF teleconverters...get both, you'll definitely want them!)

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #72 on: December 23, 2013, 08:30:57 PM »

Jack Douglas

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #73 on: December 23, 2013, 09:17:58 PM »
jrista, it's like you're buttering me up for something - like you have shares in Canon and want me to buy a 7D2! ;)

I'll buy it in a heartbeat if what you're saying turns into reality.  I didn't buy the 5D3 because the 6D was cheaper and would be a great second camera (call it my wife's :))

The trouble with threads like this is they tend to be distractive in nature, making one less appreciative of the present blessings in life!  Now I'll be waiting a little less patiently. :(

Jack
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jrista

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #74 on: December 23, 2013, 10:03:11 PM »
jrista, it's like you're buttering me up for something - like you have shares in Canon and want me to buy a 7D2! ;)

I'll buy it in a heartbeat if what you're saying turns into reality.  I didn't buy the 5D3 because the 6D was cheaper and would be a great second camera (call it my wife's :))

The trouble with threads like this is they tend to be distractive in nature, making one less appreciative of the present blessings in life!  Now I'll be waiting a little less patiently. :(

Jack

LOL. I do not own shares in Canon, but I do want you to feel happy with your purchase of the 300/2.8 after everything I said about the 500mm & 600mm f/4s. For crop users, it's a great lens, and since you already spent the money on it, and you plan to go crop, you should feel good about it.

I just got back from a trip photographing raptors and wildlife at one of the local state parks about an hour ago. I know I said you want a 420mm lens for BIF, but I thought I'd share that it is more than possible to do BIF at longer focal lengths if you have the skill:

Ferruginous Hawk, 7D + 600/4 II, 1/400s f/6.3 @ ISO 400:









Hand held, no tripod. Slight crops, as I mentioned before, you want there to be some negative space in the frame to allow the bird some buffer room. The whole setup is heavy, at around 11 pounds, but sometimes, when you have a skittish hawk like this beautiful Ferruginous, the extra focal length can actually be helpful. (On FF, I'd have slapped on a 1.4x TC for 840mm, which would have been roughly the same.)

The 300/2.8 is still great, as if you have the need for 600mm BIF, you can always slap on the 2x TC III. (The loss of a stop of light might hurt your AF performance, but if the 7D II gets an improved AF system, that should be as good as the 7D, as the 19pt AF system is jittery as it is.)

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Re: A 2014 Roadmap Part 1: The 7D Mark II is Coming [CR2]
« Reply #74 on: December 23, 2013, 10:03:11 PM »